What is small, green and prickly… Saturday 11th October 2014

Good Morning to all my readers,

So what is small green and prickly but tastes fantastic? Chestnuts!!!! For those who have never visited us, there are a number of chestnut groves near our hamlet, and now it is chestnut time. The chestnuts are falling (which means that they are ripe) and will soon be harvested. Our neighbour (who appears to own all the chestnut groves) has got the machine out of his barn for the harvest, but we have yet to capture a photo of it in action. I’ll make the photo Pat’s mission for this week – should he choose to accept it. However while we are walking, we do have to avoid the falling chestnuts as they hurt – they are quite big and as stated above prickly. You can actually hear them falling from the trees.

We have however been collecting some of the falling chestnuts (the ones that fall on the road – and our neighbour is happy for us to do so). So far Pat has made chestnut stuffing (with a roast chicken) and roasted chestnuts. I’ve dug out a recipe for Chestnut liquor that Becky found after visiting us (she liked the liquor as much as I did), I’m hoping that at some point this week I will have enough chestnuts to make the liquor. I’ll give an update on how this goes.

Pat was also back in the UK for a couple of days earlier this week. For the most part he enjoyed himself and got to catch up with his daughter and his brother and sister-in-law. Unfortunately the two boys were too far away for Pat to catch up with them this time. But he will be going back in February / March as Pat’s first grandchild is due :-). Unfortunately Pat appears to have picked up a cold while he was away. As a treat for Pat’s return, I made a Hummingbird cake, something I’ve heard about but not really seen, it is an American cake which is made with bananas and pineapple and since we had both in the house I gave it a go. The cake is lovely, but while the icing taste good, it really isn’t up to scratch so I will need to improve on that. I also made caramel for the first time – mixed with walnuts – to make the topping. The recipe was a Jamie Oliver one, and it called for pecans, but they weren’t in the house and the walnuts were. I forgot to get a photo, but I can say this much, there are currently only two slices left and they are for morning tea today.

I must admit having to deal with a little puppy by myself over the time Pat was away, was absolutely exhausting. It is easy to forget that they require so much attention and time spent training and playing with them. It is significantly easier when there are two of you. Our puppy is growing and gaining weight but she has also started to dig holes in the backyard. This is definitely a habit we want to stop before it gets started! I’ve also started lead training with her, she has been fine with her collar since day one, however attach a lead to that collar and she does a very impressive impersonation of a fish on a fishing line. She gets her vaccinations next week, so then we will be able to walk her outside of our yard and hopefully she will be so interested in everything outside that the lead will become secondary. We shall see.

A few weeks ago Pat and I talked about watching Blacklist last night we sat down to finally watch the first episode. Three episodes later, I’m addicted. I’m really enjoying the intrigue, but I’m not sure how long it will take before it starts to feel a bit “samie”. More episodes this afternoon – after I have attacked the veggie patch and pulled everything out.

So on that note, I shall wish you all goodbye, until next week.

Chestunts on the tree

Chestunts on the tree

Guilty puppy running from my veggie patch??

Guilty puppy running from my veggie patch??

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