Monday 30 August 2021

Natures Bounty in August

It’s been a great month for field mushrooms, one of the easiest to find 

The trails of Mycelium turn the grass a dark green 

Making it really easy to find them, field mushrooms are very closely related to the button mushrooms you get in the shop, 

We make as much as possible of the harvest as well as having them fried for breakfast 

 I have been getting some in the dehydrator

And a batch of wild mushroom and red onion pate was made and went in the freezer 

For the first time we have had Parasols 

Appear in the Alpaca field

In the sheep field there has been pickings of Cep’s

A friend of ours from the village who also likes to forage, brought us a lovely Puff Ball, Which I sliced and dehydrated 
August has been good to us on the foraging front, now we are turning the corner into September, we are looking forward to see what Mother Nature provides.
She also brought us a Chicken in the Woods and some Shaggy Ink Caps.

Tuesday 24 August 2021

The Big Courgette Glut

 It’s full on harvest time here at Stickle Tarn, the rewards for all the hard work and preparation that went in at the start of spring, of course this means gluts of many things 

The past few weeks has seen me working through some of those gluts

Courgettes otherwise know as Zucchini 

We all have gluts of those, even though I kept to one plant this year there has still been a glut.

But and it’s a big But I have managed to keep on top of them this year

Shredded up and frozen for using during the winter months, I do find shredding, leaving to drain and squeezing out as much moisture as possible in a clean cloth makes them more user friendly upon defrosting.
Making up courgette fritters mixture and freezing, when I don’t have the time to cook up batches to freeze having the mixture made up helps keep the glut under control.

Chocolate courgette cake one of our favourites, moist chocolate cake , once cooled it’s sliced and frozen, easy to take out a few slices to have with an afternoon cuppa.

Thick creamy courgette soup, soup is a staple in this house, wet miserable days, cold days there is always a soup available in the freezer , just a great warming easy lunch. Even better sprinkled with some chopped crispy bacon or chorizo.
Batches of spicy courgette fritters made frozen and separated with grease proof paper, then what is needed can be taken out , they are a great side with curry, 

Then of course there is also courgettes marmalade, I haven’t made any this year as we still have some from last year, courgette gummies, they were also a big hit, cubed up and roasted with other veg and herbs, spiralized and used instead of pasta, but nothing beats thinly sliced courgette fried in garlic and olive oil.

If you do a search on my blog for courgettes you will find recipes and other suggestions for using up courgettes
Would love to know what everyone else does with there gluts.?

PS have you seen the new page added to the blog?

Sunday 15 August 2021

I Need To Make More Of An Effort

 Seriously I don’t know we’re the time goes , every day When pottering around I think to myself I must do a blog post on that and before I know it it’s another day, I also think to myself I have blogged about that before, don’t think any would be interested in it again but I am aware there is lots of new people out there who might not want to trawl through 8 years of blog post .

The answer of course is to keep blogging and if it’s repeated stuff so be it or smallholding calander has lots of repeats and most of the time it’s tweaked to suit what else is going on.

I am also building up my You Tube Channel so be warmed there is going to be lots of links in future posts to You Tube. 

Building work is painfully slow, hitting rock bed that took two weekends just to dig out a corner.

Ripping out the sewerage pipe was not on the agenda and an emergency repair further delay things, followed by shorting out all the electric for the house.

Now we are ready to do the return the digging is getting easier, but slow progress as we know this we’re the mains water is.

But progress may be slow but it’s still progress, II have gained a new bin cupboard just across from the back door that holds all ours bins, no more going out to the drive and more Paige raiding bins.

My BIL Sid built it for me.

Who would have thought you could get so excited about a bin cupboard, I love it.still needs another coat of stain, it holds our recycling stuff, general rubbish, the ash bin and the bin for glass.and the household compost bucket.With separate lift up lids.

The cladding has also been finished on Martin’s workshop the wood store and meat preparation area.

It’s looking very smart, we still need to set up rain water catchment, it’s no nice to step out the door and see finished projects.makes you feel like you are getting some where.

Some of the shale that has been dug out of the footings has been used to make a floor tampered down with a wacking plate, means it will drain and is a nice even surface to walk on. Electric strip lighting and power sockets have been installed.

When the old kitchen is ripped out, some will be repurposed here, the sink will be connected up to the water supply, storage cupboards and work surface for preparation. We also going to fit the smoker in here and put an external vent pipe on it.

The main use of the air is some where we can hang meat carcasses ready for preparation with good air flow and water and we can close it off from the dogs.

Above the wood store is a mezzanine floor with a stair case leading up, it’s wear I can store fleeces and store vegetables.I have two storage racks up there.

It has all be insulated and clad on the inside making it a very pleasant area.

Long term plan will be to all the outside area leading from the house down to here will be hard standing.

The rest of the shale we are digging out from the footings is being repurposed in gate ways and a track going across the fields.

That’s it for today I promise I will be back soon.