Tuesday 27 July 2021

12 Years Married

12 years ago this weekend we got married (together 20 now)! Over half my life with her and I still can't quite believe how lucky I am that she puts up with me and what wonderful mother and wife she is. Had a wonderful day at Cotwold Wildlife Park to celebrate!

Life is good.

Tuesday 20 July 2021

Dehydrated Gooseberries

The other night my younger daughter came wondering up from the garden without her skirt on. 
She'd taken it off to carry all the gooseberries that she had picked from the one huge gooseberry bush we've got that's producing (we have ten young bushes that aren't quite there yet). 

 I thought that was using her head, but also thankful that the neighbours couldn't see! 

When I planted a lot of soft fruit last year a big part of it was thinking about more dehydrated fruit. I love having it on my breakfast and last years damsons and plums has been incredible and so full of sharp flavour.

So I'd planted 10 gooseberry bushes without really checking to see if they dehydrate very well! Luckily this little experiment confirmed what I thought - they are awesome. After 24 hours at 57 degrees they came out every so slightly chewy and tasting like one of the best sour sweets you've ever eaten. They're almost too sour, but you have to go back for more! 

I imagine in my breakfast these are going to taste ace! 

While the dehydrator was on I also did about 4 trays of cherries and one with some bananas that were going over. 

Anyone else dehydrate gooseberries? What's your favourite dried fruit/treat? 

Sunday 18 July 2021

Everything is Breaking!

 Argh, it's been one of those weeks! 

Frist the fridge freezer decides to pack up. We;ve had it just a little over 2 and a half years, guess how long the warranty is?

Yep, 2 years. It's a large American style fridge freezer and was about £700, a replacement cost we could do without! It wasn't totally broken though, things at the bottom were frozen (both sides) and at the top was about 17 degrees. 

I decided to do some googling of common faults and then set to work with a multimeter to see if I could find a fault. Luckily I did!

The fan at the back of the freezer used to make a noise at times, and no longer was. So when I tested it and no voltage could get through this bit I thought I'd found the problem. 

Unfortunately the part number on the fan didn't match with anything, so I had to order one that looked like the right part! Risky at 45 quid, as it could be throwing good money after bad. 

Luckily when it turned up, I changed out the old unit and by the end of the day the fridge freezer was acting normally again. I'd honestly be willing to pay a lot more for appliances if they'd just last a bit longer. Imagaine this going to landfill for the want of a fan!

Then I flooded my boys room out by leaving a valve open. A silly mistake and one I won't be making again! 

Thirdly my (very expensive) sander broke this week. Again I was annoyed, but could soon see what had broken luckily. I ordered the part at 1pm on Friday and had the new bit by 11AM on Saturday! Talk about good service!

This tool gets used a lot and has a hard life so I'm not mad that it broke in the first place, being used for hours at a time can't be easy on something like this. 

Replaced it and now working fine and will hopefully provide many more years of service! 

Anyone else been fixing things lately?

Wednesday 14 July 2021

A Lesson Learned The Hard Way

 It's worth popping over to my other blog to see what I did here.

But lets just say I'm very annoyed at myself and felt like quite the fool for quite a while. A lesson learned the hard way, especially as it's all carved by hand! Full blog post here. 

Anyone else made a mistake like this?

Monday 12 July 2021

Garlic Harvest

Every day last week the boy was asking me when we were going to harvest our garlic. He had even taken to carrying some garlic around in his pocket as he wanted to plant it! 
I didn't want to do it without him so waited until the weekend when we could dig it up together. 

Monday 5 July 2021

Purple Pea Water

The toehr night I had quite the shock when I took the steamer off the top of the potatoes!

 It was like I was cooking them in ink! 

Above the potatoes I was steaming both Victorian Purple podded peas (but as mange tout) and some broad bean tops (easily one of the most underrated veg out there), both of which must have imparted some of their colour into the water. 

I used to work with a Bulgarian guy who used to moan about how the English cook. 

He used to ask "Why do you chuck the water away? All the Goodness there." 

Then he'd eat the water from his boiled runner beans like a soup as a starter. I think he was probably on to something. 

Other than making gravy from this water though I'm not sure what else to do with it? I suppose it could be saved as a light stock for a soup? 

Do you save the cooking liquid from things you cook?

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