Friday 30 November 2018

The pork arrives

Pork Nov 18 (1)

Earlier this year we bought a half share in a pig. It cost us 2 goat kids. On Wednesday, the pig went to slaughter and today, the meat arrived. We now have lots of bacon joints, a huge pile of chops, 4 gigantic joints and one kidney. Everything has gone into the freezer but we will be turning our hand to making bacon soon. There is a thick layer of fat so we will be rendering this down. The person who took the other half of the pig has chopped most of the fat off their meat and will us have it. We will pick it up on Sunday (when we will also be having pork chops for dinner).

Thursday 29 November 2018

Emmanuel College Christmas Fair

On Saturday I sold lots of preserves but not many eggs at the Emmanuel College Christmas fair in Gateshead.

Getting ready for the Emmanuel College Christmas fair

Last Saturday I was due at the Emmanuel College Christmas fair to sell my preserves. So on Friday, much time was spent in the kitchen making jam to sell.

Pot roast in beer - the video

This is the video I shot last week of how I made the pot roast game (duck, pheasant and pigeon breasts) in beer. It was a very large quantity made so we are still consuming it!

Thursday 22 November 2018

Pot roast game in chicken stock and beer

pot roast game in chicken stock and beer Nov 18

This is my dinner for tonight: pot roast chicken, duck and pigeon breasts in chicken stock and beer. All these ingredients, except the beer came out of the freezer so that we can free up space for the arrival of half a pig later this month. The beer was brewed last year but wasn't a great success. It is not going to be wasted however and so we will be adding it to whatever recipes we can use it for.

Tuesday 13 November 2018

Opening the Sunniside Fair

I was invited to open the Sunniside Methodist Hall fair on Saturday. The chapel are keen to carry out renovation work of the hall and to make it more accessible as a community asset and venue for meetings for local groups and organisations. I was quite chuffed to be asked to perform the opening. The hall is next to the Whinnies Community Garden where we keep our animals.

Soup and jam

My video diary from last Friday - I spent the evening in the kitchen making jam and soup. The jam made was the plum and apple mentioned in the previous post. The soup was made to use up contents from one of the freezers. The cauliflower leaves used were 4 years old! We need to get into the habit of checking the contents of the freezer more regularly.

How to make plum and apple jam

The urgency to create space in our freezers has stepped up a gear so I defrosted 3kg of plums recently and added in 2kg of apples from our stockpile. It made a great jam. The quantity of apples and plums relative to each other can be varied but make sure there is sufficient plum juice in which to simmer the apples. Use the same weight of sugar as weight of fruit.

Friday 9 November 2018

Plum and apple jam

Plum and apple jam Nov 18 (1)

We still have lots of plums in the freezers so 3kg of them went into making plum and apple jam earlier this week. I added them to 2 kg of chopped apples, boiled them up together and simmered them so the apples could cook in the plum juice. 5kg of sugar was then added. End result: 18 jars of jam.

Plum and apple jam Nov 18 (2)

Thursday 8 November 2018

Bramble jelly

bramble jelly Nov 18

Blackberries that had been in the freezer for a couple of months were defrosted and made into bramble jelly. The leftover pulp is still waiting to be used. It will be pressed through a sieve and the resulting puree will be added to some apples to make a seedless blackberry and apple jam.

Creating freezer space

Our 4 freezers are full but we are due half a pig later this month and we need to create freezer space to store it. So, out of one of the freezers came fruit, beans and stock, all of which have to be converted quickly into preserves or meals.

Tuesday 6 November 2018

Wood fired oven

Yesterday we went along to a bonfire night event in the Hop Garden in High Spen. It was an opportunity to see their wood fired oven in operation. I was able to ask about how it was built and from what, and what effort and time is needed to operate it. I can see building our own oven as our next big project in 2019.