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roasted asparagus and prosciutto

I had hoped to get this recipe to you before Easter Sunday, of course, but life intervened. No matter. Surely you have leftover eggs and asparagus that need a second destiny. If not, allow me to give you a scrumptious excuse for yet another springtime brunch.

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Isabelle the chicken on the prowl

I ate eggs for dinner three times last week, the only meals I cooked all week. Let it be a testimony: backyard chickens provide a bounty, and pregnant women (at least this one) are less inventive in the kitchen.

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Francoise the rooster

Remember this fella?

Certain verbs cannot be fully appreciated until you live with a rooster. Verbs such as strut or preen. Or crow. By October, Francoise had built up his crowing prowess to a powerful regimen of 7 p.m., midnight, 4, 5, 6, and 7 a.m. Lord only knows what happened on workdays. Needless to say the neighbors finally said uncle. Can you blame them? While I miss his handsome face, as they say, silence is golden.

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Denali and Isabelle

My dog, Denali, has a bone to pick with you. She heard an ugly rumor that some of you readers think she wants to, ahem, eat the chickens.

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chicks in a cardboard box

As I type this, I can hear a flurry of feathers and chirping from the back bedroom. The latest addition to the family has arrived! Allow me to introduce Jolie, Isabelle, Françoise, and Eugenie. (Can you tell we’re on a Francophile kick?)

Despite the chicks’ constant onomatopoeia—cheap-cheap—they were pricier than we’d expected: $75 for four chicks, chicken feed, food and water dispensers, and a sack of cedar shavings. But gosh they’re cute.

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Driving rain greeted us this past weekend, the kind of tempestuous spring weather best spent indoors with reruns of HBO shows and French press coffee. Instead Mike and I spent it building a chicken coop. Of course. The hardest part to believe is it wasn’t even my idea.

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