Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Egg-eating hens, Twin lambs, Welsh-cakes

After the quick re-run of the snow we are now back with soggy, squelching mud and a general dripping everywhere.
The hens don't seem to mind the rain too much and are laying well. There are couple of rogue hens who tend to eat their eggs which is real nusiance. It is very difficult to track down the culprits though they do seem to lay in the same nest-box each day but as the boxes are shared its impossible to know which hen is responsible.

Lambing is getting underway slowly with the birth of a set of twins this morning. The three lambs that are now about a week old are doing very well.
We also had a calf born to one of our rare-breed Traditonal Hereford cows at the beginning of the week. A heifer calf which is great, she will be a good addtion to our small herd.

I've been busy this grey, damp morning baking scones & Welsh-cakes for an old farmer in his 80's who rings me up now & then to request some home-baking. He usually wants two chocolate cakes but is obviously feeling in need of a change. He goes to the cattle market every Wednesday in our county town and calls here on his way home for the baking.
The Farmer says I should feel quite flattered that I am asked to do this as it is almost certain that Mr.J's wife would have made wonderful cakes in her time.

For those of you unfamiliar with Welsh-cakes here is the recipe;

1lb self-raising flour
8oz. butter
6oz. sugar
1/2lb dried fruit
teaspoon mixed spice
2 eggs

Rub the butter into the flour, add sugar, fruit, mixed spice and then with the eggs form a stiff dough. Add a little milk if necessary.
Roll out on a floured board to about 1/4" thickness. Cut out rounds with pastry cutter.
Cook on a griddle or frying pan, lightly greased. Cook both sides.
I cook them on the hotplate of my Rayburn.
If not immediately eaten up by ravening hordes coming through the kitchen, Welsh-cakes keep well in an airtight tin.

I have just read a wonderful book, 'Their Finest Hour & a Half' by Lissa Evans. It is set during the 2nd World War and is about making a morale-boosting film. It portrays with stunning attention to detail what life at the time was like, as well telling a very funny story. Highly recommended.

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