Wild weather

For the past few days the weather has been diabolical, gale force winds and everybody’s favourite – horizontal rain! Apart from the ducks, all the creatures here at Garybuie – including the humans – have been taking cover. As you can see, Wallace has discovered the perfect wet weather occupation, the sheltering hens outside getting no sympathy whatsoever from the comfy cat!

Wet weather solution!

Wet weather solution!

Appetizing bird!

Appetizing bird!

One highlight however during the soggy weekend, was our Sunday roast chicken. Quite a few of our birds sport yellow legs and along with those, a delicately coordinated skin colour. This week’s specimen however had a skin colour almost as dark as the legs and looked lovely – almost good enough to eat BEFORE he was cooked!

Yesterday, the weather was slightly improved and so as the forecast for the next few days is fairly grim, I decided that I’d have to get out anyway and do some serious garden tidying. The combination of going away for the wedding and wild weather conditions have given the veg patch a fairly neglected appearance, so it was on with waterproofs and wellies to do something about it! The main task was to take down the pea and bean supports, along with the weather beaten plants. Fennel isn’t something that we’ve ever eaten a lot of, but this year I fancied growing something new and fennel fit the bill. Giving the plot a good sorting out yesterday revealed just what a lovely crop we have!

A good crop

A good crop

Last week we tried some for the first time using a recipe from Rick Stein’s French Odyssey cookbook. For the two of us, I sliced 2 medium fennel bulbs lengthways into 5mm thick slices. I microwaved them for the appropriate length of time then mixed them with about 80ml creme fraiche, salt and pepper. This was then spread in an even layer in a well buttered shallow dish, sprinkled with parmesan cheese and put under the grill until golden and bubbling. Mmmm… It was delicious with trout.

Any left-overs?

Any left-overs?

On the subject of food, one of our youngest chickens, a cockerel, spends a large part of his days in the pig pen.  He’s discovered that pigs are great pals to have! Not only do they leave a few oats scattered around at mealtimes, but when they go on a digging exercise – an important occupation for pigs – they unearth all kinds of goodies attractive to passing poultry! And the pigs don’t seem to mind sharing with their feathered friend!

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