Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Monday's post that didn't post !


12 sleeps until my 2 weeks off begin, well 11 but I have to be in work on the Friday so it doesn’t officially start until Friday 3pm.  I can’t wait!

 

4 weekends have now past since I announced we wouldn’t be having any more takeaways and I am super pleased to be able to say, we haven’t!  We have had a meal or 2 out at a local pub however I don’t see this as a problem.  For me, that’s getting out into the community and supporting local businesses.  Although buying a take away is supporting a local business, I don’t think the food is generally very healthy and it’s certainly not good for the grocery budget.  Whilst we’ve had a day or 2 off work, we’ve enjoyed being able to get out and about together.  Sunday night was a tester for me though, I was tired from the weekend and didn’t fancy making a Sunday lunch, so I did homemade (there’s that word again Louise!) pizza instead and it was delicious.  I made the tomato base from the greenhouse tomatoes that were ready and I haven’t tasted a tomato sauce so lovely before.  Next year I want to grow even more so that I can fill the freezer up with it for all year round “go to” tomato base.


On Friday we all had the day off together that we hoped for and took the kids to a theme park for the day.  They had so much fun and made the most of it.  We managed to get a discount voucher so it wasn’t too hard hitting, though those places aren’t cheap!

We sold 2 of our top grade chickens over the weekend, they’re only 15 weeks old so not laying yet.  It was a pair, boy and a girl and the family seemed nice so off they went giving us £25 in our pocket towards the next lot of feed.  I’m sad to say that one of our female ducks was attacked by our geese on Thursday and she’s still limping however they’ve had another go at her, so I’m bringing her inside into the dog crate for some TLC.  I’ll post an update on her soon.   She doesn’t look too good.

Both Saturday and Sunday we had family over visiting for one reason and another.  It’s nice that people take the time to visit us, as we rarely have spare time to visit others but we do try as it shouldn’t always be on them.

I also found 3 cherry trees that I didn’t know we had!  The black ones are laden however they are so high up and out on a limb that I couldn’t pick them all.  We’ll figure out a way to get them though.  For now I have half a tub waiting to be weighed and turned into something delicious.  I’ve also got lots of the white currants stripped off the bush and I am going to make jelly from them to go with meats.  I also discovered a huge supply of sloe bushes when I was out riding, there are a ridiculous amount, so I hope we like them!  There’s bramble bushes a plenty too all along the bridle routes (which, selfishly, I’ve not seen anyone else use).  Our pantry will be overflowing with goodies and I hopefully have the start of the Christmas hampers.  Cherry brandy is apparently a real treat, so I’ll get a few small bottles to decant them into if I make some.

I can’t tell you how excited I am about the free food I keep finding!

I’ve also got some late season purple sprouting broccoli to put in.  It may be too late but we’re behind people here anyway, so I’ll give it a go and put some in asap.  I’m right in the middle of sorting one of the fields, so I will try and spend at least an hour in each area a few nights this week.  I am realising how much I really need to look after the small fields we have otherwise they will be no good in a very short space of time.  So taking out the horses muck is a daily task now.

I managed to get the raspberry vodka made too, it was very easy and I hope it tastes as delicious as it looks.
Finally, I am pleased to say I learnt how to use the manual lawnmower at the weekend.  So now I can crack on and get that done instead of adding it to Steven’s shoulders. 


6 comments:

  1. Well done on not having the takeaways. How fantastic to find fruit trees you didn't know about. Love cherries........ruddy birds got our despite being netted.

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    1. Bloody birds! Mind you I think ours are leaving the cherries alone as they are eating the chickens food!

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  2. Lots of great things going on at your place. Loving the homemade pizza! Sorry to hear about the duck. Well done with the cherry trees. I haven't found any more free food in the garden but I can't wait to go for the raspberries and blackberries on the cycle path. Like you I love the idea of having a pantry full of yummy stuff and we will have our cold store in the cellar ready by the autumn I think. Hope the sprouting broccoli comes on. I am constantly worried I am late with sowing and planting! And raspberry vodka too!!!!! xx

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    1. Hopefully the duck will be ok but I worry if I leave her the geese will kill her poor thing.I love the idea of a cold store and a cellar. How amazing. Don't worry too much. It is what it is and we're learning 😊

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  3. Take the centre point out of the cherry trees to stop them going any higher otherwise it will be a constant battle between you and the birds. Cherries can also be bottled in syrup and used in your own home made Black Forest Gateau. I always do a couple of jars of Cherries with some Kirsch added specifically for this. Cherry jam is also very good. Invest in a good cherry stoner it makes things a bit easier. Cherry Brandy is something I make on a regular basis and is very warming come the winter months.

    Sloes you can do all sorts with those. If you are going to make Sloe gin take the stones out first it is fiddly but the reason I say this is that if you do this you can then add the drained fruit to melted chocolate and let it set for some very adult chocolate. Now Sloe Gin is very welcome on a winter's day, You can also make apple and sloe jelly to serve with meat dishes or on toast. Sloe Brandy. Most recipes for Sloes say wait until the first frosts but you can achieve this by popping the Sloes in the freezer. This also helps as if you have a lot on at least they are safe in the freezer ready for when you want to set to and get the Gin under way. It helps break the fruit down and makes the juices run. If you have sloes it might be worth looking out for Damsons as well and crab apples. Crab apple jelly is absolutely divine served with roast pork. I make two versions one spiced and one plain. I have also been lucky in the past to have access to red and green/yellow crab apples. Gives a lovely colour contrast. Damson Gin is also superb as is damson and orange jam is lovely and you can also freeze damsons for pies. This time of year though you should be looking out for Cherry plums the pinky red ones and the yellow ones Mirabelles. They are lovely to eat as is and the kids will love them. You can use these in cooking or in bottling too. We had access to a couple of trees on a regular basis until the local Latvians found it. They have in recent years got there before us and they primarily use the plums for adding to vodka to make a spirit. Something to look out for. Horseradish is another one. I have tried several ways of dealing with this and find that freezing the grated root is the best way. It makes a lovely condiment to go with a rib of beef. glad you are starting to really settle and enjoy what is around you. Oh don't forget the home made ginger beer for the children.

    Take care

    Pattypan

    x

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    1. What a very informative post. I love how much information bloggers have to share. Thank you for this. I'm going add it to my notebook and will blog about anything I use from it, which will be all of it I hope 😊 thanks again!

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