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Melting Chocolate Risotto

Thursday 2 March, 2006

by Rosemary at 9:51pm in Recipes 4 comments Add your own

This is soooo wonderful I can't tell you.

Put 200ml creme fraiche in a measuring jug and make up to 800ml with whole milk. Put the milk and the creme fraiche in a large saucepan and add 40g of golden caster sugar and 175g of carnaroli or arborio risotto rice. Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally. Add 50g of good quality dark chocolate (70+% cocoa solids) and allow to melt. Transfer the mix to a shallow, buttered dish and put in a preheated oven at 150C / 300F / Gas mark 2 for 20 minutes.

Recipes

Thursday 2 March, 2006

by Rosemary at 10:10pm in Recipes 1 comment Add your own

I often pull recipes out of magazines and newspapers. A huge bundle was stuffed in the back of a book that my sister gave me, which is specifically for writing recipes in.

In a fit of spring fever (which also lead to me cleaning the cooker and sweeping the garage floor!), I decided that I would go through these recipes, throw out the ones that we hadn't tried and never would or had tried and didn't like; try the ones we hadn't tried and, if we liked them, I'd write them in the book. Still with me?

Good news about Felix

Sunday 5 March, 2006

by Rosemary at 6:56pm in Cats 1 comment Add your own

Members of the Felix fan club will be glad to know that he has tested negative for both Feline Leukemia Virus and FIV. He will be vaccinated against FLeV next week.

The antibiotics and eyedrops seem to be helping and his snuffle is much reduced. He has another 11 days course of antibiotics, to complete.

Today he's been gardening, both in and out of the greenhouse, and stalking the Brown Leghorn. He was flat out on his sheepskin on the windowsill, in the sun this afternoon.

It's a hard life being a media star!

Having a Border Collie

Wednesday 8 March, 2006

by Rosemary at 8:11pm in Dogs 3 comments Add your own

We love our Border Collies. They are fit, healthy (being, to all intents and purposes, mongrels), not too big, not too small but they are both totally bonkers. Tonight, Meg is playing "seek". She has a red rubber ring about 4" diameter. It was the first toy we bought Tess six years ago and Meg loves it. I hide the ring, she seeks it. She can keep it up for ages. Tess, meanwhile, is shadowing Felix.

They'll take as much physical exercise as you'll give (actually, for Tess, that's not that much) but it's the mental stimulation I think they enjoy too, and the interaction with their "pack". They seem to really enjoy weekends when we all just mess in the garden. I did obedience training with Tess and agility with Meg but didn't have time to pursue either seriously - Tess and I still do our "Crufts" stuff in the garden.

Snow

Sunday 12 March, 2006

by Rosemary at 10:49am in Anything goes 3 comments Add your own

Boy, have we got snow! We awoke this morning to about 6" of snow; it's now seven inches (I just measured it), deeper in places, and still falling. It won't last, of course - rain is forecast for tomorrow. Actually, that's probably more worrying because there's going to be an awful lot of wet stuff then, when the snow melts. Folk up the yard were talking about it yesterday - I was pooh poohing it, saying it would only be on high ground and we'd be unaffected. Hmm. Eating words this morning. Maybe I should pay more attention to the weather forecast or at least to those who have watched one.

Felix, the pear and the painter

Monday 13 March, 2006

by Rosemary at 5:36pm in Cats 1 comment Add your own

Felix's ability to find fun in almost anything astounds me. Pushing a pen around on the desk, chasing feet and hands under the duvet, chasing the PC cursor - all great fun for Felix. But a pear? Our fruit dish is on the kitchen table. So, quite often, is Felix. A pear must have fallen off the dish just to be a toy for Felix to play with. He spins it round with his paws, drags it around by the stalk and rolls it onto the floor, so that Tess can run away with it (it's covered in teeth marks).

Better than that, we've got the painter in painting the hall and living room. Poor guy, he must be harassed to death by Felix and the dogs. Because it's the hall, the door handles are off every room, so I can't shut them in anywhere. Well, you just KNOW someone's going to get covered in white paint and, of course, it's Felix. As well as his natty white collar (caused, if you remember by a flea collar or a too-tight collar, before we got him), he now has an attractive dusting of white down one side of his face, neck and one shoulder.

Felix and the painter 2

Friday 24 March, 2006

by Rosemary at 6:52pm in Cats 0 comments Add your own

Felix nearly caused the painter to have a heart attack. Mackie was filling the kettle and gazing at the river when Felix jumped from the table on to his head. I really meant to warn him about that...

Cheeps

Sunday 26 March, 2006

by Rosemary at 3:52pm in Poultry 0 comments Add your own

When we got our six Light Sussex pullets 10 weeks ago, we named then the Cheeps, because cheeping was what they did. Now that they are twenty weeks old, roughly, they are now clucking and should be coming to lay pretty soon.

Unfortunately, one committed suicide a few weeks ago by getting her head stuck between the ark and the frame of the extension run, but the other five look great. If we were going to name them, which we're not, I suppose names like Persil, Omo, Daz, Bold and Fairy would be appropriate as they are sparkling white.

Muckboots

Sunday 26 March, 2006

by Rosemary at 4:04pm in Anything goes 1 comment Add your own

Hard though this will be to believe, up until last week, I didn't have a pair of wellies. I wore Dan's wellies, walking type boots or an old pair of rubber riding boots, depending on the conditions and who got to the back door first.

Two things prompted me to change this. First was the snow - my boots weren't much protection and I discovered that my riding boots hurt my feet. Second was a visit from our friends, Carol and Graham. We were all going off to look at some sheep (subject of another post soon) and they (carol and Graham, not the sheep) were both sporting Muckboots. When we arrived at the home of our sheepkeeping friend, she also was wearing Muckboots. Never one to miss a trick, I tried on Carol's (which were a wee bit small, lucky for her) and resolved to purchase a pair.

New pigs

Sunday 26 March, 2006

by Rosemary at 4:13pm in Pigs 1 comment Add your own

It's Dan's birthday today. As his birthday treat, he was allowed to go to pick up our new pigs and drive back from Ayrshire in the rain with the car window open (sensitive nose).

This time, we have two Tamworth boars from Thomson and Arlene McKenzie, who farm near Dunlop. Thomson and Arlene breed Tamworth pigs and produce pork, bacon and sausages for retail. They've only been at their current site for a year but Dan says their set-up is pretty impressive.

Two new Tamworth boar weaners

Mallards in the garden

Sunday 26 March, 2006

by Rosemary at 4:22pm in Poultry 1 comment Add your own

Pair of mallard ducksWe seem to have been adopted by three Mallard ducks; two drakes and a duck. I've seem them in the field a couple of times recently, but today they were "sleeping" just outside the kitchen window.

Felix was stalking them yesterday but that obviously wasn't enough to scare them off (no surprise there, then). We've though about getting a few ducks, but we reckoned they would just decamp to the Inch. Maybe we could just tempt a few wild ones to come and eat slugs...

Felix the Fearless and the Tamworth Two

Monday 27 March, 2006

by Rosemary at 9:08pm in Cats 2 comments Add your own

After the pigs arrived yesterday, they were greeted in various ways by our other animals. Tess and Meg trembled from head to paw, the chooks followed the little rooters looking for worms and bugs (although Henry was too wimpy to go through the fence into the pig pen, unlike his wives) - but the star of the show was:

tah rah!! Felix the Fearless, who slipped into the pen and approached the pigs for a good sniff. It was apparent that the pigs were much more anxious about him that he was about them. Maybe they recognised him as a predator, even though a good gust of wind would blow him away. Having pushed them around a bit, Felix retired to a block of stone to keep an eye on them.

I am sixteen, going on seventeen

Thursday 30 March, 2006

by Rosemary at 9:12pm in Cats 3 comments Add your own

Now, get that song out of your head! No, not me (unfortunately) but Copper Cat who will be 17 on Saturday. She's pretty good value - enjoys her evening computing and grooming sessions - Dan keeps her brush on his desk. She's pretty fat and not so good at doing her own grooming now, but she's really perky and very, very vocal and purry.

Although she's a big cat (and I don't just mean fat). she has wee, tiny paws and she walks very quickly, with very small steps, like a lady in high heels. For some reason, she reminds me of Hyacinth Bucket or Margaret Thatcher. Dan, unfortunately, can't see it.

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