Monday, May 20, 2013

Ugly Veg and Those Darn Piggies!

fall is in full swing here in the southern hemisphere .... and you know what that means.  UGLY VEG.  yep .... tis the season!  there are all those fabulous winter veg we know and love .... brocolli, cauliflower, snow pea's and broad beans to name but a few.

but spare a thot for the humble ugly veg.  my two favorite?  celeriac and kohlrabi!  i love how they look ... how could you not just stop and stare at something like this at the farmers market?  if these gorgeous funky creatures were sitting there i would pick one up and wonder what unscious and juicy creations i could cook up with them!

                             
                                              Celeriac

kohlrabi

versatility is the key ... well, along with variety!  both can be used cooked or raw (use shredded for a
my celeriac just waiting to go into the
veg patch!
coleslaw!  yum!) .... or used to fill out a hearty winter stew.  lots of people use celeriac as a straight replacement for potato in winter.  there are so many options.  try here for some celeriac options or this little gem for some kohlrabi links.  and who could ever pass up a Jamie Oliver option for the humble celeriac smash?

so give it a go .... whether growing or buying.  it's great to add a few new veg to your families palate and being creative in the kitchen is always cool!

and as a completely off topic addendum .... how 'bout those piggies!

truly ... it's a pigs life!

working on the last bit of the mini orchard .... and
then they'll be moved on to "greener" nose
plow pastures!  aren't they amazing!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

a life well lived

i was cranky for most of the morning today.  couldn't really figure out why until i stopped and thot about it ..... today was the day ....

today we would be processing our first chickens on the farm.

once i acknowledged the emotional turmoil going on in me ... knowing in my head it was the right thing, it was the road we had always known we would walk.  but talking about it / thinking about it is a world apart from actually doing it.

 it's really hard to describe the experience.  and honestly .... you probably don't want to hear the gory details (the pictures show a small part of the process).  what i'd rather focus on is the internal process and experience that i went through.

our commitment has always been to appreciate and use the animals that we own and grow.  to have them work with us, in a natural, happy and healthy way ... enjoying every minute of their lives.  knowing that their ultimate gift would be to provide a meal for us.  which meant that i knew that even in killing these chickens, they had lived a better life than any of the packaged birds you find in the grocery stores.  that helped a lot.

we had a friend experienced in this process come over and walk us  through each step.  really needed the support and they were great.  because we had two roosters to process, it meant they did one, and then we did the next .... so that we had the hands on experience as well as watching an expert do it.

both hubby and i made ourselves look in the chooks eyes as they were dispatched.  it felt like it was giving them the dignity that they deserved.  will i do that again?  not sure .... perhaps it was also about my own
acknowledgement of the dignity of the process and the whole way that our world is intertwined .... how God intended it to be (He sais in his word that these animals are here for us to be caretakers and stewards of).

once the feathers started coming off it became much easier and was a process to be followed.  learning step by step how to walk it through and do it right .... burning off some of the extra feathers.  and when taking out the innards -- don't break open the crop or cut the gall bladder!

and at the end of it, we had two great birds .... now resting in the fridge before freezing.  i'm going to hunt up the perfect roast chook recipe.  i look forward to tasting this meat.  i've been told that this meat has a completely different taste to the store bought birds .... i look forward to finding out and enjoying the gift that these animals are.