Mmmmm, Onion Marmalade!

Why is it that whenever there is something that I HAVE to do, I end up doing something completely different? I had set aside this Saturday to write my UCAS personal statement (I’m applying to study costume production next year, yay! I really, really hope I get accepted…eeep!) but instead I ended up making onion marmalade. Ooops! How on earth did that happen?

The Urban Goblin (aka Lucy) had presented me a beautiful plait of onions as part of my payment for knitted Dennis, and I decided to put them to good use.

Armed with my River Cottage Jams and Preserves book (which, by the way, I highly recommend it if you like that sort of thing!), I set about making me a batch of onion marmalade.

I made my own labels using a great programme called Avery Design Pro5 lite which is available as a free download from here. It works very well with any self adhesive address labels that can be put through your printer. I was really pleased with how they turned out and had a lot of fun making them.

One of the jars is in my fridge and is encouraging me to eat far too much cheese…..  A toasted cheese and onion marmalade sandwich is absolutely divine! I’m going to stash the rest away to make some christmas hampers for my friends, and of course Lucy will receive a jar this week by way of thanks for the onions she gave me, thanks Lucy! xx

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My babies!

I am now the very proud mummy of three adorable babies!

Ahem…..three baby chickens that is…..

And this is them! Awwwww! They are so unbelievably cute! Well, I guess I’m biased what with being their mummy and all.

While visiting my Laura in Hereford we popped along to Newland Poultry, the most lovely poultry farm I have ever seen! I highly recommend them and I will definitely be going back there again in the future. They have a wonderful range of beautiful hybrid and pure breed chickens. The people who work there are exceptionally friendly and helpful, the chickens are very well looked after and the farm is absolutely gorgeous!

When we visited they had a selection of 8 day old chicks of various breeds. I fell in love with my three as soon as I saw them!

This little one is called Fozzy:

He’s/she’s a baby Frizzle Cochin. When its feathers grow they will be all curly!!

And this little one is called Dexter:

He/she is a Frizzle Cochin/Jersey Giant cross! Gunna be a big bugger that one! It’s feet are massive compared to the other two and it’s got a lot more meat on its bones!! Oo-er!

And this beautiful little thing is Willow:

He/she is a Buff Orpington, a breed that originates from my hometown of Orpington in Kent.

Little old Bob the Dog is very intrigued by them. He likes to bundle into my room every evening to pay them a visit and give them a good old sniff.

My wonderful Mum agreed to sacrifice part of her beloved flower beds for the chickens to live on, and my wonderful Dad helped me to assemble the new chicken coop and constructed a fabulous run for them. While my new little babies won’t be able to live out in the garden until their feathers are fully grown, I will be getting some rescued battery hens from the British Hen Welfare Trust this weekend and they will move into the new coop and run straight away. It’s all so very exciting!!

A new chapter.

I’m a teensy bit excited…

Well, maybe more than a teensy bit….

Maybe I’m a whole lot of excited…

Yes, I can hereby confirm that I am redunkulously excited (that’s a whole lot of excited I can tell you!)

I…..*wait for it*….have…..*are you on the edge of your seat?*…an….*giggle*….allotment!! Yeah baby!! That’s right, you heard me, a frickin’ allotment!! Me! Who’d of funked it aye?

Ok, ok, so that might not be very exciting news to you my dear reader, but I have been bouncing around with happiness ever since I found out! Feel free to mock and point and brand me a loser.

Inspired by my friend the Urban Goblin, and after watching back to back episodes of “Beyond River Cottage”, I decided to find me a piece of land. The waiting list for the local allotments was years long, so I clicked on the River Cottage Landshare Website and was almost instantly matched with a lovely lady called Jane who lives 5 minutes up the road and was willing to give me the end of her garden to have as an allotment!

I have to confess that I am a but crap with growing things, it doesn’t always end well for the plant poor thing (I am hoping to get better though with a little practice).  My real love is for  keeping chickens, and lovely Jane said she was perfectly happy for chickens to move into her garden. Yaaaaaaaaay!

When I lived in South Africa I kept chickens in my garden. I loved those little chickens, they were a constant source of entertainment to me and they provided the tastiest eggs I have ever eaten. I was devastated when I left South Africa and had to say goodbye to them, and ever since I’ve been back home in Blighty I’ve been desperate to get some more, but there  just isn’t room in our garden.

My chicken Margaret with her 11 chicks!

I kept a different blog when I was in South Africa and I documented some of the adventures I had with my beloved chicken friends. You can find it at bettybrash.blogspot.com if you would like to have a little peek. Be warned though, the post about Rocky the baby bantam might bring a tear to your eye, and the pictures of snakes and spiders may terrify you! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

RIP peace Rocky dude....

I have ordered a very lovely chicken coop which should arrive next week, and I’m going scouting for some chickens while up in the shire of Hereford visiting Laura this weekend. *Giggle* I can’t wait! Watch this space for my new adventures with my new little chicken friends.

(P.s. I welcome suggestions of names for my new pets)