It's been a busy weekend...
On Saturday, grampy took Daisy for a long walk to see the farm animals (she slept most of the way) while I had the chance to do some baking. I've got quite a few packet cake mixes that need using up, but they require an electric whisk and Daisy is petrified of our mixer. This was my opportunity to make a couple of madeira cakes. Two packets filled two large sandwich tins and a small one. The larger cakes were sandwiched together with value strawberry jam and dusted with icing sugar. Lovely hubby will take this to work in his packed lunch. I have frozen the smaller cake. I also made three apple cakes (leave me a comment if you would like the recipe) for hubby. It wouldn't be his first choice of cake (he loves victoria sandwich), but I had some eating apples that were past their best. I do give our chickens fruit and veg that is past it's best, but these were perfect to use to fill the cake tin. Our chickens would actually prefer to eat those apples as apple cake! One cake is in the tin and the others have been frozen. I am gradually ploughing my way through my approved food stocks.
Yesterday, we went out in the afternoon after clearing away the Sunday lunch things. As you know, Daisy is obsessed with farm animals (particularly chickens), so we took her to feed the ducks at the Fawsley Estate (Northamptonshire). We definitely got more than we bargained for... as I threw some bread and corn, along came lots of ducks and ducklings, several sheep and the swans heard about it too! Thankfully the geese stayed away (I'm not keen) and so did the swans, but the sheep and ducks were loving their treat. I took some lovely photos, but sadly I don't know how to get them on here now from my camera, I used to be able to upload them :-(
When we first got there, Daisy was asleep, so we stayed in the truck while hubby walked the dogs around the huge pond. We had a great time and all it cost was a handful of poultry corn feed, a couple of slices of bread and a small amount of fuel to get there. Daisy's reaction to the white Aylesbury duck was lovely...just like Jemima Puddleduck! We are also heavily into Peter rabbit at the moment, since I discovered it on the tele. Daisy has a cuddly Jemima which we bought from the carboot sale for 10 or 20p (I can't remember), and she washed up beautifully and Daisy loves her.
Changing the way we eat...
slowly, we have been making changes to our diet. We used to eat a lot of meat but now we don't! We can't afford to eat the same amount now. Sunday lunch has been a big change... we used to always have a joint or a chicken. Last week we had roast beef for the first time in ages (it was lurking at the bottom of the freezer) and this fed us several meals. Yesterday I made a roast out of of belly pork slices. The fat goes crispy and produces lovely dripping for the roasties. We had it with cheesy courgettes (from the garden), stuffing, yorkshire pudding (AF mix wasn't that nice), spring greens, carrots, broccoli and gravy. As far as we were concerned, it was our Sunday roast! I will also do this with pork chops, chicken portions, thighs, drumsticks, even chicken breasts too.
When we do have meat, we have a lot less than we used to, especially when making mince or braising steak meals. I will stretch the meat with vegetables which is easily done when making a stew or casserole. We are now using what the garden is giving us... the courgettes are growing well and the tomatoes are small but growing. The strawberries have finished now, but the runner beans have started to appear. We are not experienced gardeners or vegetable growers, but we are getting our garden to produce food that tastes so much nicer than shop bought and the seeds cost a fraction of what buying veg and salad each week does. We failed on the cucumbers, which is a shame because we get through those and have to buy them. Charlotte takes a salad to work everyday (not this week, she's on her holidays), so the living lettuce that I planted has come in handy...thanks for the idea Sue http://www.ournewlifeinthecountry.blogspot.co.uk
Shirley - hi and welcome to my blog, I'm glad you're enjoying it. Thank you for your lovely comment, Frugal Queen has given me lots of new readers, so thanks for stopping by! I had a great weekend, thanks x
Sylvia (markdebby) - Thanks for your comment, quiet days don't happen here with an 11 month old baby and two dogs in the house!
Hope you had a great weekend too and thanks for reading,