The trouble with simple living is that, though it can be joyful, rich, and creative, it isn't simple. ~Doris Janzen Longacre

The best way to bring a sustainable change in the world around me is by bringing the change in myself

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Survival Game part 3 & 4 ....

Day 24 ... (part 3)
After breakfast we let the big chooks out to free range, get the little chooks feed and watered, they doing really well, havent lost any yet. The bigger meat chooks need another 2 weeks before we can start slaughtering them. There's not much left in the freezer alittle bit of bacon pieces, puff pastry, frozen peas and carrots, chicken wings and some lamb bbq ribs.

We discuss what we going to do about the helping the dairy farmer, bartering our labour for milk. Neal and Nick have teamed up deciding they don't mind helping with the milking in the morning and evening. I am thinking of fresh milk, butter and cheese, buttermilk rusks. Even the little piglets and cats are going to benefit from this arrangement. And something I can barter with! The kids can do with some fresh milk too.
I walk with them to the Dairy Farmer's place cause I spoke to him at the villiage meeting, and we come to an arrangement. He also needs a hand at fixing some of his sheds and we decide the whole boys crew will go over and help with that the next few days.

That leaves them with a little time for fishing before the evening milk, bringing home 3 bass for Dinner. Elize helps with the fish cakes and offers to make a fish stock with the heads and bones for some soup for tomorrow. I try my hand at baking bread again and make a few veggiemite scrolls too,(marmite spread on rolled out dough, roll it up again loosely and slice into 6 or more pieces & bake)Tomorrow we will go yabbing for Elize's soup.

Marna , Adele, and Tanya are busy with the rug making again. And walking the kids to and from school. They discover a bush lemon tree on the crownland next to our property, (I knew it was there all along)and bring home a bagfull. We make some more lemon syrup/cordial for drinks. Boy it another boiling hot day.
Yabby is a local fresh water crayfish found in our river systems. Yabbying is catching them, done with a handline with any sort of meat on a hook. You drop the line so it drags in the water against the river bank where they dig into to make their home. They cant resist the meat a bit like the crabs they catch on deadiest catch TV program all going for the big fish. You cook them by dropping them into boiling water, no sauce is required. Size 1inch to rare et12 inches depending.
I have seen nice sized bass in our river that would feed 2 comfortable so 3 would be plenty if you made fish cakes with it.Heads and bones cooked in water with onions, carrot would make a nice stock for fish soup, you would need to use a colander to strain it, and then strain it again.
Lemon syrup/cordial or lemonade as you'd know it ... juice 6 lemons, add 900mls water, 3 cups sugar, 1 tablespoon citric acid, 2 teaspoons epson salts.Strain lemon juice, add to other ingredients, stir till disolved. Cool and Bottle. Dilute with water for drinking. Keeps indefinitely.
Day 25 ...
It's friday today meaning we should go down to the swap market tomorrow, we don't really need anything atm but it will be nice to see whats available. A few veggie would be nice and I know Dennis might have a few rockmelons and watermelons. Leslie his wife sells jams, I know that cause I gave her a heap of glass jars a few times. Could swap him for a meat chook. Then there's the Pom and his diabetic wife next to the park, they have a good garden too. Had a good chat to him over the fence, and gave him a few sweet potato runners last year.

We off to the river early after dropping the kids off, before it gets to hot. Success we catch 15 med sized yabbies and George catches a small bass. Elize is happy with that, it smells wonderfull ... Garlic and a little tumeric flavour. She makes a bowl of penne pasta with basil pesto and a dash of olive oil. Gosh this Italian girl is a good cook. No wonder Neal has a spare tyre lol. Before those bananas Michael brought are too overripe I need to bake a few muffins for the kids lunches. The girls take a small loaf of Banana bread and 6 eggs for the teacher. The hens are laying 10 eggs a day now.

The boys see to the hot water fire for baths and the dishes. They have the hot water system going ... remember the beer kegs and fire, it's worked a treat. They built the outdoor bathroom and skullery next to the hotwater system. It stands apart form the cottages so everyone can use it. The 2 x 1000 ltr cube water tanks are connected to the

Tonight after milking the boys bring 4 lts of milk home, the kids are just loving it esp Cobi who wants a second glassfull. It's no cause I would like the milk to settle so I can scoop off the cream tomorrow for butter. Got to save a few days worth of cream for the butter.

Need to get up early in the morning ...
We don't smoke so it could happen to us to, it does in Sydney when we have a blackout, got candles but no matches lol.

Day 26 ...
It swap market this morning, we don't need anything urgently except maybe some pumpkin & carrots if any ones got any. Maybe a bottle of jam from Leslie and a rockmelon or two. Going more for a sticky beak (look) Looks like everyone is still stocked up, that's the thing with country folk here, they used to having days where they stranded cause of flooding or bush fires, they prepared for anything. Can't say the same about our city cousins. The regulars at the pub are just a little annoyed that the pub won't have any beer soon, yeah right. Someone's bound to make their own brew or start making some.

The boys decide to go fishing again taking the kids with them so they can try yabbying. The kids have more success with the yabbies while the fish are not biting, wrong time of the day maybe. Well they will have to go into the rice dish (spanish paella)with a few chicken wings, onions, tin of tomatoes and lemon juice& wedges. today it's missing the peas, capsicum & calamari rings. It's still a big dish and everyone has seconds.

It's full moon tonight, so we up till late just chatting, everyones had a nice day
Day 27 ...
Today 's Sonday, after the morning milking The two N's (Nick and Neal) return with some yummy fresh milk. I made a large pot of oats for breakfast, the kiddies love it with sugar and a little milk, It's George's favorite breakfast too. (Chooks will be happy too)And a cup of coffee with a rusk for morning tea. Today we going to not have one hammer going, just silience from the generator charging batteries a little piece.

We girls decide to pick some berries from the bramble bushes, not a easy task, watching for snakes and spiders, and thorns. We well protected and come away with a small bucket full, having only made marmalade before, berry jam will be a first, it's not to bad when it all cooked over the fire, bottled up and cooling. Only 3 small bottles better than nothing!We open a bottle of bread and butter cucumbers and a small bottle of pickled beetroot that I made just before the cricis started, with our potato, sweet potato,onion and bacon pieces baked dinner. Piglets are happy with their boiled potato skins

Tinned cat food is running low so it's only one can a day with a little dry food and the dog food is a little low too.Jellybean is the only cat that hunts so she looks after herself pretty much. The others are old cats, one does not even have teeth anymore, they have never hunted at all.

We will have to kill a kangaroo for them and freeze the fresh minced meat.Roo is a very dark red lean meat only ever bought it once at the supermarket George hated it cause it's a skippy the kangaroo. Only now I know how to tenderize it so maybe I can get away with it this time.I have heard it's best to try shooting them at night when they come to the road, sitting in the headlights, boys need to go for a little drive upriver tonight after milking.
We have nearly a 3 cups of fresh cream saved for butter making. Nick pours it into a glass bottle and starts skaking it, he hands it over to the girls and they shake until there's little yellow blobs and soon it thickens up nicely, add a little salt and work it with the paddles.It tastes good for us inexperienced butter makers. We save the liquid from the butter in the fridge.

The girls have finished their rug and and sewn the blocks up
and have added a binding around the edge. It's colourfull and feels nice to walk on.
No Kangaroo tonight they will try again tomorrow.
Day 28 ...
The kids head off to school after breakfast with the fitness team of mums, Tanya upfront. It's just a warm up to the school, then as they march on past the homes a few ladies join them. It's become quite the thing to do here. Us older ladies just stare after them, there's no way in hell you catch me doing that, my sore knees and feet woun't make it up the first hill at that pace.

The hens have been laying 10 eggs a day like they used to, thats great. Normally I would have sold 3 dozen eggs a week covering the chookfood bill, and still have a few eggs for ourself. Now we need to use them wisely and mostly in the baking. There's eggie bread for breakfast (french toast) and coffee.

While they out walking I have started making another batch of bread and soak the beans for a bean soup, Now this always causes a bit of a problem, so I need to make another soup for the ones that refuse to eat bean soup. I don't like it much cause you fart alot from it lol. So a packet of chicken soup powder with diced onion and instant noddles and a small can of corn kernels. An apple pie with custard for dessert. That takes care of today's menu.

It's getting harder to keep the meals balanced without fresh meat, but I refuse to slaughter the weatherer at this stage, he needs another 3 months to grow, even then I might not do it. It's not long to go before we slaughter the meat chooks, so we will just have to fish more often. And wanting a kangaroo for the animal food I need a little space in the freezer, we might even try some ourselves. Lots of marinade and gentle cooking.

The veggie patch is producing nice sweet potatoes, garlic is nearly ready to pull out, even found a cherry tomato plant with lots of ripe toms. The passion fruit vine has lots of flowers on and from experience it bears well. The small fig tree is forming 8 little figs will have to net the tree from the bird. The quince tree has a few yellow fruit on it, nearly ready to stew. This is still a young garden, so we not expecting to get much from it yet. The soil is still poor and it needs more composting. Our potatoes we planted a few weeks ago are coming up nicely, so that should be a good crop. We spend our afternoon watering and weeding.

After dinner the boys go looking for a roo again. Success this time with a young one, it's late by the time they get in and now they have to clean it up and put it in the freezer till I can sort out the cuts in the morning. Nobody knows how to cure the skin. That's not good so nexttime I see Derick I can ask him.

Day 29 ...
It wonderful having a little freetime from the kids, all the noise and the mess.Trust me I love my grandkids and they enjoy working with me planting seeds and collecting eggs etc ... If only I could send everyone away for one day for a little peace and quiet, A little time to read might be nice. I find running the ship hard sometimes, cause even now some people think it will just happens, dinner will be on the table, I just wish I don't need to always be doing something to make this work. My crew don't really have any survival skills and keep looking at me for ideas. Hell can't they think for themselves, the boy's did great with the building, milking over at the Dairy and shooting the roo last night. Thank god they don't read this journal!
This morning we are going to have a meeting and it's time they start doing more around here. It's not a holiday!
But first I need to cut up the roo into small pieces, I have decided to mince everything except the legs and the tail, that I want to try cook like oxtail very slowly and with a little vinegar after I marinade it. That will be for Wensday's dinner. The boys cut the pieces small enough for the hand mincer and take turns if they have too. With the spices and herbs added to the best pieces it gets rolled and flattened into burger patties. We have two meals from that. Fresh roo for the cats are made into small packets and frozen. The rest of the meat and liver is minced and cooked with a packet of pasta, dried split peas and garlic & olive oil, gravy powder gets added when it nearly ready, will be cooked outside. I refill the empty cans as a measure so we feed them the right amount of food and then fill the large freezerbags and seal. Somewhere I had a recipe for dog biscuits.

After the meeting, some people decide to start doing more, esp as their make a really nice pizza from scratch (I'am not going to name that moody person cause already I am deep in s--t for even mentioning it to her father) it's always been that way ... Everyone needs to do their bit. The acrylic nails are growing out fast and there is no salon to go to (bugger)

I send them yabbing and fishing for dinner. But make a lentil soup and a damper just incase they don't catch anything. It's been a long day for me.

Day 30 .... (part4)
I am losing track of what day it is, they just seem to roll into one another. The girls want to make another rug for one of the other cottages, it's a great idea. It's nearly Christmas and the wreaths go up on the doors. While they took their morning walk, one of the ladies offered a little Christmas bush foliage ( very pretty redish bush foliage , comes around this time every year.)I got a few pine cones I sprayed gold last year to add to the decorations. A string of fairy lights (solar) to add a little sparkle at night. Cat food tins become lanterns with little holes punched, lit up with a tealight candle inside.

Tomorrow is school holidays and if all goes well will resume in middle of January. I raid the secret stash box for the suitable pressie, Some nice smelly soap and hand cream, a bottle of jam and caddy of tea and a set of hand knitted dish clothes. We decide to bake a double batch of condensed milk biscuit with red cherries on top and some sweet star shaped biscuits and divvy it up into small bags, tie with a little piece of string attaching a small greeting card to it. Card stock and Paper raided from my scrapbooking box. Tomorrow the kids can deliver them to the elderly residents in the villiage.

The boys chop wood and stack the wood room, it's full, the rest gets stacked for the hot water system fire. They decide to build an outdoor workroom from treated timber posts, shade cloth and lattice screens. A place we can cook preserves, bake and process the meat. The old rayburn woodstove can be installed and used to bake in. And a basin to do the dishes in ... one thing leads to the other and soon the camphor laurel wood slabs have a purpose as bench tops. No complaints from me. With promises like that, I am happy to cook a really nice meal on completion of this outdoor kitchen. Starting tomorrow. This will be the last project they will be able to do as the building wood supply is nearly gone, lucky there is still a bit of roofing left that Des brought from work, we should just make it. The veggie patch needs a little watering and weeding.

The chookies are happy with the bottom of the pot of oats from breakfast , pasta and tinned tuna with some cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced onion and a little mayo salad for lunch. Dinner ... Rockmelon and cup of soup with a slice of damper. Hens layed 9 eggs today

Mushrooms are a good idea, my favorite is button mushrooms. Thanks Veggie PAK.

Day 31 ...
After breakfast the boys level out a site not to far from Rose Cottage, and cement in the corner posts, doing a little form work with old wood crates brought up from work, to be able to pour a cement floor, lay the mesh down(I had bought a large piece of mesh for the bean garden but never used it, had to dig it out under the overgrown lantana). They were a little worried that the cement would not be enough, so had broken up a lot of old bricks and paver and put that under the mesh. That took all day waiting for the posts to dry. Tomorrow the boys will mix the cement, pour and level it ... thats a bid job by itself.

Well it time to try that marinaded leg of Kangaroo sure hope it going to be tender, Michael and Neal get to make the fire in the Texas smoker, and soon it hot enough to put the meat in, wrapped in foil and on a old baking tray. They have to look after it and keep the coals going, while working on the outdoor kitchen. The kids and I dig a few sweet potatoes out in the veggie patch and peel an onion & potato for each, some garlic and olive oil drizzled over it, that goes on another tray with tin/alum foil. Dinner should be quite a treat tonight.

George has used a bit of redwood/recycled wood we got given many years ago that was used as railings from the Old Canterbury Race cource. We been carting it around for years and now is going to be my new outdoor kitchen.A old cast iron sink that nearly found it way back to the tip gets to be a main feature again, it's a creamy buttercup yellow same as the old rayburn wood stove.There's even going to be a pantry with doors, a place to hang up spoons and spatulars. OMG I am so excited ...

While the boys are busy there, us girls have the lattice screens on workhorses and crates painting them, cause once they up it is very difficult to paint them with the shade cloth attached. Posts get a slap of paint too so they can dry overnight.

We buggered come night time, it's been a very busy day.

I added some photo's in my album for you to see, so you might know what I talking about here ...

Day32 ...
Kangaroo meat was not that bad esp if your hungry lol they polished it. Well tonight we going to try the dreaded tail, not so nice on the nose, and hard to cut too. It been marinading for a few days now, give it another go at cutting it into smaller pieces. Going to cook it with onions, garlic, no salt at this stage. We 'll see how it goes, maybe the dogs will have it for dinner........... it's cooking on the coals outside even the flies have come to this party.

After breakfast the boys get the concrete mixer out and start mixing, pouring and leveling, they need to work fast and in sections. George is no help to them, so gets on with the woodwork instead. I just need to paint, what can I paint...have to just sit back and wait. Maybe I get on with feeding the animals and I will do some weeding instead.

The girls wanted to do a little knitting after cleaning up the breakfast things,then raid the wool tubs for some 8 ply and no 5 needles, good thing I have a few set of no 5's, so they are going to knit squares to sew together. Winter's still far off but it will take them that long to get a few finished.

The garden is coming on nicely, potatoes are up and growing fast, shovel extra soil around the plants. Really need a few small tree trunks to raise the beds a little, beg them to cut some later. The corn are 10 cm high now, I planted all my spare seeds and more I dug out of the chook food bin, cause I need chook food as well. Milo seeds are up and the sunflowers are coming on too. it is really looking good. The carrot, beetroot, beans, chinese broccolli and bok choy are growing fast. The assortment of pumpkin seeds & zucchinni are doing well, starting to get flowers on them. The little boys shovel soil into the little trailer hitched to the ride on, then around the potatoes.

Elize got the bread making done for the day by the time we finished in the garden, yummy bread with a little of Lesley's jam and a pot of tea. Poured the water off the meat and pour in some fresh water, onions, garlic, aheaped spoon on curry powder and olive oil, it smells better. Adding a little vinegar to it again, next a few potatoes and baby carrots. Cook a pot of rice to go with it.

There's a storm building sure hope it does't rain tonight. Maybe tomorrow we need to top up the tanks.
Day 33...
Well yeah it did come bucketing down, you should have seen us, running for the tarp dripping wet like ducks gone for a swim. Just had to get the floor covered cause the cement floor was just setting nicely. We should have screwed the roof on as George adviced but it was nearly dark by the time the boys were done cleaning everything. Not to worry it did not last long before moving off again. Still need more rain to fill the tanks again.There's no stars tonight cause of all the clouds still hanging around.
Michael was kind enough to cut a few saplings and drag them over for my raised bed in the veggie patch.

Can't say I enjoyed the tail much, dog meat nexttime. I need some cooking inspiration so consult my grandma's old book, wow I haven't had dumplings and stew for a long time. Maybe I make that tomorrow the last of the lamb ribs stew. Just get a pot of soup going so long. The kids and I can go yabbing this afternoon for a bit, take a rod with incase I catch something.We can't be to long as it Carols in the Park tonight. Only a few yabbies and 2 bass. We did see a small turtle swimming.We cook the yabbies and refriderate them and clean the fish, to the freezer.

We all toddle off to the Carols with our plate of crumpets and lick of jam ontop. It's nice being with other people. Only upon returning home, the dogs seem a little edgy, everything looks ok but the kids can't find a sleeping bag, I can't find the matches and the coffee is gone. Everything else looks good though.That's not good... now I wondering if it's the same person that stole the small tent, candles and medical box a few months back. Again the place was tidy and you'd never say anyones been there........ Maybe someone need to be at home all the time

The animals are all accounted for except a meat chook, dinner for sure!

We do really have a survival guy, ex abbitoir worker/murder convicted Malcolm Naden who murdered two of his cousins and a mother of two (girlfriend?), he escaped in 2005 and has been sighted a few times since then. He lives in dense bush and moves around alot. Breaking in when he is sure no ones around, all you find missing is food and such missing, he cleans up and even locks the place again. And thats no lie! We made the front page The Sun-Herald January 18th
He has been at my place too, I am sure cause for 4 yrs since we had the place not once did something go missing only recently. He got a small lightweight tent, candles and my big medical box. He left everything like radio, cloths etc. That tells me it's someone like him. Constable J also agrees with me. You must all be having very bad days not to post anything lol I am beginning to feel very lonely here!
Day 34....
Everyone here want to know who this person is and the whole story, I only know what I heard and read in the paper, and that he's been spotted in the area a while ago.At least he will sleep warm and have a nice roast oh and a cup of coffee lolThere was really not much food he could take cause the cupboard was locked remember. Just the coffee and tea, a little sugar was out. There's hardly anything in the freezer to feed a big man.And he woun't want kangaroo for sure.
We agree to always have someone at home just incase he or some other not so nice person comes around.Also to lock the animals up at night with a lock, even the sheep. Their shed is just on the otherside of our cottage, so if anyone is busy there we'll know about it. It locks and bolts time!
Lucky there's still a few tins of coffee ...

Later I just go tell Constable J what happened, when we head to the river to try for more fish and yabbies. Paella tonight if we're lucky
We only Just started , a few more parts to go
Remember it is copyrighted so please don't post this anywhere else or you know ....

Homemade Quilts by Granny said...
Keep your doors locked sweetie...Have A Merry Christmas. God Bless Trish

December 22, 2010 2:19 PM
Rina ... also Chester or Daisysmum. said...
It lucky it's only a survival game Trish. We quite safe. A Merry Christmas to you too, enjoy spending time with loved ones Regards Rina

December 22, 2010 9:23 PM
Nilo & Des said...
Love your survival story Rintjies! Keep it commin.
Hope you have a Very Merry Christmas.

December 22, 2010 9:57 PM

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