If left to their own devices, most hens stop laying over winter. My chooks have started laying again, particularly Mabel’s daughters who are regularly laying petite eggs, as they get the hang of things. The only problem comes when you want a soft boiled egg (or two) for breakfast and it disappears into the egg cup. I’m giving the girls plenty of winter treats, including pulling a patch of turnips I sowed for them and sprouting wheat.
With the arrival of the eggs and the winter weather, it’s been more baking than gardening this week. I’ve baked a banana and walnut cake and made some chestnut and parsley dumplings as the parsley was looking lush and vibrant. Whilst collecting greens for the chooks, I foraged for some wild watercress from the stream to make my own pasta. I started making pasta a few years ago after I saw a someone demonstrate how easy it was at a Toastmasters meeting. And there’s me thinking I just went to learn how to speak better in public.
Rural Women New Zealand has just published a new book A Good Spread: Classics from the Recipe Books of Rural Women. If you enjoyed Ladies, a Plate: Traditional Home Baking this is probably for you. You might have seen my slow cooker pumpkin and coconut soup recipe featured in an article about the book in the NZ Herald this week.