Tuesday, 30 June 2015
Making bonemeal is the last part of the process of using just about everything from a chicken we have slaughtered for meat. By this point the bones have already been used to make stock. They are then put on a baking tray and left in the oven to be heated a number of times. There's no need to put the oven on specially to bake them. Just leave them on a tray on the floor of the oven whilst baking other food. The bones should become brittle at which point they can be pulverised using a pestel and mortar.
Friday, 26 June 2015
We are now well into the preserves making season though much of what we have been using has come from the freezer - we need the space! I've just finished making hedgerow and apple jam, from pulp left from making jelly last year. We also had soft fruit pulp and some whole soft fruit, all of which has been made into jam and jelly. In the photo above, the contents of the pan eventually became mint jelly. We have a huge glut of mint on the small allotment which is trying to take over. I regularly rip out as much as I can but it keeps growing back!
Lots of people have been asking me how Pinkie is doing. As you can see from the photo above, taken earlier this week, she has made a full recovery from her emergency caesarean. The wound has healed and she is eating well. She is mainly on grass and leaves, as are Geraldine and Georgina. She is giving us 2-2.5 litres of milk a day. If she stays in a good state, she will be mated again in the autumn.
The 7 chicks living in the fruit cage with a mother hen were recently released into the flock. They are now on their own as the mother is no longer interested in them. The chicks have however integrated well with the flock. They quickly learnt where the food is and where the best roosting places are.
This is our first serious attempt at making a hard cheese rather than simply experimenting with a random amount of curds wrapped in a cheese cloth in the cheese press. The top is a hit rough but otherwise it has come out okay. We have now given it a thin coating of lard and it will mature for a couple of weeks in the fridge.
Meanwhile, we've had our first meeting with environmental health about selling our goats cheese. We want to apply to do so but there will be various hurdles to overcome before we can put our cheese, butter and milk on the market. The meeting however was useful. Whilst I don't expect us to be setting up shop this year, next year is a real possibility.