Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cheese And A Kindle

I wrote this the other day and never got back to post it up so here it is.

I really didn’t want to get out of my PJ’s this morning. They were warm and comfy and soft, however I decided that if I stayed in them when drove our number one and only son the three minutes to the bus stop, without a doubt I would have to get out of the car for some reason and a forty three year old woman in pink elephant PJ’s would look a bit weird.

This week we have made more cheese, we made a big batch of feta cheese which I have been having in my salad at lunch, very yum and we have also made haloumi. We had never even eaten haloumi before but someone my partner in crime and life works with has it all the time and loves it so we thought we would make it, very easy to make too.

It is actually very yum but not sure about the health aspects, you fry it or grill it. We haven’t grilled it yet which would be the healthier option (if there is one) but frying it just seems to be the way to go, though we had best try the grilling.

So we fry it in a little oil and then put some more salt (as we didn’t put enough on in the making process) and some pepper and just eat it all hot and melted on the inside. You can put it through salad but we can’t see the point when we can just indulge and eat it straight out of the pan. I have decided not to look into the health aspects (or lack of) and just enjoy it in blissful ignorance.

We are also now the proud owners of a Kindle. Never thought we would have one but I used the money I got for driving to the court house for jury duty to pay for it. Now being an actual book girl I didn’t think I would take to it much but I love it, will still buy real books but I love the Kindle.

There are a lot of free books to download, which I have, also have bought a lot for $1 or $1.50, don’t’ you just love that. There are some books that only e-books so it is great, and when I go into town I take it with me to read when waiting about for appointments and I have a whole range to choose from.

Mind you I should not buy (or even download for free) any books, real or virtual, for a very long time as I am actually overloaded at the moment. I have, I don’t know how many on the Kindle, I have quite a lot of real books I have purchased when the freight has been free and so managed to get some off my wish list, and I have some that have been loaned to me by a friend (and I lend her mine as well). Thing is I didn’t buy any (really) for a long while I think I may have overdone it a little, well at least my wish list is getting smaller.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The End Of The Wet Season

Doesn’t time fly when you take no notice? School holidays are over and my partner in crime and life has gone back to work and I am trying to find my balance again.

We are coming to the end of the wet season, I think officially it finishes at the end of this month and as long as our water tanks are full then I will be happy. We will then be going back to all our serious water saving habits and with our new front loader washing machine we should have no problem getting through to the next wet season.

We will also be getting the old bore water tested so we can put a pump on it and pump into the tanks when they start getting low. No, we still haven’t done that yet but it is on the list and I imagine it will come to the top as a priority fairly soon.

The chooks have settled down now and are laying a lot of eggs, all is peaceful in the flock and the only time they make a tonne of noise is when they are laying or want to lay, not sure which, but it is announced to the world. So if you hear loud chooks at your place, that is undoubtly ours you are hearing. Whoever thinks that chooks are quiet are SO wrong.

It won’t be long until we have bananas to eat and we also have a lot of paw paws which we are still waiting to ripen, they seem to be taking a long time, however, I bet they all ripen at once.

I left the old okra stalks with seed pods on the ground in the garden to dry so I could seed save and with the rain we have had a lot have broken open and started growing. I am not sure if I can plant any of them or if I have any left to save, so need to do that.

A winged bean a good size to eat.

A winged bean to big for eating and so I will let it dry for seed saving.

Now the wet is almost over and the heat and humidity is easing I can now really get the garden back up and running. Though, we have snake beans coming out our ears and the winded beans are also out of control. There are gigantic cucumbers coming along and there is still some old bok choy we are still using and of course wild cherry tomatoes, so we are still eating a fair bit from the garden.

I have Rosella coming up now so must plant them out when they are a little bigger and the other seeds didn’t germinate so now I will start some greens off, bok choy, pak choy, and must put in more rocket.


While I read a lot of blogs and other sites on a variety of things, I don’t always find something I want to mention here. However, there are two I have come across this week, both while I have been on the Simple Savings forum.

The first one is a series of photos of people from around the world with their weekly groceries, it is called Hungry Planet. It is fascinating look at the differences between cultures, first and third world countries and everything in-between and also the excess and lack of between families.

The second on is a blog from here in Australia called Not Quite Nigella, and the post is about the amount of food wastage we have here, mostly talking about the wastage on the farms because the stupidmarkets won’t take fruit and vege unless they are a certain size or colour or shape or whatever. Now I knew this was happening but did not realise the extent it. Read the post, I read with my jaw on the floor while making sounds of utter outrage at the stupidity of it, some good does come out of it, just read it and find out.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Roosters

It is interesting to note that we are still enchanted by our new washing machine; it has to be the window through which we can watch our washing go round.

We are now down to thirteen chooks. One of our hens died last weekend, we don’t know why. My partner in crime and life went to lock them in the pen in the evening and we always count them, we were one short. When I went up and did a re-count, I found it was Peg who was missing; she is never missing as she is never far from the flock, never going off on her own. A short search found her under the pigeon peas, not a mark on her that we could find, it was quite sad.
Peg is the hen a the back, next to her is Gaga, Dirty and Orange

We have been working on the second pen so we could separate out the six young chooks, three roosters and three hens. The young roosters have been chasing the hens around, a lot of running and screaming and screaming and running, and the hens have been fairly stressed and we haven’t been getting many eggs.

So we pushed through (well, my partner in crime and life did with some help from me) and finished the pen enough that it was completely enclosed, had a door and a roof over the house section. We have temporarily put up some tarps for walls till we can locate some more corrugated iron.

We got the three roosters in one day, not easy to separate just a few from the flock, and then the next day we got the three young hens in. The original flock and the three big chicks (who are now fat hens) have now settled back down now that all the running and screaming has stopped. The new problem that emerged from this is that the two dominate roosters started to fight each other, this is also not a good look.

We knew we had to get rid of two of the young roosters and had already picked which one we would keep to lead our second (rather small) flock. So then begins the lead up to getting rid of them. We know people who are verging on vegetarians and they get rid of roosters by taking them bush and letting nature take its course, but we don’t agree with this, being devoured by a bush python in a strange place doesn’t sound like a nice way to go. However it means they don’t have to do any chopping off of heads themselves.

I can understand this, it is something that I can’t do either but I think we are showing more respect for this animal by giving it a good and happy life, roaming free around the property and ending it very quickly and humanly. So that is what my partner in crime and life and our number one and only son have done, with me somewhere else.

So we have now eaten one of the roosters and the other is in the freezer. My partner in crime and life skinned them rather than plucking which apparently is much easier, and to tell you the truth I didn’t’ really want to know any more details so can’t tell you more.

We put them into the fridge to sit for 24hours or so and cut one up for cooking, freezing the carcass for soup later on, and the other one was put whole in to the freezer. The one we cooked was very tender, cooking it in the pressure cooker and the meat turned out quite red, I think that is because they were so well fed and they free ranged. The taste was quite different from farmed chicken, very nice and I didn’t’ have any problems eating them, thought I might but I didn’t.

It goes to show though how far removed we are from our food source, that we mindlessly buy meat on a Styrofoam tray without a thought where it has come from and whether the animal treated properly. I believe we are meant’ to eat meat, though not in the quantities a lot of people do, nor every day, and I believe we should be mindful of what we are eating and not to waste anything, which is very disrespectful to the animal who has given up its life.

So we have now done it, not something I could do regularly but it all worked out. I know a lot of people would be mortified, but everyone I know eats meat and at least I can say these birds had good free lives and were respected (they had to go one way or another) and I know where the meat for our dinner came from last night, which is more than most people can say.