Saturday 19 July 2014

Preserving and Pigs

After harvesting some sneaky courgettes yesterday, too many for me to use up on my own I set about dehydrating them, 
Three nice trays of courgettes, they will get used up in soups and stews after the courgette harvest has finished. There is still plenty coming on and there should be some nice ones ready for when hubby comes.
Again the courgettes were grown in containers, they haven't done to bad considering. We have had a few pickings off them.
I came across some backs of salted peanuts yesterday when emptying another box so whizzed up some peanut butter as I didn't have any left and i do enjoy peanut butter sandwiches.
I got 2 jars from 500grms of peanuts, I just used the value ones, Peanut Butter is so easy to make and you can decide how crunchy you want it and what you want in it.
I pop the peanuts into the food processor, blitz them then add a little sunflower oil while it is still being blitzed up, if i want crunchy I take some of the nuts out before adding the oil, then add them after, I don't measure anything I just add small amounts of oil until I get the consistency I want, I also add a teaspoon of sugar. 
It costs out about 90p for the two jars. 
Very quick and easy to do.

The Pig Ark arrived today, what a carry on that was.
It was delivered today, by a very grumpy unhelpful driver

Firstly he doubted me at having access with his seven and half ton lorry, this conversation was at the end of the drive, I explained its the same size as the lorry we moved with and there is plenty of turning room for it.
I suggested he walks down the drive to see for himself but a few moments after he set off he decided he would chance it as it was too far to walk ( very large drivers in humid weather don't like to exert themselves)
Eventually he drove down the drive turned his lorry and proceeded to back up towards my car to unload, I stopped him and explained he couldn't unload there as my car would be blocked in, I asked him to unload in the area he turned so it was out of the way.
Mr grumpy moved his lorry again and back up all of 2 feet into the area.
So unloading began, his lift trolley thingy wouldn't reach far enough under the pallet and I could see it was not going to fit onto the tail lift, he asked if I had a fork lift , I bit my tongue and politely replied no but lets just cut the straps and unload it ourselves.
He then asked if there was a man about who could help  I smiled sweetly and said I am home alone I am sure I can manage. I produced my new pocket knife and he cut the straps, I then helped him unload all the pallet, It was stacked at the side of the drive, more awkward than heavy.
 Now I have the job of getting it into the field out of the way, if he had unloaded were I wanted, it would have been fine out of the way. Mr Grumpy who is not employed by the company I bought it from is now on his way home for an evening playing darts down the pub.
The day ended lovely I cooked myself mince and potatoes, one of my favourite meals there is enough left over for dinner tomorrow  and then any left after that will go in the freezer for another meal some-time.
The predicted storms and torrential rain didn't arrive, it has been another hot muggy day, with occasional  burst of sunshine.  
I am now settling down for a peaceful evening with the pig book that came with the Ark.
 A Guide to Traditional Pig Keeping by Carol Harris 


  1. It is amazing just how unhelpful and unbelieving some people can be isn't it! xx

    1. He was having a bad day or had had one I presume and the heat and humidity didnt help him at all

  2. We had rain during the night, I just about heard it before I woke up but by 8.30 it had stopped, the sun came out and Francesca and I went to Crosshands to Isabeau Inspirations. The shop sells fabric, wool, cottons and just about everything that I could want. I have been going there every visit to Wales for 5 years and today I discovered that Hayley, the owner, lives about 20 houses from me on the opposite side of the road. Guess where I will be having a coffee soon. Unhelpful people are all around us, I do try to give them the benefit of thinking that perhaps their day has been awful, but once or twice I have read their fortune for them and refused to accept the delivery or buy the item.

    1. Lucky lady having a neighbour who runs a craft shop :-)

  3. haha I just love putting patronising men in their place, many years ago in our old cottage I was having some building work done. The builder kept looking at the OH and asking him questions. I was the one organising the work, so annoying! OH eventually said don't ask me I haven't a clue

    1. Yes workmen are very good at bypassing us females :-)

  4. I think it would have been easy to comment on his behaviour- but sensibly - as you wanted the ark delivered - the best policy was to bite your tongue. Some people are just so rude!

    Courgette glut! I have envy... Just 2 of our plants survived - and not a flower in sight.

    1. I am surprised ours have survived and produced considering they have been neglected the past few weeks

  5. Brilliant idea about the peanuts! Why didn't I think of that? Sounds like an excellent homemade solution to an otherwise expensive product (why they charge more for products with less ingredients, i.e. no fillers, additive, or preservatives is silly except for profit). I wonder if I could use my organic palm shortening for that. Hmm

    Shame on Mr. Grumpy, but hopefully he was just having a bad day. Anyway, very exciting to now have the pig ark in hand.

  6. I like to make my own peanut butter, it works out cheaper than whats in the shops

  7. I am so pleased that the pig ark has arrived even if the circumstances were less than ideal. Our pigs have spent a great day in the wallow and the cool shade of the bramble patch.

    I'm totally with you on making your own nut butter. Since I learned how to do it (so easy, don't know why it took me so long) I've not bought nut butter since. Peanut isn't my favourite so we do roasted almond butter and cashew butter and sometime soon I want to try hazelnut.


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