Wednesday, April 28, 2010

More RAIN at last

So, it has rained for the past 2 days and nights.  Torrential, heavy, wet and noisy.  It's been great.  The farmers are all talking about "drought-breaking rain", but all I can think of is that it might give us one last sprouting of mushrooms!

There is fungi of all sorts everywhere, and I wish I could identify more of it.  There were some shaggy ink caps hanging round the Swimcentre sign, looking very bedraggled.  And the silver birches all have the same kind of fungi growing round them, they look at bit like  field mushroom but with a dent in the centre of the cap, and a nasty poisonious looking white gill underneath.  I see others have been frustrated and turned them all over looking to see what they are too...or just kicking them over to get rid of them.

I did pick some lovely big horse mushrooms today!

Friday, April 16, 2010

I love Autumn - Walnuts & Apples

Today it was fresh and cool with a new dusting of snow on the tops of the mountains.  As the day warmed up, we have had blue open skies, no cloud, no wind, and it is clear and beautiful.  All the trees are turning yellow and losing their leaves.  I saw some Japanese tourists taking photographs of Jacksons Orchard, with their rows of yellow trees, all looking absolutely gorgeous.

It really is a very beautiful season.

Foraged today!  both walnuts and apples.  I have been working away on shelling walnuts and the apples are destined for apple jelly.

My heartfelt thanks to Linda who gave me 6 Quinces, which are now a clear, bright jelly in 3 jars on my bench.... a very guava-like colour.  They almost look too jeweled to ever eat.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Another Boar! thanks Steph & Terry

Our friends Steph and Terry have a pig trap and sometimes catch whole families.  This is the boar from a group of 6 pigs caught on their farm today.  2 boars (1 with tusks) and 4 sows.  This is the boar, now hanging in our garage for a few days before being cut up and frozen.  That should keep us warm for the winter.

For those readers who are interested in the farming life in New Zealand, Steph has a blog, and you can find a link in my blogs list on the right hand panel.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Matt's 3 course dinner

My Matthew, 14yrs, has an ambition, to be a chef in the airforce.  Tonight he decided to make us a special 3 course dinner.

We had:
*Prawn Cocktails*
*Chicken Pie*

He pored over the cookbooks and eventually produced a lovely meal...Didnt he do well!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Free Food....Rabbit and Crayfish

Nothing better than food you didnt have to pay for at the supermarket.  This Easter weekend we have had some treats indeed, first Rabbit Pie, then Crayfish Thermidor.

Rabbit Pie
Take your rabbits (2 will feed about 4 people), and simmer gently in water on the stove for about 4hrs till the meat is soft and will come away.  Saute several onions and lots of garlic.  Add a few tablespoons of flour and some of the rabbit stock, then some milk. Add   Bring about 5 large sprigs of fresh thyme and some salt and pepper.  Bring back to the boil and let it thicken.  Take the rabbit meat off the bone and add to the sauce.  Put the whole lot into an oven dish and top with Flaky Pastry.  Cook till browned (about 1hr) on a high-ish heat.  Enjoy with your favourite friends and family!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter Eggs, thanks to our remaining chooks

Here is Montana-Rose proudly showing off her coloured Easter Eggs.  When our German student, Franziska, stayed with us her mum sent her some egg dye, and although we didnt use it then, we hung onto it and now, this year, have put the dye to good use.

Along with the coloured ones, I also made "Tea Eggs"!

Tea Eggs: take your eggs and hardboil them.  Then crack them all over, be pretty ruthless.  Put them back into the hot water they were boiling in and add 4 or 5 tea bags.  Boil for about 20 mins.  Then cool and take off the shells....voila pretty marbled eggs with a delicate flavour.

Luan, our current student, who is from Brazil, said "eewww, yucky!" (a new word for him!), but I think they look gorgeous :-)