Tomorrow afternoon is raw milk delivery day which means that I needed to use up some surplus homemade cultured buttermilk to make room in my fridge. Buttermilk's acidity deactivates the phytic acid in grains, so I am prepping hearty pear pecan muffins and oatmeal hot cereal by soaking the grains overnight. In preparation for making bean soup, I am soaking a variety of dry beans, split peas, and lentils in the third bowl using vinegar as the acidic medium.
Prepping grains for muffins and hot cereal is not the only flurry of activity this afternoon. I have nine 2-day old baby chicks hatched at 10 a.m. on March 7, 2011... 5 red star and 4 barred rock that Dick and I hand-picked at the neighborhood farm store today. I emptied a stash of fabric out of an old washtub to use as a make-shift brooder, layered the bottom with 2 inches of bedding material (wood shavings), attached a reflector brooder clamp light with a red heat lamp to the washtub's edge, filled water, feed, and grit containers, then introduced our chicks to their new home.