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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Blood Bank. Sourdough Pasta Success, Chickabator Working

Blood Bank

First up I forgot to mention the Blood Bank truck was in Clarence Town yesterday as they are every four months. Having booked an appointment four months ago there have been two reminders, an email two weeks ago and then a telephone call last week. The entire process is very efficient with very little waiting. All you have to do is make sure you have eaten well and drunk lots of water. Both those boxes ticked. The only real problem is afterwards. No heavy exercise after giving blood but we did manage a very good morning session of a few laps and aquarobics.

This is the first aquarobics session of the new season and I have to say it seemed easy going during the session in which we only did 30 second durations on each exercise. Something about doing all this in water makes a difference. For several hours after the session our bodies generated heat as if the metabolism was in runaway mode. I haven't noticed this after a plain old swimming session even when its been intensive. And the next day the body felt as if it had really been used (in a pleasant way).

And of course the day after giving blood it usually a good idea to take it reasonably easy as well - well that's what they recommend. No vigorous swimming.

Sourdough Pasta

Mixed this yesterday. 2 cups of starter and topped up with wholemeal flour and Semolina (only because there wasn't enough ground wholemeal at the ready) until the texture seemed right. It sat until the next morning and because it looked bit soft and sticky a little more flour was added. A final mix that evening and then the roll out. No good. The dough breaks up when rolled through the pasta maker. Not a disaster yet but we may be having Marinara without the pasta. Halved the dough batch and beat two eggs and mixed again with more flour. Finally the texture is about right and it rolls beautifully. So that seems to be the secret i.e. you need the eggs. But not until it has gone through the souring process.

And the taste was spectacular. The pasta was almost sweet in flavour and stood out even in a heavily Tomatoed Marinara sauce. Lots of Parsley and parmesan over the top.


Success. Three little chickens hatched with a little assistance from the grandparents. The shells seemed particularly tough and some prising was needed to allow them easier exits.

Rather than raise them in a brooder we bunged them under a broody hen (her timing was impeccable). She took to them immediately and they have now been transferred to small chicken tractor until they are big enough to roost with mum. When they were first hatched they were very fragile but a day under mum changed all that.

Now the program can get serious. Jean wants to breed from particular pairs. These will shortly be put together in some small chicken tractors and the eggs can be harvested as they occur.


No photographs of the Aquarobics as the camera is not water proof.

No photographs of the chickens hatching - just plain forgot- too much excitement.

No photographs of the sourdough pasta because there was a panic in the kitchen at 6 pm when it all looked like a big disaster. And too relieved at having recovered from near disaster to think of it afterwards.

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