Hello everyone! (Firstly sorry the text is so small, it won't accept changing to larger for some reason).
Well I am busier than ever, I don't know about everyone else? I think a lot of people who are at home are struggling for things to do which I sympathise with greatly, I can imagine it driving them insane. Here things are the opposite as I am working from home and the kids are being home schooled by me as Steven is still at work and will probably continue to be, given that its supplying food.
I have been thinking about what to cover in this blog and as I've been undecided, it's taking too long to get out there, so I thought I would just show you in pictures and update you with each pic. Who doesn't like pics after all!
I have to say, raising our own meat is so rewarding, health wise and financially! This bird was over 2kg and has made 4 family meals for 4 hungry, chicken loving people. The roast was Sunday, curry with shredded chicken Monday, chicken, leek and bacon pie tonight and then the carcass made stock which will make an abundance of other meals, so more than 4 really! I do one chicken a week and every time, I can't get over it! I am finding I am missing having raw portions to cook from and we could always joint them but then I find it a bit of a waste, my own enemy!
I was in the veg plot, beavering away as you do, when I literally turned round and look what was staring back at me! We don't normally get asparagus for another month I don't think, regardless I am thrilled and we had some for tea last night :D It was DELICIOUS.
Something else we have started doing with great zest is selling eggs. We have increased our poultry numbers significantly and now get around 40 eggs a day, which we sell. The money we get from eggs is used to feed the poultry and the rest goes to our pot which we will use towards the 2020 goal of saving money for the whole paying your mortgage off project which we are kicking off next year. Hugely exciting times!
Ooooh look, whilst in isolation I'm obviously needing to make 3 meals a day, which I did before really but it feels like I am doing more now. We used to eat out once a week so maybe it's that? Speaking of which, we've taken the decision to carry on the lockdown lifestyle once it is all over as we actually enjoy it and it suits our plans and dreams very well. Silver lining? Anyway, I was showing you the below picture which is a quiche I made from 4 eggs, 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of cheese, spinach from the greenhouse and tomato. It was SO nice. I can't tell you how much I am enjoying cooking right now.
Below is the area we had pigs a couple of years ago (it's rested for 2 years since) and guess what? WE HAVE PIGS again!! There's a pic futher on but the below pic is to show you the work we have been putting in to part of the area that we have agreed to grow more (yes, more) food in. As it's had pigs on it, the ground shoud be great but there is a lot of grass, weeds and stones in it. Rather than spend months trying to get it perfect, we have covered in thick mulch on the left, just out of this photo and shown below we have used weed suppressant. Hope it works! We have fruit bushes and potatoes in there for now. I am planning on putting brassicas in to the mulch which is rotted horse muck as I researched and found out that anything leafy like cabbage, kale etc will do best in the muck this year. If something needs to form, like a cauliflower head, that may not be too good. Will try a couple though just so I know. Really pleased with this area and now it's to keep it up and stay on top of it.
Two of my favourite recent photos, after a hard day's work, we had a fire to burn through some items, which Ste being a man, loved. I LOVE to see him stood, surveying his land and taking it all in (hopefully thinking what other jobs he can do). The photo below that is when Grace came over to see us as by this point we were sat by the fire having a much earned drink. She has so much love for her Dad and I love to see them having a good time together. It makes all of the teenage tantrums easier to deal with.
We found this log which Ste has since kept to turn in to something, but look at this natural pattern. Maybe by woodworm? Fabulous to look at though.
Something else I have been doing is making scones every Friday or Saturday and leaving them, with a bunch of others things, out for my parents to collect. Sadly it is no contact collection and along with a veg box from Ste's shop, is their only source of food right now, so it is essential to them. We do miss them hugely. Anyway, here's last week's scones, done in a muffin tray. They were bacon, cheese and chive and were so nice. They froze great and Ste had one for breakfast this morning. I heated it up a little in the Aga and served with butter - yum!
Ooooh the veg box, look at this. We stopped the veg box deliveries a while back, along with the milk. A few reasons which I am not going to delve in to now but I just wanted to share how excited I was when I got this delivery on Saturday - it is amazing and we have used everything except a few parsnips. I will maybe do them for tea tomorrow, or freeze?
I mentioned my parents collecting things with no contact. It is their Wedding Anniversary today, 42 years, and this picture shows the card and gift we left outside for them to collect.
Just because I can't do a post without showing the dogs, here's Rodney showing off his balancing skills and how he now likes to sit. Annie and he have had a few disagreements lately and he tends to hang around higher up these days! He also likes to sit and watch the pigs, how cute is that?
Ducklings!!! We have ducklings! Am I allowed to be excited about something else! We hatched our own and have more hatching now. These are for eggs, meat, sales but regardless are my favourite animals! Look at the one in the middle.
Here's the cake my Mam made for us for Easter - how lovely and thoughtful, left on our doorstep!
More cooking - just cheese and chive scones now but I love making these!
Whoop whoop, we managed to acquire some flour!!! I am making ALL of our own bread now and will continue to, so flour is key to us. Also we came across a large bag of mince for £12 so this is now either eaten, cooked and in the freezer or in portions.
Finally a picture of what we're having in abundance and are selling too. Rhubarb and eggs! I'd love to hear your rhubarb recipes if you have any to share and I will link and share on one of my next posts.
That's it for now everyone, take good care of yourselves and stay home if you can.
Thanks for the update. It's always interesting to see how you are getting on. Well done on all the hard work you are putting in to it.ReplyDelete
Thank you, I love seeing how others are making the most of this time.Delete
I was saying the other day, Lockdown has taken me back to the person I was 30 years ago, so I have plenty of previous experience (only then we couldn't afford to go out anywhere or buy anything special!!) I managed to bag a Wessex Mill bread flour delivery this week (you'd think I'd won the lottery!)and ordered 10 lb bag of Cobber - Granary - flour. I didn't want to let my current stocks get too low as I make all our bread. We are getting eggs and muck heap from a smallholding friend down the road, so it works out well. I'm glad you are able to get supplies to your parents, even though you can't have visits and hugs.ReplyDelete
I know the feeling on winning the flour lottery :) Sounds like you're doing a grand job and taking you back to a time which you already knew how to manage all of thisDelete
Great update Tracey. My friend makes rhubarb and ginger jam. She always gives me a few pots in exchange for my chilli jam. We both love the flavour. The ginger compliments the rhubarb.ReplyDelete
We love rhubarb and ginger jam! I think we may have used our last one, so I will try and get fresh ginger and make some I think. Perfect combination of rhubarb and ginger for sure.Delete
It's great to see everything going on at your place. Quarantine is hard here in the US too. I am really, really missing my family.ReplyDelete
The thing I like to best with rhubarb is to make a vinegar shrub drink. Patiently waiting for ours as the weather has turned cold again.
Hi there! Hope you're as well as you can be. I will google that one as never heard of it, thank you. Sorry to hear its cold for you - the sun is shining here but the wind is still cold.Delete
My goodness you are busy! You have accomplished so much in the time you have been there. Love the little ducklings.ReplyDelete
I love being so busy, it's how life for us should be (it's good busy!) - thank you, that's very kind!Delete
Hi Tracy. Thank you for your blog. I have just found it today, as we are flirting with the idea of one day taking the bold step you did. The detail you provide is wonderful. Keep up the good work, I'll be watching with interestReplyDelete
Hi there, thanks for your comment. We have never looked back! Best of luck to you and yours.Delete