Cooking on the new stove


Cooking on the new stove is amazing, we can start off a pot roast for example on the cooker then leave it sitting on top of the stove bubbling away slowly all day.

Since we moved inย we have spent all our time and effort setting up the smallholding, knowing that everything we done inside the house was pointless as we needed to completely renovate the house. There was one exception, the heating! We took my old log burning stove with back boiler with us and plugged it into the existing heating system but it was only 21.7KW and totally not sufficient to heat the house. It’s rated for 6-8 radiators & domestic hot water and couldnt manage the 36 radiators Continue reading

Red Deer

We got this red deer skull from my sister and her husband as a moving in gift two years ago and finally decided on a place where it should go and got it hung this evening. Its a 5 pointer Red Deer stag than Jhonny, my brother in law shot back in 2010 and he spent a while preparing it and mounting it on the plaque and getting the labels engraved.

Weather station instruments

This is where I temporarily installed the weather base station parts.

The wind vane on the left measures everything to do with the wind including the speed and direction.

The part on the right measures everything else outside, for example, it collects rain fall in the black part. It also measure temperature, humidity and barometric pressure.

With this information it can work out lots of different reading such as dew point, heat index and also predict the local weather forecast.

Live weather in the valley

This is my Xmas present from Chris this year, a proper professional weather station. He is hoping to be able to get it transmitting online so I can see the weather from anywhere.

I managed to get it up and running on my own, I even installed the weather station in the veg garden in the rain while Chris and his family were off bowling for the afternoon. Looks like the humidity is pretty high for the kitchen/dining area at 59%.

12 for Xmas Eve dinner

So time to cook the 9kg ham, into a 30lt pot of cold water with some onions, potatoes, celery and carrots. Its brought to the boil and then left to simmer for around 3 hrs until cooked. To see if it is too salty you can taste the water after it gets to the boil and if its too salty remove half or all of the water and top up with boiling water depending on how salty it is.

Finished cooking in the pot…
Now its left to cool a little on the wire rack, the skin is removed and the fat is scored with a sharp knife being careful not to go down to the meat. Then mixed in a bowl is some dark soft sugar, English mustard and rum. This is rubbed thickly over the entire ham and put in the oven at 220C for 30 minutes and then reduced to 180C for 90 minutes.

This is how it turned out.. 

Table was set and Paulette and the kids made up little men on the plates…

This is my one…

We had a massive goats cheese salad for starters Followed by the ham served with caramelized figs, potato puree, creamed cabbage and carrots. For desert we had a French Buche, like a big Swiss roll.

And shortly afterward this is what happened…

Followed closely by this…