Sunday, 7 October 2012
Getting all Autumnal
Autumn, then, so no-one should be thinking of Springtime and producing babies? You'd think not. However, we have a chicken gone broody on the 30th Sept and ever since then sitting on her clutch of now TEN eggs in the centre nest box. Sussex Ponte chickens are a 'mass produced' Utility hybrid rather than a fine tuned Pure-bred variety; they are 'designed' to lay 300+ eggs a year and be healthy and to not go broody, so we have had a couple of aborted attempts through the Summer but they usually last only a couple of days before madam gets bored and wanders off, abandoning the eggs to go cold. Not this time, so far. She has gone 7 days so far. Incubation period is 21 days, so we might, just might, have some newly hatched chick babies to show Niece Madeleine when she comes over on the 22nd. Don't count your chickens, though....
In Autumn food Mum and Dad have been exploring some Indian cookery (don't worry - nothing you'd call 'hot' or too spicy) from the new Madhur Jaffrey cookbook but also plenty of winter-warmer recipes. Today, for example, lunch was homemade leek and potato soup with some smokey bacon in it and tonight "pork bones". We'd never heard of this in the UK but here it comes from proper butchers as short lengths of pig-spine split longways. One 'chunk' is about 6-8 inches long so contains about 5 vertebrae but band-sawed into two halves lengthways, with the spinal column 'canal' exposed. You slow-cooker these as you would ox-tail, shin-of-pork or lamb-shank, till the meat falls away and all the cartilage goes gelatinous. In Mum and Dad's case they did it in a Chinese sauce (star anise, soy, ginger, garlic etc) and served it with noodles and steamed chard. The left over bones have plenty of interest for dogs, pups and kittens.
The only other thing exercising us at present is the 2CV finally getting prepared for her NCT (= MOT). Dad finally got hold of a windscreen so now the car is in the garage for its idling to be sorted and for a pre-NCT check up, prior to booking the test. We hope there are no problems with this but we have heard, rather worryingly that the NCT demands all tyres be no more than 6 years old even if they have new tread. This could be an issue.