Wednesday 31 December 2008

Raspberry canes and smoking

On the last day of 2008 what do we do? Buy 30 raspberry canes to plant in the allotment. We are also planning to buy some blackcurrant bushes. We will have to buy some fruit cages. After all, whilst we want birds to come to the allotment to eat the bugs, we don't want them to eat all our fruit. We do however need a good supply of soft fruit for jam, chutneys, vinegars, spirits and simply to eat.

One of my xmas presents was a small kit for smoking food. This will at least get us starting. We are planning to make a bigger one later this year. Other things we didn't get for xmas but are on our list of must have items are pasta maker, sausage maker and a miller.

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Tuesday 23 December 2008

Roast duck

Having traded a quantity of jam and chutney for 3 wild ducks and 5 pheasants, we have now plucked and gutted all of them. 7 birds are now in the freezer and I am pleased to say that the 8th was roasted and made for an enjoyable meal for the two of us, along with home grown beans, onions and parsnips.

Friday 12 December 2008

Acorn and apple slices

This is the first time I have used the acorn flour I made last month. I decided it was time to give it a go and also use up some more of those apples I picked in August. So, here we go, my own recipe for acorn and apple slices.

You need:
2 mug fulls of acorn flour
2 mug fulls of porridge oates
400g appleas (peeled and cored)
250g unsalted butter
one teaspoon of ground all spice
a third of a nutmeg, grated
4 tablespoons of honey

Add the flour and oates to a bowl. Add in the butter and rub it through your fingers to make a dough.

Chop the apples and add to the dough along with the honey, all spice and nutmeg.

Mix it all up.

Put some greaseproof paper into a baking tray and oil it lightly.

Spread the mixture into the tray and place in a preheated over at 180C for half an hour.

Leave to cool and then cut into slices.

This is, of course, something of an experiment but I was keen to try something with did not contain processed sugar. This recipe seems to have worked. One thing I discovered is that the acorn flour is a bit gritty - in the sense that it has not been completely ground. The simple solution is to mill it for longer next year when we make much bigger quantities.

Monday 1 December 2008


I'm sitting on a train to London and news comes through that we are being given three wild ducks which were shot, I guess, over the weekend. Not sure what we are exchanging for these but I guess it will be some jars of jam or chutney. It does mean a lot of plucking and gutting when I get back home on Thursday, but following my activities over the weekend, I think I am getting the knack.

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