Monday, 8 December 2014

Is she or isn't he?

Our exchequer leghorn that hatched in May - is she a pullet or is he a cockerel? We had thought it was the latter. But he hasn't grown much of a tail and this morning we found a white egg in the henhouse where he roosts. Admittedly, two white leghorns are among the birds in the same henhouse but they gave up laying for the winter about 3 weeks ago. So, is he actually a she? At the moment we just don't know but the signs seem to be pointing to pullet rather than cockerel.

Goat cheese and Tamworth bacon flan

This is not to be recommended as part of a calorie controlled diet though given the calorie-burning hard graft needed as part of our self-sufficient lifestyle, the following recipe did not pile on the kilos. I had quite a bit of soft goats cheese and goats cream and some hen eggs to use up. So I decided to create these two flans. The filling was effectively a savoury custard which contained the above ingredients and onion and bacon as well. 30 minutes in the oven and they came out beautifully. I filmed a video of how to make them which will be edited shortly.

Sprout and goats whey soup

Leaves from sprout plants and goats whey. We had lots of it and they are waste by-products which should be used rather than thrown out. So I invented a new recipe - sprout and goats whey soup. The leaves normally are fed to the poultry but they are perfectly good as food for humans. I also used sprouts that were too small to consume as sprouts. They went into a pan with the goats whey, a vegetable stock cube, a heaped teaspoon of marmite and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, then simmer for half an hour. Blend before serving.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Stuffed marrow

We still have marrows to use up so we decided to have one stuffed recently. Usually we use sausage meat for stuffing marrows but this time decided to use some of the beef mince we got as part of a swap in the summer. Breadcrumbs and onions were added, as was a bit of grated cheese. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes at 180C.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Goat in a coat

Yesterday evening it was clear we were going to have an overnight frost. Time to try out the coat we bought for Pinkie, our milking goat. She was a bit jumpy when I put it on her but she settled down quickly. The picture above was taken this morning just before I took it off her. We bought the coat last week from an agricultural supplier. It cost £30, only £8 less than the whole of the money I spent this year on my own clothes! I don't rush out to buy the latest fashion which then gets thrown out weeks later when they have become embarrassingly unfashionable. I left behind that sort of consumerism years ago.

Our other two goats don't need coats. They can keep each other warm and they are a bit on the plump side so they have their own natural insulation.

How to pot roast a topside beef joint

We used one of the topside beef joints recently that we got as part of a swap for our Tamworth pork in the summer. We pot roasted it and it came our beautifully tender.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Apple jelly

We had a few bruised apples to use up, and some peel and cores left over from some baking recently. They weren't going to be wasted. I boiled them up to make jelly. Some are likely to be swapped for other people's produce and I have a lingering suspicion some may find their way into hampers which may be used as Christmas presents.