Saturday, 3 July 2010

What a lot of messing about!

Where to start?  Um, paving/path in front of the kitchen, I think.  All that area is now clear of junk, DH laid out proposed pattern and then we agreed size and he's marked it out.  He started to dig out some of the grass and wanted to relocate the turves (or "bits of dried grass", more accurately).   We agreed we (=he) would turf over a small and overgrown flowerbed.... which needed clearing first.  Despite the dreadful heat, he's managed to do it today.

On the preserving front...

I've just finished making one lot of Tayberry Cordial, and the full bottles have now come out of the pasteuriser.  It's very dark liquid this time.  I've saved a small bottle to sample later in the week.

I'm typing this while my Tayberry & Raspberry Vodka is straining.   I'm at "step 2", which in this recipe is the first straining out of the solids.   This vodka is fairly quick and painless to make.   It'll be ready for final racking and bottling in a week, and then it will need to mature for a month or so before being ready to drink.

Yesterday I made up a quantity of cherry vodka.  That's sitting in the utility room in the dark for a week or so before moving on to the next stage.

The fiddly-but-rewarding blackcurrant vodka is ready for it's next step, but I think I'll save that until tomorrow.

I need to pick the remaining blackcurrants to make backcurrant cordial. I'm trying a different method this year, cold extraction.   It's been too hot to pick the currants, I really need to get up early and do them. Maybe tomorrow?

I've also got some gooseberry puree in the fridge, waiting for me to make up some custard and then turn it all into goosberry fool.  Not sure about this, but we'll give it a go.

I've just placed an order for some more 250ml bottles, some replacement lids (bottles and jam jars), and a few other bits and pieces, as I don't have many left. I do stick a little label on the bottles asking people to return the bottles, but most people don't bother.

On the chicken front...
Good news about Rose from the Vet yesterday. She's pleased with how it's all healing up, and I can stop the salt water bathing.  I'm continuing with the Baytril, and purple spray if it's a bit fly-y.   I'm also continuing with Aloe Vera gel on her bald patch, plus a bit of child-safe factor 50 sun cream.

Ruby also looks OK, and both are laying.  Their poos are very sludgy though, presumably from the Baytil. I'll try giving them some natural yoghurt tomorrow to boost their good bacteria.

Mrs Roo laid an egg today, her first for a few days.  We were worried that she might be egg bound because of the heat, but the egg looks fine.

The Littlees (at the allotment) are managing to work the treadle feeder, it still has a brick on it for now.

Chickens At home...
The Tinies, now  5 weeks old, continue to be bolshy little things.   We put rings on them yesterday, and now we know it's always "Red" who escapes to join OddBod.   They continue to be into everything,  and they are definitely playing "Monkey see, Monkey do".  If one of them flies up on to the coop, then suddenly there is a line of them there.

Delilah is continuing her moult.   All of them devoured the tayberry pulp (just pulp, no sugar) which was left over from me doing the juice extraction.  It looks a bit like Pulp Fiction (pun intended) at the moment,  as they all have red stains everywhere.

We're trying to conserve water so we can water the grass without feeling guilty.   I've got a fermenting barrel in the kitchen, and I've been putting in the run-off water (when I'm waiting for the hot tap to run hot).    I'll also put the used water from the Pasteuriser in it when it's cold...and in the meantime I an using the warm water from the pasteruriser to do some cleaning. 

We're also going to put a tub trug (we don't seem to possess any buckets) into the bathroom, and we'l try catching the shower run-off water and put that on the grass too.

Every little helps.

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