Wednesday, 29 November 2006

Cymdeithas Amaethyddol Frenhinol Cymru Ffair Aeaf

We went to the Royal Welsh Winter Fair yesterday, so here are my barely edited photos and thoughts from the day in no particular order...

Next year's Thanksgiving dinner perhaps?

These sheep appear from their tags to be registered Balwen -- but we have never seen Balwen this light coloured before. I want to try to get in touch with these breeders -- it could be useful to have both light and dark coloured wool for spinning/knitting... According to the label, they were bred by Goronwy and Eiddwen Jones -- if you are them or know them, please let me know!

The lamb carcass competition:

Now this is an interesting one -- this is the inaugural Creative Skills Welsh Young Butcher competition...

Mystery photo -- I think this is so beautiful -- can you guess what this is a photo of?

Lots of gifts for sale to suit all tastes:

These are from the children's competition to create an edible snowman:

Big mean tough bull with a nice little blue ribbon...

From the poultry competition -- I have decided I want one of these!!! They are just so cute...

Greg offered to take a picture of me standing next to one, but I thought that would be a bit too much. This is NOT on my Xmas list:

Cockerel with a comb that looks like a brain:

Forgot to put this up with the other carcasses -- the Beef Ribs Competition:

Overall I had a great time and can't wait for next year...

Sunday, 26 November 2006

Newyddion Ceiliog

Judy found me some very helpful info about scaly leg -- these pictures are exactly what Big Boy's legs look like. So we've rubbed Vaseline into his legs and will repeat again next week and see how it goes... Thanks Judy!

Diolchgarwch yng Nghymru

We had our Thanksgiving dinner here in Wales yesterday and if I am allowed to say so (being the cook) it was delicious! And I enjoyed leftover stuffing and pumpkin pie for breakfast this morning too... :)

In other news, we've had a more detailed look at Big Boy this morning and I think he has scaly leg. My books list numerous possible treatments -- paraffin, eucalyptus oil, linseed oil, surgical spirits -- but we are going to try petroleum jelly, because it's the only one I happen to have in the house! Does anybody have any tips for something they've used that has worked well for them in the past?

I've seen a little black kitten around a few times over the last few weeks -- and yesterday we spotted it in the backyard with a big black cat. No idea who it/they belong to...

I'll leave you with these two photos I took this morning of the dramatic sunrise. Sunrise today was officially at 7:50, but the sun doesn't come over the mountain until well after 9 am...

Thursday, 23 November 2006

Diolchgarwch Hapus!

Firstly I would like to begin by wishing everybody a happy Thanksgiving -- the holiday is actually today, but as it's not a holiday here in the UK and people have to work today, we will be having our Thanksgiving on Saturday. I have however already started cooking for it -- Aunt Ferne's famous Jell-o mold!

In other news, we are having some problems with Big Boy, the cockerel. For the last couple of weeks he is the last one to leave the house in the morning and the first one in at night. When he does come out, he stays near the house and spends most of his time sitting down. His feet/toes are sort of bent:

Compare this to a healthy hen's feet:

It is like he is trying to avoid putting the ball/heel of his foot on the ground. Anybody have any ideas? Bumblefoot? Scaly leg? He is not showing any interest in the hens despite the fact that we gave him a new hen (the first chick) yesterday...

And, the news that you've all been waiting for: I have started on the waterglass eggs!

The surface of the waterglass has now gone completely opaque and has a jelly-like consistency:

When I stuck a spoon into it, I found that underneath it was still milky and gooey, but not quite as solid:

I took out three eggs. Unfortunately, there's no way of using the oldest eggs first, as they are at the bottom, so I estimate that these eggs are about two months old.

I washed the waterglass off, and tested each one for freshness, and they all passed with flying colours!

I made scrambled eggs, and they tasted like scrambled eggs to me. I ate them about two hours ago, and am still feeling fine, so I think this experiment has worked. I will, of course, continue to test for freshness as I work my way towards the older eggs, but if anybody out there was thinking of trying this, and was waiting to see what happened with my eggs, go for it! If you are in the UK and looking for a source for waterglass, I recommend Potclays Ltd. They are the cheapest supplier I could find and are also very friendly and helpful.

I will leave you with this photo I took the morning of some evidence a visitor left behind -- this is the sand covering the carrots!

Wednesday, 22 November 2006

Tŷ Hafan

I know there has not been a lot of knitting on here lately... This is something I've done for Tŷ Hafan -- have a look -- you could make a square too!

Tuesday, 21 November 2006

Yn y tŷ gwydr

Look at this lovely rainbow behind the house that Greg spotted the other day!

The weather has been really odd here lately -- I got caught in a hailstorm on Friday and we have had at least three hailstorms today... Sunday night it rained really heavily and the roof leaked... :(

I've been transplanting/re-potting the ivy that was on the shed -- hopefully I haven't killed it!

Also thinking ahead for next year's meals -- these cauliflower seedlings will be transplanted outside in the spring and should hopefully give me food in early summer -- ah, what a long way off!

And this is some lettuce that should grow in the greenhouse over the winter...

Tuesday, 14 November 2006

Tomatos Gwyrdd

First I would like to start with food miles: There has been much talk about the need to eat locally, etc. With this in mind, I would like to present Sunday night's dinner -- there are NO food miles on this plate! Everything you see here we produced on our land... Yum!

In other news, the frosts of the other week meant the end of the tomato plants. So what to do with all the green tomatoes that never had a chance to ripen? Green tomato chutney! Mind you, I made this on Saturday, and the kitchen still smells of vinegar now...

The cats generally completely shun any water I provide for them, preferring puddles and streams to nice clean bowls of water from the tap, but the past few days I have spotted Shiva drinking from her bowl several times and now this!!!

Tuesday, 7 November 2006


The carrots have now all been harvested and stored for the winter.

Snug as a bug in their sandy bed!

We grew two different kinds of carrots this year. The chunky orange ones did very well; the long red ones were less successful, but I think the colour of them is so pretty.

Sunday was the full moon -- we have had sort of clear nights for the last week and it's been very bright. I keep trying to take pictures of how beautiful the moon looks but this camera won't let me! This is my best attempt:

And last but not least, a query: The container with the eggs and the waterglass is now full, and the waterglass has gradually become cloudy to the point where it now looks like milk. Is this normal? Does anybody out there know???


Have had an email from Cyndy to say that she's found one source that says the milkiness is bad, and another one to say that this is what it should be doing! Anybody want to find more info and tip the balance one way or the other?