Its been a busy one. I was up early and pottering about, took a leisurely pace, had a couple of cups of tea, read some articles, waited for someone to call at the house before we departed to go on the monthly stock up. No supermarket involved here.
First of all we took Missy for a quick run and also to see whether there were any more puffballs. There wasn'tone in sight, but then again we have been picking early and we think that the weather may have been too dry for many to develop; now the weather is getting more autumny we may have more luck. The season and the month are all out of kilter at the moment, Victoria plums are early, everything seems earlier than usual, makes me wonder whether we are going to have yet another very bad winter. I hope not as the past two have been bad enough, but I am stocking up here and there as I can so that we have plenty to eat. With the weather going all autumny on us I am starting to think of cooking more substantial meals like toad in the hole with mashed potato and lashings of onion gravy followed by a blackberry and apple pie with custard.
We then went on to the Butchers. I love going shopping at the butchers, what I end up going for I usually end up with plus a bit more. We have developed a good rapport with the staff too which makes all the difference. Have come away with a 1lb smoked back bacon, 1lb streaky bacon plain, 1lb chipolatas, 1lb gloucester old spot sausages, some thicker bits of streaky very like pancetta, well that's how I will be using it, will be delightful with roasted potatoes, onion, garlic,and perhaps some mushroom cooked in the oven. I am starting to drool already, 5lb Mince for £11, in 1lb packs which gives us the freedom on how to ulitise it probably with cottage pie and lasagne. 5 rib eye steaks, for £17.50 (each steak bigger than my hand) some chicken done in garlic butter which is wonderful, half a very large haslet oh and a rib of beef for Sunday lunch - now that I am looking forward too. A tray of eggs, some horseradish sauce, cannot have a rib of beef without horseradish, and some black pudding, a hock bone for Missy[ which has since been cooked for her to get stuck into]and two cornish style pasties which were absolutely scrummy and very tasty - well I thought so OH not too keen but it was very much traditional cooking and I loved them. Oh and yes I bought three tubs of beef dripping too for general cooking.
On coming out of the Butchers, there is a walk to the side over the farm so we took Missy for a little way and found a Damson tree which is very much farm land. We scrumped a couple of damsons each and oh they were lovely nice and dark with a lovely yellow flesh. Would love to be able to locate a spot for damsons but at the moment these don't fall into my foraging list. There wasn't many on the tree and with them being on the farm, which after all is a thriving business I did not like to enquire. Will have to look out for some elsewhere, but I was also looking out for blackberries think we may be going blackberrying tomorrow as I have located another spot that is near some sloes. I would like some more for bottling and I have also promised that I would get my mum some too.
Having got the meat safely stowed into the freezer where applicable and keeping those bits out for general use like the bacon during the week I then popped over the to veggie shop and I have had another blitz. I got a sack of potatoes, Wilja, they will have the Piccasso which we like at the end of September and no doubt we will be at least half way through the bag by then. I think I need another net of onions which will probably get tomorrow as we are heavy going on onions they don't seem to last five minutes and with me preserving bits and bobs as I go along I soon get through them.
I bought £3 worth of pears which in weight are about 5 kg and they are the Fiorelle pears which I intend to .bottled in a sugar syrup. Also £3 worth of clementines which are going to be bottled in the same way. 2 lots of Vine tomatoes for £2, tomato passata and also another Chilli jam recipe 4 bags of yellow and red peppers at 50 pence a bag, might pickle these, 2 red cabbage for pickled cabbage, 3 grapefruit for grapefruit curd, although in another couple of weeks when the veg shop people get back I may well put some down in syrup as I love grapefruit done this way for breakfast in the winter months and 1kg of Victoria Plums which at present are designated for some plum mincemeat. I have plenty of apples left from last week and also know where there are load of crab apples. I did not need to top up on the veg this week having some left over and bits in the freezer that need using up.
The veg people are now on holiday for a fortnight; they have been feeding a stray cat called Charlie who we think is profoundly deaf. Like my Tyson used to do, Charlie camps out in the veg shop and they have asked that I keep an eye on him and make sure that there is a meal down for him at night when I come home from work so I am babysitting Charlie whilst they are away. So I came away with a load of cat food for him too!
I still need to stock up on bread flour, lard, butter and sugar, but that can be done in the next few days or so.
I have also noticed that my neighbour has lots of Japonica again so I will be asking for some of those too.
Needless to say I have lots to do again, but hey that's all part of the fun of things.
I am on holiday off work from the end of the week for seven working days not including the weekends so I intend to get as much done as I can during that period now that we are staying at home. I would like to go to the coast for a day though and perhaps take my mum out, probably go down on the Norfolk coast and probably get a fresh crab or two will have to see how things pan out.
Hope everything has been tickety boo with you all and that you are all keeping well, working hard, happy and healthy [hugs to those of you who are in the wars]
Catch you soon
Catch you soon