Easy lamb tagine

Weather wise, today has been a wash out. As I had a study day meaning I was at home, I decided to make a warming tea to see us through the damp and dreary weather conditions. Something comforting for everyone to come home to.  The lamb tagine I made was on bbcgoodfood website and was very tasty though the sauce was a bit thin for my liking.
I made foccacia bread to go with it and it was OK for a first attempt. I did let it rise long enough as I hadn’t factored that in to the timing. It was all eaten anyway!
Still no goose eggs!  The geese were the only ones enjoying today’s downpour. The ground is sodden, the field is flooded and everything is dirty!
Pig palace was coming along well or so I thought but Steven has decided it won’t be escape proof enough and is going to redo it all again! That’s OK though as we aren’t planning on getting any until April.
Today I also made a basic sponge recipe that was enjoyed after the lamb tagine. Next time I will add something extra to it.

First ‘proper’ weekend

Although we were moved in last weekend, it was a non stop work weekend.  So this one is our first “proper” weekend in that we would do normal things that we would do most weekends and enjoy our new home.

The front of the farmhouse, with a cheeky little girl sneaking in after their daily hack out.

The only difference to a normal weekend being that we made it to Durham Hens at Tow Law which I highly recommend.  The guy there was so helpful and the views on the way were simply stunning.  We bought 4 new hens (Rosemary, Laura, Felicity and Lilly) that are around 26 weeks old and are all supposed to be laying well, so much so our first egg of the day was a double yoker! 

We also bought 18 fertilised pure breed eggs.  6 Buff Orpington’s, 4 Cream Legbars, 2 Welsummers, 1 Derbyshire redcap, 2 Lakenvelders, 3 Columbian Blacktails.  The 4 layers are hybrids and should lay pretty much all year round.  The pure breeds, if we get any and when they reach point of lay, will generally stop during the winter, according to our experience of our own and what the guy said, but time will tell.

Each one is numbered and the number represents the breed.

We’ve taken a family guess at how many chicks we think we will get and the guesses are 4, 10, 12 and 18.  If only 1 hatches we will be happy!! We have an automatic turning incubator that I bought online, so fingers and toes crossed for a healthy lot of chicks in 21 days time.

My Nanna came to visit today.  It’s the first time she’s been since we moved in and she loved the place.  She’s in her 90’s and is doing amazingly.   I made her some home made bread buns with slow cooked ham, a bought quiche (eventually I plan to have a few homemade ones in the freezer in case I don’t have time to make fresh ones) and a nice pot of tea.  She had a lovely time and really enjoyed it.

Proving (as I now know it to be called).

Freshly baked

I have finally got round to making a cake for the farmer who helped us no end when we moved in.  His eyes lit up at the thought of the cake my DH kindly offered on my behalf 😉 and so I made a chocolate cake per Mary Berry’s instructions.  It was the same as I made for my friend last week, however this time I made a dip in the middle of the cakes before baking so they came out a lot flatter rather than domed (opposed to doomed, which I nearly just typed!).

Back to the grind of work tomorrow.  Menu plan to follow, however tomorrow night will be a one pot, something simple to scoop in to a bowl with home made bread after a first day back in the office. I will keep the memories of this weekend with me to see me through each working day!

I managed to squish in unnoticed.

View en route to Tow Law for the chickens

He wouldn’t let me in…

My gorgeous girl. 

Question/s of the week.  What’s the purpose of a cold frame?  Do you think we will benefit from one in addition to the greenhouse?  Are they not similar in use?