The other day Kev over on An English Homestead was talking about the wooden items he’d made for Christmas. They were fabulous and in telling him so, I commented that my husband makes things out of wood, in his own style. I’ve posted before about the room he built in the barn which he made into his gym, the raised beds he is in the middle of doing, the fences that he’s put up single handily, the chicken brooders, pens, duck house and sheds that he’s put together by the beg, stealing or borrowing (ok not stealing), the signs that he created when we built Chickenville, the egg holder when our hens started producing, the fireplace that we were quoted hundreds of pounds for that he made for £16 from 2nd hand wood, the tack room and many other thing.
On the same day Kev was posted about his latest wooden goings on, Steven walked in from his garage workshop with this little beauty.
|Brooder in garage, we quickly upgraded.|
|Field fence done|
|Gym during planning phase|
|Growing pen (ignore the vorwerks!)|
|First fence that went up|
|Before fire place|
|Duck house framework….reclaimed|
I’m still chasing my tail but my head is just above water and I’m happy as Larry. Whoever he is.
So this weekend started off with a frost on Saturday morning. It always makes me want to stop and get a photo as frost makes everything look so pretty.
The frost mean the sheep had a bucket of hay between them which they happily munched on.
My Mum came over and had some of my homemade jam (the few that didn’t turn mouldy!) with a wholemeal breadbun. She sadly has a, let’s say condition for ease, where she is restricted on what she can eat. So homemade jam is one she can have, which makes us both happy. It is her 67th birthday today (20th), Happy Birthday Mum xxx. (I am a day late with actually publishing this post!)
I noticed my garlic and onions are starting to come through, you can just spy them in this bed poking through the soil. The Purple Sprouting Broccoli is also in the same bed which I planted as an experiment to tell me if it’s worth doing on a bigger scale for this year.
I finally got round to making some fudge. I’ve never made it before and followed a recipe from bbcgoodfood for white chocolate fudge. Now I don’t like fudge myself, but Jack loves this one. I am going to try and get another flavour made and hand them out as Christmas gifts to people when they visit or as they leave after Christmas dinner.
Yesterday I put a ham in the slow cooker and we had some for tea with pasta and a garlic sauce. It was really nice and different to what we’ve been having, so a refreshing change. Now I confess, I always say to myself I must do something with the stock that’s left. Then I don’t and I wash it away, so last night, I sent Dawn a message and she told me to freeze it on ice cube trays for use another time, so I have done just that. Why I haven’t done that before, I don’t know. Thanks Dawn. We got loads of lovely shredded ham off it.
I’ve been wrapping gifts as often as I can. I’m using brown paper and decorating with my own items. I love this look.
Here is a rare photo of me and the 2 girls. I don’t often post about the horses specifically but they offer the smallholding bountiful amounts of super manure (I was going to use a double S there but I restrained) which in turn feeds the land, which feeds us. So they have earned the right to a photo 😉 They can be my sanity at times when I feel like I could scream.
Finally to the Christmas meat, please do not scroll down if you’re offended by the sight of birds being prepared for the table. As you will know by now, this is our lifestyle that we’re aiming towards, so I make no apologies for it, but will always give you fair warning if there are photos as I understand that we’re not all the same.
On Sunday we dispatched a goose and a duck ready for Christmas Day. We did 2 chickens in the summer and they were a pain to pluck, so we hung them up after dispatch, covered their heads to keep things tidy and plucked them hanging from the small barn roof. It made the job a lot easier, though it still took a long time. I can totally understand why hand plucked birds cost so much and doing it makes you realise even more about respecting the process and the end result. We’re doing both birds for Christmas lunch. The goose will be done in the Aga as per Mary Berry’s instructions and I need to look up how long to cook the duck for – I have an alternate oven which I may use for that, as I will need space in the roasting over for the veggies.
Both kids helped with plucking of the goose, they soon got bored to be fair, but I am pleased they were involved. I do try my hardest to ensure they respect the animals and are not squeamish about being able to provide for themselves. I am really pleased with the end result.
Sounds like a good combination right 🙂
It was my birthday yesterday and also my long day at work, however it was great fun. I heard from people I’ve not spoken to for a while, saw my family, was lucky to receive gifts and got to taste my raspberry vodka which we started off in summer. Oh man, it was lovely. I’ve been having a few drinks through December to celebrate and feel festive with friends when they visit etc and now I have this, we’re taking a bottle next door with us to celebrate Christmas Day Night with our lovely neighbours. It’ll be the perfect end to the day when I get to chill after a hectic day no doubt.
So in true Tracy style, I was given a greenhouse heater and 2 huge propagators and a thermometer for min/max and current temperatures from Steven, along with some long socks, a bottle of Baileys and other items. How lucky am I?
|Where I work – a lovely lady always makes us feel special.|