Friday, 5 June 2015

Of Swarming and Pickled Eggs

Hello
It's been a warm day today and I have little energy for digging, but it must be done...maybe tomorrow!
We've had another "swarmy" week which means that we are now back to the number of hives we prefer to keep with a couple of colonies to sell.
Here is a view of bees leaving Hive \No 11. My view was from the rear so you cannot see that the front of the hive is covered with bees just about to take off, though you can see plenty in the air.

This next shot is of them deciding where to go next. If you look at the shadows the bees show up well against them.

Here they are settled. You can just  make them out hanging from a branch in the pyracanthus hedge. David has placed a brood box of frames under them with three frames removed. He then knocked them in, replaced the frames and put a lid on. They are now snug as bugs in rugs!.
Note the fine piece of patching on David's hood.

I have been doing a fair amount of dog sitting this week for one reason or another. Here is my youngest daughter's dog Sammie snoozing on a sofa with my cat Dixie.

 We are still getting quite a few eggs from the hens, though we have sold less this week as the road has been so busy. So yesterday I made some pickled eggs. Even if people don't like them to eat as just pickled eggs they can be turned into tasty egg sandwiches with a spot of mayo, when we are short of eggs later in the year
For these two jars (Mayo jars)  I hard boiled 22 eggs.
I heated together one and a half cups of white vinegar with one and a half cups of water and a teaspoon of salt. Into this mix I put a tablespoon of pickling spice, a bay leaf and two crushed garlic cloves tied up in a small piece of muslin. While this was coming to the boil and simmering for ten minutes I put the peeled eggs carefully into the two sterilised jars. When the pickling liquid had cooled slightly I removed the spice bag and poured it over the eggs and closed the lids tightly. These should keep well for quite some time. Some people keep them in the fridge, but I don't until I start to use them.

So sorry to hear of the death of Charles Kennedy this week. I considered him to be a good, principled man. I felt the same when John Smith died. There appear to be so few "proper" politicians nowadays.
The sun has gone in so I might do a spot of digging
Bye for now
Gillx



16 comments:

  1. A pickled egg and a packet of crisps - the main pub food of the early 70's!

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    1. Before our local closed they used to serve a pickled egg in a paper cake case. Pickled eggs still available in pubs and chip shops around here.

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  2. Our bees have swarmed twice so far but hubby has managed to catch them both so we have 4 hives now instead of 2. You've reminded me, I must pickle some eggs so I can put a jar in the in-laws hamper we give them at Christmas.

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    1. I think it might be another of those years for swarms. I though last year was exceptional, bu it's looking like it might happen again. Good you boxed them.

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  3. thats really fascinating about the bees!!!!!

    We like pickled eggs here as well, I often wondered about storing them in the fridge but my husband always says the Pubs keep them on the bar so,,,,,I guess its safe, I'm such a worry wart about stuff like that,

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    1. I've always thought they kept well. I do put them in the fridge once the jar is opened, but I'm just being extra careful.

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  4. Fantastic bee photographs - sadly we are not too keen on honey so it is not an option for us to keep bees. My friend used to keep them until she was stung and had anaphylactic shock, so she had to give them away.
    Pickled eggs look interesting but just asked the farmer if he had ever had one and he said yes but he wasn't keen, so that's another idea knocked on the head.

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    1. David goes into anaphyactic shock if stung by wasps. Which is why I always get a bit nervous when he sets off with his bee gear on to get rid of wasps nest for folks! We had a friend who had to give up bees for the same reason. Pity about the eggs.

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  5. I have never eaten a pickled egg, I don't know why, I must give them a go. Love the photos of the bees. I saw a beehive in a field yesterday, I could have spend hours just watching them.

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    1. We have chairs close to our hives so that we can just sit and watch them. They are such fascinating creatures aren't they?
      If you get to try a pickled egg let me know what you think.

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  6. I will try my new "vacu vin" to quick pickle the eggs. I want to add some beet juice too.
    Since you didn't do a water bath how long will this last before going bad ? I thought unless they were set in a water bath you had to eat then right away ?
    All the quick Japanese styled pickles I make we eat right away. They are the only ones I know how to make.
    I am so confused.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. You don't need to water bath pickles of any sort really, be they onions, piccalilli, etc. The vinegar and salt content acts as the preservative, as is sugar in jams and jellies. I would only use a water bath for bottling ( Canning in the US). the eggs are usually kept for at least 4 weeks before they are opened in the first place and then they should last for several more once opened, though I usually keep mine in the fridge once opened. Many people make them now when there is a glut for eating in winter. Re. using beets, I have seen that done, which of course will give you pink eggs, but for an everyday preserve isn't really necessary.As a smallholder and all-round frugal person I spend quite a bit of my time preserving gluts for the lean months of the year. What is a Vacu Vin?

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  7. I used to pickle eggs when we had a glut, but my gals are a bit lazy these days. I used to add some sugar; as I do to all my pickles. They don't last long in this house; so tempting just to grab one when passing.

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    1. I think you are right re. the sugar, especially if eaten "in passing" as it were. We tend to eat them in sandwiches.
      I reckon they are a pretty good snack, got to be better than a biscuit!

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  8. Lovely post; beautiful photos. :)

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  9. Glad to hear your swarm landed close to home!

    It's been awhile since I made pickled eggs but you reminded me of how good they are in egg salad sandwiches. I think I'll try your recipe. :)

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