Peter's Blog

Iberianspices spicesiberia

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

The chickens are playing games with me

After i had been looking after my chickens for what seems forever and about to turn them into Chicken Tikka Masala they decided to start laying eggs. They then decided to stop for a few days and it started to look like they had stopped again till today.

I fed the chickens early this morning as usual and early in the afternoon i got a load of greens for them. After feeding them a second time i looked into where the nesting boxes are and nothing was there no surprise. Instead of laying in the nesting box an egg had been layed in the middle of the floor. Oh well i can't complain at least they are paying for there keep. When i went over tonight to lock them away outside in the middle of the chickens run on the muddy ground was another egg.

Ok so they won't become Chicken Tikka Masala just yet but they had better keep laying or they are for the pot.

Monday, 28 January 2013

The beard is growing again

A little while ago i changed a picture of myself that was on a Forum. Someone mentioned how they liked the previous picture where i had a beard. Well i am growing a beard again and i will keep it till the end of February when i go back to see my Mum. I should turn up looking nice and clean not as some have said a scruff or one even called me Plinker Plink after a person who was a Busker in Liverpool.

Plinker Plink used to have a cardboard cut out guitar with strings drawn on it. I must agree The picture i was shown did look a bit like me but what you see is what you get.

The picture below is one that Chelsee took on her laptop on Skype and the one below is one i took at the same time of her. 

What is the point of this. Well i was showing Chelsee how to take picture and cut them up.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Make sure that there are contact details left for next of kin

I received news that the sister of a friend after coming home from the shops sat down and her head just fell forward. She passed away, tragic but the family where told that she hadn't suffered.

It got me to thinking God forbid if anything happened to me nobody here in Portugal had any form of contact to  my next of kin in the UK.

I now have a neighbour here in Vale Boa who also lives on his own.

I have now made a list of the six closest of my next of kin, my children and then three others a brother and two sisters. I have now made a  list all contact details from my children i now feel secure that if anything happened to me someone could be contacted.

I have only just asked family and they were happy to help. So i now have contacts should anything happen to me the people who need to know will know. But i am not planning to go anywhere soon.

So if you are on your own make it easy for your family and make your own plans.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

How's this for dinner.

It's not like me to take bad pictures but it happens. The chickens are now giving me eggs at last and it's been a long wait. I give them a good diet or as best i can, they get as you can see below a big cabbage leave with rice, potato peeling, carrot peelings, sliced potatoes and also a handful there own chicken food. After a couple of hours i go and pick a load of greens for them.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Power who needs power.

I can remember back in the 1970's with the three day week and with power cuts and shortages bad times.

Friday night we had a massive storm with many trees torn out of the ground, land slides at the side of the road. My electric went of at about 12.30 pm Friday night. It is reported that up to 11,000km of Electrical power lines where down all over Portugal. Penacova not to far away from me have had no power or water since Friday night so i was a bit lucky at least i had water.

I only have aircon for heat and with no power that means no heat. When the power came back on today i took a picture of the aircon unit as it had the temperature displayed and it was 10c inside of the house. After three days even my bedding was cold and i was going to bed with cloths on first time in 50 years i have had any cloths on in bed.

The last three days have given me time to think what it must have been like for the locals going back to 1979 when the village had Electric power installed. But what must it have been like before that, candles and oil lamps. But i am used to nice bright lights and over the last few days i have had candle light and it makes you think how did people cope before now. I have found an old gas lamp in the cellar and after buying a key to turn it on and off it had plenty of gas in the bottle and as it got dark i put the light on and it was little better that maybe a dozen candles but it was light. Only an hour later the power came back on after 67 hours without power, no heat or light.

As i go into town down a little side road there is at the side of it a little old stream that looked like it had never had water going down it for years. Today the little stream is a raging torrent and almost up to the road level and it won't be long before the road floods

Friday, 18 January 2013

It's been a long time coming but it's Eggs today.

Well after two days of rain and rain and more rain it's stopped or it seemed to have stopped.

As it looked like it had stopped i went over to load up the feeder for the chickens to make sure that they had plenty of food. When i got up to the chicken run i saw it was like a mud bath. To make the run secure there was nowhere for the rain to get out so the chickens had a mud bath. I have not looked in the door where the nesting boxes are for about a week until today. I looked in and as i was about to close the door i saw something in one of the nest boxes and it was Eggs.

I had to reach in to get the Eggs and i counted as i put them in my pocket. 6 eggs were the total. The eggs were dirty but all together so it may just be the one chicken who is repaying me for looking after them. When i shut the doors i put a piece of slate against the door so anybody trying to get in to the chicken run has to move it. Nobody had been in and all eggs you buy have a stamp on so i know nobody is tricking me but i did for a moment think it was a trick.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

What a waste of food.

Tonight on TV there was a program about Food waste. The program stared of showing a woman who weighed all the food in a week that she put in the bin. On camera the weight was 28lb in part it was because she was cooking to much and discarding what was not used for that meal. Later what was not used the leftovers were put in the bin.

The shocking thing was the amount of waste food thrown away each day, yet in a time when there are three food banks are opening each week to feed those who can't afford to buy food.

When i prepare a meal i only cook what i need and any potato and carrot peelings and also cabbage/ cauliflower leaves get boiled for the chickens.

It's time that the Government did something to help people plan and use the amount of food they need and to help avoid waste. A TV program on it's own that highlights the problem is not enough. The program went back after one week after the woman used a weeks diet planning and the waste food and been cut down drastically. The food shop had gone down from £150 to £88. A massive saving but also a massive saving on the amount of food waste.

There is nothing i could do after watching the program as i have no waste apart from orange skins and if i find that the chickens can eat them they will be in there diet. The chickens do get such a varied diet but they are still not giving me any eggs.

So if you can use the catchup on ITV then spare the time to watch the program, it was on at 8.30pm on Thursday  17th.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Rain stopped play

Today was going to be a day for working outside. Yesterday i worked outside on my two raised beds and i planted some onion about 50. The weeds i took out i feed to the chickens so the weeds were of some good after all. I have just got a little bit more land that fronts the lane and it was there that today i was going to build one raised bed. As the land is not flat i was first going to get it a bit flatter for the raised bed. I need this done quick so i can get some horse manure and get it rotted in time for planting.

What stopped me today well i woke in the night and i could hear rain i got up and still it was raining, it's now almost 7pm and the rain has not stopped from when i first heard it last night so Rain stopped play as they say. 

The first raised bed i make will be for Chilli’s red and green. the second will be for a very hot Chilli Scotch Bonnet.

Today i also wanted to get started making my chicken run much bigger and make use of the third room at the side of the present chicken run. I am going to spend some time making sure that the chicken wire used on the run is started below ground so as to make sure that nothing can get in and harm my chicks. With a bigger run i will be able to have more chickens and there is another local breeder who has chicks nearly ready for laying.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Just look at me now

Today i spent sometime talking to Chelsee on Skype but that's nothing new for me and her. Chelsee was cleaning our her chest of draws and found some photos. These where photos of the day she was born and a couple i had not seen before and one of Chelsee being weighed in a scale.

Looking at this i feel ashamed at how i had let myself get.

Just look at me now. Fresh clean air, good food and a better way of life. Who would believe i am now nearly ten years older than the previous picture.

Goat and gravy

I have been cooking again i would be wasting my time if i didn't try new things. Of many years of eating just what was put on a plate to what i am doing now the past life seems so long ago.

I now have a selection of Herbs and Spices that many a chef would be glad of so i have been making the most of it. I got myself a loin of Goat the loin is the chops and the breast combined. The breast was cut to make soup and the loin was boned and rolled for roasting.

Below is a picture of how goat is cooked here in Portugal it doesn't look very good as it's normally left to soak in red wine but that's how they like it.

I cooked my loin of goat in my slow cooker for 12 hours until it feel apart. I cooked it in some water with onion and carrots. This water i used for my gravy a few cloves and some more onion and a stock cube and to thicken some flour. Now i have never made my own gravy so i cheated by using Youtube to find how to make gravy. OK so i cheated but i have now learnt how to make gravy Real gravy and not from a packet.

Roast potatoes, carrots, cauli and goat topped with real gravy now that's a meal.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Cut, Paste and Skype?

Well this week i seem to have been on my computer quite a lot in particular with Chelsee. Chelsee is on Skype in Liverpool and i am here at home, nothing unusual in that i suppose but we have been building a Blog for Chelsee. We maybe i should say she has been doing the work with help from me. Chelsee has also found on Skype that she can share her screen with me so that when she is working i can she where she is up to.

That went well and now i think she could carry on herself with me just helping when needed. 

Today Chelsee wanted to edit a picture she has when she was in the park on a summers day. Yes they do get summers days in Liverpool not many but sum. Chelsee started by opening Gimp  a program for editing pictures and the one above is the one she wanted to edit. First on Skype she shared her screen so i could watch what she was doing and also tell her how to cut and paste. First she wanted to cut the sides away and keep the middle of the picture. 

For a project i am working on that i will reveal soon i asked her to follow what i wanted her to do. I first had to get her to use a shape so we could cut out the picture you see above and then save it. She got a little excited at what she was able to do when she is not even 10 years of age yet. It won't be long and she will be to far advanced for me to be of any help to her but for now it was fun with my star pupil being over 1,000 miles away.

The picture above may not be perfect but we all have to start somewhere. For now i am one happy Grandad.


Thursday, 3 January 2013

Góis in the top 10% of Portugal – it’s official!

Today i received an e-mail about Gois the nearest town to me being ranked in the top 10% of Portugal and below is the e-mail as i received it. It's nice to know i have chosen an area that is seen as being of particular interest in a University study.

Góis in the top 10% of Portugal – it’s official!

According to an article in the Diário de Coimbra today, 3rd January 2013, Góis has been listed in the top 30 districts of Portugal for quality of life, out of a total of 308.

Although this comes as no surprise to those of us already living here it is always gratifying to gain recognition, and the study by the Universidade da Beira Interior is an evaluation of social and economic well-being of the whole country. Coimbra, our nearest city, ranks a high 5th in the study.

Tempting though it is to keep our beautiful area a secret, we would like to extend an invitation to you to come and explore the Góis region for yourselves, and enjoy the pure air, beautiful scenery, and friendly generosity that keep the local residents smiling…

To find out more, take a look at this site:

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

New Years Eve and more

For New Year all the Locals Brits went to the club in Bordeiro. Bordeiro is a little village just outside of Gois and close to where i live. The bonus for all use Brits is we can use the club when we want it, also we have one couple who those who run the club trust to look after the place. For New Year all the locals from the village were having a meal, drinks and entertainment for the night. The price was 15€ each and for that you got more than you could eat, all the wine you could drink and entertainment as well.

The night started with a cold buffet of meat on a stick, cheese on a stick bread and well you know the kind of stuff for a cold buffet. Then it was upstairs for the meal, the girls started with the biggest pan of cabbage soup i have ever seen. The pan must have been 30 inches tall and about 30 inches wide it was huge. Well the soup was so good i had seconds.

When that was finished the girls brought out the potatoes and salad and the first of the three meats. Goat that looks foul, only because it is black. It is black because it had been soaked in red wine for a few weeks before cooking but tastes so good. then it was suckling pig and followed up by what we called road kill.

We call the chicken road kill because of the way they butcher the meat. it's just chopped into bits but tastes so good.

After this was the dessert, on my god for the amount of people there they could have fed the 5,000.

The night was topped of with a singer and also dancing i won't insult the music so i will say nothing.

Being New Year this has been the first were one of my boys didn't text me Happy New Year. We spoke tonight and i understand why least said. Also i was able to say happy Birthday as it was his birthday on the second of January. Also The first of January was my Dad's birthday and i didn't forget it. Tome for bed good night