I hate to say this, but I don’t think this rat-proof chicken feeder does what it’s supposed to. The chickens use it okay and, as food isn’t lying around during the day, the rats aren’t about so much either – that is, I haven’t seen them, though Rummy cat still finds it worthwhile to come in and crouch, ready to pounce. He caught two fully grown females last week and was mightily praised. But when I put the chickens to bed, I have been smoothing over the food in the feeder and checking it next morning, and there’s a slight dip in the centre. It’s possible, of course, that there’s some settling overnight, but I’ve now put a bucket underneath the bar so that nothing can get at it, and I’ll look again over the next morning or two, to see if that dip still happens. I found it very hard to believe that a rat was less bright than a chicken and I won’t be surprised if they’ve learned to use it.
Tim made dinner tonight, a delicious dish of duck with figs and I rather wish I’d frozen some figs whole, to make it again. There are still a few figs ripening but they don’t have the flavour they did in the summer and the skins are a little tougher. Something to learn for the next time we have more than we can eat. It was a recipe in the newspaper – Nigel Slater, I think – and I sometimes wonder what these writers think when they put together their recipes. After all, in a weekend supplement, they’re thrown away by Tuesday and I suspect few of the recipes are ever made. Sometimes, the ingredients are so obscure or the dishes so peculiar that I suspect the cooks are laughing at us. But you do get the occasional good one, and this was one of the hits. I think it would go well with other meats too and, in fact, fresh figs lend themselves well to savoury dishes. We’ve used them with cold meat, feta and cream cheeses and salads this summer.
Tomorrow morning, I’ve got Nadfas in Yagnub and LT has a blood test in Selcceb. I suspect we’ll be ready for lunch out after that, I’ll have to see what he thinks.