Tuesday, 29 March 2011

A Week to Ten Days

Radio 4 had a short play on on Sunday morning called A Week to Ten Days. It's about when the oil runs out and is so thought provoking, and only four minutes long so I thought I'd post a link to share it with you.


Monday, 28 March 2011

Wild meat

This weekend was spent weeding, tidying and digging the ground to get it ready for planting up. We also had a laugh shooting at targets with A's airgun ... even me! Never shot anything in my life before so getting near the centre of the target was pretty good (if I do say so myself!). 

We talked about trying pigeon meat and wondered what it tasted like ... and it wasn't long until one came pecking around within easy shooting distance. I kept expecting it to fly off but it didn't! I did have a millisecond wobble just before shooting it ... I've never killed anything in my life ... but surely a bird that's lived a truly wild life and has a quick death has to be better than something intensively reared to supply the supermarkets? So, I made my mind up and shot.  I got it :~)
 It surprised me that the Munchkins were really interested in it. They wanted to poke and prod, study and help to pluck it. A shot two more pigeons so we had three to take home. Such a good learning opportunity for the little'uns and yet another reminder that kids are only squeamish if they're brought up to be. Two of ours had tried pigeon on a bushcraft weekend a couple of years ago so they felt they were dab hands at it all :~)
 Later, at home, A taught me how to take the breasts off the pigeons which was surprisingly easy - I'll try to take pics next time. Doesn't it look lovely? 

A and I had it pan-fried in pittas with rocket and watercress salad, proper chunky chips and a good dollop of the homemade ketchup. It tasted just like steak - I'm amazed and most definitely converted to wild meat :~) All the Munchkins tried some and all were very enthusiastic with plenty of requests for More!

Can't wait for next time now! 
 While I was mucking about shooting pigeons, my camera was pinched by a mischievous Munchkin and came back with some beautiful pictures! Other Munchkins pulling piratey faces and daisychain-draped hippy poses ... and this lovely, bright, perfect Spring daffodil. As it's Eostre week, I'll leave you with the daffodil :~)

I'm off to add ears, legs and tails to two more kitties ready for them to head off to their new homes tomorrow ...  

Making wine from foraged berries

Pan of foraged berries, gathered last autumn and stored in the freezer until we planned what to use them in
Last Autumn we had great fun gathering berries from all over the place ... blackberries, elderberries and sloes all foraged from the wild and redcurrants and blackcurrants grown at our allotment. We were quite snowed under with produce at the time so we washed them, bunged them in tubs and buried them in the freezer ready to use when we had a good use planned for them.

Last year we made a wonderful blackberry wine which was enjoyed on many a dark winter night. It's by far the best wine I've made so far so we decided to use the same recipe again but with the mixed foraged berries instead of all blackberries. 
Straining the berries after they had infused in the vat for a week
 The amount of berries we had made three times the recipe! It's ever-so easy to follow and I like the way it's not fussy with adding this additive and that additive ... just simple ingredients and great wine :~) If you've never tried making wine before, I'd recommend this recipe.
Garnet ... my favourite colour!

Mixed berry pulp

The strained liquid, ready to continue fermenting

Very much a working kitchen ... it's always busy and never completely tidy!

Filling the demijohn
At the moment, our demijohns have finished their bubbling and just need to sit and settle. Then they'll be racked off which is just syphoning the wine off into clean demijohns, leaving the sediment behind. Then, they'll settle some more until clear and then ... it will be ready :~)

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Kitties for Japan

Aren't they sweet! Three little crocheted kitties so far, in various stages of completion, all destined for a Little Person's school bring and buy sale next week. I'm hoping to add a couple more. They each take around an evening to complete and the pattern was really easy to follow. I found it on Ravelry :~)