Friday, 3 April 2015

Bee day

I've been at the bees today:


I can't give up smoking

I am a total beginner at bees, so I'm likely to make mistakes. But this, for pretty well sure, is a frame of capped brood in the typical oval laying pattern at the centre of the frame, with a ring of larvae around it, and a ring of honey beyond that:

I was framed, mate

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Patrick Plods Along

I moved Patrick the foal and his mum Marguerita into a newly-fenced field today. The field is called "Camelot" because it was (King) Artur, a friend, who opened it up for us.


Bramble Breaks Out

Bramble the lamb is small...and can still slip under the fences. Here she is, on the way to freedom:



Saturday, 21 March 2015

High protein wheat free bread - recipe



After months of research in my cuisine laboratoire* I have come up with a wheat –free recipe for bread, that works.

Ingredients:
1 level teaspoon sugar
150 ml milk, warmed slightly to tepid
100g oat flour
1 sachet (11g) dried yeast,  or use live yeast if you prefer
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
50g rolled oats
200g chickpea (gram) flour
50g butter, melted
1 large egg
1 tablespoon warm water, to moisten
Olive oil

Set the oven at 190ºC
Warm the milk to tepid, dissolve the sugar in it. Mix the dried yeast, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt with the oat flour.
Pour the warm milk and sugar mixture into the oat flour, stir and leave to stand 10 minutes.
Beat the egg. Melt the butter and cool a little.
Add the rolled oats, the chickpea flour, the egg and the butter to the mixture, and stir for 5 minutes. Add a little warm water to moisten the mixture – the dough should be hard to stir but not impossible.
Cover with a damp cloth, and leave in a warm place for 2-3 hours. It will rise a little.
Oil a small bread tin, and line with greaseproof paper (baking parchment.)
Put the mixture into the tin. Using the back of a spoon, oiled with olive oil, smooth off the top, spreading a little oil across the top as you do so.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes. Check with a skewer – it should come out dry.
Remove from oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin. Then turn onto a cooling rack and remove the baking parchment.
This is a high protein bread, thanks to the combination of the egg and the chickpea flour.  Using my copy of Eat Well and Keep Healthy (Macdonald, London, a million years ago) given to me by my Mum when I was 18 (which IS a million years ago) I estimate that each slice of bread, weighing in at 50g, contains 8g of protein. That’s more than three times as much as in a slice of normal bread, and about the same, gram for gram, as white fish.

*Yes. I'm joking.

Mother, saved

This female salamander, whom I guess to be pregnant - she was certainly big bellied - was stuck on a wee wooden ledge in our irrigation tank.


This is NOT floating my boat


I lifted her out, took a photo and then popped her under some damp leaves. Later I saw her under the outlet pipe for the tank, having a shower.

An amphibian in the hand...

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Patrick takes a run


Here is three-day old Patrick. His namesake was not even thinking about crawling at the same age (yes, I remember), but this wee chap can already get up a fine speed. And then at the end Laialuing can't bear to be left out of the action...







Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The Arrival of Saint Patrick

Today is Saint Patrick's day (and would have been the 81st birthday of my mum, Patricia)...and today at 09:00, wee Patrick was born to Marguerita:

Just arrived...

Mum! I've got so much to tell you!