After some quick research, I learned a few solutions to keep rabbits away from the strawberry plants such as wire fencing and an owl decoy. Another couple of sites mentioned sprinkling human hair around the garden; the scent of a human is supposed to keep the rabbits away. We don't have time to make a fence at the moment since James has been working a lot of overtime the past couple of months, and I'm afraid an owl decoy will scare any animals from entering our yard, like the birds and a particular cat that catches field mice at the very back of our yard (keeps those mice from finding our shed... or the house).
But luckily, James needed a haircut. And thankfully, I cut James' hair at home with some electric trimmers (I can do three styles: short, shorter and bald) so I didn't have the awkward embarrassment of asking a hair stylist at a salon to sweep the hair up into a bag so I could use it in the garden.
There wasn't a lot of hair, maybe half a cup, but I sprinkled it all around the strawberry plants 2 days ago. So far, no more rabbits have eaten the precious leaves and flowers off the injured bushes. Could this be the solution?? It almost seems too easy and to good to be true. But I'll keep you posted.
Meanwhile, I roasted a whole chicken in a slow cooker the other day which turned out surprisingly well. I had my doubts, mainly because my slow cooker is a little old and doesn't seem to heat up as well as it should. For instance, my "high" setting is what the recipe books consider "low." I guess that makes my "low" setting REALLY low. Anyway, the chicken tasted wonderful and the finishing sauce was quite tasty. Oh, and despite the fact I had to saute a few things in the skillet beforehand, the recipe was incredibly easy. Let's face it: there's nothing better than putting a meal in the slow cooker earlier in the day, and then enjoying a stress-free dinner later.
Slow Cooker Roasted Chicken
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 onions, chopped medium
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
6 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tsp dried thyme (or 5 fresh sprigs)
1 (4-5lb) whole chicken
salt and pepper
1. In a 12-inch skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until just simmering. Add onions, tomato paste and garlic and cook until softened and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add flour, stir and cook for 1 minute longer. Whisk in chicken broth. Add thyme. Pour into the bottom of a slow cooker.
2. Salt and pepper the chicken. Place the chicken breast-side down and nestle it into the onion mixture. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. Thighs should measure 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
3. Place chicken on a plate or large cutting board and tent loosely with foil. Let it rest for 20 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, let braising liquid settle. Skim fat off the top with a large spoon. Remove the garlic cloves and most of the onions with a slotted spoon. Salt and pepper sauce to taste. Serve chicken with sauce.