Friday, May 19, 2017

3 More Books to Read By The Fire

One of the delights of the cooler season is being able to snuggle up with a good book. In my spare time (when I'm not knitting), one of my favourite things to do is get a blanket and a hot cup of tea, and curl up with a good book for a little while. It's even cosier and more enjoyable with a fire lit, too.

Last winter I published 3 Books to Read by the Fire here, and you all enjoyed it so much I thought I'd do another post this season too. We've had a fire going all day here today, it's been so very cold and was raining for half of the day too. The skies have cleared this evening though; I think we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. (I hope you'll forgive the photo, it's one out of the same set that I used in last year's post. I've been so unwell all week, and stupidly thought I was better, resulting in making myself far worse today, so I've not had the energy to take a new photo! It's just a nasty cold and I hope a proper weekend off will finally see it gone! I still really wanted to publish this post, with the weekend starting tomorrow, so here it is!)

A couple of these are series recommendations, rather than just a single book. I hope you'll enjoy them and perhaps you might share some of your favourites in the comments below? We all love to discover good books!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

And Then There Were Eggs

I thought it was high time for a ex-battery hen update. The four ladies are very flattered by everyone's interest in them here, or so I gathered by their happy appearance between gobbling up their kitchen scraps. The four girls have well and truly settled in, and in my attempt to name them I am pleased to say that I know who two of them are. Valencia and Cara Cara have distinguishing features, but poor Tangerine and Clementine look practically identical.
Cara Cara is the bossiest of the lot, chasing Bambi out of a hole she was digging to take over the operation, and later racing her to the stick I had thrown (I think Cara Cara thought it was food.) Bambi was suitably unimpressed and now eyes the ISA Browns with suspicion. I suppose I would too, if I was her size and had been pecked on the nose, had my small stick I was chewing on stolen and been chased for no reason by a scary orange chicken.

With all the freedom in the world to now scratch, run, jump, flap, perch, dust bath and sun bath, and enjoy every other chickenly delight, there was only one thing missing from the ISA Brown's pen. Eggs.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Here & Now | May 2017

Welcome to this month's Here & Now - I hope you'll take a few moments to document your own happenings either on your blog or on Instagram! The guidelines for doing both are at the bottom of this post.

Friday, May 05, 2017

A Wintry Week

It's been a drizzly and blustery day outside, a good reminder that we're heading into the last month of Autumn. I had hopes of enjoying a fire outside at the end of this week, but the weather has had other plans. I actually quite enjoy this weather, of course providing one has the option to remain indoors. It's the perfect weather for enjoying cups of tea and getting knitting done, which is exactly what I've been doing this afternoon since returning from the post office. Amongst today's parcels were some hedgehog quote mugs - they arrived yesterday and I was so happy with how they'd turned out that I wasted no time in getting them into my shop. (You can see more of them here if you like). 

The seedlings are loving this weather too, and have grown so much recently that I think I'll have to tie up the tomatoes soon, whilst they're still small enough to manage. They can be very badly behaved if a close eye is not kept on them!

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Reviving A Dried Spelt Sourdough Starter

On Sunday I decided to conduct a small sourdough experiment. Last year I dried out some of my active sourdough starter, and stored it away, intending to pull it back out in a short amount of time and see if I could bring it back to life.
That was nearly twelve months ago, and I must admit that I sort of forgot about the jar of dried starter hiding at the back of the pantry.
I pulled it out on Sunday afternoon and decided to try reviving some. Momentarily I thought it would be a good idea if I looked up just how to do that, but I couldn't be bothered and decided to wing it. Well, it worked.

In just two days, those two tablespoons of dried sourdough flakes have become this bubbling, frothy, active bowl of sourdough starter. I'm thrilled, because now I know that if I ever need to store my starter long term that this is a viable way of doing it. It also means that I can now post starter in the starter can go global. (Well, national maybe, due to quarantine laws!).

Here's the basic reconstitution recipe I did:

© Say Little Hen
Maira Gall