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Showing posts from April, 2015

Jim Lahey's no knead bread making technique!

I love bread. I love baking bread. I love the way the house fills up with the glorious small of baking bread. I love the anticipation of pulling a golden loaf out of the oven and having to wait until it is cool enough to eat. There is nothing simpler or better than a loaf of homemade bread warm from the oven sitting on the table at breakfast time. Whilst I have a couple of go to white roll and basic loaf recipes that work really well, I haven't had much luck with wholemeal or loaves that you can add things to.

I found this book of Jim Laheys at the library and flicked through it less for the no knead part as I really don't mind kneading dough and feeling it all come together and become soft and silky in my hands, but I was attracted to it because of the long rise time. Since Libraries let ne take home more books than I can possibly read, I thought Id throw that one into the pile and give it a go and see what I thought.

The bread is great! I made the basic white loaf and it cam…

Clucker Tucker: Pasture in the pen!

If you read the right books you will hear over and over that the best things to feed your animals is what they have been adapted to eat. Cows should be eating grass not grain, dogs should be eating meat not grain and chickens should be eating a bit of everything including a bit of grain! Chickens are omnivores; that means that they eat vegetable matter (leaves, grasses, grains) as well as animal bits in the form of bugs, lizards, frogs and other garden critters (and cat food when they can get at it!)

In my last post I noted that chickens are very fond of trying out any plant in your garden or digging it up to get at the juicy earthworms that reside there. Its hard to keep chickens out of the garden but they do need their greens. I had heard about pasturing chickens but wasn't sure that he-what-enjoys-his-lawn would say if I started planting out the lawn with all sorts of chicken goodies!

I wasn't sure how I was going to stop them from digging it up either - and then I had an i…

Bromeliads stop chickens from scratching up gardens!

We have been keen gardeners for many, many years - longer than we have had chickens. So when the chickens arrived there was a bit of a battle for the gardens. My husband is of English bloodstock and has a preference for grand sweeping lawns, parklike vista's and castles. (Our "Castle" is a 50 year old turret-less wooden house... mores the shame) and that was our gardening inspiration for many years - until we got real and decided we had better things to do than fight Mother Nature every summer and went for a more natural and native garden.

Chickens seem to love digging up all that grass to make dust baths and know that lush wet garden beds hold the greatest amount of bug life and spend a great deal of time digging those over as well to the disgust and frustration of the "Lord of the Manor".

We have discovered a number of ways of keeping chickens out the garden without resorting to deer fencing or roasting dishes...

Here's what I did...


This is a reasonabl…

Adding ribbon markers to a notebook...

I have a note book that I carry everywhere with me. Along with my daily diary, its one of my most useful possessions. Known in our house as "The Book of Lists", I write my perpetual to do list in it, crossing off each item as I do it (or realise I am never going to do it...) I also track my spending in it, write up my monthly menu plan, have a master shopping list in it, a books to read list, up to date work rosters, Christmas present list, when to expect bills calendar... I think you get the idea! I don't have the greatest memory and I find this invaluable for remembering things I needed to do, things I buy regularly and what's for dinner tonight!



The Book itself is very unprepossessing this time, sometimes I get excited and decorate the cover but this time I was in a hurry to replace it as the last one was really on its last legs and about to fall completely apart - so when a friend offered this one from her stash of note books - I took it and transferred everythin…
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