Review of GeoTech PCS70 BS Shredder

I decided to buy a shredder or a wood chipper.  When we prune the olives and other trees we have a lot of waste  branches that are too small for firewood. We normally burn them. Olive branches have a lot of oil and they make a massive very hot fire. It is a shame that all the carbon that has been captured from the atmosphere is returned  so quickly as carbon dioxide which is a green house gas. The idea of buying a shredder is so that  the waste wood is turned into useful compost and mulch. The shredded output of the shredder is ideal for spreading around the garden to suppress weeds, keep the moisture in and keep the worms happy.

 

The shredder is quite good. So far we have used it with olive prunings and poplar branches with a diameter of up to about 3cm. The shredder comes with a small metal bar in the middle of the exit chute. I think this is due to safety to stop anyone putting their hand down. It caused a lot of blockages because once a small twig had been blocked it rapidly stops any more material from being ejected. Once I had removed this small metal bar the blockages were less frequent. At the end of this video there is actually a blockage caused by pine needles. When there is a blockage it takes a couple of minutes to unscrew the 13 milimetre bolts, unscrew the expulsion chute and clear the blockage. Blockages happen when too many leaves or pine needles are put in at the same time. This machine is not designed for lots of small leaves it, prefers long straight branches.

 

Tuna and Egg Empanada Gallega

Tuna and Egg Empanada

Empanada is a Spanish pie which is typical of Galicia in the north of Spanish and is also called Empanada Gallega. The empanada is traditionally filled with meat, tuna, vegetables, and seafood or shellfish and usually is served cold. It is a great way to feed lots of people and also good for picnics.

You can make the pastry from scratch or you can buy a packet of pre-prepared dough which has already been rolled out.

It’s also a great recipe to prepare in the wood-fired bread oven after you have cooked pizzas for lunch and the oven has been left to cool down a bit. If you prepare some larger amounts of the pizza toppings (e.g. onion, green pepper, red pepper), then you already have your vegetables prepared for when you are going to cook it later.

Tuna and Egg Empanada Gallega
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Ingredients
  1. 1 onion, finely chopped
  2. 1 green pepper, finely chopped
  3. 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  4. 240g tinned tuna
  5. 4 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped
  6. 1 egg, beaten
  7. 200ml tomato sauce
  8. extra virgin olive oil
  9. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and gently fry the onion, green pepper and red pepper until soft.
  2. Add the tomato sauce and continuing frying until the mixture is quite dry.
  3. Flake in the tuna and the hard-boiled eggs and stir well.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Leave to cool.
  6. Meanwhile, unwrap the pastry and place the greasproof paper on a large baking tray.
  7. Place one of sheets of pastry on top of the paper.
  8. Spread out the filling to within an inch of the edges.
  9. Put the other sheet of pastry on top, matching up the edges.
  10. Using your fingers, create a rope-like effect by rolling over the edges.
  11. Brush the top with the beaten egg.
  12. Bake in a 180ºC oven for 4 minutes until the top is golden.
  13. Leave to cool before serving.
Cortijo de la Plata https://cortijoblog.com/

Featherless Hens

Featherless Hens: Supplementing their diet with egg yolks and eggshells

 

 

 

PROBLEM: a featherless hen

I have decided to see whether it is possible to supplement a hen’s diet with egg yolks and eggshells in order to improve the amount of calcium she consumes so that her feathers can grow back.

Although this hen does not have many feathers, she is a good layer and generally lays an egg a day. I thought her feathers would grow back when two of the other hens who had been picking on her and pecking her died but I’m still waiting. Although some feathers did grow back, she is still a long way from full feather form.

I have in the past given her crushed up calcium tablets but that hasn’t seemed to work. So I decided to try an experiment. My theory is that she is using all her calcium resources on egg production and so I would try to replenish them by feeding her egg yolk and eggshell.

POSSIBLE SOLUTION: supplement her diet with egg yolks and eggshells

The experiment started today (29th May 2019). I ground up some eggshells in a spice blender. I then mixed an egg yolk and a teaspoon of eggshell in a jam jar lid and fed it to her. 

A hen is at the peak of her laying life when she is 35 weeks old. She will normally consume 4g of calcium a day. She consumes most calcium in the early hours of the day but also a small amount throughout the day.

0.5g of her daily calcium intake is indigestible and is lost through faeces, 0.4g is lost through urine and 0.1g is used for bone regeneration. The remaining 3g is used in the egg process: 2g for the eggshell and 1g for the yolk and albumen.

The photo at the top of the page shows her today. The photo below shows her and some of the other hens finishing up the leftovers.

 

Rhubarb and Strawberry Crumble

RHUBARB AND STRAWBERRY CRUMBLErhubarb and strawberry crumbleWe’ve now got a fair amount of rhubarb and so we decided to do something with it and make a crumble. In the end, we made two: the first with rhubarb and strawberries in an electric oven and the second with rhubarb and apples in the bread oven.

The crumble can be prepared in advance and then cooked before serving but it is a good idea to only add the crumble topping to the fruit just before baking to stop it going soggy.

Rhubarb and Strawberry Crumble
Serves 6
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 600g of rhubarb
  2. 400g strawberries
  3. 50g brown sugar
  4. 140g plain flour
  5. 100g oats
  6. 120g brown sugar
  7. 120g butter (at room temperature), cut into pieces
Instructions
  1. Cut the rhubarb and into small chunks and the strawberries to a similar size.
  2. Heat the rhubarb pieces in a pan with a splash of water and 50g of sugar for 3-5 minutes and then add the strawberries.
  3. Cook until soft.
  4. Taste the juice and add more sugar if necessary.
  5. Separate the fruit from the syrup.
  6. To make the crumble for the topping, mix together the flour, oats, sugar and butter together with your fingers to make crumbs.
  7. Transfer the fruit to a baking tin with a few tablespoons of the syrup and top with the crumble mixture.
  8. Cook in a hot oven (200ºC) for 30 minutes. You can always finish it off under the grill to brown the top if necessary.
Variation
  1. Substitute cooking apples for the strawberries and cook at the same time as the rhubarb, adding more sugar if necessary.
Cortijo de la Plata https://cortijoblog.com/

Curried peanut, corn and rice salad

Finally, I have got round to including this recipe on the blog. It is surprisingly simple to make but amazingly tasty. It was something I invented a couple of years ago and it makes the perfect accompaniment for barbecues, etc.

Curried peanut, corn and rice salad
A simple to make and tasty salad with rice, corn and peanuts
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups long grain rice, cooked, washed and drained
  2. 2-3 heaped teaspoons curry powder
  3. 4-5 heaped desssert spoons mayonnaise
  4. 250g salted peanuts
  5. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and season to taste.
  2. Serve.
Cortijo de la Plata https://cortijoblog.com/