Monday, 21 August 2017

Two more hives

new bee colonies Aug 17 4

Last Thursday we bought two more honey bee colonies and in the dead of night we moved them onto our site. The person from whom we bought them wanted his hives back so we had to take the frames out of his and move them into two of our own empty (and suitably cleaned) hives. What we expected to be a simple exercise was anything but. We were both badly stung, despite wearing bee suits. I think I have about 40-50 stings. We did however finish the task and it looks as though the two colonies have settled down.

Pigeon meatloaf

Pigeon meatloaf Aug 17

I still had lots of the pigeon sausage meat left over from making burgers so I turned it all into a loaf and baked it in the oven at 180C for 45 minute. It went well with roast parsnips and potatoes.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Pigeon burgers

pigeon burgers Aug 17 (1)

Another summer glut is pigeons. We get sackfuls of them in trades with a friend who goes shooting. The breast meat is the only part of the bird that is worth eating though we keep the feathers for eventual use in making quilts. The meat is frozen either a whole breasts or minced. Yesterday I invented my own recipe for pigeon burgers:

  • 500g minced pigeon breast meat
  • a medium onion grated
  • a medium apple grated
  • a glass of our homemade beer
  • half a small jar of hedgerow jelly
  • 3 tablespoons of fruit puree
  • salt and pepper to taste
The different ingredients help to balance the gamey taste of the pigeons though I think in future I will double up the quantity of meat. Otherwise, I was quite pleased with the results.

It's National Burger Day on Thursday so this is one of my contributions to the celebration of burgers.

pigeon burgers Aug 17 (2)

Cherry and apple puree

apple and cherry puree Aug 17

I recently made some cherry, rhubarb and apple jam. The waste products from this were cherry pulp and apple cores and skins. I boiled them all together and then pressed the resulting pulp through a sieve to create this puree. I am about to experiment with making some fritters (the puree will be mixed with egg and ricotta cheese). Any puree still left over will be mixed with ricotta to make fruit cheese flans.

My waistline will probably not like this!

Trading for apples

Hop Garden High Spen Aug 17 (1)

The Hop Garden in High Spen is a community run allotment in which residents can have a go at gardening and can pick the fruit and vegetables for themselves. I have visited it a number of times before and on Friday I made a return visit in response to a call by the organisers to help shift the abundance of windfall apples they have. In return I took up a stack of quail eggs and a load of rhubarb. I have both is excessive abundance at home! A suitable swap was made.

Hop Garden High Spen Aug 17 (3)

Hop Garden High Spen Aug 17 (2)

Friday, 18 August 2017

Lambs to the slaughter

lambs Aug 17 4

My friends Jo and Richard keep a few sheep and recently made an offer to me: would I take three lambs to the abattoir in return for one of them? The prospect of a good supply of fresh lamb was too good to ignore so my land rover was driven to their house early yesterday morning and I took them down to the abattoir in Spenneymoor, Co Durham. We should get the meat back soon. We have had to bring into operation another freezer. Watch out for lots of posts soon about lamb burgers, roast lamb and lamb sausages.

lambs Aug 17 3

More willowherb

willowherb Aug 17

I had feared that, as we are feeding a wheelbarrow load of willowherb to the goats twice a day, we would have exhausted the supply by now. We haven't! We have to walk further to pick it but the supply seems endless. That's good news for the goats as they love the stuff.