Saturday, 24 February 2018

Welcome to my new follower Paula.

Not much to write about at the moment, just same old, same old if you know what I mean. Like most of you I am longing for Spring and warmer weather. Everyday now I am in pain in one place or another with arthritis, I have had rheumatoid arthritis for years, most of the time it doesn't/hasn't bothered me, but this year it has been bad, the cold weather makes it worse, but that doesn't stop me I just grin and bear it.

I planted lots of bulbs in the garden and in pots and they are doing well now, I am just waiting for them to burst into colour.

Nice to see a few splashes of colour here and there.

The Hellebores are looking beautiful.

Bit of sad news, yet again a power cut messed up the hatching of the eggs, this has happened twice in a month now, and cost us a lot of money. Since moving here we have learn't this property seems to have a problem, nothing to do with the Landlord, but the power company, we lose power and the neighbours still have it, we have lost count how many times this has happened now.

We have electric again now but the company are still working on the problem.

This is the view out the front now.

We are going to be receiving compensation from the power company, to cover all our losses. It also affected the pay as you go electric meter, so we had to arrange for another meter to be fitted and this can't be fitted for another month, so we have actually been told we are on free electric now until the new meter is fitted. Things were going well with breeding and selling the quail, but we have decided that's enough, we are stopping it now, its not just the incubators, the little ones are under a heat lamp and as soon as the lamp goes out that's it, they start withering away, poor things, its heart breaking.

My two chickens, Charlie and Chuck had to be bought indoors as they are still under a heat lamp and they were very stressed, I really didn't want to lose them.

But they were alright and happy again now.

So now we are not going to breed quail we are going to use the shed as a breeding area for the Bourkes, they will have a break in between and enjoy some time in the aviary, it is actually better that they have their own space, also there is not so much work for us and they are expensive birds so we can get good money for them.

The three little ones we had have left the nest this week.

They are gorgeous little birds, Bourkes are actually very easy to handle and don't bite, we have been handling these everyday.

I did a bit of "cheats" baking this morning.

A roll of puff pastry cut into six squares.

Some apple and mixed fruit with a sprinkle of cinnamon, sealed with melted butter and melted butter brushed on top, then spinkled with sugar.


Monday, 19 February 2018

Farmhouse Scramble

Yesterday I cooked Farmhouse Scramble for our tea.

I guess it's like a frittata or an omlette.

2lb mixed cooked vegetables (Just a little over 900g)
4 oz grated cheese
3 oz breadcrumbs (fresh)
2 eggs 
Chopped Parsley 

Makes 4 portions.

Instead of lard I used oil.

The recipe asked for 2 eggs, I actually used 4 medium.

The vegetables I used were carrots and swede (diced), broccoli and peas.

Very easy to make, just mix all of the ingredients together.

Melt the lard or oil in a frying pan - I used my large cast iron pan.
When the oil is hot spread the mixture in the pan.

The recipe says to put on the lid and cook for about 20 mins or until brown, this can be done in the pan on the hob or in the oven, I didn't put a lid on and baked in the oven for around 15 mins, and then finished off under the grill just to give it a little browning.

I just served with beans.
It was very nice, my husband said next time could he have a fried egg on top, which I agree it would be nice.

I managed to find some more books at the charity shop at the weekend.

I  really love old cookery books.

This one is a bit battered, this edition is from the 1940's

This one called  Basic Recipes is from the 1950's

Another booklet to go with my collection.

This is my favourite, The Main Cookery book from this edition is from 1935, although the cover has wear, the inside is in lovely condition. I love this book, some really good recipes.

And just a few others not so old.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Baby Bourke's

Welcome to a new follower Jan.

We have four Bourke's in our aviary. 

They are known as Bourke's Parrots or Bourke's Parakeet's.

They are around the size of a Budgie. They are lovely characters, and extremely tolerant, a bird that won't cause you any problems, they are hardy birds and can survive winters provided they have access to a shelter at night.  They are classed as a quiet bird, although like all birds they talk/sing, they soon learn to trust you. We go in and out of the aviary and they just sit there, I go right up to their face and talk to them and they don't flinch, our male "Jim" is a real friendly character, it wasn't long after we had him that he responded to "Pretty Boy" now he gets excited to see us and often shouts "Pretty Boy" at us.

We bought a couple of youngsters Fred & Wilma, but these have turned out to be both hens.

Rosie on the left and Jim on the right.

We didn't want to let any of our birds breed in the Winter, but the Doves and the Bourke's where determined, so we had to put up a nest box for them. Rosie and Jim hatched out four chicks, one didn't make it though. Jim goes back in the roosting box at night and leaves Rosie to mind the chicks, but one very cold frosty night about a 10 days ago we noticed she abandoned them and went into the roosting box, so we ended up having to bring the nest box in overnight, and she does this all the time now, we think possibly she stopped going in as room was tight, so next time we are going to give them a bigger box or though the box we had was the right dimensions. So we put the box back out in the mornings and they get regularly fed throughout the day and bought indoors at night. We won't have to do this for much longer now as they will soon be ready to come out the nest and then they can stay in the roosting box for a while until they are big enough to venture outside.

Anyway to the little chicks......

As they parents don't clean out the nest boxes, my husband decided to clean it out for them last night, so I looked after them when he did this.

The first three pictures here are the first night we had to bring them in and they were hungry so we had to take them out of the nest box and try and feed them, we were up several times in the night.

My husband feeding them.

This was them last night, all doing very well.

The one on the left is going to be a rainbow of colours and the one on the right looks  like Jim.

This is the youngest one.

They really are beautiful birds.

We now have more quail chicks hatching, we have two incubators on the go. Charlie and Chuck the Silkie chicks are doing very well, so its a busy time for us, babies everywhere.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

If you want to save money make soup!

When money is tight or you want to save some money make soup, a few ingredients go a very long way.

My recipes vary depending on what I have in.

Today was just a few celery sticks, few carrots, parsnip, cabbage and onion and potato, with a cup of soup mix thrown in.

All of the above made a big slow cooker full of lovely healthy soup.

Only two of us for tea tonight so we will be having some more tomorrow.

I used the last pack of Approved foods bread mix to make some fresh bread to go with the soup.

Whilst the oven was on I made some ginger biscuits as well.

Charlie and Chuck have now been moved down to the shed, its very strange I feel lost without them in the house.

They are in a converted fish tank (from freecyle) with heat lamps in.

They are loving it now snuggled into the straw.

They will stay in there for a week or so and then go in here. 

They will be kept apart from the quails. This block of cages is actually quite big, my husband made some dividers to we can have 6 cages or depending on how many quail we have at the time they can have more room. So Charlie and Chuck will go in 2 sections of this with a bit of heat and then gradually be hardened off the heat before going outside, then they will have a nice house and the run of the garden.

The postman bought some more Silkie eggs today, hopefully (fingers crossed) the incubator won't go wrong again and we won't have any more powercuts.

If we are successful with hatching the Silkies we will probably hatch more of them than quail as we can get more money for them, but we will have to wait and see, you know the saying don't count your chickens.......