These are my happy hens! Why are they Happy Hens? The story is that many years ago, people had hens running around their yards. This contributed to making happy homes. These hens fulfil the same function for our homes.
Happy Hens is a popular Dunedin attraction that creates hen-themed products, beautifully handmade from their New Zealand workshop. Cruise passengers and passing locals tend to fall in love with the Happy Hens products for the sense of joy they impart, their original, bold designs are recognisable everywhere. The Happy Hens phenomenon is largely due to their shape and original, distinctive designs and the fact that every culture relates to Hens and Chickens
They come from the Otago region of New Zealand, near Dunedin. It was while visiting friends that I “met” the happy hens. After the hens are made, they are hand painted, often in the colours or style of a real hen breed. So these are Ancona hens
For some time I have had extra hens stored away for gifts when I think someone needs a lift in their lives. And of course I have given them to our children, and as gifts for special occasions. I do not know if it made for a happier home for these friends, but it certainly made me happy to be able to give. Of course thinking about my happy Hens also reminds me of our friends in Dunedin who we very rarely see.
A Pie Plate ... and "Mum's apple pies...."
I was thinking about my mother and the family tradition around her apple pies. Her practice was to make several pies and have them in the freezer ready for use. This meant that the mess made when making her pastry was made only once. And she always had an apple pie in the freezer to pull out whenever we visited. They varied in size, and these are a couple of the plates she used to bake them.
This reminded me about watching her make pastry when I was a child. She made a slightly flaky pastry. It was in the time when cooking was done using dripping, the fat and juices exuded from meat in cooking, used for basting, for making gravy, or as a cooking fat, rather than the cooking oils favoured today. To make the pastry Mum would roll out the dough, spread dripping over the dough, fold the dough, roll it out again spread more dripping etc until she was happy. But this was no ordinary dripping. Fresh dripping bought form the butcher was too clean and hard. It really needed to be seasoned a bit by use. This gave it more flavour as well as meaning it was easier to spread.
So, this is one of the plates that she used for these pies. I was sure I had a couple of others in different sizes but could not find them.