Monday: Good morning 😀 it’s not as bad as I expected it to be after all that rain and at least the sun is trying to shine a little bit. It’s a whole week since I bought my cheese home and I have been turning the Camembert every day as instructed, it’s definitely taking on a different smell and texture although it still has a week to go. The Caerphilly is sitting in the cupboard and that also has another week left until it’s ready, it’s a long process lol I hope it’s worth it at the end.
The morning routine was as normal today, I still worry a little about the geese and hope that after the next 20 something days the enforcement is lifted for their sakes if not any of the other birds.
I’ve been thinking about salt lately, I was intrigued by the use of it at different stages of the cheese making process and it got me thinking. If I don’t put enough salt in my bread dough it’s quite bland, also if you don’t salt your cooking it’s bland, so I began to wonder if what we taste all the time is just salt in which case does food generally not have any taste of its own? I know, there are more serious issues going on in the world lol, but once I began thinking about it, I needed to know, so I did what we modern folk do and googled it. I found the answer quite quickly and found it very interesting, I also found I wasn’t the only one wondering 😝
‘Salt is used as a universal flavour improver because at low concentrations it will reduce bitterness, but increase sweet, sour and umami, which is desirable for sweet recipes. But at higher concentrations it suppresses sweetness and enhances umami, which is good for savoury things. It’s also easily obtained in a pure form without any interfering flavours.’
I wonder what other random thoughts I will have this week?
I decided to clean the oven this morning, I don’t know what possessed me but I soon realised I made a mistake choosing that job lol. I wasn’t 100% committed to it and soon got bored, yawn, so it was a half hearted attempt, not that it was too bad but it does have all the little brown splashes all over the walls etc you know the ones that probably wouldn’t come off even with a nuclear blast. Anyhow it’s a little cleaner but still has some remnants there, I’m not one for presenting a shiny clean oven to people so it really doesn’t matter that much, I’ve found the best thing is not to replace the oven light when it blows, you can’t see in there then 😜
Tuesday: I have Mia later today so a whizz round to get everything done in the early morning, feeding, watering, light the Rayburn, make bread, collect eggs and sort the egg shed out for the day. The egg numbers have increased despite the chickens being inside, the ducks have finally begun to lay more eggs, the quail are laying regularly and today I spotted the first goose egg of the year at the back of their hut whoo hoo 😀 To me that indicates the seasons are on the turn although we still have a few weeks to get through yet before the temps start to rise slowly.
Wednesday: My goodness that is soggy out there and more rain forecast 😖 The laying of eggs has certainly increased by about 1/3 I would say and we have plenty to put out in The little shed. The birds seem happy enough and I have topped up and cleaned out this morning, I did let the geese out while I put in fresh bedding and picked up the egg from their hut, I shouldn’t but it’s almost impossible not to mention stressful for them if I try to get in there with them. They made the most of the puddles and had a bath in them 😀 then I shut them away again with fresh bedding, water and feed. It is very mild out, yesterday by late evening it was very warm in the house as the heat builds over the day, this morning I was getting a bit hot doing the rounds with my big coat on and I will probably wait until later to light the Rayburn so it doesn’t get too hot again.
I’m going to roast a duck for tea tonight, probably with orange, I think that will be tasty, I will let you know.
Exciting news on the cheese front, I have been turning the Camembert everyday and it is now beginning to develop the characteristic white furry mould 😜
This morning I had an early visitor in the form of my Mum who came to walk the rounds with me as she will be looking after everything while we are away for a few days. It’s very hard to explain everything in detail on paper so a walk round and seeing or even doing it is much more likely to stay in her mind than reading a list. As long as everything gets fed and watered and nothing gets forgotten it will be fine lol. It is the worst time of the year to look after the place to be honest as with the rain everything wooden is swelling which means gates, doors etc are hard to open or close, last night I had to get John to move the bolts on the duck stable as once I opened it they no longer lined up to close them again. This is due to the amount of ground water pushing the wooden uprights upwards just slightly, even thought they are concreted in! Hopefully after this wet spell it will dry up and we will have to move the bolts back again. The duck we had for dinner last night was delicious, there is more to cooking a duck than I thought, it needs turning three times during cooking, it needs the skin pricking but taking care not to prick into the meat and needs resting before carving, all in all I think I achieved that as it was nice and moist, very enjoyable. I cooked it with orange and honey, it seemed like a good combination, and there was just enough to feed two of us with Kai being treated to the carcass when it had cooled down.
Well the wind is picking up which is great as it will dry things out abit, don’t want it to get too strong mind you, I don’t want any structural disasters before I go away.
Friday: Another goose egg this morning 😀 nothing to untoward on my rounds except that my fears were confirmed about something that woke me in the night, I had left the tap from the water barrel into the back chicken pen on and had flooded it! For some reason I woke up in the night and suddenly realised that I had asked Sam to turn it on as she went past and I had forgotten to turn it off when I came out of the pen 😖
When I was putting the horse out the gate seemed a bit stuck and the actual pinned hinge has come right out of the post it was knocked into, a job for John first thing tomorrow morning. I bought the chickens some reduced greens with the shopping yesterday, they ravaged them in seconds, the rabbits were happy to have some greens and carrots this morning too. I burnt some rubbish, paper feed sacks and cardboard rubbish then I spent the morning doing some paperwork while getting bread mixed, proved and baked and in the afternoon my seed potatoes arrived whoop whoop we are getting nearer to planting season. This year I have opted for Kestrel, Pentland Javelin and Picasso, I will leave them in the box for now and set them to chit when I come back. I have decided to have a go at growing chickpeas as well this year after reading a fellow Facebookers post, I had no idea you could grow them in the UK but apparently it is possible so along with the butter beans and the edamame beans I should have some pulses for next year.
Saturday: Did a lot of cleaning out this morning in preparation for going away, the amount I need to get done means I will be ready for a change and a rest, lots of little things as well to make sure things run smoothly while we are away, bolts on doors that should have been done months ago etc. Another goose must be laying as there was an egg again today, each goose lays every other day just need the other two to get going and we will have lots of yummy eggs, mind you they are getting snapped up as soon as they go out for sale.
The rest of the day was spent cleaning and packing, I did have a taste of the Caerphilly cheese, it is delicious, I have left a slice for Mum in the fridge to try as a treat, hope she likes it too.
We have a plane to catch in the morning so I am posting this tonight as I will be leaving the iPad at home 😜😜
Have a good week x