Monday, 23 August 2010

I guess if we still lived in Ireland we wouldn't be welcoming the rain, according to a friend there it hasn't stopped all summer, but here in Galicia it is a novelty this summer, the last real rain was nearly three months ago, but this afternoon the promised rain arrived, too late for some of our plants,mainly flowers which we didn't find time to keep watered, it has however arrived just in time for my third planting of swede, which planted last Tues have now germinated, also another planting of carrots, we seem to use a lot of carrots, not just as a veg, we both love carrot cake and have a great recipe from "Cranks" recipe book.
Yesterday we found time to make our first batch of soap, I had halved the quantities given in the recipe as this was something I had never done before and I wanted to make sure it would work, it does, although it took a long time to reach the trace, we think this was due either to reducing the amounts, or not working fast enough and allowing it to cool to quickly.For colouring I used saffron which has given a delicate apple green colour. Tomorrow I will have another go using the full amounts as in the recipe.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

This week has flown by, I have been very busy bottling fruit, we have had a bumper harvest of pears and have bottled 15 jars, plus the figs and plums, we still have a lot of figs and pears on the trees but we can only eat so much in a year, I will try using the pears with the figs for chutney, last year we made plum and fig and it was great, but this is the bumper harvest year for the pears.We do not bother preserving any veg, the first year we were here we rushed out and bought a freezer, we filled it with beans and peas and cauliflower, yesterday we cleaned out the freezer to make room for suckling pig that friends of ours produce,the veg from three years ago was still there and is now on the compost. What we had not realised three years ago was the fact that we produce veg all the year round, despite the best efforts of the mice and moles to destroy our crops.The hens are a little doubtful about their new diet, plus I have to remember to soak the lentils and then cook them, but someone has now provided us with a possible source of Organic feed, it remains to be seen if we can arrange transport.
All the old breed chicks that we incubated are doing well, giving us a total of twenty breeding stock for our meat production, however this will not happen until the new year, so we have bought four brown broilers which should be ready the middle of Oct, so we will have chicken dinners once a month for four months by which time we should be incubating eggs from our own stock. Anyone who has eaten real chicken will understand why we are going to so much bother. We enjoy our food, but it does have to be real food and good.