This blog is mainly a rambling kind of diary of the transition from smallholderwannabe to smallholder.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

End of March already

I've been busy making lots of soup for the church coffee shop, acquiring wood for the woodburner for next winter, looking after grandchildren, visiting friends, knitting little chicks that will contain Cadbury's cream eggs for Easter, knitting little jumpers for "fish and chip" babies in Africa....  and there might have been a little bit of washing and cleaning and looking after animals as well.

I'm running out of ideas for different soups to ring the changes at the church coffee shop. So far I have made tomato, carrot and lentil three times, leek and potato, carrot and coriander, parsnip and ginger, tomato and basil, broccoli and stilton, vegetable (tomato based). I make two to three gallons each time and it gets divided up into boxes and frozen to provide a variety of flavours. It must be vegetarian and not too expensive to make (so I won't be making any asparagus soup even though I love it). If anybody has any bright ideas, then please do tell me. Thank you : )

We are giving little chicks with crème eggs to the children associated with the church during the Easter week. We need around 200 and I have produced 50ish. I've lost count at the moment. The knitting is very straightforward but then they need sewn up, a ball of polyester stuffing put in the head, a gathering thread run round the neck and fastened off to provide the shaping for the head, eyes glued on, a felt beak cut out and stitched on, a flat bow made and stitched on. The finishing takes as long as the knitting does! I am feeling that I am all chicked out now.

We have managed to acquire various bits of wood to squirrel away for next winter. Some of it came from a couple of skips near where we live and some is from a medium size tree that was taken down in my son's garden. It was old and leaning badly and looked like a gale would bring it down anyway. It is amazing how much bigger their garden looks without it. Had it been in good condition, we would not have taken it down but we have not only prevented a lot of fencing being broken (at the very least) but we have also got more wood for next winter. Considering that this winter was fairly mild, I am amazed at how much wood we have got through and so I am happy at having more for next winter.

The hens are laying very well at the moment. Old Hen died yesterday. I shall miss her because she was one of my "characters". She was just a little brown hybrid hen but she was over seven years old. I was chatting to her on Monday afternoon and she looked so old that I knew that I would not have her for much longer . I have another hen that is seven years old but she is a buff Orpington and they are usually longer lived. I've never had a little brown hen older than five years before.

I had a lovely mothers' day. I hope you did too. My son turned up at our church with his family. It was meant to be a surprise so I didn't let on that grandson had let the cat out of the bag during the week when he was talking to me. When the two year old spotted me at the front of church, she ran as fast as her little legs would let her and gave me a big hug and said "Happy mothers' day". Then she went to Grandad and wished him the same : )   In the afternoon, the girls came to call with their families and then my son popped in again too. One daughter had baked me a loaf of bread with sundried tomatoes and parmesan and it was lovely. I do like presents that people have made rather than just going to the shops.

I've been pleased with my perseverance at clearing things out. I do really find it very hard to part with things especially if there is a chance that they might come in useful in the future. A little bit of clearing out leaves me feeling quite stressed. My husband tells me not to be so daft but I don't find that very helpful as a coping strategy...  My total has risen quite a lot now so I am only a little bit behind my target.

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  • At 6:10 AM, Blogger Fran said…

    What about a dhal, very easy to make and delicious. I use the recipe for the Harrods Dhal by Anna Jones (easy to find if you google it). I had to laugh about the vision of cadburys cream eggs in knitted jackets, until I re read it! Xxx

  • At 9:42 PM, Blogger Fran said…

    Hi Jo, I am trying to comment again, because I have commmented on your last few posts and this one, but none seem to be appearing, do you have a problem? Xxx


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