Pork Chops From The Blue Pig Company

Preparation

  • Cooked in roasting tin for 45 minutes in a hot aga.
  • Cooked in own juices.
  • Browned the chops on both sides.
  • Served with mashed potatoes, carrots and gravy.

Verdict

  • Browned well
  • Moist
  • Tender
  • Succulent
  • Flavoursome
  • Excellent meaty taste
  • Crackling on chops without having to prepare for crackling!

Comments

  • My husband commented after the first mouthful, “Excellent, I’m impressed.”

“Even the fat tastes nice!” – My husband doesn’t usually eat the fat on meat.

The Blue Pig Company

The Blue Pig Company is a family run business set up in 2004 by Andrew and Anthony Bradley. They breed and rear outdoor Gloucester Old Spot pigs on their farm in Settle to produce a range of traditional free range pork products.
In the Summer of 2004, the brothers bought six Gloucester Old Spot piglets, followed quickly by another eight piglets which they successfully reared on their farm. The pigs where sold for their meat to family, friends and the local community. The popularity of their sausages and bacon made the brothers realise that there was a market for top quality pork products and The Blue Pig Company was established.

The Blue Pig Company now has three Gloucester Old Spot breeding sows, five Saddleback sows and a Gloucester Old Spot boar for producing the Gloucester Old Spot pigs. The brothers regularly sell their top quality meat products at their stall at the Farmer’s Markets at Settle and Skipton.
The Meat Products
The Blue Pig Company products include:
· A variety of Pork Joints
· A range of Sausages
· Bacon and Gammon
· Freezer Boxes of Pig or Lamb
Pork Joints
· Leg of Pork
· Pork Chops
· Rolled Shoulder of Pork
· Belly Joint
· Belly Pork Strips
Sausages
· Classic Pork Cumberland Sausages
· Pork and Apple Sausages
· Pork and Leek Sausages
· Pork and Sun Dried Tomato Sausages
· Country Style Pork and Herb Sausages

All sausages come in trays of six.
Dry Cured Bacon And Gammon
· Back Bacon
· Middle Bacon
· Gammon Steaks
· Boneless Gammon Joints
Freezer Boxes
· Quarter Pig
· Whole Lamb
· Half Lamb

Click on this link for more information about The Blue Pig Company and The Blue Pig Company’s Products.

National Chip Week In The UK 2007

National Chip Week has been held this week (12th-18th February 2007) in the UK.
Events have included;
· Trying to set 5 different chip records in the Guiness Book Of Records.
· 800 chip shops across the country promoting chips.
· Creating positive press for chips with many articles and adverts being written and shown in magazines and on TV.

Chips are fried potatoes and homemade chips are great.
1. Just peel your potatoes.
2. Cut them into rectangular stick shapes, either thin or thick. Although sometimes I slice them into circular slices.
3. Heat up a chip pan of vegetable oil.
4. Add potato pieces to the chip basket.
5. Put basket into the chip pan and fry the potatoes until they are crispy and golden brown.
6. Take basket out of pan and drain well.
7. Serve with your favourite food.
To celebrate National Chip Week my husband and I have enjoyed eating homemade chips as well as chips from our local chippy. But to pay homage to the chip, we have gastronomically experimented in the kitchen and extended the range of chips that can be served up at our meal times from just the wonderful potato chip to the sweet potato chip, butternut squash chip and the parsnip chip.
We decided to see which vegetables would make a good alternative to the potato chip. Into the chip pan went;
· Sweet potatoes
· Parsnips
· Butternut Squash
· Beetroot
· Carrots

The results (based solely on our own opinions and of course our tastebuds!) were interesting;
· Sweet potato chips are a great alternative to the potato chip they fry well and can be quite crispy, with a soft interior and a lovely sweet taste.
· Parsnip chips are great they are very crispy and sweet tasting.
· Butternut squash chips are a softer chip with a crispy coating and a subtle sweet taste.
· Beetroot chips are also a softer chip with a crispy coating and a sweetish taste.
· Carrot chips can be a little dried up.
My husband and I had great fun tasting our alternative chips and felt that frying parsnips, sweet potatoes and butternut squash would be a clever way of getting our niece and nephews to eat the vegetables that they won’t eat in the traditional way.

How To Test If An Egg Is Fresh

There are two ways to check if an egg is fresh.
1. A fresh egg is heavy because none of it’s moisture has evaporated through the shell, so if you put a fresh egg in a bowl of water it will sink to the bottom. A less fresh egg will rise in the water because of the air in the shell and a stale egg will rise straight to the top. A stale egg does this because so much of the moisture has evaporated through the shell and has been replaced with air making it lighter.
2. If you break a fresh egg onto a plate, the yolk will be firm and prominent. You should be able to see two different parts in the white and the inner part of the white will be thick. If the white is watery and thin then the egg is not very fresh.

Duchy Originals Garden Organic For Schools Website Is A Great Resource

Duchy Originals Garden Organic For Schools website is an excellent resource for teachers and schools running their own gardening clubs.

The website includes lots of useful information, facts, advice and resources for teachers relating to vegetable gardening and shows how vegetable gardening activities can easily fit into the national curriculum.

The website can also be used by children as there are great facts for children to read and lots of interactive games and quizzes for children to have a go at.

As a teacher who has started a gardening club with children at school myself, I would highly recommend this site for the useful advice and information that it provides.

Cattle and Guinea Fowl Do Not Mix!

Cattle and guinea fowl do not really mix well together. I first realised this last year when my housework was interrupted by an awful lot of squawking.

Picture the scene….. Farmer’s wife with feather duster in hand, poised and ready to dust, when suddenly the tranquil calm was disturbed by the machine gunner noise of a gang of guinea fowl.

My only thought at first was that the birds must be getting close to the house. I didn’t really pay too much attention, until I heard lots of mooing from the cow shed. When I looked out of the window I could see the red comb of Hatty the Hen in amongst the big, burly cattle. Without a thought for my housework, I fled to the cattle shed to rescue Hatty.

Upon closer inspection, all the guinea fowl and the resident partridge were also in the fold yard with Hatty, trying to peck their way through the straw.

One of the Charolais cows had only had a calf the day before and she wanted to protect it. She was not a happy lady! Her mooing had set off the whole herd of hormonal cows, who by this time were noisily mooing and snorting at the birds.

The birds, however, were not deterred and they stood their ground against the beefy ladies, squawking noisily back. Action needed to be taken, so before any bird, cow or Farmer’s wife could be hurt, I waved my feather duster in the air and chased the poultry back to the orchard, with Hatty the Hen leading the way!

On this occasion the story ended happily with the poultry and cattle living harmoniously side by side………that is until Christmas morning 2006 when my housework was again interrupted by an awful lot of squawking.

Picture the scene….. Farmer’s wife with oven glove in hand ready to serve the Christmas luncheon to sixteen people, when suddenly the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparations was disturbed by the machine gunner noise of a gang of guinea fowl.

This time I knew what to expect and it wasn’t the pleasant exchange of Christmas greetings between bird and cattle. Unfortunately the scene that faced me on this occasion was that of a battle ground with the cattle looking close to victory. The heavily pregnant cows had managed to trap the foraging birds into a corner and they were kicking up a fuss.

I cautiously entered the battle ground and began attempts to rescue the cowering poultry. Most of them saw their chance to escape and ran for safety. However two of the gang had been injured in battle and had to be carried to safety. As you can see, cattle and guinea fowl really and truely do not mix!

I’m pleased to report that the two casualties made a full recovery. The guinea gang appear to have learnt their lesson, (I hope!) since there hasn’t been any foraging for food in the fold yard recently. Although it is fair to say that this latest battle was won by the cattle, I just know that this war is not over. The unperturbed guinea fowl have now taken to slowly, very slowly, strutting past the cattle shed, just getting close enough to cause a disturbance, without getting close enough to lose another battle!

Farmyard Sounds – The Answers

Here are the answers to the farmingfriends farmyard sounds.

  1. Farmyard Sound 1 = female guinea fowl call.
  2. Farmyard Sound 2 = pigs grunting and squealing.
  3. Farmyard Sound 3 = pigs eating.
  4. Farmyard Sound 4 = sugarbeet loading into trailer.
  5. Farmyard Sound 5 = harvesting sugarbeet.
  6. Farmyard Sound 6 = tractor ploughing field.
  7. Farmyard Sound 7 = silage feeder.
  8. Farmyard Sound 8 = male and female guinea fowl call.

Go back to the farmyard sounds.

So how did you do? Let me know how many farmingfriends farmyard sounds you identified.

Gulliver Geese – A Website Review

Gulliver Geese are specialist goose breeders based in Norfolk. They have over 20 years experience of breeding geese and hatching goslings. It is interesting to hear how Gulliver Geese first got started with geese, I’ll just say it started with film stars!

Gulliver Geese produce;

  • Day old goslings that are available from April to August in large or small quantities. Delivery is also available.
  • Geese for sale at the end of the goose laying season. The geese for sale are usually a few weeks old but no longer need heat from a brooder lamp.
  • Fertile goose eggs that can be purchased between April and August. The eggs can be collected by arrangement or delivered as required.
  • Blown goose eggs for decoration. Blown goose eggs are available by mail order or collection.The website also provides excellent information about;
  • Caring for goslings.
  • Keeping geese.Gulliver Geese would certainly be my first choice for purchasing goose eggs, goslings and geese with their years of experience as testimony to their success. They also have an excellent website for information about starting out with geese so checkout their website for all your goose needs today.
  • Useful books for a new goose owner are Starting With Geese by Katie Thear and Ducks & Geese At Home by Michael Roberts.

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    If you keep geese or are thinking of keeping geese then join the free farmingfriends geese forum for the latest chat, advice and questions about geese and geese related issues.

    If you would like to receive regular information about poultry then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

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    Pork & Apple Sausages From The Blue Pig Company

    Preparation

    • Cooked in roasting tin for 30 minutes in a hot aga with a little water in the bottom of the tin.
    • Served with mashed potatoes, peas and onion gravy.

    Verdict

    • No fat came out when cooked.
    • The hint of apple flavour made the sausages tasty.
    • Addition of apple to sausages provided a sweet flavour.
    • Colour of the cooked meat was not pink when cut into but a light brown colour.
    • The sausages browned well on the outside and in places had a crunchy, crispy texture which complimented the moist and juicy texture of the inside of the sausages.
    • Juicy sausages.
    • Moist and meaty.
    • Texture was not too fine and not too coarse.
    • No gristle or bone in the sausages.
    • No shrinkage in size when cooked.

    Comments

    Incubating Egyptian Goose Eggs

    Incubation Period

    The incubation period for Egyptian Goose eggs is 35 days.

    Incubation Temperature

    The temperature in the incubator for Egyptian Goose eggs is 99.5 degrees fahrenheit.

    Humidity Levels

    The humidity level (wet bulb thermometer) for Egyptian Goose eggs is 86-88 degrees fahrenheit.

    Final Day Of Egg Rotation

    The final day of egg rotation for Egyptian Goose eggs is day 32.

    Please note that all of this information is only a guide and that this information may differ according to the incubator manufacturer’s guide.

    Always consult the manufacturer’s guide when using an incubator and automatic egg turner.

    Useful books for a new goose owner are Starting With Geese by Katie Thear and Ducks & Geese At Home by Michael Roberts.

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    If you keep geese or are thinking of keeping geese then join the free farmingfriends geese forum for the latest chat, advice and questions about geese and geese related issues.

    If you would like to receive regular information about poultry then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

    Enter your email address to receive regular email updates of the farmingfriends website posts:

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