Friday, 17 November 2017

Interesting bottles from Il Gusto

Star fish bottle Nov 17

I was sent this rather interesting glass bottle filled with amaretto by Il Gusto who have a couple of pop up shops in the Metrocentre in Gateshead and Eldon Square in Newcastle. I'm on the hunt for interesting shaped bottles for my fruit liqueurs, syrups and vinegars so this star is going to be useful. However, if you would like to pop in to the pop up shops, buy yourself various liqueurs in glass bottles shaped into stilettos, stars and gingerbread men and when you've drunk the contents, pass on the empty bottles to me! I often find people have left empty jam jars and bottles for me on my doorstep. This will give a new twist to my recycling and reusing activities!

You can if you wish take the bottle back to Il Gusto and pay to have it refilled. As I've been banging on for years about the need to avoid single use packaging, this fits the bill.

Making sauerkraut

making saurkraut Oct 17 (1)

We have used some of this huge cabbage to make sauerkraut. This is the first time we have made it and it is currently fermenting in a couple of kilner jars. We will let you know how it turns out.

making saurkraut Oct 17 (2)

saurkraut Nov 17

Elderberry wine

elderberry wine brewing Nov 17

We tried to make some elderberry jelly recently but it refused to set. Instead of trying to pump more pectin in, we decided to use it to make elderberry wine instead. It's brewing quite nicely in a demijon at the moment.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

First frosts

frost Nov 17 (2)

We have had our first frosts of the autumn. The roof of the main henhouse was frosted over recently and on one day, all the water bowls were frozen. Today has been the reverse. It's been so warm this morning that the bees were out in force.

Lamb toad-in-the-hole

lamb toad in the hole Nov 17

The leftovers from the lamb joint we had recently was put to good use. We made it into toad-in-the-hole. The vegetables with it were runner beans in a tomato sauce.

Eating Ivy

goats eating ivy Nov 17 1

We are into the time of year when greenery for the goats is in short supply. However, they do like ivy and there is a reasonable amount of it around. So we have started to feed them a barrow load a day, along with apples, carrots and hay. They seem to be quite happy with this menu.

goats eating ivy Nov 17 3

Ivy Nov 17 1

The chicks are growing

chicks Nov 17 2

The 8 chicks being raised by a mother hen in the quail house are all growing well. They are over 2 months old now and their adult plumage is developing well. We will keep them in the quail house for a couple of months yet and then release them into the flock.