Quail Scotch Eggs

This weekend saw me turning my Quail eggs into some lovely Scotch Eggs!
Pork and red onion meat, and ‘seedy bread’ crumbs – delish!

Pro Chef MrT was very impressed by my runny yolks too, and that is a result!

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Mmmmmm ❤

You’ll have to excuse the awful photo quality throughout, I was using Facebook Messenger and forgot to take some better photos with my real camera – Oops!

The recipe originally came for a well known Essex chef with an aversion to Turkey Twizzlers, but I adapted it for my own cupboard stock and I think it turned out pretty well!

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How Pro do these look?

It isn’t too tricky to do, and the hardest part is getting the shells off the eggs, but there’s a good trick for that later…

Ingredients

  • 10 quail eggs
  • 3 thick sausages – I used pork and red onion
  • 2 sprigs of thyme – Rescued from the drowning window box
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 1 large egg – Courtesy of Cluckingham Palace residents
  • 3 slices of seedy bread – crumbed in a processor but not too fine
  • vegetable oil , for frying

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC, or 160 for fan ovens.
  2. fill a pan half full with water, and add a splash of white vinegar. This helps the shells peel right off but adds no ‘fishNchip’ flavour.
  3. Cook the eggs in the boiling water for 2 minutes, then plunge into cold water and carefully peel. Don’t put your nail through the yolks like I did on the first two..!
  4. Squeeze the sausage meat into a bowl, giving the skins to the patiently waiting dogs, then pick in the thyme.
  5. Beat the hen’s egg in a shallow bowl, put the flour on a plate, and place the breadcrumbs onto another plate. Its easier to roll them around then.
  6. Roll your eggs in the flour. Don’t make it thick, just a little dusting to help keep the eggs from bursting all over the place.
  7. Divide the sausage mixture into 10 pieces, then shape around the eggs and carefully roll into a round. The best way I found was to squish the ‘meat blob’ into a pancake with your fingers and wrap this around the egg long ways. Its super sticky. Then just fold up the ends and carefully roll between your hands. Don’t leave any gaps!
  8. Dunk them in the egg, all the way around. Use one hand for this and one hand for the next step or you will look like a Kentucky fried chicken piece before you’ve finished them all!
  9. Roll each round in the breadcrumbs until fully coated.
  10. Very carefully heat 5cm of oil in a deep pan to 180ºC and very carefully fry the scotch eggs in batches for 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden. If you don’t have a thermometer (not a health one a food one!) then when you think it may be hot enough, plop a breadcrumb in and see if it sizzles and browns.
  11. Remove with caution and drain on kitchen paper. Do Not let them roll off the worktop into the waiting jaws of a dog like one of mine nearly did.
  12. Bake in oven for 5 minutes, then serve!

The yolk should be just the right runny-ness, and the outside crispy and golden.

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Perfect for your next picnic

Good right?

Perfect mouthful sized snacks for lunchboxes, or if you are like me, whenever you walk past the fridge

Say hello to my little friend…!

So today my friend came to The Goose Roost to help out and get her little patch of land ready for her wedding flowers.

Meet Rachel!

We had to check the chicken run before doing anything else, as unfortunately two doors down lost 4 overnight to MrFox and had to dispatch another thanks to a bitten leg and foot. Luckily ours are safe, but i will pop back when MrT gets back tonight (11pm ish) and take the dogs up to wee everywhere…hopefully that’ll keep them at bay!

He has got babies living on the wasteland (the fox not MrT!) so i dont blame him for being hungry, but i do wish they would only take what they eat, not kill several!

But anyway…back to our wedding workout. The area was pretty clear. It wasn’t all that great to look at at first though!

Her little area!

Rach is having a beautiful cobalt blue and sunflower wedding, so we want to make sure that the flower heads are ready for the end of July!

What she doesn’t use of this plot will be grassed over to create a lovely seating area for the summer, and to also keep the weeds down for another year until we cultivate it.

Half way through

We arrived at about 3pm to gloom and grey clouds, but luckily the weather stayed dry for us.

We managed to get it all dug over in about 2.5 hours and ready to rake and sow grass seeds later in the week.

Done!

Shes a good grafter and we had a good natter while we did it! Even managed time to have a luke-warm cup of hot chocolate. I must remember to take mugs next time….

Sowing sunflowers

Next stop was to pull up the few weeds in the greenhouse and sow the seeds. While she did her sunflowers (several varieties and all gorgeous!) I sowed some marigold seeds. Its way too cold this year to sow them direct, plus it means that we will know what is a plant and what is a weed. Thats always a bonus.

Very technical

I heard that marigolds are good to distract nasty bugs from eating you veg, so hopefully they will be around every bed this season. I had awful problems with ‘friends’ last year.

Look at those strawberries though…

It was Rach’s first time planting anything really, so a good opportunity to sound like i know what I’m talking about. In actual fact i just pulled up weeds and filled up a watering can, but we wont tell her that will we?

All in!

How beautiful is this looking!

I can’t wait to see things staring to sprout. We saved some seeds to sow more in a week or two so hopefully at least something will have flowers on for The Big Day.

Ready to be raked

Productive afternoon to say the least!

Makes me want to paint over that red though…..

When it rains, it pours

Cold and wet day down the lottie today, but the hens were happy and the blossom is out!

Rosmary flowers

Apple blossom

Cherry blossom

Strawberry flowers

Pear blossom

Strawberrys

The hens were treated to another hay bale today to try and soak up some of the rain. The old stuff i dug out i put around my berry canes. Hopefully this will be a wonderful manure for them! I love raspberries and am hoping for my first home-grown crop this year.

Hopefully a bumper crop!

The rain them started belting down, but as i was already up there i wanted to finish up. I covered much of the top end of the bed in weed membrane as the same sun that has helped my plants grow has also helped the weeds, and i wont have time to get it all perfectly dug over like the spud bed.

Weed membrane, trying to battle nettles!

All home and clean now, but my boots have seen better days! Poor things have got so many holes in now, they definately arent waterproof any more!

Ready for a nap!

Back off up there tomorrow to get some sunflowers in for my friends wedding… lets hope its drier!

Have you heard my under construction joke? It’s not done yet.

Two days off in a week, means two demolition/fire/destruction/smashing jobs done in a week.

I should have known really when the sledgehammer ended up in the boot of the car that something dramatic was about to happen.

This ‘building’, or ricketty pile of bricks, is built in the most inconvenient place in the allotment. It blocks access to a good 20sqm of space which could otherwise be useful.

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Very inconvenient old walls

I mentioned my wish to have this *eventually* removed to MrT a while ago.

So while I was planting my spuds, MrT was making some smashing and grunting noises around the back of my greenhouse. I would have been worried if I couldn’t hear his grumbles.

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Smashing away

 

He didn’t move anything, he just wacked it.

 

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Gone!

We did, however, find out that those walls were supporting my greenhouse… Bugger. Now thats got to come down to as all of the wood is rotten and its being held up by its shelving!

Soon enough he had got it all down and stacked up the bricks nice and neatly while I finished putting my spuds in.

Just out of curiosity, who mounds theirs up and who doesn’t?

I just dig a hole, push my shovel forwards so that it makes a deeper hole, drop my spud in and then removed the spade and fill in the hole.
I don’t bother mounding them up unless a spud sticks above the surface and always seem to get as much of a crop as everyone else.
I also don’t faff about with worrying which are First, Second or Main crops. I just plonk them all in and harvest them when the plant tells me they need harvesting.

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Spuds are in

I have put 6 rows in, some of red King Edwards and some of Maris Pipers. I am waiting on the complaints and criticisms of the other plot holders on my site about my lack of lines and mounds, but to be honest the less work the better.

At least I got to use my adorable signs that I bought in the sales last year!

Wilkos Signs

A day of good and bad… and its only 9am!

We lost one of our chickens this morning… poor girlie.

We think she may have had a sour crop, but unfortunately there was nothing we could do to help her. She had been very quiet all day, sitting in the coop, but having been broody for a week or so we thought nothing of it. When I went in to feed and water though it was obvious she wasn’t very well.

We put her into the spare coop we call the ‘recovery coop’. Its bright pink and lovely and warm and quiet. We gave her lots of clean bedding and water with Apple Cider Vinegar, and ‘burped’ her as best we could. She seemed a little perkier before we left and was snuggling up into her bedding, but unfortunately she was gone by this morning.

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Itsy, Bitsy and Small…

We did have three new arrivals today!

Welcome Itsy, Bitsy and Small.

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Itsy

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Bitsy

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Small

These three ladies have come to join my current boy and two girlies. They are a bit bigger than the resident 3, even if they are a lot younger.

The resident quail came from a facebook friend who needed to get rid of them quickly. They knew I rescued my dogs and ex-batts so contacted me. They knew I wouldn’t say no, so they ended up living with us! They were very, very scared, and unfortunately 4 soon became 3. We think they are much older than we were told, but we don’t mind. They have only laid 3 eggs since we have had them, but winter was hard this year and it is only just beginning to warm up.

The new three are Jumbo Coturnix Quail, and are adorable! They are very inquisitive and active, and are already braver than my other three. The man says they have already started laying, which is brilliant for MrT’s cheffy antics!

I hope they settle in wonderfully and that they will have a lovely happy life with us.

MrT The Pyromaniac!

I leave him alone for ONE DAY and he sets fire to the plot!

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Fire Bug

He went down to fix my shed roof, but unfortunately we didn’t have enough roofing felt left… things look a lot smaller when they are higher up!

So he saw a big pile of scrap wood and decided to ‘get rid of it’ for me. What a diamond.

I decided that i would pop down in my lunch hour to see how it was going and treated my little worker to a chippy lunch. So civilised.

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Rest Break

He is a good egg though, and by the time I finished work for the afternoon he had done so much hard work!

I know it doesn’t look like much, but he has managed to clear our so much rubbish and has even discovered a concrete path and plinth which appears to have once had a shed on it.

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Proud little man

Sadly all of those nettles and weeds behind him are part of the abandoned “wildlife plot” next door. This is great for hedgehogs, but is awful for us to try and keep the weeds away and the foxes out of the chicken coop. His next job will be to build a nice pallet fence to keep out all of the big brambles and make it look a bit neater.

That big brick structure is connected to our old rotten potting shed (which we will one day repair!) and it blocks off a nice big space behind it.

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So much wasted space!!

This will be all knocked down as soon as MrT gets himself a sledgehammer and will hopefully be the site of a new brewing shed for those cold winter days when a bacon cob is required.

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No more stings!

He has managed to clear the path around the back really well, and has dug up tonnes of broken glass which seems to have been dumped inside the old (now demolished) air raid shelter.

Now its just a waiting game for his next few days off to get smashing and crashing his way through that old building!

Why didn’t anyone laugh at the gardener’s jokes? Because they were too corney.

Morning All!
I hope you have all managed to get out and make use of the first proper sunshine of 2018?

Over the weekend, I had such plans for the allotment… I managed to get one thing done.

Oh well, slowly but surely eh?!

This is what it looked like on Friday evening, before my big Saturday Blowout;

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Photo quality is shocking, but this is how it looked

I had aimed to get that first (very large) bed dug over, all the roots removed, and my spuds and onions in. I also wanted to get that big bonfire burned, and string up my wires for my raspberry canes.

Unfortunately, my plot is covered in perennial nettles and bindweed, as well as a carpet of bramble roots which seem to sprout up new shoots if the roots are cut! Its a nightmare!

So when MrT headed off to work, out came my trusty fork and off I started. I found several garlic cloves which were sprouting up well. These must have been left over from last year, so I carefully uplifted them and stored them to replant when my clearing was done.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it.  If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.

It was 17 degrees on Saturday, which for an April weekend I didn’t think was too bad! What I didn’t realise was that my little blonde self was getting sunburned… again. Not a good look. You’d think i would have learned by now.

So I kept on trudging through.

Lunch Break

Stopped for lunch. maybe a third of the bed is dug here

It took me over 2 hours to do a third of the bed. This was going to be a long job. I stopped for lunch and a cuppa, only to find that my trusty camping stove had given up the ghost. The gas was still working but the spark that lit the stove was gone. So no brew for me.

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Every line of digging created a barrow full of roots!

At this point, I really wasn’t hopeful that i would be able to get my spuds in, let alone the bonfire built. Everything was taking much longer than I thought! The only saving grace was that doing it this way once over would save me the constant weeding that would’ve been caused by rotivating.

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Bonnie was loving the sunbathing time though

People kept taking a wander up to see how it was all going, and as lovely as the encouragement was I really did just want to get on! I was starting to get really tired and frustrated but I wasn’t going to let it beat me!

And I finally got there!

I’m not going to lie, I almost collapsed in a pile of shakey limbs and tears, but I was so proud of myself.

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You can’t see how big it is here!

The photos really don’t show the enormity of it, but it’s 25ft by 29.5ft. Also known as bloody huge!

I managed to get in my onions and garlic, but at this point I just really wanted a massive pile of cheese on toast so the spuds would have to wait until Sunday.

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Little did I know it would rain all day Sunday, so I stayed in instead.

I am certainly not a wet weather gardener!

Wooden it be nice…?

One day he will regret setting eyes on me, if he doesn’t already.

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Today’s job

This was MrT’s chore for today. We had a break-in a few days ago and my gates were already battered and rotten so it didn’t take much for them to break completely. Luckily nothing went missing (they were disturbed) but it gave me an excuse to get a new gate sorted.

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Loaded up the car

Since we had bought a log cabin at the end of 2017, we had loads of spare tongue and groove wood. MrT found a use for it here!

His first job was to remove the old gates and save as much of the furniture as possible. We wanted to use these big hinges on the new gates. Recycle and reuse!

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Gate ‘bits’

Next up, unload all of the bits you’ll need, along with lots of things you won’t and stand looking confused for a while.

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Planning stages

The first real step in the actual construction was to build a rectangle from the thicker pieces of wood. It is really important to make sure that the corners are all square at this stage, as otherwise your gate will be squiffy! We used metal heavy duty right angles to hold it together, as the wood was too thick for screws to go through square and we didn’t want to faff about cutting angles in the rain!

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Fag break. 

Then its just a matter of screwing the tongue and groove slats on to the rectangle.

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Screw in the boards, while I clean up the hinges

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Ain’t he a cutie!?

It took three of us to lift the gate into place when the hinges were on.

One good tip is to place the top hinge bracket upside down. This will stop potential bad-guys from just lifting your gate off its hinges! It’s more of a faff but its worth it.

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Brew Break

He also boxed in the bit of wood at the top of my posts which stops them from bowing inwards over time. He is a good egg.

We decided that for extra piece of mind we would add an additional horizontal bar to attach another hinge to. Unfortunately by this point MrT was hungry and grumbly so put it level with the floor instead of gravity…

It might look odd, but never mind, i can;t complain when he has done all of this for me on his day off!

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Just cosmetics left now

I then started on the painting. Because we had used leftover wood, some were red (horrendous!) and some plain, so I had to pick a colour which would cover it.

We used Cuprinol Ducksback in Silver Copse. It took three coats to cover but it got there.

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Hmm that’s not MrT!

After he had eaten and was less Hangry, he put the lock latch on to keep the people out and chickens in. I passed the painting over to him while I supervised and ate chicken sandwiches. We are a good team… sort of!

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Painting

A neighbour bought over some barbed wire he had just put around his gate after the break-in. We decided against it though as its awful stuff for the dogs and wildlife and sods law says the only person it will keep out is me when I forget to pick up my key before locking the padlock!!

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Almost there

Hasn’t this been a great days work!? My dogs will now be safely enclosed while I’m digging away and all the snoopy people can lean over and look but not just wander up and down and terrify the life out of me!

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Job well done i think