Friday, September 30, 2016

In My Kitchen | October 2016


You may remember my In My Kitchen posts from last year, when I would join the popular link-up, now hosted by Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things. I've finally gotten around to being organised enough to join in (for the first time this year!), and so am delighted to give you a little peek at a few of the yummy things that are happening in my kitchen today. I am aware that it's still September for a few hours yet, but my post was ready tonight so I thought why not publish it now, seeing as Lizzy has already put her post up :-)

Above is a garlic and cheese sourdough loaf, made on 100% freshly ground spelt as usual. (The recipe is available in Spelt Sourdough Made Simple). I baked this particular loaf in a tin for a change. I don't actually own a "proper" bread tin, so my tin-baked loaves always resemble loaf cakes since that is what I use. I will buy a real bread tin, one of these days!


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

7 Things to Think About Before You Buy Your First Chickens



There's no doubt about it, shopping for your first ever chickens is a very exciting thing to do. You'll start stalking the local markets, reading the classified section of the newspaper and joining livestock groups on Facebook.

If you've dreamed of owning chickens, and have decided that now is the right time in your life to finally welcome some feathered friends into your family, then read on. Today I'm going to be talking about three things you need to prepare before bringing your chickens home, along with four tips on what to look out for when selecting the birds. Keeping chickens is relatively simple, if you have access to the right resources and you get started in the right way.

Before buying your chickens, there are a few simple things to consider.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Spring's Rhythm



Spring arrived very softly this season, and the early mornings are damp and dewy, with a definite hint of humidity that warns of a warm day on the way. The chickens are laying wonderfully again, inspired by the warmer weather no doubt. Delicious fruits are being enjoyed from little road side stalls - watermelons, pawpaw, pineapple and always bananas.

The days are lengthening out nicely and I'm trying to hold onto these days for as long as I can, before the scorching heat arrives in about a month.
The cumquat tree is covered in blooms, which smell so deliciously sweet and fragrant, so much unlike the sour fruit that it will bear. I catch whiffs of the lemon flowers, too, each evening when I lock the chickens in after their afternoon forage.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Magic of Knitting



One of the great joys of knitting - or any craft really - is the ability to create whatever your mind imagines or your heart desires.
As a child, I would use my toys to bring to life my imaginings. Now, by selecting the right kind of yarn, pairing it with the right needles and selecting the required techniques, I use my hands to produce what my mind envisions.
Of course, it doesn't always turn out the way I perceived it in my mind's eye, but something wonderful is created none the less.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Recipe: Stove-top "Baked Beans" in Tomato Sauce



I've always loved baked beans, and for several years now I've made my own from scratch. Aside form the nutritional virtues of homemade that tinned food just doesn't have, these homemade beans have much more flavour in them, and they're very quick and easy to throw together.
I enjoy these in a variety of ways, but my favourite is to put the warm beans onto a piece of sourdough toast, sprinkle with freshly grated cheese and then cook under the grill until the cheese is bubbly and golden. Yum!

Traditionally made with navy beans, for several years I used to make my baked beans with cannelloni beans. Now I prefer to use butter beans, as they are larger and also firmer, so they're not as easy to mush when stirring the pan. The fresh oregano adds a wonderful fragrance and depth of flavour, but use whatever fresh or dried herbs you have on hand.

Enjoy!

© Say Little Hen
Maira Gall