Sunday, 19 October 2008

Chutney, ewes and a surprise visit from Oz

As the tomatoes in my greenhouses are not turning red very fast, and as we've already had one mild frost, I decided to make some green tomato chutney and piccalilli. I made 10lbs of chutney last night, it's not set as much as I would like, but it's still o.k. More of a dipping sauce than a thick chutney, and then this morning I made 4lbs of piccalilli, that seems to be setting a lot better, though the last jar looks more like a yellow pouring sauce with seeds in than anything else. We shall see what it's like. These were 2 new recipes I was trying as I've put my tried and trusted chutney and piccalilli recipes in a "safe place" and now can't find them!!!!!!
With us borrowing a Jacob Ram this year we took some time do look and and decide which ewes are to go to which ram. We've 21 ewes to cover this year and we didn't want to over or under use either Hector or the Jacob ram. In the end it's worked out with Hector covering 10 ewes (Amy, Amber, Beatirx, Berniece, Carolyn, Cicely, Layla, Lilly, Lucy and May) and the Jacob ram covering the remaining 11 ewes (Abbi, Allium, Anya, Asriadne, Brazil, CA1, Carmen, Cassy, Missy, winky, Yellow Neck). The two surprises in the list are Lucy, the sister or Lottie, who died earlier this year, and Winky. We didn't put Winky to the ram last year as the year before she had a phantom pregnancy, but she is looking so well this year that we thought we'd give her another go, also with Lucy, she still got most of her teeth and is looking well, so we'll mate her again. With our original ewes getting on in years, in subsequent years I think we will only mate them every other year, so that they have time to recover from each lambing.
This morning, whilst we were feeding the sheep, Tim's cousin, Graeme, from Oz rang to say that he and his wife, Verity, would be in the area and wondered if we would like to meet for coffee? So this afternoon they arrived, and we had a great time chatting to them, catching up on family gossip, Graeme's mum, Sylvia, and Tim's mum, Millie, were sisters, and it's over 30 years since Graeme was last in England. They are spending 3 weeks in the UK visiting family, friends and the "must see" places, followed by 3 weeks in Europe before flying back to Oz. There Christmas newsletter is going to be a very interesting read this year.
Tomorrow the Resident Vandal arrives with KD for the week. Some fencing work and putting in 2 new gates are on the list of jobs to do. Will let you know how they get on!!!!!!!!


Mrs. Cutout said...

I've been enjoying reading your blog, since I found out about it on the Simply Knitting web site.

My family lives in a rural community in Iowa County, Iowa, U.S. We have lots of sheep and goats, cows and pigs in our county plus a few odd llama, elk, alpaca and there is rumor of a zebra, though I haven't personally seen it.

I'm always interested in reading about the adventures of small farmers as it would be my dream to be one. Now we live in an old house in a small town with two fluffy cats. I think though I could harvest enough cat fur to produce something.:-)

By the way, I have a sinus infection too, I guess they are universal.

Just one question? Where are you referring to when you speak of Oz?

Denise said...

Oz is the name we give for Australia