Monday, 7 November 2016

Winter draws on!

 Hi Everyone
It looks like we are in for some cold weather. Not really suprising as it is November. However, after last years' warm winter it has made me think my winter thoughts! I went into the "occasional" linen drawer to find the heavy curtains that I put at the two unglazed outer doors and realised that I didn't get them out last winter, that's how warm it was.
We have plenty pallet wood and logs in for this winter and one of the Shared Lives guys has been happily chopping sticks and filling animal feed bags to the brim. He sits in the workshop, warmed by the old field kitchen which is fuelled by pallets of course, with a big chopping block in front of him , lengths of wood, cut on the bandsaw by David, on one side of him and an ever growing pile of kindling on the other. Radio Derby is playing and the kettle is continually boiling for the endless cups of tea or oxo. Our other shared lives guy is a very tidy person and loves to sweep up any sawdust or shavings which he puts in bags and takes into the barn ready for muckng out chickens or rabbits. It would be good to take a photo to go with this little cameo, but their privacy is paramount.
I was wondering if any old people in the village might need some help or support this winter, perhaps with a bit of shopping or offering to share a warm meal or just popping in to see if they were okay. I was then reminded that we ARE the old people of the village....really?!.. when did that happen?!

I'm gradually putting produce into store. It has been a pretty good year in the garden, with the exception of the beetroot and peas which have been very poor. I'm still picking tomatoes, which is unusual for November. The marrows have been exceptional, with many huge marrows from one plant. There are only so many marrows a family can eat so I collected a few together to put into store for a while until I can face them again. I piled them against barn wall one day and the next day this is what I found. Vermin came to mind obviously and I cursed myself for being so lackadaisical and leaving food out for them.
 Some hours later the culprits gave themselves away ..
 The other marrows that weren't in this pile are now in store and will be given to the chickens in the winter for a change and something to do. That way I won't have to think of how to cook them too. win win.
Last week I had a whole morning when I didn't expect to see anyone or go anywhere so I set to to process some more stuff. The previous evening I cut up two red grapefruit, four sweet oranges, four lemons and a couple of pounds of cooking apples.  I just cut the citrus fruits into six and then thinly slice these segments. I peeled and chopped the apples and then put the fruit into a clean bucket and covered with seven pints of water, covered the bucket and left overnight.
Here is the contents of the bucket poured into a large jam kettle. This I cooked slowly to reduce. behind the pan is some bread rising (no point if wasting the slow low heat. To the side is a bowl of cookers.
 While the marmalade is simmering and the bread is rising I started on the tomatoes. I cooked a bowlful in the microwave and then pushed them through a sieve into a saucepan. The remaining pips and skins went into the chicken bucket
 I now have two pans to keep an eye on while the contents reduce.
 Meanwhile I bash the bread into shape and cover the tins with a cloth at the opposite end of the cooker. A blolognaise sauce is now cooking at the rear and the oven is on and a bowl of measured (6lb) sugar and some jars are in to warm. I skimmed quite a lot of fat off the mince before I added veggies and put this into the dripping pot, this I placed into the oven to melt it all into one with the older dripping.
 Once the fruit had reduced by nearly a half I added the warmed sugar and cooked to setting before pouring into warmed (mayo) jars.
So, sans bolognaise sauce and starting from 9 o'clock is marmalade and a paltry boiling of beetroot, strewed apples and dripping, a loaf and some cheesy breads and tomato puree.
 Lastly, I thought I would share a pic of the books I am reading or have just read currently. I always have at least four/five books on the go and read whatever reflects my mood. I only read in bed at night, from about 11.30 until 12.30-1.00
The Women Rule the Plot was a present and the others I bought at charity shops.
That's more than enough for now ("too true" you say)
Back soon
Gillx
PS It's a long time since I did a cooking-type of post, I hope you weren't bored with it.

25 comments:

  1. What a lot of produce. There is something so rewarding and satisfying seeing it laid out. I'm thinking of making some orange and ginger marmalade as Christmas presents.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I must say, I rarely lay out the stuff I do in such a way, but wanted to illustrate how the session went. ('m a bit of a show off!.I've just started to think about Christmas presents too, but those big jars were for us.

      Delete
    2. Hari ini saya ingin mengunkapkan tentang perjalanan hidup saya,karna masalah ekonomi saya selalu dililit hutang bahkan perusahaan yang dulunya saya pernah bagun kini semuanya akan disitah oleh pihak bank,saya sudah berusaha kesana kemari untuk mencari uang agar perusahaan saya tidak jadi disitah oleh pihak bank dan akhirnya saya nekat untuk mendatangi paranormal yang terkenal bahkan saya pernah mengikuti penggandaan uang dimaskanjeng dan itupun juga tidak ada hasil yang memuaskan dan saya hampir putus asa,,akhirnya ketidak segajaan saya mendengar cerita orang orang bahwa ada paranormal yang terkenal bisa mengeluarkan uang ghaib atau sejenisnya pesugihan putih yang namanya Mbah Rawa Gumpala,,,akhirnya saya mencoba menhubungi beliau dan alhamdulillah dengan senan hati beliau mau membantu saya untuk mengeluarkan pesugihan uang ghaibnya sebesar 10 M saya sangat bersyukur dan berterimakasih banyak kepada Mbah Rawa Gumpala berkat bantuannya semua masalah saya bisa teratasi dan semua hutang2 saya juga sudah pada lunas semua,,bagi anda yang ingin seperti saya dan ingin dibabtu sama Mbah silahkan hubungi 085 316 106 111 saya sengaja menulis pesan ini dan mempostin di semua tempat agar anda semua tau kalau ada paranormal yang bisah dipercaya dan bisa diandalkan,bagi teman teman yang menemukan situs ini tolong disebar luaskan agar orang orang juga bisa tau klau ada dukun sakti yg bisa membantuh mengatasi semua masalah anda1.untuk lebih lengkapnya buka saja blok Mbah karna didalam bloknya semuanya sudah dijelaskan PESUGIHAN DANA GHAIB TANPA TUMBAL

      Delete
  2. Winter drawers on?...........no, but the vest is!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love your post. I am doing similar at the moment, post to follow.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I had two pumpkins which got damaged last year. I chopped off the damaged bits, peeled the skin, removed the seeds (whcih the chickens scroed) grated the flesh and dehydrated it. It dried down in 6 hours to 1 3/4 mason / ball jars which I am going to use to make future pumpkin pies, pancakes, puree, soup and bread. Want not, waste not :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely. Nothing should be wasted. I suppose feeding the chickens spare marrows is not really wasting is it?

      Delete
  5. Not bored at all. It was fascinating.
    J x

    ReplyDelete
  6. lovely to kitchen production on the go

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not usually still this busy in the kitchen in November with produce, just concentrating on Christmas things.

      Delete
  7. Hens will eat anything won't they? It always makes me laugh - there can be a trough full of pellets and corn scattered amongst the straw, but any old left overs and they tear up for them as though they are starving.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes they LOVE scraps above all else don't they? x

      Delete
  8. Oh My Goodness, the chicken were very naughty.
    But really what did you think leaving them in plain site ! The chickens where just walking by looking for worms and stuff to nibble on feeling a bit peckish (hahaha I just made a funny) and just then what did they see "gud green human fud" to eat.
    Honestly human !

    cheers, parsnip



    hey thought they were for them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As Weave said, it is not that they are short of food, they just prefer ours. Pic in my next post demonstrates this again.

      Delete
  9. All my preserving is now done, but still have a glut of green toms, and green peppers. I stuff the peppers occasionally, but the toms will just have to go to waste.

    Love your old preserving pan; every house used to have one, now I'm not so sure. Mine is the same but without the handle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I likes green tomato chutney, but I don't. I do use them in glutney chutney tho', my peppers were poor this year.
      I also have three brass kettles, but they are getting a little heavy for me to use.

      Delete
  10. Beautiful Marmalade, and bread! And, thank you for giving the instructions for preparing the fruit. You were very busy with beautiful results. Those chickens didn't miss out on the good stuff, did they! Enjoyed reading this. Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. The chickens always amuse me and have been at it again the thieving little beggars.
      I used to spend ages peeling, juicing and other such stuff, this technique is much easier and wastes nothing.

      Delete
  11. You could always make some marrow and ginger jam, makes a lovely change from orange marmalade.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I made marrow and ginger a couple of years ago from a great recipe from Sue in Suffolk. I don't know why I didn't think to do so this year.

      Delete
  12. Well done! What a productive cook session. I often cook like that about three times a week in large batches and the other four days we have plenty for heating up for supper. Our goal is no eating out except a couple times of year and since we produce so much of our own food it's not hard to eat at home BUT it does take work.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow you are so productive , All that home made produce looks fantastic , I would love to be as self sufficient as you are xxx

    ReplyDelete