Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Custard and flooding!

Good morning! We, along with the rest of the UK, seem to have had quite a lot of rain recently. As we back onto a river, this has been rather worrying. Fortunately (touch wood!) , the river has stayed at the bottom of the garden, although there are quite a few puddles of standing water around; we live on clay soil, so the drainage isn't great. Our island however is completely submerged as is our little wooden bridge leading to it. We have lived here for 14 years now and I have never seen the water this high before. My lovely next door neighbour, who is 91 and has lived here for over 60 years, assures me that the houses have never flooded yet. So I have everything crossed that this will remain the case. The pictures on the news of Somerset are heartbreaking, as was the poor chap who only bought his house in Datchet last week and now has sewage beneath the floorboards.

Anyway, this was a photo of our garden taken yesterday:

The trees that you can see at the bottom are all on the island - and this was the island today when I went to say hello to our chickens.

Somewhere under all that water is our bridge!

Meet the Girls. I'm really sorry but my daughters named them and the only one I can remember is 'Mrs. King', named after Helen Mirren's character in 'The Madness of King George'! As you can see, the girls' run is looking decidedly muddy but they seemed to be quite enjoying paddling in it rather than staying indoors. These chickens are our ex-bats from the Hen Welfare Trust. We also have 2 pekin bantams (Phyllis and Harriet) but they had wisely decided to stay inside. I also took a photo of a small patch of blue sky seen through our silver birch tree (please can anyone tell me how to rotate photos?!)

and a couple of the snowdrops beneath the cherry. For some reason these are flourishing, whilst those I planted in the front garden are still looking decidedly puny.

Anyway, the reason for the chicken pictures is the next item on my Fifty List - Making REAL custard. We have attempted this several times in the past but it always curdles and produces 'Scrambled Dregs'. Not this time though, the recipe was from my old copy of the Good Housekeeping book and the trick seems to be not boiling the egg/milk combination; it is supposed to be heated until it just coats the back of a wooden spoon. So, I was uncharacteristically patient and heated it REALLY slowly.

Here is the result, with and without cherry pie. Definitely one to make again as we usually have lots of eggs to get rid of and E has decided that she no longer likes an egg on its own, only in things. This, despite the fact that the chickens were HER IDEA!

Have a good day and I hope the weather is kinder where you are. Bye for now, I'm just off to eat some pie.

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