Goaty garden goings on

A week on my lonesome. Let lose…… whilst the cats away the mouse will play. Now I know just how precious that garden is to Mandy so whilst being a bit chuffed she let me get on without her I was pretty keen to show her I could. It’s been good to look around and see for myself how I think it’s going and decide what needs to be done. A good time to consolidate my milking practice. It’s reminded me a lot of being a student nurse – Benner’s Novice to Expert theory has stirred in my mind several times this week. I clearly remember life as a student nurse feeling like I knew nothing surrounded by experts. I desperately wanted to get there but frequently found myself wanting to hide in the sluice and despair! So as I knocked the jug of milk all over myself as poor Teetbic got restless and frustrated with this novice groping with her teats I wanted some sluice salvation.

Here I go…..filling that jug
but not quick enough….Teetbic has kicked it over in frustration!
There’s a funny side to all this….
isn’t there????

Then, just like life on the wards there are those wonderful moments when it all comes together – a full jug of hairless and hayless goat milk complete with a frothy top – ha! When I feel Teetbic is relaxed enough to let me lean into her and enjoy a goaty cuddle whilst she’s being milked – yeehaa!!!!

It’s been a week of life on 2 wheels too. The Tour de France has passed through our part of the world and in my quest to be more environmentally aware I’ve cycled the 6 km round trip to Thibois – once. Hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day and as much as I want to do my bit for the planet there is the slight issue of my current fitness level. It would appear that the gardening, Pastis drinking muscles I’ve been using haven’t prepared me for the bike. So, spurred on by the myfootprint.org quiz ( I currently need 1.3 planet earths to sustain my existence) I will try to resist the car keys, jump on my bike and not look such a spectacle as I puff along red faced and sweaty.

I’ve had a great time this week visiting pals and enjoying the fruits of all their labour too. Picking a pan full of blissful blackcurrants at Elle’s, Liz’s ravishingly good raspberries, and oh so soft alpaca fleece from Alex. My winter project sits in a black sack waiting for me. I am going to spin and knit a jumper….. yes, high hopes but Maylin (all things knitted expert with bells on) assures me it’s possible. Thanks girls! I love the community feel of life here – sharing our efforts and knowledge. Our cherries just keep coming and are big, fat, juicy beauties that Maylin has been dehydrating – a great way of enjoying summer’s delights all year round.

This is 2Kg of cria fleece (first time sheared) from Theo the alpaca
The incredibly soft locks

Food wise I’ve been discovering new things too.

Broad bean pod fritters – pods no longer destined for the compost!

Once your beans have been shucked de-string the pods and then cut into 3 cms pieces – not too uniform though.

Season a small bowl of flour with whatever spice blend takes your fancy – I used just cayenne, salt and pepper.

Put a mug of milk into another bowl and dredge your broad bean skins into the flour, milk and then flour once more.

Deep fry in sizzling oil – twice for a super crunch and enjoy immediately. A great aperitif snack!

Chocolate mousse –

2 ripe avocados

3 tbsp cocoa

3 tbsp honey

and blend until smooth – this is sooo good and healthy???

Try adding some red chilli or vanilla or cinnamon too.

Serve with some seasonal fruit – we enjoyed this with – you’ve guessed it – cherries!

These recipes have been pinched from the Abel & Cole recipe book. I’m thinking Keith Abel won’t be too upset as he’s passionate about organic veg and runs a successful, ethical UK veg box scheme.

So, my gardening partner is home and I’ve very briefly spoken to her this morning and wait for it….. I’ve done a sterling job!!!

About 700g of dried cherries from 2 full dehydrator’s worth (about 2 thirds of a bucket before drying)

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