Friday, 17 January 2014

Wassailing the apple trees + whats in the freezer

I said yesterday that today, January 17th, was  a special day in the apple orchard. 17th January was Twelfth Night before the calenders were  changed. In many parts of the West Country Old Twelfth Night is the night for getting into the Orchard for a party and a bit of Wassailing.
So we shall go wassailing in the orchard in the hope of a crop as good as last years. If you want to join in  just soak some slices of bread in apple juice or cider and hang them on the tree.

Then Recite this poem
Old apple tree, we wassail thee, and hope that you will bear,
Hat-fulls,cap-fulls,three-bushel bagfulls
And a little heap under the stairs
Hip! Hip! Hooray!
Hit the trees with a stick as you say it!

Drink the rest of the cider.

Who knows if it will work, certainly does no harm.
( in some of my books of traditions Old Twelfth Night was the 16th, but tonight will do)

Him Outside was away early again working for the County Council, dodging the showers. Plenty of those last night and this morning. Water is standing all over our flat meadow even more than before.
I was doing more housework and odd jobs and getting the Tomato seeds into the propagator
I've sown a few of each of 4 varieties
Favorita- A cherry tom.
Shirley. F1 the best for poly tunnel growing 
San Marzano - a  plum tomato, these didn't do too well last year but as I had seeds left I want to use them
Agro - Not tried these before. Again a Plum tom but perhaps better for poly tunnels than San Marzano

A lovely parcel in the post today was my surprise giveaway gift from Morgan at Growing in the Fens. I've been lucky lately with two gifts, if I was a person who gambled by buying  lottery tickets I would be thinking I was on a winning streak and  buy lots, but I'm not so I won't!
A beautiful soft scarf, 3 little notebooks and a bar of chocolate - YUM.
Thank you Morgan.

Unlike many bloggers, I don't do menu plans. As I've said before we economize in many ways so that we don't have to economize so much on food. For  many years here we produced all our own meat which means there was always something in the freezer, and of course almost all our vegetables are growing in the garden.  I've also not worked full time for a long time so have been at home to rustle something up everyday. I don't shop weekly for meat or fish preferring to stock up when we are shopping in various places. So we might only go to Sainsbury once every 3 months and then I'll stock up on value bacon, 3 for £10 packs of mince and stewing steak. Every now and again we go to a butchers about 20 miles away for cheap chicken thighs and chicken wings. From the Co-op I get anything with a Yellow sticker ( not very often) and locally produced sausages and occasionally a pack of their ham off cuts. From the local butcher I will buy whole chickens. I have a rough idea each week of what we will have for dinner but I'm quite flexible. I usually just get something out of the freezer the night before we eat it.

Our cheapest meals are probably omelet ( free eggs), vegetable curry  or a veggie quiche.
When my mind goes completely blank - about once a month-  we'll have Fish ( Tesco Frozen in breadcrumbs) or fish fingers and chips. I also keep Tesco small value pizzas in the freezer and then top them with home made topping - batch made and stored in boxes - and some cheese.

Today I had a sort out of the chest freezer and this is what we have to make a meal from - enough for ages!
2 Packs of Sainsburys value salmon trim
2 Packs  of 12 Fish Fingers
1 and a half Tesco  small value pizzas
1 Pack of stewing steak
1 Pack of minced beef, divided before freezing into 3 small amounts.
1 Box of  Home made meatballs in spicy tomato sauce
6 Homemade Pasties
2 Home made Beef and beer pies
3 Packs of 2 Bacon chops ( Sainsburys value cooking bacon separated before freezing)
2  Half pound packs of bacon bits  "   "    "    "   "   "   "   "     "        "        "          "        )
1 Pack of sausage meat
1 Pork tenderloin ( for pork medallions in cream sauce -  this is our special occasion meal!)
2 Small chickens ( Butcher often has these packs of 2 on special offer.)
1 Pack of 4 Chicken wings
1 pack of 2 yellow sticker pork chops
1 Pack of  yellow sticker Pork belly slices
2 Home made pastry quiche bases

Wow what a list! We won't go hungry will we?


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