Diary

Amaretti biscuits / Snowy Rocky Road / Thomas the TankRSS feed

Posted: Monday 6 December, 2021

by Rosemary at 2:58pm in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 29th November

Brrr, cold this morning but clear and still. Clouded over midday.

The cows are now in. There’s no grass and they’ll just start to make a mess. Grey will be happy to have 24/7 company; maybe his lessons will progress better now.

Great customer service isn’t always the norm with online sales so I’d like to share a good one. Dan ordered 500ml bottle of Closamectin from Farmvetsupplies. My phone rang about noon with an Enniskillen number; it was a person at the company to tell me the only 500ml bottles they had was dated January 2022 and was that OK. I said no, I wouldn’t be using it until February – so she asked if she could swap it for two 250ml bottles dated June 2022, if she could do it at the same price. I said “yes, please”. I think that’s pretty impressive.

We had a few over-ripe bananas, so I baked a banana loaf; it’s a Jane Grigson recipe and includes walnuts, mixed spice and glace cherries. I also tried a recipe for Amaretti biscuits, from BBC Good Food’s Christmas magazine. I think they’re rather nice but I have to wait on the panel (Dan and his folks’) judgement.

In between baking, I cleaned out the bantams and Dan modified the coop to give better ventilation. That‘s them in now and Napoleon isn’t going to like it. Once it was dark, we moved the 32 hens out of the green house into the polytunnel. They were in there last year, but there are fewer this year.

polytunnelhensHens in the polytunnel.

First Festival 2022 meeting this evening.

Tuesday 30th November

Happy St Andrew’s Day! Bit dreich today, but milder. After the morning chores, it was down to East Pitkerro to survey the storm damage to the wee cattle shed we use. It wasn’t too bad, so we put in a bale of hay and the ring feeder, a licky bucket and a water trough and brought the two steers in. Date in the diary for eight weeks hence to do the Closamectin.

albieAlbie, 18 month old Shetland steer.

Decided to make a big shopping list and go shopping. We’re trying to reduce our plastic use but it’s so hard. And much more time consuming that just running around the supermarket. Still, got to try and do our bit. That should be all tins, dried foods and cleaning products bought until January. Result.

Dan thinks the amaretti biscuits are too lemony and I agree. Just waiting for judgement from over the way now.

Wednesday 1st December

The deer netting didn’t arrive until mid-afternoon, so although Dan made a start on the poultry pen, he didn’t get it finished.

Thursday 2nd December

Did some learning on how to use Mailchimp today. Good to get the grey matter working.

Got a halter on Bronte; it was so easy. Then she decided she definitely didn’t like it. She’s not interested in a bucket, so there’s no reward to give her.

Dan had his Covid booster this afternoon, but not before finishing the poultry pen at the caravan. So as soon as it was dark, we relocated the hens from the brown house. Now just need to clean out the two houses, ready for whenever the restrictions lift.

Friday 3rd December

Dan’s not feeling too chipper- just a bit flu-y, so hopefully he’ll be better tomorrow. He’s on holiday from his desk from tonight until January. Boy, do we have a list

After turning out the ponies, I gave the tie-up area a good clean up and put all waste hay in a bag for the hens to scratch through. Should help keep them amused.

Baby didn’t even get up when I haltered her this morning; that’s progress. Grey is getting better too. I gave him a brush, while avoiding the kicks.

Took Thomas the Tank, our black and white one-eyed cat, to the vet for his annual check. He’s good; lost a wee bit weight, which is fab but he needs a bit of dental work. He’s booked in for January. I took in a urine sample from Penfold, and it was all good news. We think he’s probably into his teens, so we just have to keep an eye on him.

While I was at the vet, Tara phoned to say that the bull was out. Oops, my fault. Dan said he was quite canny and easy to get back in his pen. Bit of a let off for me.

Saturday 4th December

Baby was just lulling me into a false sense of achievement yesterday. Back to the dancing this morning.

Dan had a busy day, me less so because my back is giving me gip. Still, going to see Ian, the back man, tomorrow. So, Dan started  off emptying the muck trailer – a regular weekly job at this time of year – then he brought in the bacon and the slicer and got it all sliced, packed and frozen. Finally, he spent a happy couple of hours tidying up the barn. We’ve now cleared enough space to store six bales of hay, plus two on the trailer, which will give us a good buffer if the weather gets bad. I’ve started putting in bags of hay for the cows  rather than putting in a whole bale. A whole bale saves me time feeding but there’s so much waste, that it takes much longer to muck out.

Brushed Grey and managed not to get kicked. And I made Snowy Rocky Road, for gifts, and fed the cakes.

snowyrockyroadSnowy Rocky Road.

Sunday 5th December

The back man is a miracle worker. He said I was really tight in muscles all over my body; I feel so much better now.

I went straight from there to East Pitkerro to replace the steers’ wee water trough with a big one. I guess they probably have a couple of days of hay left – that’s a week and it was a very small bale.

Daft lamb got stuck in the fence – trying to eat dried grass, despite there being a whole rack of dried grass for him in the field shelter. There’s no accounting for sheep.

lambIdiot stuck lamb.

Pizza and movie night tonight. Good to relax; busy week ahead.

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