Wednesday morning

Yesterday was a race against the weather which we knew was on its way to us.  Mark turned up at 8am finding me still in my dressing gown and not expecting him until half past.  However, I can jump into a pair of jeans and sweat shirt in moments.  It was then up to the chicken run and dismantle the house and run so that they can be exposed to the elements over the winter which is by far the easiest way to clean them. The house is made of a very strong plastic so it comes to no harm in the wind and rain.  I then left him to sort out the base of the run which is paved and the surrounding land which needed a rake over to break up the surface.  He was astonished to see just what a mess the hens had made of the green house - the centre path no longer exists it has been completely buried under a layer of soil that they have dug up.  One thing is for certain not a single bug or slug will survive their assiduous scratchings.
In the kitchen I was in the process of making a roast leg of lamb which we had with some swede and creamed spinach.  I used my meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature was just right and the meat was done perfectly.  By the time we were sitting down eating the weather had turned and we had strong wind and thrashing rain which has continued all night and is still the same this morning.  It is due to clear this afternoon and with any luck we will have a dry day tomorrow for shooting.
I spoke to Shiona on the phone and she had tried the "Hare today gone tomorrow" pate which she thought was delicious so now I am more confident giving jars away for Xmas.  I would have been very nervous never having tasted the finished article.  I was hoping to see James some time but he has had all his rest days cancelled for the next two weeks as it is Halloween which is a god send to burglars and muggers, then of course there are the tear-aways with the fireworks.... Talking of fireworks the best displays I have ever seen were in Trieste where they are launched from barges in the harbour.  This means a double whammy as they are reflected in the sea.  The bangers rattle the windows of the town they are so huge but they are amazed that in the UK you can buy fireworks in shops and children get burned and maimed each year.  Don't get me wrong, I love fireworks, I just don't think we should be selling gunpowder to the general public.  You should have seen the fuss that was made when I wanted to buy some potassium nitrate to cure bacon as it is one of the components of gunpowder, you would have thought I was trying to buy Semtex.  I have to show my shotgun licence every time I want to buy cartridges which has a photo on it so I can be recognised.  I will get off my soap box now but don't start me on burning effigies I disapprove of that too!!!!
OK plan for the day, outside will be out of bounds for the morning or until the wind and rain have died down so a late walk for the dogs I think.  In the mean time I am going to strip the meat from the leg of lamb and make one or two shepherds pies.  My vegetable box contained the first brussel sprouts of the season which will go really well with said pies.  Many years ago I was advised to boil them twice - that is up to the boil then discard the water and start again - this seems to remove the very acrid flavour and makes them more palatable.  I also have some radicchio rosso which is going to need a bit of research for a good recipe.  I have only ever had it in a red risotto so I will have a bit of a trawl around the net to see what I can find.  I made a bucket full of pumpkin soup yesterday only to find another pumpkin in the box so this time I think I will try to use it in sweet form and make a pumpkin pie - never done this before so an experiment.....
Oh well that's it, first things first go and empty the dishwasher and make another coffee........
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