Posts from September 2009

Ex Battery Hen - 7 weeks on

Apologies for posting this photo again of 'scabby hen' as she's known by the children. When we first got hens we sweetly named them individually but after a fairly short while to be quite honest it was difficult to distinguish one from the other so the practice was soon dropped. Anyway here is scabby hen 7 weeks ago, very pale, fairly bald and with a very red sore chest and undercarriage. ...and here she is now....with lots of new feathers and a good appetite for the worms, grubs and greenery in the recently cleared potato bed. Nice happy hen story but its still sad to think that 85% of all eggs used in cafes, restaurants and pubs etc still come from battery hens.
Glad they and we are enjoying some sunshine for a few days. We got 8 eggs today, hurray!

Apple Juice Pressing

Sunshine abounds, such a nice day for a change. Lots of solar warmth in the house too. So after work had ended for the day we spent time outside. Then we roughly hosed off a load of apples we'd picked at a friend's house last weekend and crushed and pressed them for apple juice. We used lots of cookers so the result is a rather tart sharp juice in flavour; we've frozen half unsweetened and added a bit of sugar to the other half - I think the lack of sweetness indicates the lack of sunshine here recently. The crushing is done in a big bucket with a drill bit which is like a paddle mashing the apples to bits and then the pressing takes place with the lovely Vigo press we've had for a few years now. The resulting apple juice has that cloudy homemadeness about it - doesn't look that appetising really! Tastes good though..and its an exclusive limited edition 'single estate' cold pressing.....

Early Autumn?

The weather is too grim for words.
It has been overwhelmingly wet in this part of the world for the past 3 weeks. The fields are saturated with rivers and ponding where you don't usually seem them; Loch Lomond has reached winter water levels with the disappearance of beaches, shoreline and jetties; gardening activity has ceased except for picking veg for eating.

The horses could do with wellies.

However amid the gloom I've been preserving the summer as best I can with lots of jam and jelly making and my first attempt at lemon curd. I made this just before the village show; very fresh very free range eggs went into the mix alongwith the butter, sugar and lemons and I was a bit surprised just to get two jars in the end but it tasted divine...and got a third prize at the village show, hurray! We also won prizes for our spuds, shallots and plum jelly. There was a little tension in the house as 'my' potatoes beat 'his' potatoes but there's nothing like a bit of competition~#!?

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