Day 35 ...
What I won't give to sleep in a bit, darn Harry the rooster, he's got the biggest crow you have ever heard, and it full moon so he's been crowing during the night as well. Some people think he could be very tasty for dinner, but he's safe he's needed for protecing the Matildas and a baby making machine. Two hens have gone broody, hell not now girls then the lot start getting broody again and we got no eggs again. Breakfast compliments of the Mathildas and a bowl of oats each. The boys brought home more milk last night, and I took most of the cream of the top and added it to the cream I had already saved. We need some butter again. I want to bake a few gingerbread biscuits tomorrow. Only 3 more days till Christmas. The time has come for us to slaughter the first chooks,they still a bit small for my liking, so we'll do 3 chooks for roasting.
The girls have never plucked chooks before, it's going to be something alright lol. We get the big pot with water and set it on the coals to boil. Then drag a stump of wood closer and get hold of the chook by the legs. George does the honours and chops it head off, the girls just want to run a mile, George holds it till it stops kicking and finally bleeds out. Then it our turn to start the dunking in hot water and plucking it clean. Cut it open and pull out the intestines, cut the fat glands. It's not as fatty as I thought it might be but save the bits anyway. Hmm there 2 more to go .... Afterwards they go into the fridge to settle/relax overnight and tomorrow into the freezer. Remember the old days when you chopped the head and the headless chook would be running around the yard till it finally stops dead. lol Collect the fatty bits and freeze it.
Funny how it does not worry me heaps that we were robbed last night, I don't think he would be coming back again, he just needed a few supplies and he's gone again. He does not want to be found. He can look after himself quite well otherwise they would have caught him by now. (5 yrs on the run) Constable J mentioned that he broke into Lesley's place too and took salt and few bits of food.
Our little trip to the river was very successful, 18 yabbies and 3 bass, we head on home and start dinner. It's always a big feast. We picked a bowl of cherry tomatoes and the hens laid 8 eggs today.
Having a few blond moments sorry. I fixed the link and sidebar one too.Maybe I need a few more cups of coffee lol
Day 36 ...
I was so tired last night, rather than write in the journal, I went off to bed. After my second cup of coffee and making the breakfast, finally a little spare time. The girls are doing the washing and getting it hung up and doing the dishes. While the little boys are feeding the meat chooks and letting the big chooks out to freerange, they done it enough times with me to know what to do by now. Actually they really enjoying this lifestyle esp Cobi. Luke still misses his XBox and games. What I did not tell them is we had actually bought an Xbox for them to use at our place with some games during the holidays, and just had not got round to giving it to them yet. Maybe it will be a good surprise on Boxing day. They can play when the small generator is running to charge up the battery packs.
We have been so busy with the building work and getting everyone sorted for accommodation, that we haven't really spend enough time with the kids. There's a few more bits and pieces we bought them for the toy box and some more poster paints and canvasses. I glad for all the school stuff I stockpiled.Michael had sorted out the bikes and they started cycling again every afternoon Luke is still a little small for Cobis old bike but gives it a go anyway.
We baked our ginger bread biscuits and decorated them, the kids just loved that. And old fashioned sweet sugar biscuits, rolled out and cut into shapes, got a big tin worth. We just going to have a big pasta, tuna and cherry tomato salad for dinner. Open a tin of baked beans and beetroot.
The roof went up first thing this morning! The outdoor kitchen has a wood stove now and the kitchen cupboard framework is in, sink has water connected and an outlet. The lattice walls with the shade cloth to keep the flies out is just about up . Only got the doors to go for the cupboards and and screw on the safety/fly screen door. then it's just the fiddly stuff. And bring in the meat safe and the chopping block from Rose cottage. They have really done a nice job of this kitchen.
You would not believe how the container has got freed up from all the stuff we had stored in there, now finally George can spend some time getting it sorted and turned into a storeroom/workshop/garage for the ride on. Even the extra feed for the animals can go in there now. and locked up safely. Still only 8 eggs Had to kick those two hens off their nests and put them in a small box for a few days to get over their broodiness.
Day 37 & 38 ...
Yesterday was George"s Mum's 83rd birthday but this year we can't even call her, here's hoping she had a good day in South Africa. Let's hope they not having it too tough over there. We had a nice day down by the river, first catching a lot of yabbies and then the kids and a few adults went swimming. Just hearing their laughter is good for the soul. George stayed at the cottage.
Elisa made a double batch of bread dough, and divided it into two, one was baked as bread and the other into round balls which were cooked in oil, it's called "vetkoek". You would take a handful of bread dough and sort of pull it flat a bit, then drop it into hot oil, and cook it until it golden brown, drain it on some paper towel. You can have it hot with a savoury mince, or Vegemite. Elisa was surprised as the italians make something similar only it got sun dried tomato, olives or anchovies stuffed in the middle then cooked in oil.
Tanya ,and the girls wrapped a few presents for the boys, while I popped the yabbies into boiling water and then cleaned them. Michael went looking for a few lemons and brought enough back to make a little syrup/cordial again and for the yabbies entree.
Day 38 ...
It's Christmas morning, Cobi and Luke and Adele's kids can't wait to open their presents, but there is not many pressies, just a little something for each. The XBox and games makes it appearance and they just over the moon about them, until they realise there is no power, what a let down. Grandpa promises to run the generator of a few hours late this afternoon and evening a bit so they may play on it and we can have a little light too. Then it's all excitement again.
The 3 chooks are roasting with some potatoes, rice and gravy. We manage to make a little salad with some cherry tomatoes, onion and a little lettuce from the patch and the cold yabbies. A little jellie, custard and peach slices will have to stand in for the traditional trifle. Everyones happy and very relaxed after a late lunch. A cricket bat and ball appear (from the secret stash) and it game on. Everyone has fun playing or just watching. What would Christmas be without a cricket game, no cucumber sandwiches only cold lemon iced tea.
It has been a most enjoyable day ....
We in between trips to the farm, so I thought I just catch up a bit,we're off again Saturday with another load of wood for chook housing, roof sheeting and washing machine, old pine welsh dresser.
Boxing day turned out to be another peaceful day, after the morning milking, the boys brought some fresh milk home. I left it to settle to scoop the cream off the top, for making butter. The kids did the morning chores feeding the chooks and then wanted to go for a bicycle ride with Michael,down to the river and have a swim. After he'd seen to the fire for cooking and hot water.
The girls did a bit of washing and got that hung up to dry, while I took the time out in the veggie patch weeding. All the seedlings are coming on nicely, and some needed to be stacked like the tomatoes. The beans have plenty white flowers on and are a buzz with bees pollinating them. Another few weeks and we'll be eating beans. Here's hoping for a glut of veggies so I can bottle a few too. The zucchini's are looking like they will flower soon, then I can make Lebanese zucchini stuffed with rice, pine nuts cooked in a tomato based sauce. The golden nugget pumpkins are flowering too.
Today we going to have left overs with gravy adding a small corn kernels, fried onions with 3 dice potatoes cooking, and a puff pastry (from the freezer)rolled out and cut into pies rounds. Left over filling added and more pastry on top. Our own version of a pie. A pot of chicken noodle soup is also cooking, with the carcasses from the Christmas chooks' just needing to add a grated carrot, diced onion and a bit of herbs. I make a damper just to make sure there's enough for everyone.
George has a cat nap after lunch till the boys want to play cricket. Life is just about normal for us.
Day 40 ...
Awoke to grey skies this morning, so we get the chores done before breakfast. And just as we start brekky, the skies open up. Everything is covered that needs to be and we can just enjoy the rest of the day. Elisa has baked some fresh bread and made some Vegemite scrolls. And we take out the kangaroo burgers for dinner. The other have to clean her dishes only fair.
The girls decide to build puzzles with the kids, and entertain them with a stories and a little crafting. Their knitted squares are nearly big enough for a single bed. (Well I thought they would have given up by now)
Today I had this bright idea and was paging through the cheese making book I bought but mislaid it with the move. It was still a skill I needed to learn and never got round to. With all this fresh milk maybe now is the time to think about it again. Buttermilk would be lovely for making rusks, only now instead of scooping the cream off, I need to pour the milk into the butter churn and turn until the butter separates leaving me the butter milk. Maybe a simple cheese is possible too. Going to attempt it
It's still raining and the water tanks are filling up nicely.
This kind of rain can go on for days here and being in the mountains, the water comes up real fast and covers the bridge, leaving the dairy farmer and anyone else stranded on the other side. Maybe I wait with the cheese making experimenting, but will give the buttermilk a go first. At least we will have butter and be able to bake rusks then.
Hope you not to bored yet