Follow by Email

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Kill It, Cut It, Use It!

Last night I caught the 3rd episode in this series on BBC3;

Julia Bradbury and a group of young consumers discover how the humble pig can provide everything from shoes and hairbrushes to sweets and vital medical parts. You can watch it again on the BBC IPlayer, just follow the link below;


http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0126jm8/Kill_It_Cut_It_Use_It_Pig/


I have to say the two people Prince Cassius and Sade, who were part of this programme were the most annoying people I’ve seen on tv in a long time. I know that people who have always lived in the city may not necessarily know how some animals smell, how big they are etc, but please they really had no idea at all.

Maybe I may seem a bit harsh, not everyone wants to know, or has any interest in knowing where their products have come from and what they are made from. But personally I think it’s very important for people to understand whether what they are wearing or eating came from an animal or wherever.

If you haven’t seen any of this series it is well worth a watch, the previous two episodes are about Cows and Sheep, all available on the wonderful Iplayer (what did we do before things like the iplayer!?)

Cow
1.Julia Bradbury and young consumers discover how the inedible parts of a cow can be turned into everything from car seats and tennis rackets to fastenings and posh plates.

Sheep
2. Julia Bradbury and a group of young consumers discover how the inedible parts of a sheep can be turned into everything from comfy boots to cosmetics and even condoms.

Julia Bradbury we salute you, think your absolutely fabulous!

Keep up the amazing work!

All the Best!

Claire
Xx

Twitter:
@CropredyChicken
@Honestlyitseasy
@steelsyrockitup

Sunday, 26 June 2011

BBC Gardeners World Live & The Good Food Show!

Firstly I need to apologise for the delay in this post, Gardeners World Live was last weekend and I just haven't had the time to blog about it!

I have to admit I was really impressed with the show which also tied in The Good Food Show Summer. There was so many fab things to see, lots of freebies and best of all LOADS of inspiration and ideas!


The New meaning to "The Flower Bed"!!

Showing you that anything can be used in the garden to make a "Bug" hotel. They use an old shopping trolley and literally stuff it full of stuff (!!), like old bricks, bamboo, chimney stacks etc etc. It actually looked really good and I can imagine that this would by 5 stars to the bug world!

Loved this exhibit with the bonsai trees, they just don't look real! This one is over 100yrs old! We decided to purchase two baby trees and see if we could create our own little bonsai's! I've always thought they were hard to look after, but apparently not (according to the exhibitors) so we will see if they live or die in our care!

The Alliums, member of the garlic family! I absolutely love these flowers, they make such a statement in a garden, their huge ball heads and vibrant colours, they attract the bees and basically just look damn cool!!!
I will definately be adding many of these to my flower garden, which will be planned and planted next year.



The RSPCA exhibit! Just had to show you how neat this HUGE dog sofa was!

The Cacti exhibit - I love Cacti, they come in every size, shape and colour, are super easy to look after and pretty much hard to kill!
I have a few cacti at home, which I have had for yrs. One actually flowered this yr for the first time!!! I think if anyone wants a house plant that just looks after itself, can stand being forgotten about for a couple of months, and still survive then a cacti is for you!!!

Paul Rankin! Yep I met Paul Rankin this time round, very nice chap who even signed my Rankin selection bread - Irish Barmbrack! Lush!
http://rankinselection.com/ Check out his other receipes!!


Well that was the show in a snap shot! I have LOADS more photos but this blog would be way too long!
We came home very satisfied, lots of free goodies and even bought a few bits! My boys especially love the Venus Fly Traps we bought them. They love feeding them flies and watching them snap shut! Quality!

FYI - The Good Food Show is back in November for its Winter edition which I always find has alot more to offer as Summer edition is usually alot smaller due to sharing with Gardeners World!!
Also Gardeners World will be back next year in June so make sure you pop it in the diary!!
(Tip - I get my tickets through Tesco online with my vouchers!)

Hope you're enjoying this glorious sun!

Mel
@Tikobear
@honestlyitseasy

P.S. The garden is still coming along, the veg are going nuts, the sunflowers are growing rapidly and we're enjoying tons of fresh grown produce! Yum!

Oh and last but not least, I am running the Race For Life this yr on 30th July. If you would like to sponsor me, please do so on my sponsor page:
http://www.raceforlifesponsorme.org/melaniemcpherson
Thank you!!!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Time ................

Further to my previous blog post on Sour Dough Cake Recipe I can confirm I have reached Day 9! Hooray!!! So this morning at some ungodly hour I divided the mixture into 4 so that I could give 3 away, so my work colleague Sarah has been given one, my friend Julia and of course who can forget the other half of Honestly Its Easy Mel is also due to have hers delivered today. I’m going to attempt to cook it after working all day followed by a meeting after work tomorrow evening and will try and post some pictures, but it’s a manic weekend so bear with me if I can’t get pictures up straight away.

I’ve been so busy with work over the last couple of weeks that I really feel I have been neglecting my garden, when going out yesterday evening to feed the chickens before travelling for dinner at the in laws things are looking very untidy indeed so it is my mission one evening next week to spend at least a couple of hours giving things like the tomatoes and chilli’s a little bit of TLC!

We also have 7 table birds to dispatch (to be honest they should have been done last week but as usual time just ran out!) so they are a priority within the next 7-10 days for sure, especially because one of the cockerels has started crowing and it sounds like an old alarm clock with its batteries running out! I also need to go and help Mel with her table birds as well, oh it’s all going on! The moment I cross one thing off of my to do list another 10 get added! One Step forward 10 steps back scenario!

At this point I would also like to introduce you all to my new favourite friend
Funky Chicken Gifts



These lumps and lump key rings are a must for any chicken lover! And they donate money to Fresh Start For Hens as well! What a bonus!! We love them!! And think you should go and check them out.

Right onwards and upwards with the to do list!

Speak soon!
All the Best!

Claire
Xx

Twitter:
@CropredyChicken
@Honestlyitseasy
@steelsyrockitup

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Sour Dough Cake Recipe - called Herman!

My good friend Gemma came around last night with Herman! A sour dough recipe that her mother in law (Margaret) has started, so at the moment I am on Day 3 (Margaret started the first few stages for me!)

So as I said we are on Day 3 and when I get to Day 9, the other half of Honestly its easy will be getting a portion to start!! For all of those interested in this recipe here it is! I’ll update you with how we are getting on soon!

Sour Dough Cake Recipe
Hello! My name is Herman. I’m a sour dough recipe. I’m supposed to be on the worktop for 10 days, without the lid on.
You cannot put me in the fridge or I will die!
If I stop Bubbling I am dead!
I’m not meant to touch metal!
Day 1 – you get Herman and take the lid off. Put into a large mixing bowl or container capable of holding at least 2 litres and cover loosely with a towel or cling film.
Day 2 – stir well
Day 3 – stir well
Day 4 – Herman is hungry!, Add the following ingredients, stir well and cover again:

1 cp plain flour (115g/4oz)
1 cup of granulated sugar (225g/8oz)
1 cup of milk (235ml/8 fl oz)

Day 5 – stir well
Day 6 – stir well
Day 7 – stir well
Day 8 – stir well
Day 9 - Herman is hungry again! Add the same ingredients as Day 4. Divide into 4 equal portions and give 3 away to your friends, along with these instructions or keep one if you want to start a new cake. Herman No 4 stays with you and is now nearly ready to be baked.
Day 10 – Herman is now very hungry indeed. Stir well and add the following ingredients:

1 cup of caster sugar (225g/8oz)
2 cups of plain flour (225g/8oz)
2 eggs
2 tbsps vanilla essence (10ml)
2 heaped tbsps cinnamon
2 heaped tbsp Baking Powder
¼ tsp salt
2/3 cup cooking oil, sunflower, olive (174 ml/6 fl oz)
2 cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
½ cup walnuts/almonds (optional) (75g/2 ½ oz)
1 cup of raisins/sultanas (optional) (150g / 5oz)
Other options include pineapple, cherries, chopped chocolate, coconut, etc.
Mix everything together and place into a large greaseproof roasting tin. Sprinkle with ¼ cup of brown sugar (50g/2oz)
Bake it for 45 minutes at 170 – 180 c (gas mark 3-4). Check after 35 minutes, it may be done. When it is cold, cut into fingers. This cake freezes well, It is delicious warmed up as a dessert with c ream or ice cream.

All the Best!

Claire
Xx

Twitter:
@CropredyChicken
@Honestlyitseasy
@steelsyrockitup

Sunday, 5 June 2011

NGS Gardens Open For Charity

So today Mel and I (accompanied by her mum and two young sons) went and had a look at the NGS (National Gardens Scheme) Gardens in the village of Preston Capes and Little Preston. And I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable it was! I’m very much of the opinion that I want to be able to eat anything and everything I grow, but seeing these beautiful gardens in full spring bloom I have to admit is starting to change my mind!


Beautiful roses, honeysuckles, Alliums, Large Poppy styled flows and Lupins, the list cold go on and on, it was a real pleasure and privilege to be able to go and visit some of these gardens. What with these gardens and all the watching of the Chelsea Flower show I did flowers are around the corner for our garden for sure! I will be researching edible flowers thoroughly as well!! SO look out for future posts on the subject and in the meantime if you have any suggestions for beautiful edible flowers please let me know!

And if you want to know what NGS gardens are open in your area or want more information on the charity visit their website www.ngs.org.uk. They are committed to helping a whole range of charities, Macmillan Cancer Relief, Marie Curie Cancer Care, The Nurses Welfare Service as well as many more!

I didn’t manage to get everything in the garden done as hoped in my previous post – but I’m hoping to catch up during the week, will obviously depend on the weather a lot though!

Had a good look around Mel’s garden as well (its been a few weeks since I last went over) and what a transformation!!! She’s filled you in on her blog posts from last week – but actually seeing it was brilliant, there’s grass and vegetables growing and potatoes and the raspberry bushes are coming along nicely! It’s fantastic – such a different view from a few weeks back when everything looked pretty brown!! Whats even better is I came away with cabbage, cauliflower, tomato, cucumber and sprout seedlings! Brilliant!!

Toodle pip for now!

All the Best!

Claire
Xx

Twitter:
@CropredyChicken
@Honestlyitseasy
@steelsyrockitup

Thursday, 2 June 2011

This weekend is going to be a scorcher!

Apparently this weekend is going to be the hottest yet! Yippee!! After working very hard over the last couple of weeks I have decided Saturday is my day off! I’m going to be pottering around my garden all day long if I get my way!

There are lots of jobs that have been slipping due to the busyness of everyday life. The grass needs cutting, the hedges need trimming, the beans need tying up against the poles, some seedlings need planting out, you get the idea I wont bore you with all the details!!

We are also going to organise our chicken area a little better. So plenty to be getting on with – not sure if one day will be enough!! I'll be properly updating my side of the blog after the weekend and will make sure I get some pictures up as well!

We’ve also been catching a few episodes of spring watch, tonight’s was particularly good, there was a fab piece about making a bee hotel, here is the link!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/natureuk/2011/05/wildlife-gardening-ideas-helpi.shtml

Whatever you get up to this weekend, enjoy the weather, enjoy your garden and the wildlife in your garden, make the most of it – in this country you can never be too sure how long its going to last!!

All the Best!
Claire
Xx

Twitter:
@CropredyChicken
@Honestlyitseasy
@steelsyrockitup