Firstly, a big Hello to Linda at Greenhaven ( we have a lot in common) who has just popped up on the side bar as a follower.
I notice that Frugal Mummy has rejoined us. She has been having terrible problems with her blog. So if you usually follow her (or even if you don't) get on over to her blog. She can be found at - frugalmummytwo.blogspot.co.uk
Talking of followers etc. I listened to Frugal Queen's latest Vimeo and she says she gets up to two thousand views a day of her blog! Simple Suffolk Smallholder tells us that she gets one thousand. I take it that this is pretty much the norm (not for me you understand). A few weeks ago I suddenly got a HUGE increase in views and after a spot of detection, realised it was because Rhonda at "Down to Earth"(Australia) had named my blog for suggested weekend reading. After my initial pleased surprise I started to get a bit panicky! What have I got to offer all these people? Of course the post that people viewed initially, through Rhonda's link was a particularly inane offering, just one of the loads of tripe I come out with occasionally (only occaisionally?!) because I am interested in it, but probably of no interest to anyone else. I then started to worry about how to keep people's interest and then I remembered that I started this blog for me and to join in the band of frugellers and smallholders whose blogs I so enjoyed. So I relaxed again and felt relieved that thousands of people aren't waiting to read my next pearls of wisdom and just happy that just hundreds are happy to read this drivel !
This morning I tied myself to the kitchen and while a goodly load of bread was rising I prepared and planned the weeks meals, mostly out of left overs.
I often make leftovers on purpose by boiling more potatoes and veggies than I need or making twice as much sauce . Out of the freezer I took a portion of pastry from goodness knows when and six pancakes that I had made extra last week when YGD was here overnight. (she usually asks for pancakes for breakfast) I also hiked out a piece of yellow sticker belly pork and some frozen bread crusts. In the fridge are 4 rashers of Sainsburys "cooking" bacon and I have plenty of eggs now.
Yesterday's dinner was boiled ham -I bought two joints, one smoked and one unsmoked from Lidl @£3.99 each, with onion sauce and cheese sauce (to please everyone) After the meal I sliced up much of what was left of the ham and put it aside for sandwiches for lunch (other lunches will be eggs in various forms)
From this little lot, the evening meals for this week are -
Monday - Home made chips with savory pancakes (ham and peas in onion sauce filling) with reheated brocolli
Tuesday - Roast Belly Pork with stuffing (made from those frozen crusts, our own onions and our own dried sage and thyme) roast potatoes and reheated cauliflower and brussels.
Wednesday - Bacon and eggs and bubble and squeak
Thursday - Ham and cheese pasties with mashed potato and frozen peas.
Friday - Fish ( line caught by D. last year) with cheese and potato croquettes, Green beans in tomato sauce (frozen last autumn - last of our french beans)
Saturday - lamb chops with mashed potato, brussels from the last few plants and fried onions.
I haven't needed to think what we will have for Sunday yet as we are going to ED's for that meal.
It's not often I do a meals break-down on the blog, but I always plan for the week in my notebook, which usually works out well. As we are pretty busy this week, I have made most of this weeks' meals already and I'm feeling pretty righteous about it!
We were given an old rotavator a few weeks ago, which D. has finally managed to get going. Yesterday and today, amidst much muttering while he got the timing right, D.has rotivated the first vegetable patch (the other two are still too wet) we are expecting some cold air at the weekend and a good frost will break up the newly turned ground. While he was doing that I weeded and mucked the first strawberry bed, which should have been cleared up last back end and never got done. I also planted some early peas in drainpipes and put in the cold frame - don't want them coming on too quickly, which will make them too leggy and not hardy enough.
As I reported a couple of posts ago all six hives are flying. Today we decided to feed the two weaker hives (Nos 3 and 4), using a fairly strong syrup, ratio- two parts sugar to one part water - which will not freeze if we do get a frost. We had a worrying moment a couple of days ago with hive No 3. At least once a day I walk round the hives just to give them a look. No 3 seemed to have a very damp entrance. I told D and we left them for a day for it to dry, but the damp didn't seem to be lifting. So D, gave a much closer look and realised that the hive was leaning backward ever so slightly because the slab that the hive was sat on had sunk a little, probably because of all the rain we have had. He carefully hefted it forward and a good couple of pints of water ran out !! Those poor bees, thank goodness we realised, as it would have probably eventually proved fatal to the colony to be virtually sat in water.
We have started to put mesh floors in the hives. No 5 has one already and Godson made a couple for D. for Christmas. As soon as we have a warm enough day we will put one of the mesh floors on No 3 and one on No 4. The mesh floors are not for drainage, but as part of a system to fight the Varroa mite that has killed so many colonies world wide. However, after the experience with No 3 it is clear that mesh floors can have a secondary quality of drainage. Meanwhile D. had put a thin piece of slate under the back hive legs to straighten out the hive until we can do something a little more permanent, when we don't risk breaking the cluster of bees.
Lastly, thank you to everybody who gave their views on the Lowry painting I blogged about in my last post. I'm pleased to say that so far everyone who has voiced an opinion seems to think we should keep it and not sell it. This was not a foregone conclusion in Frugal land as some might think that the money could be better spent elsewhere.
That's it for now, Weaver of Grass and I have been having a bit of a chat about Foot and Mouth and how it affected her ( See her comment on my last post). I hope to continue with this subject next time to tell you how it affected us ( like Weaver) forever!
I wish you all peace