Saturday, 30 December 2017

Footprints in the snow and Saturday soup

The snow always tells a story. It tells me that we have lots of night time visitors as these (rat?) prints weren’t there when I locked up at 9:30. Ste will have to get out with his gun (and try to not nod off whilst waiting), which is his favourite past time!

Today we moved the geese, as every night since the fox came, they have been squatting in the sheep stable. The sheep are coming indoors for January and February, so the ever indispensable mesh covered greenhouse frame, which housed the Ross Cobbs (meat birds) until recently, was set up ready for the geese tonight. When changing the bedding over, we found broody gooses eggs so we’ve moved them.

Every animal is getting additional feed at the moment, the sheep are having hay morning and night as there’s no grass for them. One of the horses decided she fancied some too this morning, which was cute!

I tidied the pantry out yesterday as it was becoming our dumping ground for the Christmas chocolate and food gifts we received. I had been moaning to Ste about the spice jars in there as there was a few and I kept knocking them off. An hour later he walked back in with this:

I was very impressed and pleased. How kind.
Something I need to get back in to is cooking all of our meals. We’ve been lucky enough to be invited out by friends and family through December, which has taken its toll on the hips and how we feel. We are feeling the need for clean eating, if you know what I mean? Starting off with Saturday soup! Today is pea and bacon from bbcgoodfood and it was delicious.
Chop an onion and soften, add a couple of crushed garlic cloves and a spoonful of my souper mix and fry for a minute. Add 3/4 bag frozen peas (this was around 750g) and 750ml stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 mins whilst you grill some bacon.

I blended mine immediately with a stick blender then served. Add bacon bits on to the top if you’re a fan, I am and it was amazing. Highly recommended.

In other thoughts, I buy Grow Your Own magazine as one of the treats to myself (some may laugh!) and they send seeds with every issue. I recently received some cauliflower seeds, all year round variety, which I decided to sow today. A bit early maybe, but what the hell.
I also purchased onion seeds from Real Seed which means I can keep some for saving the seed at the end of the season. It’s a very reasonably priced website that has a lot of heritage seeds which I love. These are the onion seeds I got delivered which were also sown.

They went into the Vitopod as onion seeds won’t germinate in cold soil. 4 trays, 1 for each variety. The cauliflower seeds went into an unheated propagator, however after testing it,  I have put the kerosene heater on in the shed, just to keep the edge off. It will be interesting to see how cold it gets in there. All learning for us still and I love that!

The heater is on a flat stone just to be safe and I’ve checked it a few times until I am confident it’s safe.
Finally, here is Buster and Annie this morning after breakfast having a relaxing time together. Rodney watches over them but never lays with them, so far!

Today I made a list for our 2018 plans using my new notebook which was a lovely surprise from Louise. I love it!!


15 comments:

  1. Hi Tracy

    Does your husband take commissions on spice racks. That was really lovely of him. I don't like rats at all. It seems to be a symbiotic problem when you have chickens, geese etc. My grandparents used to have the local Rat man in on a regular basis as the property they had was surrounded by ditches and the actual chicken run backed up on to one of these. They also used to keep the feed in bins that were lockable and which the rats or meeces could not get into. You have to look after the livestock at this time of year as they rely so heavily on us humans. This cold still will not shift and it has been a grotty day again. Not to been far just kept in the warmth. Did get to have the gammon though. I see that a certain little puppy has Buster at her beck n call. I do not think it will be long before Rodney joins them. From my experience you can never have enough notebooks. (I tend to put mine in a safe place and then lose them)! Hence me trying to get everything sorted into a diary form on the computer to flash up day by day. The soup looks lovely. Keep warm. Pattypanxx

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    1. Hi Tricia, that's the plan for Ste in the future, to be able to hand make and sell some of these items. He's brilliant at it. I'm really pleased.
      Yes, rats and animal feed go hand in hand, it is just about staying on top of them. I have caught the cold as of last night too, coughing all night and today too. Quite painful really.
      Haha yes, Buster and Annie are a right tag team! Rodney supervises still. Struggling to keep warm at the minute, but we will get there xx

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    2. I know its old fashioned Tracy but I use hot water bottles a lot (even with the animals make sure its covered in something) my cats always gravitate towards the warm in any event) I usually have at least a couple on the go. Bought some new ones recently from Wilkos. I also have at least a couple of fleece or blanket thwows in the front room as well to pop over our legs (as well as a jumper or two) and just keep warm without having to put the heating on all the time although at the moment ewe are having to put the heating on. At least you have the fires and the Aga. I am so sorry you have the dreaded lurgey. Just keep warm, plenty to drink and if you made any of the home made cassis have some with some boiling water or the Elderberry Rob or whisky, lemon and honey and hot water before you go to bed. If it is what I have had viral flu then you do need to take it steady as one minute you think you are back on track the next right back to square one. Ste is certainly good at the woodwork I hope it all pans out for you - its a very good plan. Take care honey xxx

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  2. WOW!!! amazing love it. How can i get regular up dates when you post so I can keep updated?

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    1. Hiya hun, there should be a subscribe option, or facebook but also if I remember to publish them to google, you should see them there now we're connected. Thank you for checking in, I'll be over to catch up with your blog too.

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  3. We have used the pea and ham recipe, the colour of the finished soup is fantastic. I can’t decide if I should put a small heater in my greenhouse. It’s positioned to allow any morning sun to hit it early, so it makes the most of any sunshine.

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    1. The colour is fab isn't it, almost artificial in that it is so bright, I love it. The taste is amazing. My Dad loaned me a frost heater, it kicks in just when the temperature gets too low and stops once it's warm enough so something like that might help?

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  4. The soup looks delicious and I love the spice rack! It is -40C here and I just finished shovelling another 6" of snow. Getting pretty tired of it!! Supposed to warm up to a balmy -10C on New Years day, yeah!!!

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    1. I hope you got the slight break in the weather today. That's still crazy cold but totally fascinating!

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  5. Spice rack is amaze balls, might have to requisition one from my own carpenter. Ha ha!!! Soup looks delish. Well done on seed sowing. I have plans in place but nothing doing for a while so will enjoy seeing what you are up to for now. Annie looks properly settled in which is just lovely and so pleased you liked the notebook, how could you not?!xx

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    1. Thank you Lou! Go for it, it's so much easier having them out in view (not sure if you do already) and I didn't realise how many I have beginning with 'C' lol. Mine is experimental sowing now still, I am not sure if the head start will be worth it or if everything would just catch up naturally when the weather turns nice. So true, any notebook is a great notebook xx

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  6. Love the spice rack, wow you've got a lot .... especially Cs 😊

    I used to start things off early when we lived down south, but it just doesn't work here. So I have to sit on my itchy green fingers and wait until late February or early March.

    I think Grow Your Own mag is a great treat to get, I used to get it. The free seeds are really good. I kept all last years editions to re-read this year. I have a couple of months of Kitchen Garden magazine as a treat this year.

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  7. I know - who knew there were so many Cs lol. I'm still finding my feet with when to start stuff and I think it'll be trial and error for a long time yet! The free seeds are a great surprise each time

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