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Friday, 7 November 2014

Apples and pears (Updated sorry)

To anyone who might have read this blog while still in it's raw state, I apologise. I clicked on publish instead of save when I went to get our soup!

I keep thinking I've finished with produce as mentioned last week, but here we are with a sack of pears as well as the two shopping bags of apples. My freezer is full, I must leave a square foot for emergencies. While I am contemplating the pears are ripening fast, and very juicy they are. So it looks as if I may be bottling a few more to go with the ones I did earlier in the year. As for the apples....well I think tomorrow I will find some apple trays and store what I can and make juice with the rest. A bit of research is needed I think.

So chutney making has started again. I made a double batch of spicy pear chutney, which is sweet by anyone's standards and somehow lacking in depth, but a couple of weeks/months sitting might sort it out. I once made a huge batch of chutney, tasted it and threw some away when I needed some jars, forgot about the rest then when it came to light, tasted it and it was delicious! So we'll see.
Ten bottles of pear chutney, I hope it improves with keeping

The leeks have been pulled while the weather is good. I sat on the yard and peeled, washed and sliced the mountain into just a few bags for the freezer and a bunch to use in the fridge. I am trying not to fuss over the caulis and sprouts, I haven't been to see them for a few days. Sprouts are my second favourite veg after psb but they do need a bit of frost on them  to take away any bitterness (I just hope I am not tempting fate!)




This week we recieved a seed order from the UK. The seeds were being sold for 25p a pack in a sale so worth ordering the things we can't find so easily here. Generally seeda are very cheap here, but limited.

Apart from all that, the walnuts are either slowing down or getting lost under the leaves. We have plenty this year I think as long as I don't get into feeding them to the birds again as I did last winter. There is one feeder filled at the moment as the great tits are back in force, but the sparrows tend to go for the easier chicken food. But there is less of that going out as the chickens are getting mostly fermented grains at the moment, with some dusty stuff to carry the DE. I'm not sure it does any good, but we don't seem to have a worm problem.

We lost one of the ex-batts this week, not sure why. It was Tansy from group two. Still, she has had a nice few months living free and eating her head off, not sure if she was laying, it's hard to keep track of the brown ones.

Chubba hen, Sevi's favourite, is looking as bald and motheaten as her sister Cagney was, and has completely lost her tail now. Cagney is growing her new feathers well and now seems mostly covered though still untidy. All the Shumens did an earlier moult and are now looking sleek again, though they have given up laying for the year. Sevi's tail is growing back, along with even more rogue brown feathers. They all seem a lot more contented on the new feed, they have stopped mobbing us every time we go into the pen. The ex-batts are still laying so still need the calcium supplement and vitamins, but if they continue to do well (whether they lay or not) it will cut the winter feed costs dramatically, the dusty top of the range feed is very wasteful even though we have tried feeding it wet.
Poor Chubba

Sevi looking better

And the ex-batts fully clothed

The visiting hens are still here, they were supposed to go at the end of the month but there is no sign of the owner coming back from the UK in the near future, which is a shame as we really need the run for some new fowl. Ah well, not much we can do about it. But their food bill is running up

The other day was All Soul's Day in Bulgaria. As usual we were treated to a tray full of goodies in memory of the neighbours' parents, two rather tasty buns, two wafer biscuits, some cheesy bread and some wheat milk pudding.
We also had a visit from a friend who couldn't get down on my birthday and she brought with her the most dainty cross'stitch card...I couldn't have done anything so fine...and my very own knitted ladybugs and flower brooch. She is so talented and we treasure each little animal she gives us, especially the two mice which Bella covets but luckily will not touch.

November roses

Today I made my mincemeat for Christmas. It is loosely (very) based on a Mary Berry recipe, but doesn't do her boozy reputation much good, a huge amount of brandy was required (what hqppened to two tablespoons) but I'm afraid I didn't put that much in Mary, it was swamped with a lesser amount. I don't use candied peel, though I did get some in Lidl as it was there and cheap. I used plenty of grated orange and lemon zest though for the flavour. I also put cherries in, they came from Lidl too, a very rare thing and it seems only for Christmas. Expensive but needs must. I actually found some currants in a village shop, but at nearly £2 for just a handful we left them there. I'm sure it will be fine, though I might add a bit more fruit if it is still boozy when it comes to using it.

Dave is still painting when he is confined to the house. He has moved the paintings to the bedroom just in case they get damp in the unused rooms where his painting stuff is. His last completed is a large leopard head, just what you want to see when you wake up bleary in the morning. So real looking.


Splash is turning into a real wimp. It seems he feels the cold, and I have to admit his coat, though soft and shiny, seems quite thin. If lost you have to be careful how you sit down as he could be under any throw or blanket that is lying around, and has even been found, after a mega frantic search, under the duvet on our bed! I do NOT think so Mr Splash, I am not keen on animals on the bed, in the bed is definitely out of bounds! Other than that he drapes himself over the box by the fire, or in front of it. He looks longingly at the top but he really will regret it if he tries to jump up there. Luckily if he stands on his little box it collapses so there is nothing to thrust against to jump.

Leave room for me you lot!


  1. The embroidered card is beautiful and worth framing, and the leopard is gorgeous but a bit much to see when just barely awake, as you mentioned. Your dogs and kitty are enjoying the fire, I see.

  2. Would Splash wear a knitted coat, do you think? I can't imagine our kits going for it, but if he's that cold maybe he would be grateful!!!

    1. Errmmm no. He's fine as long as he's playing or as now, snuggled up to Bonnie's warm and hairy tummy (poor Bonnie, not at all keen) He seems a bit Oriental looking so will probably always have a fine coat, but he is feral bred so he's just being a wimp I think. Once the fire is in all the time he will hopefully calm down and enjoy the warmth.....and stop trying to steal my hot water bottle!