Sunday, 24 August 2008

Friday, 22 August 2008

Beanz Heinz!

Inspired by Blubird over on ALS I decided it was time to can some beans.

First some overnight soaking, then I followed John Gross's method from Food Preserving at Home (boil 2 mins then soak again for an hour, then reheat). Then it was time to pack the jars, and pop them in the canner. I used Borlotti beans, and kidney beans. In 2 of the borlotti bean jars I popped a small piece of home cured bacon. Yum.

The canner is a bit of a beast - and the big warning labels aren't exactly comforting for first time users!!!

After about 1hr 45mins the whole process was finished, and voila 8 jars of 'canned' beans.

Monday, 18 August 2008

The great bubble-glazing experiment

A mud brick house is great, but a mud brick house with lots of very thin windows is a PAIN to try and keep warm. We're gradually updating all the curtains to sunout (the most insulating ones we could find), I've made draft-stoppers for all the doors, and we've curtained off the end of the house we don't really use so we're only heating the main living areas.

I feel a bit like I'm living in a cave in winter as I try and keep the curtains closed when it's not sunny to keep the warmth in. It's particularly depressing in my office as I feel like I'm working in a dungeon. So I've decided to try a new experiment - bubble-glazing.

I got the idea from the MtBest website - in it's simplest incarnation it just requires bubble wrap and double sided tape. You stick the bubblewrap to the window- bubble side facing//touching the window. This is what I've gone for on my 'test windows' in my office/study. To start with I've just bubble-glazed half of the windows, as I'm interested to feel the difference between the two after a day or so.

This is how it looks.

As you can see, it does 'blur' the view to the outside - however, as I have been keeping the curtains closed the advantage of the bubble-glazing is it lets in a LOT more light, so I feel less like Harry Potter in the cupboard under the stairs! And bsides, I'm supposed to be working in the office, not staring at the view :*)

If this is successful then I'll be getting Jerry to make some wooden batons so we can make a more permanent (and more elegant) frame.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Let it snow, let it snow, let

Almost as pretty as the real thing - but without the slushy mess!

It was also pig exchange day - bye bye 4 large blacks, hello 7 (!!!) large black/saddleback crosses. They're the ones with the pinky-white patches on them. More photos of them when the sun comes out again!

Oh, and in between all this excitement I made 10 jars of Seville Orange Marmalade with Whiskey. Worked out about $1 per jar - bargain!

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