Sunday morning and well below zero

It is very cold but still no snow here they are now threatening us with a heavy fall on Tuesday.  Apart from a couple of trips to the freezer and to clean out the chickens the only outdoor work was to clear up the dog mess which is nice and easy in freezing conditions.  Those jobs done I hibernated in the house for the rest of the day.  I set to and made Nigella's cake which I have to say is absolutely delicious Mike and I had a slice for desert after both lunch and dinner.  The other half of the cake is wrapped up and going in the freezer.
For lunch I did some lambs kidneys Jerez, that is with sherry and Dijon mustard, which we had with plain boiled rice and the pheasant breast I batted out and breaded with some Paxo sage and onion stuffing before frying and serving with a crisp iceberg salad.  Today's menu also includes pheasant but this time in the form of a sort of cottage pie.  I completed the first stage of the candied peel process so today it is time for another 30 minute boil and another 24 hours standing.  This process repeats every day for 3-4 days before the peel has absorbed enough of the sugar to allow it to be preserved.  Then once dry you dip one end of each strip in chocolate, dry and wrap as gifts.
I spent some time doing the crossword puzzle but either I was on form or it was easier than most as I finished it in disappointingly quick time.  I enjoyed the evening watching "strictly come dancing" followed by Merlin and Casualty.  Not exactly intellectuality taxing but great chewing gum for the eyes....

This morning I have a big decision to make do I wrap myself up really warm and go shooting by myself so that I can test out the gun alterations or do I stay in the warm and potter and rest.  Do I get out in the garden and clear up some of the leaves and take the dogs for a run or stay inside in the warm????? I could clear out the utility room which needs a good clean and will at least be indoors....  So many alternatives I don't know what to do for the best.  Currently it is -2.2 outside so it is really cold but we will have to see what it is like when the sun comes up.  The water in the green house was frozen yesterday so I will have to take some warm water up for the chickens today.  I did give them a big pile of bedding in anticipation of a very cold night so I hope they have made use of it and not scattered it all over the place as they usually do.  They manage to keep themselves warm in their own personal duvet jackets and at least they are protected form the worst of the weather.
OK I am off to boil the orange peel while I try and think through my alternatives and make some sort of decision.....

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