Monday, 28 April 2014

This little piggy

Another half pig.

We haven't finished the last one, although we are getting low on sausages.  We decided we'd have one anyway, not needing so many joints gives us the opportunity to try something new.

Unusually, I read my notes from the last 2 pigs.  I had made a note about the cutting order, which we implemented today and it worked really well.  I had also written "home made luncheon meat" and I had a very dim and vague recollection of finding a recipe I had wanted to try.

I can't stand luncheon meat, nor Spam.   DH loves them, I bought him a cash and carry pack of tins and a book of Spam recipes (written by Margeurite Patten!) one year

I looked at my shelves of recipe books trying to work out where I had seen the recipe.  I looked online. I looked in my bookmarks.  And then a bell tinkled, and I went and found a Preserving book which has been an inspiration for a number of strange things, not always successful, over the years.

And there it was.  In the write up, the author mentions their own dislike of plastic pink luncheon meat. So, I was inspired to give it a go.  I haven't made it yet,  I'm waiting for the stock to finish cooking first.  I'll report back.

So, this is what happened this time:

1. DH started with the back leg, cutting the aitch bone part off, and passing it to me for processing into three bowls: lean dice, lean mince, sausage.   Once done, the ham end was put to one side to be dealt with later.
2. While he did that, I worked on the Belly and back primaries, removing the appropriate fat to render into lard
3. DH then moved on to the belly.  We decided to have one belly joint,  and two belly bits for bacon/lardons, which we will also lightly smoke.  The odd ribs came out and we'll have those for dinner tonight.
4. Next, he took the front leg. We decided we'd have the hand of pork as a roasting joint. DH cut this and trimmed it. The rib bits were taken out for dinner tonight.   He then passed me the rest, the shoulder, and the lean meat from this was cubed ready for making into luncheon meat or pork pie.  The less lean meat went into "sausage",  we want a lot of sausages this time, so it won't be wasted.
5. Now the loin.  Some was put to one side for curing, not sure what we'll do yet.   Some for bacon.  The rest passed to me for breaking down into the three bowls.
6. Back to the "ham".  DH cut a good sized ham (a sort of midweek supper  with leftovers size), and I had the rest of the leg to break down.

The fat was rendered into 3 jars of lard. .  The curing stuff was added to the bacon.  The dice weighed, bagged frozen.  The mince was minced, weighed, bagged , frozen. The sausage stuff was minced and is chilling in the fridge.  The bones are being turned into stock, some of which will be used in the luncheon meat.  The trotters and tail are waiting to be turned into trotter stock, for the pork pies.   The ribs re marinating in a bag in the fridge.

All worked well today.

From memory, we have:
1 hand of pork joint (2.5kg)
1 belly joint (unweighed)
2 belly for bacon/lardons
loin of pork for curing
2  loin of pork for bacon
1 good sized midweek piece for ham
5x250g bags of diced pork
2x350g bags of pork mince
1kg of lean shoulder for luncheon meat
750g lean shoulder for pork pie
2.5kg mince for sausages (will make 3-3.5kg of sausages)
2 trotters from which we will make trotter stock and use this in the pork pie
Pork stock, some of which will be used in the luncheon meat
3 jars of lard
A huge pile of ribs for dinner tonight.

The best added-value is always from the home made bacon/ham/sausages/pies, so I really like using as much as is sensible in this way.

Try the French Garlic Sausage recipe in the Sandler/Acton book.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Fits and Starts

Another fit for Izzy this morning, usual time (6.30am).

DH heard something and went down to the kitchen.  He found Izzy just coming round from her fit, and she was in a bit of a mess. Either she had had a very full bladder, or the fit was particularly violent.  
It's too soon for the higher dose to have kicked in properly yet, so we'll carry on as we are for now and see what happens.

Tilda also had a bit of a downhill patch.  Not bad enough to warrant an ending,  but enough to require a lot of attention and hand feeding.  She nibbled on a tiny bit of everything, but ate nothing of consequence.  

Yesterday evening, when it was raining and the Girls were in their run, she decided she wanted to go outside.  I realised she probably wanted to go and dust bathe. I couldn't put her outside, there wasn't anywhere dry.  She couldn't go in the run because the Others were in there.

This morning she managed to eat some tinned tuna and some yoghurt.  I opened the kitchen door and put her in the doorway so she could decide whether to go out or not.  When I turned back she'd actually jumped down and was wandering off to the Pampas, where she had a bit of a dust bathe.  I'll put her in the run later so she can try the dustbath there, but at the moment the Others are in and out fighting over nestbox rights.

We'll see how Tilda goes. 

Poppy is on the verge of going broody. When she goes in to lay an egg, she transforms into an angry broody, and won't let anyone else come near her.  I have to go and hoik her out.   It won't be long before the hoiking isn't enough.

Lotty is unable to use a nestbox of thenext door one is occupied.  At first I thought this was because the hen in the other nest box was causing problems for her.  However, DH built a new nestbox divider, and there is no way that a hen in one box can reach round and get her beak anywhere near a hen in the other one.    I think it's just that Lotti can't relax unless she's in there on her own.

She likes to share her nestbox problem with the rest of us.  So, if she can't get it (for whatever reason), she just squawks and squawks and squawks.   

Thank goodness for tolerant  neighbours.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Thank you present

Wash, our lovely ginger cat, has been losing weight.

He's been vomiting-after-eating for many many years. We've discussed it with the Vet endlessly.  We've tried all sorts of things, we've tried different diets.  But he has only started to lose weight in the last few months.

As soon as we discovered this, we made some further changes.   One of the changes we have made is to feed him on demand.  (He was already being fed small meals, with seconds 20 minutes later, 4 times a day).

Demand feeding is quite tiring (as mums with demand-fed babies will know).

One month on, he's put some weight back on.

We've also been getting lots of thank you presents. Lots of them.

Sometimes alive (in which case we* rescue them); sometimes less alive, in which case we* do the decent thing;  sometimes we get a share of the bounty;  and sometimes we get the whole thing.

(*we = royal we. = DH.  Unless he's not in, in which case I do it).

Henry's Harem

Henry has a harem of, nominally, 13 ladies.   10 of those ladies adore him and follow him everywhere.  The other 3 tag along when it suits them.

It's been impossible to get pics of the whole harem together, but here are some of them.

NotNorman and Siouxsie (Norman's half sisters), with 3 ladies behind


Siousxie, NotNorman, Batty (top right) and 2 of the black beauties

Batty (her sister Norah is broody at the moment)

Poppy's full sister, Gorgeous

Here are pics of 2 of the 3 that choose not to come running, unless it suits them:


Mrs is the mother (and spitting image) of Tilda our house hen.
Mrs and Norman are the same age, but don't seem it. Norman is still vey sprightly,  Mrs not so much.

We're going to breed from Norman this year - assuming she's laying.   

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Another fit

Izzy had another fit yesterday, her second in 11 days.

We took her to the Vet. He took her blood pressure, which was OK. We knew from previous tests that there wasn't an obvious cause.

As expected, the tablet dose has had to go back up. She's now back to half a tablet twice a day.  Last time she was on this, she spent most of her time lying around.

Today I found her lolling around in a planter.  This might have been because it was hot, the soil was warm, and she does like to lie in warm soil.  


We put brick paths across our back garden some years ago.

When they were first laid ,they stuck out somewhat, and we very much wished that they would naturalise.

Be careful what you wish for. Naturalise they did.

It's been a constant battle to keep the grass off.  Last year I resorted to using a strimmer, which was quicker than doing it by hand, but I did get through a ridiculous amount of strimmer line.  If you have shares in it, you can thank me personally.

This is an example of one of the least bad paths.

DH set to with a spade today.  One large wheelbarrow full of detritus later, we can now see the path

Over optimistic

I packed the quick-freeze compartment of the freezer with the bottles of raw milk which were delivered yesterday.  I was quite pleased that I managed to fit 10x1 litre bottles in.

I'd forgotten that liquid expands when frozen.

The poly bottles were designed to have a little room for the expansion.  My freezer packing was not.  When I tried to get a bottle out today, I couldn't. They were wedged tight.

I had to resort to oven gloves (we have the sort which fit on your hands like normal gloves), and the handle of a wooden spoon.

Eventually I managed to prise one out.  And then it was relatively easy to get the rest out.

Buttermaking with a KitchenAid

I make butter every 4-6 weeks, using cream bought in bulk.    It's the same amount of mess, and the same amount of clearing up, whether I make a couple of litres or a lot of litres, so I now make about 10 litres at a time, and I have a production  line going on. 

I remembered to take some photos yesterday, so I thought I'd write it up here.

First of all, I clear my work area, and clean it with something like Dettol spray, or Milton.   This includes cleaning the sink/   Then I get out all my equipment, and clear a space in the fridge. I stand the mixer on some kitchen towel.    Then I tie my hair back, put my pinny on, wash my hands, and get started.

1.  Open all the cartons. It's surprisingly hard to do this with buttery fingers or buttery gloves.

2. I use about 1 and a half litres of cream for each batch.  I pour the cream into my kitchen aid bowl. Then, I put the lid back on the carton and turn it upside down to get the last of the cream out (used in the next batch).

You can see I am using the beaters with rubber on both sides, I've found these more effective than the whisk (which gets the butter clogged in it and therefore wastes loads of butter) or the metal beater.

3. I fit a lid to the mixer bowl.   KitchenAid have lids available which are used typically for dough proving. I bought mine from the US via Ebay -  we simply cut a hole in one of them so that it can fit on the mixer (before the beater is attached). Without this, even at a slow speed, the buttermilk sloshes everywhere. 


4. I turn the mixer on, at speed 1.  Faster isn't better. Too fast and the process doesn't work, you just end up with whipped cream. You need the fat globules to smash together and join together, not smash and repel.    

Listen to the sound.  You'll learn very quickly to hear the change in tone, as the cream gets thicker,  and you'll learn to recognise the tone that happens just a second before the butter has formed and separated from the buttermilk.

5. As soon as that happens, I switch off the machine, undo the lid, and raise the beater. .  Inside, it looks like this - loose yellow curds, and buttermilk.

6. Now we need to drain the buttermilk.  Don't waste it - it's fantastic in Yorkshire puddings, pancakes, scones, and bread.   I put a bowl underneath the beaters, to catch drips.  I then pour the buttermilk off into a jug, moving the butter around to get the buttermilk from underneath.  

7. I then mix again, at speed 1 (and with the lid on) for literally just a few seconds.  More buttermilk comes out,and now the butter has formed into more of a single mass.   I drain it, and use a firm spatula (or similar) to press against the bowl to squeeze out a bit more. .  Then I mix it again.  And sometimes again. 

You MUST get the buttermilk out. If you do not, your butter will go rancid. It's much easier to get the machine to beat out the buttermilk than it is to do it by hand when washing.

8. When I've got out as much buttermilk as I can, I empty the butter into a colander over a bowl in my (clean) sink.    I can now put the second batch of cream on to churn, while I wash the butter from the first.

9. I turn on the cold water tap so that it is running slowly. If you don't have cold water, you could pre-chill some in the freezer and use that.    I use a firm spatula  to move the butter so it is washed thoroughly.  Try to avoid pushing it through the holes in the colander. When the water  it is running fairly clear, I shake the colander to get the water out. This also rolls the butter together, probably not necessary, but it's the closest I get to doing any butter patting.   I then stand the colander over another bowl so it can drain.

The water from the washing is used to rinse out the empty cream cartons so that I can put them in the Recycling. Don't be tempted to use the water from one washing to wash the next batch.

10. When the second batch is ready for the colander, I simply plop the first batch into a big bowl in the fridge to chill down.

I carry on like this until I've made all the butter.

Now, if you want unsalted butter, all you have to do is to pot your butter and freeze it.   We like ours salted though, so we have a bit more processing to do.

Salting the Butter
Once all the butter has been made, I rinse the KitchenAid bowl and the beater to make sure there is no buttermilk (or butter with buttermilk in) on them.    I then weigh out 3 pounds of the butter from the fridge,  and I add 3 teaspoons of salt.  I then put the machine back on, and let it churn for a few minutes.

While the first lot is churning, I clear up all the things I no longer need.  I wash by hand, sometimes then putting things in the dishwasher to ensure all the grease is removed.  Don't put things covered in butter in your dishwasher - the pipes will get clogged. 

Once the first salted batch has churned (and be aware that the salt will taste a bit strong at this point.  it mellows as the butter rests),  I start potting up.   If it's warm, I'll put the butter in the fridge for a bit before potting.

A second bowl is helpful here, so you can set another lot salting while you are potting the first lot.  I do find that sometimes the machine gets a bit hot and needs a break.

For pots, I use small Lock and Lock containers,  freezer proof bowls,  and sometimes I just roll a load of butter in greaseproof paper and then freeze that

I've also used silicone muffin cases, which work reasonably well, but I find I can taste the silicone in the butter. so I now avoid them.

I've also used burger presses, which are fine as long as you have a receptacle to keep the butter in afterwards.

When it's all potted, we put everything in the fridge for a few hours to firm up, and then transfer to the freezer. 

Other Tips
Don't make the blocks too big.  We like our butter soft, so the block we're using is not kept in the fridge. T  In the summer, we don't want to risk losing butter, or have it go off, so I make smaller blocks in the summer.    
We always have one block out to use, 2 blocks in the fridge waiting, and the rest in the freezer.
As soon as a block comes out of the fridge, we take a replacement out of the freezer and put it in the fridge to defrost.   It's just a habit to get in to.

Butter gets everywhere
I have half a j-cloth which I wet, and I use that to wipe my hands as I go.  Even so I end up with butter on the fridge handle, butter on the tap, etc.   I've got better with practice.

I've tried using food-safe gloves.  These are helpful because you can chuck them away if you end up with too much butter on them, but it does mean you lose your sense of touch (so I'm not as aware that I've just touched the fridge door with butter etc).

Flavoured Butter
If you want to make flavoured butter - wait until you've potted up everything else.  Then put the remaining butter in your Kitchenaid, along with the garlic/chopped herbs/whatever you want.  I find it helpful to include some chopped parsley, so I can see that the butter is savoury.

I've had success here by putting the flavoured butter in ice cube trays to freeze, then popping them out and storing them in a Ziplock bag in the freezer.  I can then pull out the number I need.

I've also had success by making a roll of flavoured butter and freezing that. I simply cut off the amount I need from the frozen roll.

I typically get about 3 litres of buttermilk from 10 litres of cream.  I measure out several portion-sized amounts into square tubs and freeze it, so that I have buttermilk available at all times.

Once it's frozen, I pop it out of the tub and into Ziplock bags, wrapped in EasiFreeze.   The portions are usually enough to make 1 batch of Yorkshire puddings, or one loaf of Buttermilk bread.    This means I can continue to enjoy it long after the buttermilk has gone too sour to be used.

The rest is kept in lock-and-log 1.5 litre fridge jugs in the fridge.  I make buttermilk bread for about a week or so after making butter.  I'm happy to slice and freeze excess loaves.  I also use it instead of milk/water in Yorkshire puddings,  in pancake batters,  in scones.     As it starts to sour, I use it to make Irish Soda Bread.

When it's too sour for me to use, any excess is poured down the sink.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Raw milk

Did I mention that I've been drinking raw milk for some time now?  

It's so delicious, I have to ration myself. 

I've been buying milk fro Hook and Sons (the chap who was featured in the film The Moo Man), driving to Chiswick Market every few weeks and buying in bulk.  Fortunately, it's freezable with relatively little loss of quality. 

If we were in his rounds area, we'd pay 95p per pint.  I pay my milkman 85p per pint for pasteurised homogenised organic milk, and I'd happily pay 95p for the quality of raw milk.

However, I'm not in the rounds area, so my choices are to either get it posted, which isn't cheap,  or to go to a farmers market.   Luckily, they sell at Chiswick, which is this side of London at least.  

Then I was contacted by an alternative supplier from Lancashire.  Their milk was really well rated,  and their price was much cheaper per litre (£2ish rather than £3). Actually, I should point out here that Hook and Sons was in 2 pint bottled, which is 1.1 litres.  I worked out that if I ordered the maximum number of bottles, even with postage it would still work out cheaper than buying the same number of bottles at Chiswick.   I gave it a try.

It arrived in superb condition, really well packed with wool insulation.   It tasted OK, but I would swear it wasn't quite as proper-milk-tasting as the Hook and Sons (H&S) milk I'd had before.  (I also ordered some cheese at the same time, and I can say the cheese was delicious).

Maybe I was just getting used to the taste of real milk, and not noticing it so much?

I froze most of it.   Like the H&S milk, it's a little bitty when defrosted, but it doesn't impact the flavour (as far as I can tell). A quick shake and the bits disappear temporarily anyway.

I did notice that the new milk frothed well for our morning flat whites,  which surprised me.   The H&S milk doesn't, and there is a biological reason for this, same reason that the yoghurt made with H&S milk is runnier than that made with pasteurised and homogenised milk.      

It was very pleasant to be able to have frothy raw milk - but I had thought it wasn't really possible.   I checked the poly bottles to make sure it really was raw milk, and it was.    

Maybe it's just because it's a different breed of cow?

I'm down to my last few bottles in the freezer. I decided to get some more Hook and Son milk this time, and to try and do a taste test while i have both.  I couldn't face driving over to Chiswick Market yesterday,  so I placed an online order. 

We'll see.

Still here

Sorry, been very distracted lately.

**proud stepmum alert**
My wonderful SS1 completed the Marathon des Sables, in a fantastic time, with a superb average km/h figure.   I tracked him pretty much all day, every day. 
**/end of alert**

Meanwhile, we've had a gorgeous few days weather wise.  Spring has sprung everywhere.
The cherry tree outside the kitchen door is covered in blossom... hopefully this will translate into lots of cherries.   I've eaten all the jars of cherries in syrup I bottled a couple of years ago, and I'm looking forward to making more.

The pear tree also has a lot of blossom, so we may be in for a good pear crop.  

Tilda is spending the sunny days outside    It's still not possible for her to cgo in the paddock with the Others - any attempt to put her in there is met by a frenzied Ninja attack from Poppy.    Poppy can't even tolerate Tilda sitting alongside the fence on the other side of no-hens-land.  She desperately pushes at the fence trying to reach Tilda to attack her.

Did I mention that I'd moved the egg shaped cat-bed so that it provides a wind shelter for Tilda.  She does get in it occasionally, but usually she uses it as a windbreak. If she uses it at all.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Marathon des Sables

My amazing eldest step son is running the Marathon des Sables.

This is the toughest race on earth.  240 km over 6 days, across the Moroccan Sahara.

It's an incredible challenge.

He attempted it many years ago as a young man, but could not complete it becaue of the damage to his feet.  It's always nagged him that he didn't complete it.

So.  They are starting today and have to complete he 34km stage in 10 hours or less.  All competitors ave to carry their own sleeping equipment and food.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Another fit

Izzy had a fit this morning. 7.30 (so the usual 6.30 GMT).

We had reduced her morning dose to 1/4 tablet,  from Thursday 13th March.  It took a couple of weeks before we saw any appreciable change in her.  She still wasn't back to her old self, but she was a little more alert. She had started to occasionally join us for breakfast again, and she wasn't zonked out all the time. Just some of the time.

We're going to continue on the reduced dose and see what happens.  We're due to take her back to the vet in a week and a bit, so we'll see if she fits again in the meantime.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Garden Helpers

Dh was digging over the beds in the fruit cage today.  He had a lot of help.

The Girls watch where the fork is going and dive in immediately.  One learns to be very careful before plunging the fork.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

2 hour expeditiion to do a 30 minute trip

DH thought it would be a change to have a fish curry.  Coincidentally, I had seen a recipe for Parsee Fish Curry by Cyrus from the Spice Men. It uses sea bass, and that happens to be what we have in the freezer.

We didn't have any curry leaves, nor did we have any rice flour. I looked online and saw that Rice Flour was available in Ocado, Waitrose and Sainsburys.  I need it today, so Ocado was out.     I thought about making rice flour in the Vitamix, but apparently I need the dry container (which I don't have) or else I might damage the wet container.   

I couldn't face driving intot the town cetre for Waitrose. Besides, they would have only dried curry leaves, whereas there is an Indian superstore not too far away,  so I decided to go there.  I got the fresh curry leaves ( and a few other bits) while I was there. I coudn't find rice flour.  Atta flour (which is cornmeal, I think),  Garam flour (which is chick peas), Barley flour, chestnut flour, water chestnut flour, potato flour... an endless list of flours, but rice not amongst them.

I went over to the nearby Sainsbugs.  Sainsbugs online has rice flour.  Sadly, this one did not.

On my way home, I thought I'd try the Vitamix. Then I remembered there was an Asda nearby.  They would surely stock it.

Asda didn't.  At least, not in the flour aisle.  They had a very imited selection of flour, in fact.  However, they have a few "world food" aisles, so I traipsed up and down those looking.  Nope.  In the Caribbean Food section they had "potato  flour".   I reasoned that might be a good substitute,  it was - after all - a starchy thing ground to flour.

I googled "rice flour substitutes" with no success. 

On my way home again,  it occurred to me that an oriental supermarket might have rice flour.  After all, Rice Noodles are made from rice flour. 

It wasn't possible to park outside the orietnal supermarket.  Second time around, I had to park some distance away and walk.   At least the walk would do me good.  It would help me walk off some of the malt loaf I had managed to eat, butterless, after leaving Asda. 

They had some.

It looks remarkably like the potato flour.

Let's hope it was worth the 2 hour expedition.

Not today, thank you

Yesterday's blog got me thinking about Tilda.  I do realise I  spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about our house hen.

Anyway, today, instead of scooping her up and putting her outside the open kitchen door - where she then has the option of coming back in or staying outside - I tried things the other way around. I opened the door, and put her by the open door, still in the kitchen.

She stood in the doorway, apparently sniffing the air.  I'm not sure she really was sniffing. There were no sniffle related sounds. It's not like a hen's nostrils wiggle when they sniff.     But her head was definitely in a sniffing-the-air pose.

After a few moments, she lurched forward (aha, going out! I thought), swung round, and shuffled back into the kitchen.

I tried again a couple of hours later.  Still no joy.

I'll try again later.


Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Terminal 2

Took part in a large-scale passenger trial at Heathrow today.  

There have been lots of minor trials,  this was (I believe) the first full on testing of the Arrivals process.

It was really well organised,  and I really enjoyed seeing the new Terminal 2.   For many years I travelled most weeks, usually Terminal 1 or Terminal 4 though.  I had travelled from T2 a few times, and it was hideous.

The new building is really lovely, airy, spacious, light.

The process - mostly - worked well. We did encounter a problem with outsized baggage, but that's part of the reason the trial is done.

We were all well looked after, and I'd definitely do it again.

For her own good

Tilda has been quite perky (for a hen on her last legs) lately. She's increased her consumption of peckablocks, which is a good sign.  She's spending her days outside now, although that's done byus physically picking her up and putting her outside.  I suspect that if we left it up to her, even with the door open,  she'd stay inside.

Once she's out she seems reasonably content. As much as one can really tell with a chook. She waddles over to the double row of netting, as close to the other chooks as she can, and then sits there.  She moves along the netting as the day goes on, getting into the sun or the shade as she prefers.

She has asked to go in with the others, but each time I've tried it, it hasn't ended well.  I have no idea whether her hatchmates still want to attack her - they don't get the chance.  As soon as Tilda gets anywhere near the run, Poppy rushes over to keep her away.     Poppy goes to great lengths to try and reach Tilda, to give her a resounding peck on the head.  If it was just one peck, well, that would be hen pecking. But this is done with a passion.

It's not spite,  which was the reason Milly (deceased) used to attack newbies. Or oldies that she didn't like anymore.   Milly had never been subjected to anything other than mild hen pecking, and I've no idea how or why she developed such a nasty and spiteful personality.  I had to cull her in the end,  and I wish that I had done it sooner.

I can understand what might be Poppy's motivation.  Last year,  when Tilda reintegrated herself for the summer, she made sure she hen pecked Poppy and Lotti.  Tilda had been bottom hen all her life, she had been bottom of 5 and she did not want to be bottom of 7.    Poppy and Lotti were youngsters who didn't know how to retaliate.

Poppy, presumably, thinks that Tilda wants to rejoin the flock,  and now Poppy wants to make sure she doesn't lose her place in the flock. She's making quite sure that Tilda knows her place.

Unfotunately, I can't be sure that Poppy will know when to stop.  She's drawn blood before,  but that was on the comb - and combs always bleed profusely.     I've tried putting Tilda in the no-hens-pand between the two rows of netting,  but she's then within reach of Poppy's beak,  and Poppy has a go.  Last week's cut comb was caused by that.

So we're currently not putting Tilda in with the others.   

As the weather warms up, and the kitchen might become to warm for her,  I think the next step will be to put Tilda on her own, in the Go. The Go could  run alongside the netting, meaning that Tilda gets the same contact as she does now, but she can also live outside.    I was thinking I could leave the side door open (during the day when we are in) so she could also come out of the Go and come to the house if she preferred.  And at the beginning, she could choose whether to sleep in the Go or sleep in the kitchen.

Yes, I guess that's the next step.