A-Muse-Hen

Monday morning, bright and clear…

…and after last week’s complete chaos, I return in the hope of managing a full week’s blogging. The intent was there last week and I really did plan to keep my promises but Tuesday’s thunderstorm and BT had other ideas. We found ourselves in a strange Broadband hinterland; with patience, the downlink was usable. Sadly, the uplink was virtually non-existent and using applications such as the blog was impossible. I could not even attach a file to a mail message to be sent up the island. Deeply frustrating! Mr L seemed fairly happy to have the lightning strike in the middle of his weekly telephone conference meeting. There he was, chatting away… when BOOM! the lightning struck and the line went dead. An elegant way to leave a meeting, in a puff of smoke and  with a great bang 🙂

We hurried about the business of unplugging Important Stuff (we’ve lost a few network routers to lightning since we came here) and waited for the power to go down. It didn’t. So we had a cuppa and watched the hens react to the storm. They ate the hail stones. Yes. Seriously!

Speaking of hens – we have some new ones. You can read about them in their own blog, but here is a pic.

Black Rock pullets

(That’s the only photo for today – the uplink is now working, but only slowly)

We collected the pullets on Friday afternoon — the poulterer met us at the ferry as we went home from shopping on Friday. We spent most of our weekend preventing the cochins from killing the wee beasties. It has been hectic. I took the photos first thing on Saturday morning, in low light levels so you might think these scrawny little birds are a bit dull and not at all inspiring. You would be incorrect in that assumption. And that is why they are here in my Monday Muse post.

It was dark when we arrived home on Friday. We fed and watered the Rocks then took them to the coop. Allegedly, if new birds are introduced to the coop under cover of darkness..  then All Will Be Well in the morning. (Hah!) We had no choice anyway. Darkness it is, young Jedi.

Mr L took the torch and shone it in the box, while I grasped the birds and popped them into the coop. I was stunned by how beautiful the birds were. My instant reaction was voiced out loud — “I’m going to spin a Black Rock yarn.” You see, those brown feathers are a lovely golden brown shade, and the black looking ones are jeweled like a raven AND a starling – shot with electric blue and emerald green. Truly inspiring. I’m thinking Hebridean, spun with some touches of dyed blue fibre for one ply, and blended with a moorit Shetland to spin for the second ply. Or perhaps a 3 ply, with one plain hebbie, one with the dyed flecks, and a third ply of Moorit Shetland.

What do you think?

We brought five chickens home on Friday – the four pullets plus a corn fed oven ready bird. For various reasons, I have not cooked a roast chook in about twenty years. Spending so much time with the wee ones (seriously – we wrapped up warm and sat out in  camping chairs all morning) did give me pause for thought. It was a little incongruous, I was certain of that. Did I really want to roast the chook? Would we be able to eat it?

It was delicious.

Cooked to perfection and served with new potatoes, broccoli, yorkshire puddings, carrot and leek gravy, and sage and onion stuffing. Today we shall have chicken pie.

My usual chicken pie is a chunky meat and vegetable dish with a creamy herbed sauce and a flaky pastry lid. Today I am going for something different and will try to make something like a Shepherd’s Pie  (would that be a Poulterer’s Pie, I wonder). I’ll mince the leg meat and simmer it down with mushrooms, garlic and onions… maybe a few carrots… in some white wine, and top it with potatoes. We have sugar snaps to go with it.

Tomorrow is Chicken Mulligatawny, with some Chapattis or Puri to dunk — I came home from Tesco in triumph on Friday, carrying a large bag of Atta Flour.  🙂

One other thing that came home with us was a Slow Cooker. I have not used one before. If you have any great recipe suggestions, please leave them in the comments – I’d be grateful. Books are on their way from Amazon but there is nothing like personal recommendation. I may try the Mulligatawny soup in the slow cooker, actually. Shall I report back?

Recently, at the: Crooked House

A Month in France: Nothing is Lost

A Month in France: Nothing is Lost

I am lagging on the Month in the Country prompts, and lagging badly at that. I have a list of prompts t be caught up on and I shall be working my way through them here, or at Scattered Thoughts depending on where the post most naturally sits. I have elected to tackle the prompts not in date order necessarily but to seize upon prompts that offer me space in which to write down the things that I am feeling the need to say. Even if I need to crowbar it in. The thing is, I am going to continue to be short of time and space in which to write and so a two-for-one is useful and I hope to do as many of those as I can. Seems like a plan? … Continue readingA Month in France: Nothing is Lost

Oh, deer

Oh, deer

Nell and I had a lovely walk this morning. The weather has cooled considerably and there was a very pleasant breeze. We both made better time than of late. … Continue readingOh, deer

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5 Comments

  1. November 8, 2010

    I’ve usually used the slow cooker for a Beef Carbonara (sort of). It makes very nice tender stews.

    • November 8, 2010

      Beef Carbonara (sort of).

      My mind was boggling a bit at that one. Then I realised you had disengaged brain from fingers momentarily (easily done, in my experience) and actually meant to type “Carbonnade” 🙂

      • November 8, 2010

        You know me – I would know a Carbonnade from a Carbonara!
        You can borrow my Slow Cooker book if you like. I could bring it tonight (Craft Club) 🙂

  2. Susan aka paintermom
    November 10, 2010

    I love to make beef stew in mine. Dredge the meat in seasoned flour and brown it in a skillet. Transfer to the slow cooker, add potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, and a can of whole plum tomatoes. Sometimes I use fire roasted tomatoes for a little extra yumminess. Cook at least four hours on high.

    Enjoy!

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