Thursday, 13 December 2018

Beans and booze

On Monday I spent some time in the kitchen making a couple of bean loaves (see previous post) and two jars of fruit liqueur. The latter were made from plums and rhubarb that had been in the freezer. Thawing them had caused much of the liquid content to run out. The rhubarb and plums were then simmered to release more of the juices and then everything was added to brandy with a bit of sugar. Instead of the usual 3 months, I expect these to be ready in two weeks.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Bean loaf

bean loaf Dec 18 1

We still have lots of broad beans in the freezer from last year and in the cupboard we have jars of dried beans we bought years ago. Time to start using them up. I soaked the dried beans on Sunday and we also thawed a bag of the broad beans. They were then boiled together to soften them and then mashed. To this mix were added bread crumbs, garlic, onion, olive oil (made by a friend of a friend from her own olives - we swapped for a couple of bottles) and a half bottle of hawberry ketchup I made back in 2009 and which has been on the shelf of the fridge door ever since.

The mix then went into loaf tins and into the oven for an hour at 180C.

A good end result.

bean loaf Dec 18 2

Monday, 10 December 2018

Sustainable fuel

The wood store at home was getting a bit low so the chainsaw came back into operation yesterday and we chopped up lots of branches which were chopped from hedges and trees last year. They have had lots of time to dry out so are ready for burning in our stove at home - this appliance heats the whole house. The branches were initially fed to the goats. They eat the leaves, bark and twigs. What's left is fuel.

We still have lots of branches to chop up so we have plenty of fuel to get us through the winter.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Whickham Library fair

Yesterday I had a table at the Whickham Volunteer Library Christmas fair. Preserves on sale. Alas, people were asking for honey. We have some but it has not yet gone into jars. I could have doubled my turnover if I had some available. One fair left before Christmas. I'll aim to have the honey ready.

Reindeer looking strangely like goats

On Thursday I took 2 of our goats to the Christmas tree lights switch on in Sunniside where they were cunningly disguised as reindeer. They overdosed on Christmas carrots!

Sunniside Christmas lights switch on Dec 18 (10)

Sunniside Christmas lights switch on Dec 18 (4)

Sunniside Christmas lights switch on Dec 18 (3)

Sunniside Christmas lights switch on Dec 18 (1)

Plum, apple and rhubarb jam

On Wednesday I was back in the kitchen again, making jam. The plums and rhubarb recently taken out of the freezer were added to some of our vast stock of apples to create a preserve. Notice how we are running out of sensible size jam jars!

Friday, 7 December 2018

Swalwell Fair

I took my preserves to another market on Tuesday - at Swalwell's Holy Trinity Church. Lots of people were there but 90% were below the age of 10. Sales therefore were not significant but a few mums and dads took home jam!