Monday, April 10, 2006

It turned out a busy day after all.

Norfolk Lasses Eggs Total to Date: 366 Day:159

KoKKo 122 Personal best egg weight 86grms 29.11.2005
Adelaide 122 Personal best egg weight 80grms 26.02.2006
Ginger 122 Personal best egg weight 80grms 27.03.2006

London Ladies Bantam Eggs Total to date: 45 Day:26

Dilly 16 Personal best egg weight 36grm 27.03.2006
Freckles 16 Personal best egg weight 37grms 28.03.2006
Pumpkin 13 Personal best egg weight 35 grms 01.04.06

I am feeling more like myself today and finally my migraine has gone off - just a soreness now. Yipee.

Well firstly I must apologise for not writing much these past few days, but it is hard when you have a bad head. Secondly not many photos either but over the next few days, weather permitting I will rectify that.

So I had a lie in until 7.30am this morning dispite being awake since 4 am, and as the chooks had some food undercover in their runs, I didn't go out to say hello until getting on for 9am. By which time there were 2 bantam eggs in the orange Eglu where they sleep at night, and one in the green Eglu - Freckles again no doubt. There were also 3 large eggs, so a full house today.

Last night I got out some frozen eggs to use, as I was totally out of eggs, having given some to my next door neighbour, just home from a luxury cruise around Spain, and another neighbour over the road had some late last week too.

The mixed fruit crumble was a big hit last night especially with the jumbo oats and I did not put much sugar in either the fruit or the crumble so that you could taste the individual fruits rather than the sugar. Instead of custard we had Carnation milk - I just did not fancy all the palaver of making home made custard. Normally it is no big deal, but last night it was. It made a nice change and reminded us of having it years ago.

I decided to get some cooking on the go whilst Pat was still in bed and by the time he was up I had made some huge sponge cakes - which were more like muffins in size, with the thawed out eggs, home made butter, and those dried grapes, but which were not quite dried but with a partly soft centre.

We had one this afternoon and boy were they good. Sounds very immodest, but with the girls eggs things seem to turn out great. Light and fluffy and bright yellow. I didn't have a recipe as usual and just weighed up what was left of the butter, added the same weight in sugar, a bit more in flour, and the handful of grapes. Those grapes were so sweet and juicy, far better than sultanas, so if my own white grapes on the vine are just as good dried I will be over the moon.

Pat went off to golf and as he was going through a town offered to get a few bits we needed. As I used the last of the butter I asked him to look out for any reduced price cream - and guess what - for once they actually had some. Half price, so he bought 8 tubs. "Was that all they had", I asked jokingly, and he replied that they had 10. I wish he had bought the lot. He said that he was going to then changed his mind. He forgot that I can freeze it and it still works.

So after lunch I made some butter in two batches. I have now got 4 x 6oz tubs of butter in the freezer and 2 oz in the fridge. I have also got nigh on a pint of wonderful buttermilk which I will use for scones or cake sometime this week.

I went up the allotment purely to get some greens for the chooks and decided to dump some things for composting. I had on a black skirt, and deep plum top, so under my fleece I was not dressed for work - on purpose to stop me doing any.

Once again I forget my camera and was a bit miffed as there were changes up there - I hope we don't get the bad weather that is forecast as I want to go back tomorrow to take some pictures and write about it.

So after having a look around my plot and scanning the others from where I am right in the middle of the field, I managed to grapple with the big net and get inside the cage despite the windy weather. The purple sprouting broccolli is just about to sprout - it wants to get a move on through, as it is no good just looking purple and pretty is it?

Something had had a read nice chew on one of the shallots I planted - I could kick myself as I had left the middle 'gate' open, so a rabbit must have got in. All the allotment done that end is fenced so I am baffled, still not much harm done. He obviously didn't like the taste.

The sun came out, so as I was dressed in a skirt there was not much I could do except - to mow the lawns. The first cut of the season, and it took me two and a half hours . The paths look lovely with a hair cut so too the meadow and the big grassy area by the hut, even has nice straight lines. But looks can be deceiving as it in not nice and flat unfortunately so makes cutting difficult and I have to go over it more than once. Still it is nice once it is done.

I so wish the chap would come with his big rotorvator and go over it for me. If he doesn't soon then I shall just do it all myself.

When I got back and gave the girls their nice fresh greens they were all excited and there was no chasing by the Norfolk Lasses. I think that it was because I put up three lots and they couldn't guard all three at once - not if they wanted to eat some and they really did. I picked some of the newly grown sorrel and some fresh spinach leaves which made a nice change to broccoli and cabbage - but they have that too.

Pat turned up before I had even got a chance to go indoors and open up! He had hailstoned fall on his whilst he and his mate were playing golf! We didn't here just 8 miles or so up the road! But it was cold and black clouds kept looming.

Lunch today, was fresh salmon which I did really simply in a red pepper pesto sauce with three different sorts of pasta. Very simple but tasty too, and just what you need after some hard labour in the fresh air.

It was after lunch (a late on due to golf) that I made all the butter, I really enjoy doing that, there is something satisfying turning runny white liquid into deep yellow butter. Washing it in little lumps and squeezing out the water to make sure all the buttermilk is out, then patting it with wooden spatulas to ensure the last bits are gone, and putting it in tubs. I would love a pair of those old fashioned wooden ones , especially the ones that make a nice pattern on the butter.

Still, plastic lidded tubs are more practical than blocks I guess.

In May we have a busy time with birthdays, our eldest grand daughter and both my sons, so I need to get my thinking cap on to decide what to make for them.

For my youngest son I think that I will make a selection of meals for one - boil in the bag type of things, but gourmet type ones. He doesn't ususally read this so will not know.

He does cook, but I thought it might be nice to make all sorts of meals that he can get out of freezer and defrost - anyone got any ideas?

I was thinking of maybe Duck a l'orange, Chicken dishes etc. Maybe a fish dish in a sauce. He can do the veggies bit - or I might do those seperately. But they must be things that I can vacuum pack and freeze in a bag preferably. I should look some up on the internet, but I am a tad bit weary to do it now.

The eldest is more difficult to work out. Probably some of the cookies he likes, and maybe I can start off some Scnapps or something like that. I might make some nice truffles or fudge or something.

I will have to gently pick brains.

Our grandaughter will be 12, so I am stumped. She is into Karate, playing piano, and all the usual things girls of that age like.

Any suggestions anyone?

I just popped out to see what I girls were up to and Dilly was sitting in the nest on an egg. No way would one of them have laid 2 eggs today, so I reckon one was laid late last night, so I will allocate it to Pumpkin.

Off to change the total and to make tea.

1 comment:

  1. sorry to hear you suffer from head ache, this can be very do you churn your butter?when i was a girl on the farm we put whole milk in a fruit jar and i had to shake it until it made butter. i have heard some people make it with an electric beater. do you mow the grass with a power mower or a hand push mower? i have a riding lawn mower now because i can't pull the rope hard enough to start a mower any more concession i had to make to old age.


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