Sunday 28 October 2018

Not quite the colour of marmalade I was after

Last week I spent quite some time in the kitchen waiting for the orange marmalade I was making to set. It took ages. The result is that it was a bit caramelised though the flavour is not affected.

Monday 22 October 2018

Conspiracy theories, thriving bees and a poorly goat

In Gateshead a bunch of conspiracy theorists are convinced that non-existent 5G technology allegedly installed in lampposts are exterminating all insects and small birds while causing mass nosebleeds, cancer and death. They allege that the 5G technology (which does not exist in Gateshead) has been installed as part of a secret deal between Labour run Gateshead Council and the Conservative government to test a weapon system on the people of the area. And for good measure they argue that the Council has set up a funeral business to cash in on the extra deaths they claim will result from the alleged 5G technology. As far as conspiracy theories goes, this one has to be there near the top.

However, the conspiracy theorists claim that all my bees have died! They even tried to make this part of their case against an injunction sought by the Council against one of their ring leaders who has intimidated and harassed councillors (myself included) and council staff in their campaign against 5G. So, to help them in their journey back to the real world, I filmed the video above which shows my bees thriving, even in the middle of October, a month not well known for ideal foraging for bees.

And while I have had quite a few abusive message from the conspiracy theorists, none of them have yet responded to this video. I wonder why.

Meanwhile, I am pleased to report that Sunny, the goat that appeared in the video, is back in excellent health.

Making plum ketchup

We had a large quantity of plum puree to use up so I turned them into ketchup last week. I will be doing a hot version of this shortly, using some of the chilies we have grown. Watch this space.

Thursday 18 October 2018

Self-sufficient in Suburbia September 2018

My latest video from the world of self-sufficiency, covering September when we were chicken sitting, jam making and goat keeping. I also won a trophy for my game pie at the Bowes Show.

Friday 5 October 2018

Moving the quail

The quail chicks we hatched recently had outgrown the brooder box. It was time to move them to the quailhouse.

Wednesday 3 October 2018

How to make game pie

In September I made a game pie which won first prize at the Bowes Show. This video shows you how I made it.

Making Game Soup

I took more game out of one of our freezers to create more space: two pheasants, a partridge and some pigeon breasts. The pheasants and partridge have been boiled up and have now been stripped of their meat. The next stage will be to make the soup. That's to be done later today.

Green leaves and chopped logs

The end of the summer heatwave brought some much needed rain. The result was a great deal of new weed growth. So last week I was able to feed the goats and poultry on fresh grass, nettles, dock and dandelion.

Meanwhile, we got the chainsaw working again, thanks to our friend Steve. Lots of firewood was chopped but we still have plenty more logs waiting to be cut.

No chainsaw massacre

Last week we planned to use the chainsaw to chop up some of the recently acquired logs for firewood. Alas, we had a problem with the chainsaw. Chopping activities were put off until the problem was sorted.

Making red champagne - stage 2

Making red champagne moved onto the second stage of the process last week when the fermenting juice was bottled and corked. It will stand for a couple of weeks before we can crack open a bottle. I miscalculated the amount of juice I had so the extra 800ml was added to some vodka and sugar to make elderberry and blackberry fruit liqueur.

Plum puree

Last week I eventually processed all the plums we got in a recent food swap. They were boiled up and the juice extracted to make a fruit drink. The pulp was then pressed through a sieve to make a puree which is, at the moment, waiting to be turned into ketchup.