Sunday 10 September, 2006
It's Meg's sixth birthday today. It doesn't seem like anytime since she came to live with us, in November 2000. How she shattered Tess's peace - I don't think Tess has recovered emotionally!
We didn't plan to have a second pup just as quick as we did, but one of the farm dogs, Gyp, had pups and the farmer offered us one. When we brought her home, she had a little pot belly, which turned out to be the result of a terrible worm burden. After the treatment, she was real skinny and she still is. We're sure there's a bit of whippet in her breeding somewhere. Her sister, Sally, is still at the farm and they don't look alike at all. Unfortunately, Gyp has to be put to sleep last winter - she must have been about thirteen.
Monday 11 September, 2006
Our Victoria plum tree did much better this year than last. If you recall, I ate the entire crop last year - four plums. This year, we got about four pounds of plums - they looked lovely on the tree, like big rubies.
Unfortunately, the heavy rain after the long dry spell caused them to split so, rather than share them with the earwigs, we picked them all and turned them into chutney.
I used Delia's "Old Dowerhouse" recipe. We haven't tried it yet as it has to mature for a month but the recipe was recommended, so we're sure it will be lovely.
Sunday 17 September, 2006
Sometimes the simple things are best.
Today, we couldn't decide what to have for lunch. It certainly wasn't going to be sausages (for reasons Dan will explain in due course). Since the eggs are piling up in the fridge, I suggested "soft boiled eggs and soldiers". Although we eat eggs a lot, usually we have them scrambled, poached, omelettes etc. and I just fancied a nice soft boiled egg. Or two.
They were delicious - laid yesterday, huge and brown, with creamy yolks, a wee spinkle of salt and black pepper. Dan cooked them to perfection, and we had them with buttered toast soldiers and a glass of whole milk. Absolutely scrumptious. It was like a "Famous Five" lunch!!
Tuesday 19 September, 2006
On Thursday we got our latest pigs back from the butcher, having taken them to the abattoir for slaughter on the previous Tuesday. So for the past 5 days I've been chopping, mincing and salting pork from dawn to dusk. Well, not quite, but at times it's seemed that way.
This year we decided to make our own sausages, so the butcher provided us with all of the trimmings fresh and unfrozen. I prepared the trimmings on Friday night and minced up a pound for us to test some recipes. I fried up small patties of each, and we had them on rolls. We tried plain pork, pork and chive, white pepper and hot and spicy. The clear winners were pork and chive and white pepper.
Thursday 21 September, 2006
Last Saturday, I brought Smikey home for the first time. He's at a livery yard about three miles away, where he is really settled. However, I thought it woudl be nice to bring him home for at least a couple of hours.
To put you in the picture, I bought a Highland pony with the intention of learning to drive. Many, many years ago I would sometimes see a gentleman with a chestnut pony in a trap and I always thought it would be great to try this. Anyway, I've had Smokey four years now but haven't done anything about it. Until now...
Thursday 21 September, 2006
You might like to try this recipe more or less from from Jane Grigson's "English Food".
Soak 12oz dried fruit (I use sultanas) and 4oz soft brown sugar in half a pint of cold Indian tea, overnight. Add 8oz SR flour and a beaten egg. Mix together, put into a greased 2lb loaf tin and bake for about an hour on 180C, or until a skewer come out clean. Cool, turn out, wrap in tinfoil and keep for a few days to mature. Serve thinly sliced spread with unsalted butter.
It is so easy, really yummy and it keeps for ages. We've just finished one that was made 10 days ago and it just gets better. It's really handy to have if friends drop by for a cuppa. You can kind of kid yourself on that it's really, really healthy!!
Sunday 24 September, 2006
One of the first bits on content added to our site was my short guide to growing garlic. In my enthusiastic naivety it was intended to be the first of many growing guides, but here we are over 3 years later and it's still a wee orphan. Anyway, I digress. We get a lot of visitors to the site arriving from Google and other search engines searching for information on growing garlic. Originally the guide suggested that buying and planting supermarket garlic was the best way to start, and would give perfectly good results.