About us

We are a hard working, family of eight. Swimming in the sea when we aren't busy on our small holding. Daddy dragon has to work away a lot, so this blog is to let him keep up with our adventures at home.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Need Nog!

Okay, so December is almost upon us and it is time to get into the spirit of things. 

What better way to do that than Egg Nog!

All you lucky North Americans out there, can simply meander into your local grocery store and pick up a carton... so jealous... so much...

Rather I was, before I started making home made nog. 

Which is, if I do say so myself, Awesome!

Over here, the only nog available is tinned and shipped by Amazon.

Seriously... tinned nog. 

So wrong.

Do you feel my pain? 

Or am I just being overly dramatic?

Okay, okay, anyways on to the recipe:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 pint whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 ounces bourbon 
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 egg whites*


In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Add the milk, cream, bourbon and nutmeg and stir to combine.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat to soft peaks. With the mixer still running gradually add the 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
Whisk the egg whites into the mixture. Chill and serve.
(Completely stolen from Alton Brown at the Food Network)

I'm not a huge bourbon fan so I used whiskey, and with the help of some neighbours tried a second batch, phew where did the first catch go???, with rum. 

We tried this recipe sans alcohol out on the hatchlings, the nog is pasteurised, and while the eggs I use are straight form the chicken so to speak, well, no need to tempt fate.

All are good. 

I found this lady's recipe quite something. If you are serving nog to eight people, you may wish to try her recipe. (Best tell them not to drive though!)

I've not tried her recipe as yet. 

So if you do, let me know how that goes.

Hatchlings are divided on the 'to nog or not to nog' subject. 

That is fine we have plenty of hot chocolate.

So, I shall part, and ask you to join us, as we turn on the carols and commence a blogging advent to December 25th. 
Each day, I will post a festive recipe or holiday craft, both if we have had time, that the hatchlings and I are doing. We love this time of year and are trying to make the most of it, and entertain ourselves through these rather short, dark and chilly days. We'll probably have a splash of normal posts in between which should make for lots to see.
Happy Nog!
I mean, Happy Holidays!

Thursday, 29 November 2012


Spidermangirl and her big sister.

Post - spaghetti eating competition.

and still clean!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Christmas trains, snowmen, and elves

Today, we made the cutest trains and elves.

Check them out here:

Here are the hatchlings' snowmen, 

Check them out here:

Gentle November morning

The sun rise over the frosty field was beautiful this morning, 

and two puppies watch the turkeys dance.

'It is too cold to play outside.'

I am sure that is what their expressions say.

Girl puppy closes her eyes for photos, every time. 

I do not know why.

The turkeys stand and watch the sun come up, all city of angels like.

Then they primp and pluck,

and do their look at me I'm so handsome dance.

The girls watch and rate them.

You think I am talking about the female turkeys?

I'm sure they judge them, 

but I'm referring to my Strictly come dancing obsessed hatchlings.

Who watch from the play room, and hold up score cards for the turkeys.

Strictly come turkey.

It is a thing.

 At least, it is here.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Stir Up Sunday

Just a helpful reminder that it is Stir Up Sunday Monday!

Yeah, we completely forgot.

Did you?

Better late than never we hope.

We had cranberries in the cupboard, so I chucked those in too. Hope that works out okay. I soaked them in port for a day and half so they are pretty yummy.

The Christmas pudding is in the oven.

And the children are certain we need to test run the sugar cookie recipe. 

Complete with a bajilion sprinkles, just in case.

Hmmm, thing is I just scrubbed the floor, pulled out the fridge, and really scrubbed every corner.



Maybe, just a few.

Since the oven is on anyways.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Using the picnic table

The turkeys like to stand and groom themselves on our picnic table. 

Which is currently beyond yucky for picnicking.

Hopefully a pressure wash and a new coat of paint will breath new life in to it come spring.

Until then, it is their perch.

They roost on my not so welcome mat too...

I don't think they care about my opinions on these things.

I do think, however, that my post lady has some opinions though, about the family with the rather large dogs, and birds... 

I've gotten her a bottle of brandy and a tin of celebrations for Christmas. 

I hope it will makes a dent in the thank you she deserves for tolerating my overly affectionate animals.

Contrary to appearances, these turkeys believe they are lap pets. 

They don't see a need for someone to come and go quickly. 

Like a busy post lady.

They chase her to her van, and churip at her to stroke them, and maybe even let them push their way into her vehicle.

Yeah, she is a patient lady.

Referencing a conversation about trying to get a beach ball in an oven.

I thought the picnic table provided a good size reference.

I sure hope that won't be a problem.

This pic has a female Cambridge bronze turkey standing next to the male Norfolk black. I've been pleasantly surprised how well the girls have kept up in size.

So, for photo reference, these are 18 week old turkeys.

Bath day

Bath day,

 for the birdies.

The turkeys are all scrubbed clean now.

Whether they wanted to be or not!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Finger painting in their pjs

Get dressed pre - finger painting is over rated, right?

They are just bath tub bound anyways.

Hatchling no 4 refuses to finger paint. 

He hates the feel on his fingers.

And like his daddy he does not like the sound a brush makes.

Hence, he is not really into this painting thing.

He is more of a marker man.

Permanent markers, 

on walls, doors, and windows.

washable paint just doesn't hold the same opportunites I guess.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Unable to wait

My hatchlings have been singing jingle bells for months.

Honestly, months...

If it was up to them the Christmas tree would have been set up in October September.

I am trying to encourage them to wait for the 1st of December.

That is really the limit on early, I think.

It is, however, wonderful to live with such enthusiastic people.

I love their 'can't wait' exuberance. 

It makes the holiday for me. 

They are itching, and almost raw, with their need to decorate.

So, I have pulled down the autumn tree, and replaced it with an ever green.

They have been busy making and sticking. 

I will post a photo of the whole wall once they are satisifed with it.

Which will probably be the day before I remove it. 

They like to just keep adding to their murals. 

A living wall, if you would.

What I have found interesting, is their choice of creation.

Hatchling no1 makes pretty sparkly things.

Sparkly diamonds, baubbles, and tinsel.

Hatchling no2 makes fairies, and animals.

All things shiny and pompom.

Hatchling no3 makes volcanoes.

Lots of Christmas volcanoes.

Train obsessed

From the moment he wakes up,

until he has fallen asleep still clutching his favourite engine,

this boy just can't get enough of trains.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

No one promised life would be fair

No one said life would be easy.

Somedays, are just hard.

Harder than they need to be.

And I am thankful, they are not as hard as they could be.

This is a photo from my window looking in. 

My bigger hatchlings are dancing and singing to keep the boys happy.

While I untangle the sheep that has managed to become stuck, in the slats of our picnic table.

Today has been hard.

But not as hard as it could have been.

Thank you to my hatchlings for being patient, and helping when I needed you to.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Homemade gifts - Snowman soup

This is our project today. 

We are putting together all our snowman soups.

Snowman soup is easy to make. 

Buy a few dozen of these cellophane cones, 

and fill with your favourite hot chocolate powder.

This is our favourite.

Then top with chocolate chips,

and marshmallows.

snowman soup 

Add candy cane, and tie with a ribbon.

Then pop it in a nice mug.

We are going to cellophane wrap ours in groups with some pretty snowflake cellophane I found.

If you want to buy inexpensive mugs and individualise them try Barefoot farm's great method:

Monday, 19 November 2012

1st haircut

Now, I have know for a while this haircut is long over due. Hatchling no5 was born with a tuft of hair that was about three inches long.

When he woke up this morning with bed head, it could no longer be ignored.

I'm not even sure he can hear through all that.

He has had a little trim and look, he has ears!

Homemade gifts - Aprons

First I'd just like to apologise for the number of fingerprints on my camera lens that have caused some blurry spots in these photos. (I'll try to get that cleaned up.)

The hatchlings and I have decided this year we are going to do a holiday baking/ craft advent to count down the days in December. 

I'll be posting these daily and I hope you'll join us.

In order to get into the right mood, I thought it would be rather nice to have some festive aprons. 

Then I looked online, and saw what festive aprons can cost.

Digging through my fabric box and cutting up an old pair of trousers and a dress, these are what I've made for free.

I thought they'd make easy gifts too.

A snowman for hatchling no2. 

This fabric was a torn dress.

A polar bear for hatchling no4. 

Made from trousers.

A Christmas tree for hatchling no3.

Remember the old tree skirt? 

(Daddydragon thinks, 'Tree skirt?)

Well, it is a little shorter now.

And the kitty with a santa hat on the left is for hatchling no1.

Now we are ready to start on our holiday crafts, and hopefully we'll have a fewer stained tops too.

Saturday, 17 November 2012



We awoke this morning to find someone (she puts her hand up guiltily) had not closed the dishwasher properly, hence the bowls were still dirty.

Now, I know I could have hand washed them, but the wonderful thing about scones is they take nearly the same amount of time to make. 

So we had hot scones with butter and raspberry jam.

(and tried not to think too hard about clotted cream and strawberries)

Anyways, should you require an indulgent breakfast for six in under ten minutes try scones.

40 g of butter

225g of self raising flour

1 tsp of sugar

pinch of salt

125 ml of milk

1. Pre - heat oven to 220C.

2. Add sugar and salt to flour.

3. Rub in butter.

4. Add milk slowly to more a sticky but kneadable dough.

5. Plonk out on to a little floured surface and use a cup to cut into scones.

6. Put in the oven for 8 minutes.

7. Serve warm with butter and jam, or if you are so lucky with clotted cream and strawberries.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Friday again?

The mornings are dark and so we eat breakfast by star light.

The days are short. 

The mornings are slow and just a little quieter.

Which is quite nice. 

Soon enough we will be back in the middle of the long summer days. 

 I am stocking up on these calm dark hours, before the almost endless days see my hatchlings awake until two am. 

Not that I mind our midnight beach trips, it is just that this gentle wintery wake up is appreciated. 

Along side the various knitting projects, I have tried making mittens.

Here is my first attempt, a little blue pair for hatchling no4.

I knit really long cuffs so hopefully, when unfolded, they will stay in his coat sleeves.

Total cost of wool used, 35p. 

And on the off chance that you too have a Thomas the tank engine fan who needs to put his felt markers to a more productive use than colouring on the bedroom door, try this link.

Polly want a cracker

'I know you are in there. I see you eating, and I want it... all of it.'

This is my kitchen window.

My turkeys sit and watch, while churip churip'ing during every meal.

They are cheeky beggars. 

We free feed so they have a constantly full trough, and yet they are certain that we keep all the best for ourselves.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Improving what we have

My hatchlings are really hard on their clothes. 

So hard in fact that in one week, we had four pairs of trousers ripped to an unwearable condition.

That could add up to over 200 pairs of trousers a year if I kept buying more.

The pair of trousers in the photo was a plain pair of denim trousers that belonged to hatchling no1.

She just keeps tearing holes in them.

And I keep patching them.

Today, we were asked, 'Where did you buy those jeans? They are lovely!'

Another way we have found to improve clothes is iron on transfers. 

We buy them online for about 50 pence, and they come in almost any style and character you could wish for.

I take the pretty pink top someone spilt pasta sauce down the front of,

and iron on a A5 sized transfer.

Now, my hatchling has an elephant top (elephants are her favourite animal), and I don't have to throw out another stained top.

Sometimes such a very little bit of effort goes a long way.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Apple muffins

The waves were quite small this morning,

as we walked this ever growing pup on her morning walk,

but it is quite chilly outside.

We remedied our frozen fingers with hot drinks and Apple muffins.

Apple muffins

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 brown sugar

2 tsp baking powder 

1/2 tsp bicarb of soda

80 ml milk

80 ml olive oil

1 large egg + 1 yolk

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

1 tsp cinnamon

2 large apples, peeled and chopped

Bake in a preheated oven at 180C/350F

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Because it is true...

He has the most

kissable cheeks!

(and I am not even a little bit biased.)

Friday, 9 November 2012

Funny Friday

Because sometimes you just need to make it that way.







(shamelessly piliged from the internet... these are quite obviously not my creation.)

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Less than 50 shopping days left!

I received yet another email saying 'Less than fifty shopping days left until the BIG day!'

Sale on now!

It started with '100 days until Christmas' emails... in September.

And my least favourite: 'Treat your self because you deserve it.'

Do these shops not know that the year is only 356 days long?

Sadly, Hobbes is out dated... it is not one month, but more like three.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Buy local, buy free range

I was just doing some research and looking at the re - homing of ex - battery chickens, and wanted to take the moment to bring it to your attention.

This birdie, she is real. She spent all her life laying eggs for peoples breakfast.

There has got to be a way for people to have a healthy breakfast, and for hens to have their beautiful plumage, a little pride in their appearance, and to feel well in themselves.

Granted some are rescued and given good homes.

Scratching around

Most just live a short life, an uncomfortable little existence.

Surely, this is not necessary.

I know the prices of food keep going up, and I complain as much as the next person, but, but, chickens needing the hair do of a sheep to keep them warm, after never having seen the sun, that is not how it is meant to be.

Think about your purchases, we need to value doing things right, before it simply is too far gone to turn back time. Hard as it is, too often the most frequent vote we make is by how we spend our money.

I'm not trying to say everyone should keep their own chickens.

I'm just saying if I had my way, all laying hens would be comfortable in their own bodies and feel appreciated for their contribution to my children's breakfast. If it is not too much to ask, maybe even be allowed to go hunt for bugs, because it seems they really like doing that.