Saturday, 9 January 2016

Children & Puddles, Silage Fungi, Marmalade Making

Another wet afternoon so nothing better than taking the grandchildren for a walk in the rain & sploshing through the puddles and streams. Two year old grandson lost his wellies twice and 5 year old grand-daughter wailed at getting her pink tights all normal & happy! Actually, they were great and splashing in puddles entertains them for ages as does poking around with sticks in muddy streams. They love watching the water purling and bubbling over the rough surface of our concrete drive as it runs down to the bridge where we play Pooh-sticks. The water then gushes through the drainage holes on the sides of the bridge walls to cascade down into the tumbling stream. On the whole a jolly afternoon despite the continuing vile weather.

Whilst out today I came across these fungi growing out of some bales of silage. They are called Schizophylum Communae and are edible and very popular in the far East where they are cultivated. Here they grow in through the holes pecked in the silage wrap by birds. There was a goodly crop on the bales I saw and I have picked them for our mushroom expert friend. I'm not overkeen on exotic mushrooms, they tend to be be quite strongly flavoured and rather rubbery in texture, I use shiitake a lot in cooking as they are very palatable but other types I have found to be less so.

It's marmalade time again and the Farmer has been busy. He loves marmalade and is very happy to be in charge of making it. We bought some lovely organic Seville oranges from the excellent organic shop in Lampeter andd the kitchen was then filled with the delicious aroma of boiling oranges. The Farmer made about 16lbs and most of it went into the jars...there was however a citrus stickiness all over the kitchen, every drawer handle, door knob, work surface & table top seemed to have at least one or two gloopy dollops of marmalade on them, even the tea-towels were gummy, ugh! Paddington Bear would have been in ecstasies at the amount of marmalade freely available, he & the Farmer have quite lot in common!

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