Merry Christmas!

I just thought I’d take the opportunity to post a Christmassy-type photo. Our Christmas tree finally came out of the barn a couple of weeks ago, and LSS spent an enjoyable afternoon decorating it.

Christmas tree
Christmas tree

You can also see the sandy-orange walls of the lounge which I mentioned in my last post.

We have sampled the cider; it tastes great although it’s not quite as effervescent as I had hoped it would be. I also brewed a new batch of beer (Victorian bitter this time) which will be ready for tasting in the New Year.

Last night we tested the Rumtopf. Oh my goodness. It smells wonderful, but I’m not too sure if we’ll do it again. All the fruit tastes the same. Plums: taste like rum. Strawberries: taste like rum. Blackberries: taste like rum. Pears… well, you get the idea. I think it needs to be served with cream. In a small glass. Not a soup bowl like we did last night. It’s a good job we both like rum!

Taking advantage of the dormancy of the trees, I made a start at clearing the brush and brambles around three of our apple trees, and pruning off dead and unwanted branches. There are another four trees which I still need to tackle. I cut some of the branches into short lengths and have stored them in old wooden fruit-boxes in the workshop.

I plan to use the wood to create apple-smoked meat at a later date. There is one article of farm equipment which would come in very handy; perhaps we’ll keep an eye on the sales. It’s a branch chipper and shredder! Any recommendations on make and model? A petrol-powered one would be ideal; although I have access to a tractor I don’t really want to go the whole hog by getting a PTO-powered wood chipper.