Monday, December 17, 2012

Paddock to plate

Well, the freezer is starting to run low on pork, I just pulled out the last ham for Christmas, and we've run out of bacon..

But it is now overflowing with chicken!!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012





OK, so i don't like the word dude much, but hey, sometimes there is no substitute!

Oh, and no, we didn't catch the fish... A friend of my constantly sends photos of the fish he catches on the weekend, so i told him he'd better bring some round.... Wasn't expecting ones this size!!! The rainbow smoked up an absolute treat! The salmon we pan fried and was delicious as well...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Moving Office

Reroof new office
Removing 170 year old shingles

Shiniest roof in Longford
Getting bogged unloading singles
In limbo between two offices
Trailer load of old shingles

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Table Bird Progress

Well, there you go. True to form the chicks hatched early and caught me unprepared. They shouldn't have hatched until Wednesday, but yesterday (day 19) the peeping emerged from the incubator. A quick trip to Bunnings on the way home after work, and a couple hours in the shed after dinner allowed me to put the final touches on the brooder. All up the brooder cost $19, made up of a $10 entertainment unit from the tip shop laid on its back, a couple bits of old stud screwed on for legs, an old cupboard door we had laying around for the lid, and a $9 150W external light from Bunnings as the heat source. The chicks made it through the night, so it's all good! Hoping for at least a 70% success rate, so expecting another 10 to hatch today, fingers crossed. We started with 29 eggs, candled them at day ten and 5 were not fertile and 1 was not looking right, so we were left with 23 eggs, of which 5 have now hatched.

Mobile Office

I've spent a lot of time in my car lately, travelling around for work. I don't like it much (bit hard to get work done while you're driving) but little moments like this make up for it. Lunch on the St Helens wharf.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Next project = table birds

OK, so we've done the pig thing, and will again in about January.

In the mean time we've bought these:

sussex eggs

which should hopefully give us some of these
Light sussex
and then lots of these
Roast dinners
Light sussex chickens make great table birds, and they're pretty good layers too. A trip to the local pawn shop secured the incubator. We placed an ad on a chook forum looking for some fertile sussex eggs and a lady not far from where we live responded. 2 1/2 dozen eggs were place in the incubator last night. 21 days to go! Apparently incubating eggs can be a bit hit and miss, but we'll keep you posted on how we go. Nothing ventured nothing gained!

Home again, home again bacon and ham

Monday, May 28, 2012

to market to market to drop of some pigs.....

Well, its been seven months since we started our pig rearing project, and with ever increasing cold/wet weather and little food available, it was time for our pigs to go to the butcher yesterday.
A new funnel shaped pen (built as a result of the torrential downpour on friday that lead to a pig escape) a box trailer, a dodgy ramp and some strategically placed heaps of wheat enabled us to load the pigs without too much trouble.
The whole family piled into the car and we headed up Mt Barrow to the abbatoir. The butcher was a friend of our neighbours. He was a great man, enlightening us on the whole butchering process and willing to accommodate what we wanted eg "What, no chops!"... He delighted in our enthusiasm for having collected hundreds of kilograms of acorns and chestnuts with the kids in the past six weeks to feed the pigs. (He used to do the same)
They'll be slaughtered today, the smaller one (a porker) will be cut in to roasts, fillets, spare ribs etc, and the larger one will be turned into ham and bacon by Casalinga butchery, ready for collection in about a fortnight. The kids can't wait for their ham and bacon, the whole rearing pigs for the table has been great for them.
It now remains to be seen whether the diet of apples, acorns, chestnuts and pumpkins over the last two months will shine through in the flavour..
Will we do it again? Come spring time, most definitely!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ukulele - Busby Marou

We bought the kids a ukulele each for christmas. They love them, and so do friends when they rock around. I think they're experienceing a bit of a resurgence at the moment, and blokes like Busby Marou aren't doing the Ukulele reputation any harm when they belt out numbers likes this!! Do yourself a favour, check them out!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Home Made Puff Pastry

We have an abundance of cherry tomatoes and basil at the moment, so Alannah suggested we make a recipe out of her cookbook (Tomato, basil and Ricotta Tart).
We set about getting everything ready and realised we had no puff pastry! Unperturbed we continued and made our own... Quite simple really, 250g flour, 200g big chunks of cold butter and 100ml water and a pinch of salt. In the thermomix for 10 seconds on pulse, just long enough to mix everything together into a dough, but short enough to leave the butter in chunks. Roll out the dough into a rectangle, approx 400x150mm, fold it into a third of the original size, roll it out, fold it, roll it, fold it about 5 times, let it rest for about 20mins in the fridge and roll it out to about 3mm thick, spread it thinly with natural yoghurt mixed with lemon juice, ripped up basil and an egg, spread out handfuls of cherry tomatoes, top with a small amount of grated cheese, in a hot oven for about 20mins and there you have it! No need to buy puff pastry anymore, this is really so simple...

Monday, April 2, 2012

I've got piles..

Of wood that is....... What were you thinking????
Would you believe? 25 Tonnes of wood cut and split and its only just April! I'm impressed!!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

BSA Bermuda Bike Restoration

Picked up an old BSA bicycle a while ago and thought it would make a great birthday present for my beautiful wife...
A few tweaks later and here is the finished product...Happy 8th Birthday darling..

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tuna Fishing

We were lucky enough to get to go out after some tuna on Saturday.. It was a little rough, but a lot of fun. 8 Albacore and 6 stripey were boated...

Monday, February 6, 2012

To market (again)

8 olive breads made using brined olives from our neighbours olive grove
6 plain white loaves
6 herb breads using oregano and rosemary out of our garden
20 pugliese loaves "The Pugliese is characterized by a moist dough which results in large holes in a well structured crumb, and a well-developed, crunchy crust" Essentially a "semi" sour dough

All fired in our bakehouse.... All made the way bread should be, using just flour, water, yeast, salt and some olive oil.. No fancy bread improvers. Sold out in less than two hours and lots of good feedback.. Happy days

Friday, January 20, 2012

Greenhouse Progress


 Salad greens, tomatoes, basil, marigolds
Basil, marigolds, tomatoes, rockmelon, green capsicum

Summer Shenanigans

 Nutgrove Beach
 Nutgrove Beach
 Nutgrove Beach
 Asleep at the wheel, The Channel
 Strawberries at Salamanca

Strawberries at Salamanca