Tuesday, 15 April 2014

living salad, popcorn maker and compost

Hello Dear Frugellers
I notice that my last post was number 200!! I know I don't post very often, but that's still pretty good I reckon. I should have done a give away or something, but missed the moment... typical !

Thought I would share a frugal (tight) tip. A few weeks ago I bought one of those living salad things from Lidl for 79p. I took out a third of the tiny plants, split them and transplanted them into these 2 foot by 10inch planters. I used the remaining two thirds as usual. Here are the plants. I have already transplanted a few of these into the greenhouse, between the tomatoes to grow into full size plants, before this picture was taken. I think you will agree that these plants are nice and strong.
They say that pride comes before a fall.  When I took the camera back into the house, the chickens stripped one of the planters!!
Back in January I asked if anyone knew where I could purchase a popcorn maker similar to the one thatI  had that had broken irreparably. Dreamer and Velia Power directed me to the Whirleypop, which I have finally sent for.    Here is YGD  with the popcorn she made yesterday morning with the new popcorn maker.  Many Many thanks Dreamer and Velia !
D. has been working hard sieving the large compost heap. He has been using the trailer and a new sieve he made from bits of wood and some quarter inch wire.  I'm using it almost as quickly as he is sieving it. His secret helpers are the chickens.. he throws several spade fulls on the ground for an hour or two, the chickens scratch it about, making it easier to sieve. They have full crops and D. has easier to manage compost. Win-win !
D. and the guys were going to dig the potato trench for me today and rake over the brassica patch. That was until someone asked if D. could take down some smallish trees that were reducing the light in their garden. After cleaning out the trailer they set off, to return a couple of hours later with a trailer full of wood, some of the logs being huge. D. tells me that there is a similar amount still to harvest. So even though the digging hasn't been done we have a goodly pile of wood towards next winter and more to come.

The lambs are growing and eating grass readily now. I reduced their feeds to three bottle today, making looking after them even easier ( it really hasn't been difficult this year).

Spring is springing here, with lots of blossom fro the bees to visit. I missed the programme about bees last night as we had a Civic Society Committee meeting. D. has put it onto series record, so I will catch up. Something I did manage to catch was the Allotment "competition " tonight. Mmmm. not too sure yet. Good idea, but I think it is going to be a programme that I shout at!
Did anyone else watch it?
All for now, off to pick D. up from the pub
Gillx


Saturday, 12 April 2014

of mangles and liberty bodices

Hello Dear Frugellers!
Hello to Amy Thorpe on Blog Lovin and Zoe-Lee and Rachel Parry on my Follower bar. As you don't link to a blog I can only guess where you come from and what your interest are. Post a comment and tell us about yourselves!

My comment about liberty bodices in  my last post stirred a few memories. For those of you that are NOT of a certain age a liberty bodice is a warm vest with or without sleeves, fastened by ribbon or rubber buttons.  These buttons used to get very sticky after many washings and we used to sprinkle talcuum powder over them to dry them up. The best thing about the rubber buttons was that they didn't need to be removed when the bodices went through the mangle, as with bone and shell buttons. All children used to wear liberty bodices at one time. Which of course had to be clean in case we got run over!

Removing buttons and then sewing them back on again after mangling was a real bind on wash day.
 In my little book of  "Labour Saving Ideas for the Home"(1924) There is a hint re. shirt buttons to help alleviate the button problem... .." For shirt buttons....When making shirts at home, instead of stitching the buttons on the shirt, stitch them on a narrow piece of shirting at distances to correspond with the button holes. Fasten in position with tiny safety pins at top and bottom. They can then be easily removed when washday comes round and there will be no more broken buttons"   So there you are then ..easy !
Here's another useful hint for you   "How to discover a dead rat..... To locate a dead rat in a room catch half a dozen blue bottle flies and slip them into a glass jar. Let the flies out in the room where you suspect the rat is an sit dowm while they fly around. Within an hour they will have scented the rat and all be buzzing around one spot. That is where your rat is. You can then take up the board and remove the pest"
There's more to share from this great book .

EGD and I made some Bean, carrot and cumin burgers a la " A Girl Called Jack" and very tasty they were too. We decided we would like them a little crunchier next time as they were a little soft for our liking. But the taste was great and we will definitely make them again. I costed them out at 10 pence each, without the cob. We also added some home made tomato chutney and leaves from the garden.

Speaking of the garden, We have been working hard in the garden for the last couple of days. I will give you a run down of what we got up to in my next post. I have just realised that I have a date with D. to watch "Philomena" on the big TV downstairs
. Must dash..Back soon
Gillx





Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Cornwall Again!

Hello Frugellers
Nice to see you all here.
Welcome Geoff to my follower bar and to Jo on Blog lovin. Do comment whenever the mood takes you.
  Back from Cornwall by 2.00 on Sunday and twelve for tea ( and three dogs) by 5.00. You should see my kitchen floor!! The rain has turned the garden to mud again Grrrr. Yesterday I had a few hours to myself and cleaned and dried the floors. I feel better now and happy to receive visitors again. Mind you the carpets are rubbish as my Dyson seems to have broken. I need to get D.(aka Mr Fix it) to look at it.

The first sea fishing trip of the season was a mixed success. Though they caught nothing to eat, D.caught the first Conga of the season and at least they got out in the fog and wind and reformed their little fishing group for another year. The weather was atrocious with fog and Cornish Mizzle all weekend.
Here they are coming back into Looe Harbour - can you see them yet?
 There they are!!

While D. was fishing and my friend J. was volunteering I worked through my "to do" list. I hit the shops in Callington with a list of things I needed and some I wanted. Whenever I'm in Callington I buy a Ham joint from the Spar shop which also has a butchers. I bought a good sized joint for £6.99, a very large savoy cabbage for £1.00 and some reduced bread for toast this week. I bought this years tide tables for D., which made him a happy bunny.
I then hit the charity shops. My wish list was for some work shirts and a going out one too if possible. I also needed another pudding basin. Bingo ! At first shop they had a kitchen display with a stack of pyrex basins. I bought four of different sizes for four pounds. I then picked out two quality shirts that still had their labels in, for £2.50 each and a nearly new M&S one for £2.00. I then found the bargain rail and found a lovely lined River Island jacket for a pound! I bought this for YGD who now has a new job and needs to be smart casual at all times. I thought that for a pound if she didn't like it, or it didn't fit I had lost little. She loves it and it fits like a dream.
At the next CS I bought a new cardigan for £2.00 and some new shoes for £5.00 Neither of these were on my list, but were such a bargain that I could not resist.
Back to J's to do some prep work on J's laptop for the Civic Society's AGM this week. I also prepped some sauces for Sunday's ham tea, before relaxing with a spot of hand quilting.
 Not a bad day. J. and I went down to the harbour to pick D. up, ate a fish supper in the car and back to J's for spot of reading and a small (ahem) scotch.
Before we travelled down on Friday a friend bought me a book from the CS which he said had my name on it.. it is called "Labour Saving Hints and Ideas for the Home" published in 1924. It's a great read and I will post some quotes from it on my next blog. ooh the days of mangles and liberty bodices!

Off to do some printing for the AGM  this week. As Secretary I have much to do.

Back Soon
Gillx







Thursday, 3 April 2014

For Arnie read Arniette!

Hello Everyone !
I haven't posted for over a week as I have been so busy. I'll bring you up to date without giving you a blow by blow account of the last week.
But firstly, A warm Derbyshire welcome Judith in N.Z on my follower bar and Shirley, Penny and Su on Blog Lovin

The lambs are coming on really well. As this blog title suggests we have had a bit of a gender issue here. Arnie is older than the other three and his tail and gonads had already fallen off when we bought him. When we banded the other three's tails last weekend we looked to see if Arnie had a clean site where his balls had been. Oops ! Girly Bits ! Arnie is a girl!. We've only been keeping sheep for 30 years, how were we to know?!
A few posts ago I put up a recipe for Mincemeat cake. This has been really popular with us and with other bloggers. However, I made a batch of three a few days ago and they needed a lot longer in the oven than those I had made previously. As I had used a different oven to the one I usually use I thought that might be the reason. I then had a comment from J>Moose to say her cake was undercooked too. I wonder if the kind of mincemeat used will also make a difference, with everyone's mincemeat recipes being different. If you having a go at the recipe I advise that you do the clean knife test to ensure it is cooked properly.

 The bees are flying well and we are starting to allow ourselves to believe that they really have all made it through the winter. D. is working really hard to build enough spare hive parts so that we can sell a couple of hives in a few weeks time when the colonies have built up. He is also enlarging the chicken house and increasing the number of laying boxes in the orchard chicken house. There has been much hammering and banging in the workshop this week

My friend J. who lives in Cornwall has been staying here all this week and she loves to work on the bee frames - mending, assembling and putting in new wax foundation. this has been really useful and has helped to put us in front a little more. She has also been barrowing horse manure from the paddock. This has been thrown over the fence by our neighbour, who has a horse in stables. You will gather that J. likes to be busy and useful.
She and I have been to Derby to have a trip down memory lane. It really has changed and I realise that I am truly a country hick now!
J. and I met when we crossed the road that divided her house from mine when we were both three years old. Let's be accurate here, I was two and a half and she was three - I continually remind her that she is older than I ! That was sixty five years ago.You could play in the street and cross a road in those days. I remember a few years later we would sit in the gutter with a piece of paper (soap wrapper) and a pencil taking car numbers, we even had time to note the colour down too as there were so few. We would sit there, picking at the melting tar with lolly sticks, listening for the sound of an engine, pencils poised.
   Many years later after qualifying as a nurse, she followed her sailor husband to Cornwall when he was stationed in Plymouth. She now lives in Callington and we stay with her on out frequent sea  fishing trips in Looe.

And speaking of Fishing, J. goes back to Cornwall tonight and we set off tomorrow for the first fishing trip of the year!
So the next 24 hours will be spent getting packed and making sure that the house and animals are ready for YD who will decamp to ours to look after the small holding while we are away. We will be back by Sunday afternoon (in time for the family to arrive for tea) This trip YD will have 4 lambs to bottle four times a day too. What would we do without her?.. she is a star!!

I have just realised that if I write about everything I have to say, this post will be far too long and I will probably get little else done. So I will close for now and get on with my huge list of jobs.
Back Soon
Gillx




Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Individual Lamb Pictures

Hello Each !
Below are individual pics of the lambs  -
Firstly here is Adam, who as yet hasn't got the hang of drinking from a bottle!

Secondly, Arnie, who is older than the others and therefore much bigger ( and Greedier)

Thirdly, Arkwright, who is sucking my hand because he has run out of bottle.
Last but not least, Archie, Arkwright's brother, who moonlights as a rabbit!

So there you are. Old farmers say not to name them, but they still have to be identified. If we hadn't given them names within a few days these would probably, for the purposes of identification, have been called, Fluffy, Big 'un, Ear up and Floppy !
Three of the lambs are sucking at their bottles like good 'uns but Adam, I'm virtually having to force feed. He'll get the hang of it soon I have no doubt.

This Follower business is driving me mad.
I tried to follow a couple of blogs again today and AGAIN was was told "we are unable to handle your request"
A couple of friends have told me that they have tried to follow mine and have been told the same..What is going on?
On a similar subject, a (different) couple of friends tell me that they have tried to comment on mine and others in my side bar and not been able to. I think this has something to do with having a Google account. I have just asked YD and she tells me that they need to ....1. Go to Google; 2. Go to sign in; 3.Create an account. They should then be able to comment on any blog ........Hope this info is useful to others.

We had eggs, bacon (Sainsburys cooking bacon) and champ, made with left over mash and some yellow sticker scallions, for tea last night. There was a really thick bacon chop left, which I cooked up at the same time (saves heat) Today I shall cut the chop up into pieces and mix it with some cheese sauce left over from  Sunday and the last of the yellow sticker scallions. I then have to decide if I shall make savoury pancakes, cheese and ham pasties or turn them into a pasta dish. Whatever I do I shall also use some spinach from the garden - might do a simple stir fry even.  Oooh I know how to live.

Off to plant some new hops and blackcurrant bushes now. it will soon be too late to do this!

Back Soon
Gillx

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Our Cade lambs

Hello Frugal Friends

Frugal World meet -  Arnie, Adam, Archie and Arkwright
 They are from Suffolk mums and a Texal father. The three smallest were born last weekend and the larger one (Arnie) is two weeks old.
Not the best photograph. Hopefully will have better ones tomorrow.
Until tomorrow
Gill

Lamb Alert

Here is a cuteness warning.
Yesterday we were phoned by someone we didn't know, to ask if we wanted some Cade lambs?
I was thinking that maybe we shouldn't bother this year, which would make the willow whip planting we have planned easier (sheep would nibble the plants unless they were netted)
He had been told that we knew what we were doing and were kind folk.
 Over the weekend two of his ewes had had triplets. One of these use had a non-functioning teat as well, so he had to find homes for one from one ewe and two from the other.
I said we would meet up with him and just have look... Yeah right!
Long story short - we are going to have the three - plus one that is a little older and has no mum.
We are collecting them this evening. They are all boys and their names will start with "A". I have phoned the youngest granddaughter to tell her and say that she can name two of them. As I rung off I can hear her saying to her mum "What about Apple?..Arnie?...?  Goodness know what she will decide on!
I will take a photo of them when we have picked them up and post it .... hence the cuteness warning.
Off to get their pen ready.
Back soon.
Gillx