Thursday, 30 October 2014

Beetroot are good for you

Beetroot are a very important part of our daily diet. We grow as much as possible to have some everyday for lunch. I find the vacuum packed absolutely foul and I'm not keen on too much vinegar so don't like pickled either.

I looked on the web for more information about how good it is for you and found this:-



  Beetroot benefits

Beetroot is a dark red vegetable with an acquired taste which has had a lot of coverage in the news. It has been linked with better stamina, improved blood flood and lower blood pressure.
But what's the truth about beetroot?

Beetroot facts

The website says the vegetable became popular in Roman times and it was used to treat fever, constipation, wounds, skin problems - and was used as an aphrodisiac.
Most beetroot on sale is round and red, but yellow, white and stripy versions are available.
The beetroot taste is described as sweet, earthy and tender to eat. It is grown in the ground and is related to turnips, swedes and sugar beet.
Beetroot has featured in recipes from top chefs including Jamie Oliver and Heston Blumenthal.
If you're considering beetroot as one of your 5-a-day, it contains potassium, magnesium, iron, vitamins A, B6 and C, folic acid, carbohydrates, protein, antioxidants and soluble fibre.

Beetroot for blood pressure management

Researchers have known for some time that juice may help lower blood pressure, but in 2010 UK researchers revealed that nitrate is the special ingredient in beetroot which lowers blood pressure and may help to fight heart disease.
In a Queen Mary University of London study, healthy participants had to drink a glass of beetroot juice while others had a dummy (placebo) drink. Others took nitrate tablets.
Blood pressure was lowered within 24 hours in people who took nitrate tablets and those who drank beetroot juice.
The researchers admitted to BootsWebMD that beetroot juice is a love it or hate it kind of drink, but found people in the study didn't mind it so much when they were drinking it every day.
People with very high blood pressure can end up being on multiple tablets, so a more natural approach could prove popular if the initial research results are confirmed.
The study was funded by the British Heart Foundation and published online in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension.

Beetroot for the brain and dementia

Drinking beetroot juice increases blood flow to the brain in older people, which may be able to fight the progression of dementia, a 2010 study suggested.
Beetroot contains high concentrations of nitrates, which are converted into nitrites by bacteria in the mouth. Nitrites help open blood vessels in the body, increasing blood flow and oxygen to places lacking in oxygen.
Previous studies have shown that nitrites widen blood vessels, but US researchers writing in Nitric Oxide: Biology and Chemistry, the peer-reviewed journal of the Nitric Oxide Society, say theirs was the first to find that nitrites also increase blood flow to the brain.

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We want to be able to eat some for as many days as possible during the year. So early and late sowings are made in the poly-tunnel and two beds sown outside. We grow round and cylindrical. In some years we've had problems with mice who move in and eat around the tops while they are still in the ground. For some reason in other years we have no problem. This year was a good year.
To see what damage they do,  look here at Kevs' English Homestead blog from a few days ago  .

This morning we were able to get up most of the decent sized beet and store them in a box of sand for winter.
 We've even got room for the box in the new  bigger garden shed so I won't need to go right up to the workshop to fetch them. Another job done for winter. There are some small and giant ones left in the ground which will be cooked up for the next few weeks and finally when the weather turns wet/frosty they will be pulled up and put in the shed in a bucket where they will keep for another week or two. Then we will use what we have growing in the poly-tunnel before using these that are stored.

Before the beetroot storage job we had managed between us to sort out the cables so that we can put electric light on a timer in the big chicken shed. The mower trailer to the rescue again, carrying the cable box and  everything up to the top of the field. The hens have gone off lay a bit over the last few weeks so hopefully the extra light will help.

The final pumpkin was collected today at last. The trailer has been moved right out of the way until it's next needed. If we are offered some plants for giant pumpkins next year I shall say thanks but no thanks!

Thank you for all the interesting comments yesterday about preparing for bad weather. Living here near the coast we rarely get much snow and since our small back road started to be used by the community bus service taking old people to day centres etc one of the local farmers clears it with a snow plough. Shame really, I quite like the idea of being cut off for a week!

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Edited to add - Why has the first paragraph changed to capital letters. On the draft it's quite normal, post it and it changes to capitals - how weird is that?

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Getting ready for winter in the country

It's a fact.......... There is more weather in the country.

For many years I wrote for the Suffolk Smallholders Newsletter and each year there would be society members who were having their first winter on a smallholding. So every now and again I did a bit about getting ready for winter. After searching around C found it on a memory stick, I've done a few alterations and updated and
this is it

Getting Ready For Winter –For newcomers to the countryside

(And a timely reminder for the rest of us.)
Getting ready for winter in a city probably means buying a new coat, if you live on a smallholding in the countryside a bit more preparation is needed  
 In towns and cities there are pavements, in the country we just have MUD! So the first thing is to make sure your welly boots are waterproof, check they haven’t cracked underneath which you might not notice until you step in a puddle.
Find your wooly hats, gloves and scarves and warmest old coat or waterproof. It's no fun being cold on the daily animal feeding rounds. C swears by a boiler suit for working in.
We may never again get a winter like 1963 or 1981 (I don’t go back as far as 1947!) but we’ve had electric off for a week on two separate occasions in the last 20 years so you never know.

If you have an all-electric house or heating that uses an electric pump, it’s a good idea to get in an alternative, a calor/propane gas heater is good or get the chimney cleaned in case you need to open up a fireplace. A couple of hot water bottles are useful.

The same goes for cooking. A camping gas stove with a spare cylinder is always handy. Everyone feels better with a hot drink.
In the longer term a wood fired Rayburn or a woodburner will ensure that you are never without warmth and a way of heating a kettle.

For lighting, keep a supply of candles and matches somewhere easy to find in the dark. Tea lights only last 4 hours but a night light candle will burn for 8 hours. Have some spare batteries for the torch or buy a wind-up torch for emergencies. A gas camping light is handy if the electric is off for more than a few hours.

If you raise your own meat losing all your freezer stocks can be a real problem if the electric is off for a while. Try not to open the freezer. You might think of investing in a generator just in case. 

If you know you are in an area that could be cut off in snow then a good stock of food will be needed.

Make sure your animals have some shelter. Chickens hate drafts but need good ventilation. Put a shelter around the feed hopper if you feed them outside. For a few sheep, lay out some bales in the shape of a cross, this will let them get out of the wind, whichever way its coming from. Elderly goats will appreciate a goat-coat and some warm water to drink. Lag outside water taps if you can to stop them freezing up. Carrying buckets of water from the house to your animals soon becomes hard work. Try not to run too low on feed stocks but make sure spare feed is in a dry, rat proof container.

Rats and mice can be a big problem in buildings and in the compost heap (and in the house sometimes too). Ideally bait boxes should be laid much earlier in the season but they will still work. Using proper boxes means less risk to pets. 

On the house – clean out guttering and make sure drains are not blocked by leaves. If you have a septic tank check that the outflow is clear.

If we do get snow, be careful clearing paths, shoveling snow in cold weather can aggravate heart conditions! ( This has suddenly become relevant here, when I wrote it I was only thinking of old people!)

 In cities "Chelsea Tractors" are much despised but nobody will complain about you having a 4 wheel drive vehicle in the countryside when the roads are covered in snow and you are the only person who can pull someones car out of the ditch or get through to the shop.

Finally, a battery or wind-up radio will keep you in touch with what’s happening if the electric goes off. Local radio stations usually give information about school and road closures during bad weather.

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 Copying something written 10 years ago is a lazy way of filling a blog post, but as John at Going Gently always says" Hey Ho !"

 Welcome to jeannie a new follower via Bloglovin'.
Thank you for comments about C and ideas for what the book was, I still don't know.
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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

More campsite clearing and a book question

Welcome to Tara, a new follower in the  Google Pictures over on the right.

Thank you to everyone for comments about mincemeat. I think some people didn't realise that there is a link there to the recipe which is online as well as in her book.

Dc at Frugal in Norfolk asked if I could remember a book I recommended a while back, a war time diary, maybe about an RAF wife. I can't for the life of me remember a book about an RAF wife.
 This is my picture of my WWII books , which was on the blog early last year is it one of these?

These are the diaries that I have picked out from the shelves, is it one of these?

If it was a library book some are pictured under the label of Library book pictures. Otherwise I'm stumped.

This morning, while the bread dough was rising, we went around the campsite and took down all the pitch markers and other signs to store them out of the weather. C rode on the mower with the trailer on the back and I unscrewed all the signs. Some will need a bit of paint before next season We even managed between us to roll the picnic table onto the trailer and store that away too. Then we went up to the empty chicken shed and cleared up a few more things that were laying around including one roll of electric fence. There is still another 50 metres to take down and put away sometime.
This afternoon while I was collecting and sorting eggs C used the ride on mower again to cut the grass in the orchard. We would be lost without that mower!

Before he cut the grass I nipped round to pick up a few more windfalls.
I haven't done a "what home grown and home produced food is available to eat today" list lately so here it is for the 28th October.
From the garden:- Cabbage ( red and green), Chard, kale,parsnips,leeks, last of the carrots, swedes,beetroot, apples both eating and cooking
From the poly-tunnels:- last of the tomatoes, lettuce, radish and salad leaves, a few late peppers.
From Store:- Squash, pumpkin, onions, potatoes
From the freezer:- Lots of apricots, apples, pears, smaller amounts of raspberries, strawberries and cherries. Peppers and broad beans
From the kitchen:- Home made bread, jam and cakes.

C had a phone call today from the heart aftercare nurse. She had read through all his notes  and it seems that the traces of the chemical in the blood that shows a heart attack was so small that it was almost not a heart attack! If he was employed somewhere not doing heavy work he would be back at work in 4 weeks. What good news. His tablets may need some juggling to see whats best for him and the doctor will need to organise some other checks too. So he is feeling very reassured.

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Monday, 27 October 2014

Christmas Mincemeat

This is the recipe I use for my Christmas mincemeat for the all important mince pies

From Delias' Christmas cookbook

I used three-quarters of the recipe because the vegetable suet that came from Approved Foods are in 6oz bags ( a hundred and something grams - I don't do metric!) I used just 1 lemon and one orange. As with the puddings the cooking apples were our own, raisins and peel from AF, sultanas Tesco value range. I didn't bother with cinnamon as mixed spice has that in anyway.

It was started  yesterday and finished it today. While  cooling, before potting up, the kitchen smelt delicious.
There are two large jars for us and one for a gift.

 Lots of jobs done today. C decided he would be OK doing some grass cutting on the ride on mower and did 3 half hour sessions, with a rest in between, which has made everywhere look much tidier.
I did another bit of tidying in the polytunnels, every wheelbarrow full hauled out will make the final clear out easier,also got a basket full of ironing done and chopped a couple of sacks of kindling and a bit of cleaning too.We've had a lovely sunny breezy day and the washing was soon dry and indoors.

Yesterday a man came to collect the largest of the huge pumpkins, using a bit of board as a bridge he was able to roll it into the back of his van. I've no idea how he will get it out at the other end. I asked him what he was going to do with it, he said that his daughter liked to decorate the whole house and outside, so he was going to stand it by the front door with some other big pumpkins round it. He paid me £15, I was happy but he's obviously got more money than sense! All the four that I have sold have gone to people who want to display them outside in a " Look, We've got a bigger pumpkin than you!" sort of display. Well, if that's how they want to spend their money who am I to disagree. We still have one left which is due to be collected on Wednesday. The trailer has now been moved away from the front drive and kitchen window and we will go back to anonymity after weeks of having people stopping to look and take photos.

Thank you for comments yesterday
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Sunday, 26 October 2014

We never fear the post dropping through the letterbox

I've seen programmes on TV about people in debt, worrying about everything that comes through the letterbox. Hiding bills and final demands in cupboards, refusing to open them and sort out their problem.

We don't have that worry here. If a bill arrives it has been budgeted for, the money is available, the bill is paid as soon as possible. I don't like owing or being owed money.

So on the whole we welcome things dropping on the mat, letters from friends are best, garden catalogues are for winter reading, charity mailings often have pens or cards in, even unwanted junk mail is sometimes useful and most things get looked at and either put in the recycling bin or burned.
Often the postman brings  surprises
Like these on Friday and Saturday
The rosette is from the Camping and Caravanning club. It means that a visitor to our site has taken the trouble to nominate us in the Certificated Site Friendly Welcome category, and I will display this rosette, along with the two we got last year, in the recreation/information room next season.

The die-cut banners are my prize for winning a competition in the Craft Creations Summer magazine. There are £20 worth of different greetings. Enough to last forever I think.

Coming home from Woodbridge yesterday we saw that there was an extra car boot sale today, so we popped up the road early. Not many car boots there, so C managed a slow walk round. No exciting finds, £1.99 for 3 pairs of thermal socks for C, 50p spent on a cross stitch book mark kit ( Did I say somewhere NO MORE CROSS STITCH KITS EVER? - whoops, I shall ebay it I think) and C spent  £1 on 5 wet/dry sandpaper block things and 50p on an extension lead socket. According to the sign there will be two more boot sales - weather permitting - on the first 2 Sundays in November.

Two more followers via  Google, goodness me, up to 223. Welcome Laurie and Laura. Bloglovin' is up to 217 and I think the new follower there is Finola - welcome to you too.

Thank you for cheese comments yesterday. Being frugal I should have taken the cheese back but it's a matter of taste with cheese , some people may have thought it OK. Anyway C chucked it on the fire before I had decided what to do with it so that was the end of that. Driving to Saxmundham would have cost me more than £1 and I'm not sure if I will be going that way this week anyway.

Several blogging friends have asked how C is. He is OK apart from lacking energy and short of breath, with horrible indigestion every time he moves. We don't know if the symptoms are connected to the heart attack or something different, so more checks will have to happen sometime.
 He will be extremely fed up by the time we get to the end of 4 months of  recuperation.

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Saturday, 25 October 2014

Value cheese - taste warning and a morning out

I saw this in Tesco, new to their value range and for £1 thought it was worth a try

OH Yuck and very yuck, really nasty.
Something seriously wrong with the taste. Not like any blue cheese I have ever tried before.
 I was debating whether to chuck it or if I could hide it in a quiche and had left it in the fridge. C opened the fridge told me it stank and threw it on the fire!
On reflection I think that was probably the best place for it.

Our morning out was to the Wyevale garden centre via the Auction rooms at Campsea Ash. Saturday mornings is when they have the viewing for their Monday general sales.
I have left a bid on one thing which, if I win, will be my Christmas present.
Onto Wyevale to use the £5 off £15 voucher, and I found 2 small things to go with money for our two nephews and bought some Tomato feed ready for next year.
The Garden centre has started to fill up with Christmas stuff
Do people really buy a whole new colour scheme of decorations every year? I suppose someone must buy them all or it wouldn't be worth their while taking up so much space.

Welcome to Boud, a new follower via Google and thank you for comments yesterday. Cro really made me smile :-)

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Friday, 24 October 2014

New socks..... I'm so easily pleased

Great new walking boot socks arrived today, I'm easily excited!
When I tried on my exorbitantly expensive new comfy boots a few weeks ago they gave me a pair of socks to use, they were lovely and comfy too so I bought a pair. All my old thick socks which I also wear with wellies were either lumpy on the heels where they had been mended, horrible around the toes because the seams went straight across or fell down when I walked because they were too old and stretched. I looked online and found the new Ecco socks with a 10% off voucher which made them cheaper than buying in the shoe shop. Now the old ones can go and my feet will be comfy for several years.

Also in the post another Christmas catalogue, all the way from the Inverawe Salmon Company in Scotland. We visited when we had a holiday there several years ago and now get a catalogue every year which is useful as it provides a present for our neighbour. She is a wealthy lady and doesn't need Things, so a pack of smoked salmon and various other bits from their smokery makes an ideal gift for her. She is very worried about how she will manage without C to do her odd jobs and gardening but hopefully he will get back to working for her in the spring.

Today was spent bread baking and moving chicken feed ( and a few other jobs too). We also took wild bird seed and peanuts over to our neighbough, they had been sitting here since we brought them home from the mill when we got chicken feed about 3 weeks ago. By scooping some out of each sack into another sack it made them easier for me to lift and tip into her bins. C took them in the trailer on the back of the mower and I did the lifting. I think lots of jobs will be done like this for a while.

There is only a week to go until Library day and I still have nearly all my books unread. Seem to have been a bit busy lately! This was finished this afternoon
Historical crime, the sixth in the series set in the fens during the 11th century. Her other series was set in Kent at the beginning of the 13th . Both have elements of the old pagan religions and supernatural happenings. It's interesting to read about the old ways of healing and how far people were able to travel, of course being fiction they don't need to be factually accurate but the author studied  archeologist at university so I hope they are well researched.

You will be pleased to know that this "mystery" plant growing under the bird seed feeder has gone in the compost, we didn't want to be raided!

Thanks for comments yesterday
Welcome to another Pam, a new follower on Google.
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