Sunday, December 29, 2013

I don't no where to start it seems so long along since I wrote a post. So lets start before Christmas.

After finishing work on the 20th we have had an absolutely mad time, smoking meat and cheese, making chipolatas and pigs in blankets. Dressing the turkeys. Despite being so so busy it was very rewarding all the comments have been excellent and already we have orders for next year.

I did make a slight error, I sold all the hams leaving us just a small pice when we usually have a whole leg!

While smoking I included 60 wild duck breasts which I had prepared, absolutely delicious I'm very pleased and i have another 30 birds in the fridge waiting to be done a  wonderful addition to the freezer.

Both Gareth and I had the pleasure of our families enjoying what we provided for Christmas. 

Father Christmas was very good to me, I am the proud owner of a Vigo strainer which discharges a specific amount of juice into bottles. Roll on apple season! 

I have a lovely new boning knife and a shot detector to make sure no more of those bits of pellets in our game.  

I also have a food dehydrator, I have dried banana, lemon, orange, lime and plums. I look forward to doing biltong and dried herbs. 

I also have a sock peg loom, so fingers crossed I will be making socks soon. 

I have been so lucky and I hope everyone liked their presents.

I am a terrible food hoarder, I have so many freezers and must confess  we have had to purchase another this Christmas to have space for the turkeys.  I have been keeping some jersey cow milk that I was given in hope of making cheese, but I just don't have time. So I have given it to our friends Belinda and Warren who are going to turn all 25 litres into hard cheese and then give us a lump back. A great swap I think. Thank you Belinda and Warren.

Everyone has been on at Gareth and I about its time for kids, so we are pleased to announce we have twins. Yesterday we collected two beautiful Alpine cross Boer ladies from Kirsty at Hens For homes. They have settled in really well although they are cheeky little monkeys standing in their hay rack.  We have called them Edith and Murtle.

Maurice and Craig have been busy digging out muddy gateways and filling with crushed concrete. It will make things so much easier.

We are off to look at some pigs on Tuesday. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

I attended a St Johns Ambulance first aid course last
Week for work. I must say an excellent two days learning life saving skills.

Our local area was threatened with a tidal surge on Thursday night. Some people in nearby Heybridge were evacuated but luckily the flood defences protected us.

Me and our family friend Craig pressed the remaining apples on Friday. It was a lovely sunny day although he apple washing kept my poor fingers freezing. We managed to press over 20 litres. I will pasteurise some tomorrow and the rest will go as cider.

Saturday saw the East Essex Smalholders Christmas Party. A truly fantastic night with excellent food and company. Father Christmas visited the Children and we sung Christmas Carols! I made some mulled cider that everyone really enjoyed. Mum spent all day cooking the most wonderful food and Father in Law Terry turned the most beautiful wooden bowl filled with nuts as a raffle prize. Beautiful!

Sunday brought a well earned rest! Fire alight and a good film. I couldn't do it every Sunday but it was a lovely afternoon.

I took a picture of Esme and Gareth last week which i want to share.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Time flies when your having fun!

We made sausages and they flew out, we managed to prepare enough pheasants and received some excellent comments about the port and cranberry. I also made some different pheasant sausages for us. With a whole head of garlic, oregano, fennel, Maderia and lemon zest. Some say too garlicky but we loved them, apart from the smell the following day! 

We also picked  up Son of Kirk the billy goat from a neighbouring small holding. We have re named him sticky and are really fond of him. He took to Esme straight away so hopefully kids next year!

Mum and I attended a Christmas Fayre at the local secondary school last week with East Essex Smallholders Group. A great evening raising funds for the group, as well as Furzedown Mincemeat and  Plum Cordial on sale. Not to mention Gareth's Uncle Norman's bird boxes a fab evening.

I collected another 25 brace of pheasant and partridge tonight I want to mince it for spag Bol and lasagne. 

It's the EESG Christmas Party this weekend time for Gareth to dust his dancing shoes off! 

I hope all your plans for Christmas are going well.