Saturday, 29 October 2011

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Competition Time Draw!

I was all alone on the plot today,doing some rotorvating...

Poo your pants scary!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Chickeny Things...

One of the joys of having a plot of land, rented or owned, is the ability to keep a few livestock. My own modest little beginnings have been the chickens - my chicken gang, who happily (I hope) live in their 'Chicken Villas' in the orchard I planted a couple of years ago.

This time of year, most of them go off the boil a bit and stop laying eggs, start to molt, and generally need a bit of a tonic to keep 'em perky through the tail end of autumn and through the winter.

Hear No, See No & Speak No...
I've recently found a poultry supplier that offers all the chickeny things I might ever need under one roof and is run by a lady who knows her chickeny stuff. No need to wade through anymore dodgy websites or take my chances on ebay - this place has it all and is very competitive pricewise, which is great with a bloomin' worldwide recesion in full swing. The egg money I get from the sale of a few free-range, organic eggs each week buys a big bag of organic layers pellets and mixed corn for the birds to munch on.

My chickens are spoilt. I clean the coops regularly. They have wood shavings laid deep on each coops floor, and have lovely soft paper shreddings in the nest boxes so they're comfy when laying their golden eggs (I'm still working on getting them to actually lay golden eggs).

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I design and build my own coops, but Jacques and his little harem have a bought coop, from ebay, which has served it's purpose but is in need of a replacement now. Plus it has many design defects making it a haven for red mite etc. I haven't seen any, but I'm not so naive to think they are not about.

This stuff is the business...
So today I've been doing a spot of housekeeping for Jacques and his girls by smoking any nasties out of their house, a better way by far of dealing with poultry pests than using chemical sprays. If you keep chickens and like to keep them happy and healthy, check out the Review Shed and see how it's done.

A pack of these babies is also this months Competition Time prize, so check these pages out and keep your chooks happy!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Feelin' Hot Hot Hot !

I've had such a fabulous crop of chilli peppers this year in the greenhouse. The plants are now as tall as the tomatoes (to the glass ceiling, almost) and all of a sudden they have all ripened, a wonderful fiery red. Like an idiot, I've lost the seed packet so I can't remember the variety.

Can you feel the heat yet?
Big problem - what in the hell am I to do with them all? It's like the usual glut issue on the veg plot, mainly with courgettes. I'm not complaining. I'm pleased, really pleased. But I've gotta get rid of them!

So this was my master plan yesterday. A 'get rid of the chillis and courgettes in one go' plan. I acquired a recipe last year for a courgette tea bread (zucchini to you guys across the water) using grated courgettes and chopped walnuts. Only I ate it here, nobody else liked the walnuts. Perhaps because I always refer to them as dried monkey brains.

Anyway, I thought I'd adapt it a bit and add a bit of a 'zing' to the recipe by adding a handful of chilli peppers to the mix... Here's the recipe:

2 oz butter                                        2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of
3 eggs                                             soda
10 oz sugar                                      1 teaspoon baking powder
8fl oz veg / sunflower oil                     1 teaspoon of salt
10 oz plain flour                                 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
4 oz chopped walnuts                        1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
PLUS 5, yes 5 red hot chillis!             2 medium Courgettes - grated !!
                                                         (Zucchini to you Jim)

More tea loaf Vicar?
Line a loaf tin with some greaseproof paper and grease. Then, in a saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat. When melted, set it to one side to cool a bit.

Beat the eggs and the oil together with a mixer until it has a nice thick consistancy. Then beat in the sugar, stir in the melted butter and the courgettes and the chopped chillis.

In another bowl, mix all the dried ingredients well and gently fold the dried mix into the wet mixture and then fold in the walnuts.
Pour the lot into the loaf tin and put in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F / GM 4. Should take about 50-60 minutes but check every now and again with a knife through the centre of the loaf to see if it comes out clean. When it does, it's ready!
Now, I like hot food, but maybe I'll reduce the number of chillis. Just a bit...

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Bumper Issue!

Click to enlarge and read this tat...

I wonder if I have too much time on my hands sometimes...