Diary

Taking a breatherRSS feed

Posted: Monday 19 July, 2004

by Dan at 1:50pm in Anything goes 1 comment Add your own

We had a 'To Do' weekend this weekend, something I missed off of the long list of things needing done was work on this site - I've got a load of gallery images and recipes to add and there's been plenty happening which should have been logged here (if only for our own reference). It just seems to be a time of year when there's so much to do outside.

Anyway, I'm taking the time now over lunch for a quick update.

First up the belly pork which has been in brine for the past 72 hours was rinsed this morning and left in fresh, clean cold water where it will stay for 24 hours. Then it'll be hung to dry for 24 hours, then hopefully smoked for the same period. Then it'll hopefully be bacon :O)

The 2 joints in the Wiltshire cure look fantastic (we see them every time I change the cooler blocks which are keeping the temperature down). A deep, dark brown, almost black in fact. These will be removed from the cure tomorrow morning, then I'm undecided what to do with them. One for smoking maybe, the other left to dry then glazed and baked.

Yesterday we made sausages, and it was an unqualified success. The butcher had conveniently cubed all of the meat suitable for sausages, and the addition of some back fat, salt, pepper and breadcrumbs was all that was needed. We had a couple of sausage sandwiched at lunchtime just to test them, and they were fab. If I were a perfectionist I'd say they are still a tad lean, so we added a bit more fat for the second batch, which used oatmeal for rusk instead of breadcrumbs, and included a load of sage and thyme from the garden.

Things that are cropping heavily just now:

  • Peas. The Pilot are nearly finished, but the Greenshaft are proving to be incredibly productive. We spent an hour on Saturday shelling peas, and I spent another hour this morning before work. I don't think we've picked even 10% of the total crop yet. The mangetout are also cropping faster than we can pick them.
  • Raspberries continue to crop heavily too, but there aren't that many left now. My mother made some very good jam with a load, and the rest are in the freezer.
  • The last of the blackcurrants were picked on Saturday, and Rosemary made about 10 jars of jam. There are some left and we're going to try mixing them with raspberries for an experiemental jam, tonight or tomorrow.
  • The courgettes (Defender) are coming into full crop, and welcome they are too. We used to make a wonderful Brie and Courgette soup, but the year before last seriously overdid it and neither of us has fancied it since! Give it a couple of years and we might get a taste for it again.
  • My potatoes are exceeding all expectations. Massive crops of Red Duke of York and Pink Fir Apple, and what looks like a good crop of Desiree to come. All the spuds are growing on land which was inhabited by pigs last year, so I think all that manure has been good for them.

Other crops on the horizon include tomatoes (the first super sweet 100 are just ripening), maincrop onions, which look to have done well, sprouting brocolli (the first sprouts are just about ready to taste) and beetroot.

It is a lot of work at this time of year, but with a lot of produce being frozen, pickled or preserved in some other way it's a good investment for the leaner months to come in autumn and winter.

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Friday 24 June, 2005 at 1:50pm

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