|Chocolate Brownie and her twins|
|Proud mum Orangina with the midnight arrivals...|
|Steady she goes! New lamb Juliet takes to her feet.|
|Day 1: All Lulu can lift so far is her head|
|Morning 2: After a night in the polytunnel, a bit more upright|
|Afternoon 2: Now able to stand on all fours|
|Lulu: Not quite ready for a 100m sprint, but able to toddle...|
It's also great to see welcome signs of plant life and growth in the garden once again. The only problem with that, of course, is that the weed life is also springing into life even faster! I made my first rhubarb crumble of the season last night, and HunterGatherer and I polished off a portion topped with some Porrelli tablet ice cream. A winning combo... I use Delia's crumble recipe, and have done since I can remember (rub tog. 8oz of plain flour and 3 oz butter till crumb-like then add 4 oz of sugar). My own little "twist" is that I also sprinkle demerara sugar over the top of the crumble before cooking, to give it extra zing!
|Ruby the rhubarb plant seems a bit small and stunted this year|
|However, we've still had a few nice stalks of rhubarb :-)|
|Sprinkle over some soft brown sugar...|
|... and stew for five minutes in the microwave.|
|Then pop your crumble mixture on top and cook till golden. Yum!|
Meanwhile in the milder climes of the polytunnel, the asparagus is growing nicely. It's best steamed – if you have a steamer – but also delicious boiled. Just watch not to boil for too long, though, or it loses some of its unique fresh-from-the-garden flavour. On this occasion, we steamed the tips then dipped them in HunterGatherer's special Marie Rose dip, which he makes himself. And very tasty it was, too!
|Nothing to beat asparagus fresh from the polytunnel.|
|And into the dip it goes!|
On Good Friday, our first bouncing lamb of the season arrived: a ewe lamb, who was promptly christened Pipsqueak. Luckily for her, she was born into a gloriously sunny world. We've taken a photo each day to show her growing – in size and in confidence!
|Day1: What is this strange place –
and how did I get here?
|Five minutes later: Woah, steady she goes...|
|Day 2: The natives seem friendly enough|
|Day 3: Are my facial markings symmetrical, mum?|
|Day 4: Getting braver and bolder by the day...|
All went quiet on the western front for a few days, then last night the weather turned. Often mother animals prefer to give birth when it's damp, so we peered expectantly into the lambing paddock this morning to find... not one, but two sets of twins! Our orange-faced ewed (we didn't paint her – that's the colour she is naturally) had twin boys (below) - both black.
|It's raining lambs...|
Meanwhile, the tiger-faced ewe had a boy and a girl – both are a gorgeous merle grey colour. Shetland sheep come in over 30 different colourways and I'm determined that one day I will try to learn all the names on the "colour chart". For now, I'll just enjoy looking at the colours in real life :-)
|Not quite sure how to describe the colour of these ones!|
Of course, I blame my mother (aka SuperGran) for my obsessive hoarding. At the bungalow where FarmerBruv and I spent our entire childhood, the rafters used to creak (and still do!) under the weight of all the sentimental essentials stashed away in her attic.
|Excuse me - where's the snack bar?|
|FatCat enjoys birdwatching too...|
|She was quite cute back then ;-)|
|The polytunnel is like a canvas awaiting paint...
(or rather plants!)
|The ewes are due to lamb in 6 weeks so
are lying down more often
|Our snowdrops are in full bloom|
|The crocuses (or croci!) aren't far behind|
|Even the daffodils are sallying forth|
Finally, in other news, Yours Truly is seriously chuffed to have been asked back as one of the guest bloggers for this year’s Crail Food Festival. As you may remember, last year’s assignments took me to two very different (but equally wonderful) local food producers, Seriously Good Venison and Pittenweem Chocolate Company. Needless to say, this eager foodie is on the edge of her seat waiting to see where she’ll be assigned in 2014. Bring it on!
|The fruits of my labours at the Chocolate Workshop...|
|Appropriate decoration in the Seriously
Good Venison office