Invasion of the moths

Hi All,

“Dreams are illustrations… from the book your soul is writing about you.” If that is the case, my soul is having severe problems with its task going by the dream that I had last night! Do you ever have weird and wonderful dreams? Ms Marsha Norman wrote that most poignant and beautiful quote that I just appropriated. My dream was a mangled mixture of past and present with people that I haven’t seen in years playing a pivotal role. I dare say it’s because it’s that time of year when our thoughts turn to what we have done in the last year, summing up our achievements and our tasks still to accomplish and just where we ended up. It’s also that time of the year where we make our resolutions. I am giving up smoking this year. Nice, simple and totally achievable in that I don’t smoke so it should be a no brainer that I might just succeed with this resolution. Pingu spent her first day pecking around in the big wide world yesterday. She was released from her small safe cage where she has spent the last 2 weeks outside and spent the day pecking around, dust bathing and doing what normal chickens do. Steve shunted her into the main roost with the other hens and ducks for the first night lived as a real chicken and this morning when he went to let all of the various poultry out he couldn’t find Pingu. He hunted, counted, looked and checked several times over but no Pingu. We got to the point where we were sifting through the hay in the roost looking for a poor pecked to death Pingu when Steve noticed her sitting quietly in the outside area of the coop, perfectly fine and happy as a Pingu in the proverbial dung. She has been seen basking on the carpet where Jacko likes to lay, scratching around in the dirt with a large hen and hanging about with the ducks. I think that Pingu is now an official chicken.

Steve just got back from town and handed me a box. My D.V.D’s of the Gourmet Farmer series 1 & 2 have arrived! I won copies of these D.V.D’s on a competition run on a blog that I follow. I am a consummate glutton and this blog reminds me of scouring Northbridge, Perth and Fremantle for large portions of good food for low prices when we used to take our annual pilgrimage to Perth for Christmas shopping. The Food Pornographer (or TFP for short) gave us all a chance to win copies of the D.V.D’s if we made a comment on what we wanted to do living in the country. We are already attempting to do that so it wasn’t hard to imagine and I actually won a copy of the D.V.D’s! I have seen the first series but not the second and so we can settle down and watch them over the next few nights. Thanks TFP for the chance to own these D.V.D’s. Your food blog is fun and your Lego blog is twice as much fun :o).  I would imagine that we are not the only family languishing under a slowly decomposing pile of Christmas leftovers about now. We are stoically attempting to munch our way through them but alas, I think that we are fighting a losing battle. I have already been throwing cherries over the balcony to the madding crowd of beaks and feathers beneath. Effel doocark spends most of the day with her 2 babies underneath the deck waiting for me to toss something over so that she gets first dibs. This morning it was left over sausages and cheese auspiciously for the cats but the chooks were getting most of it. The dogs now turn up their noses at their regular prime steak and wait for us to unleash the prawns, roast beef and roast pork. The feral cats have also partaken of prawns and the hens have had devilled eggs. We are trying valiantly to eat the last of Steve’s amazing Quinella dessert before it curdles and Madeline’s amazing tiramisu made with Greek yoghurt, coffee liqueur, mascarpone and crème fraîche because they are desserts to be savoured with great gusto and memorable creations to be reincarnated over and over and over again. Most of the fridge is filled with things that we can’t logically eat without booking in to the local hospital and having immediate liposuction or we will succumb to heart attacks by New Year’s Day. Despite our best efforts, we failed. We got sucked in by the madding “BUY NOW” advertisements and ended up with way too much food again. Unlike years past, we are NOT going to waste this food and contribute to the landfill nightmare that accompanies this time of year. If it can be recycled it will be fed to the chooks, ducks or put into the compost heap (for the possums). If it can’t be recycled, it will be rethought and made into some other meal. If there is anything left after that, it will be buried in the dead of night and you won’t even know about it so my recycled, sustainable hippy lifestyle can remain untarnished :o)

I got some really interesting books for Christmas this year. I will be spending the next few days reading the chook books and the other 2 cookbooks will be used on a regular basis as they involve recipes that we will use regularly. One book is on pizzas and the other is for quiche. We have yet to make our wood fired pizza oven and have to get our pile of bricks from town where they are currently languishing, to here. So much to do and only 5 weeks to do it in! We have renegotiated our insane desire to have everything done by the time that we go back to Polytechnic. It’s just not possible and is entirely unreasonable. This is our time to have a break and to enjoy our time away from study and so we are going to mess about down in the gardens getting knee deep in mud and possibly leeches, scratched up by blackberries and anything else that takes offense at our puny attempts to tame it and overwhelmed by the ever burgeoning piles of organic debris dotting the countryside all over Serendipity Farm. We have hens laying eggs all over the place and no idea where they are. We race out when we hear a hen singing the Ave Maria egg song (we are both well versed in the song “I laid an egg…I am so great…give me all praise…”) but the crafty sods have left the building by the time that they start to sing and do you think we can find their cleverly hidden protein packs in the masses of undergrowth, shrubbery and long grass? No doubt we will be sitting on the deck enjoying a nice cold beer after a hard days slog down in the second garden when we will get the lilting scent of rancid eggs exploding in the breeze in a week or so. I suppose I can take some solace in the fact that whoever is sitting on them gloating over her mass of unclaimed, un-stolen eggs is going to get more of a shock then I am when they go off, but it’s a hollow victory and we would rather be in possession of said eggs than afraid of their aging potential.

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I bet you were wondering what the title had to do with todays post. I hadn’t mentioned anything about moths so perhaps I had a bit too much left over Christmas Cheer last night and am seeing pink elephants? Nope…I am back to typing tomorrows post today again. It’s the best way to get a good post early in the day for you, my constant readers, and now that you are all part of this blog, we all need that first cuppa in the morning to get us going so sometimes what happens today, is tomorrows news (if that makes any sense?!) It’s been quite warm here lately (as mum will attest to) and we have taken to leaving the windows open in the evenings for the lovely sea breeze that drifts around the corner from Bass Strait and meanders its way down the Tamar River to our house. It brings instant relief from the heat, but it also brings in every moth and light seeking insect known to man. We noticed a few more than usual moths hanging about but when we went to bed and turned out the light last night we were assailed  by little furry bodies and beating wings. Earl had a ball but we got sick of swatting them away. Tonight we remember to close the screen doors. Along with the moths we have our resident huntsman spider who has just shed his skin as you can see so he will now be bigger than he was before. We also have a most interesting situation with native wasps bringing their nests indoors this year. We have been hearing a curious buzzing sound coming from various areas around the house but couldn’t find where it was coming from. We assumed it was spiders doing their thing with the blowflies that drift through the house (in one door and out the other and sometimes getting caught on the way through) but when he was watching television the other night he noticed a native wasp emerging from behind a large gilded mirror that we have in the lounge room. The wall is unrendered brick and Steve lifted up the mirror and noticed a small mud nest behind the mirror. We see our resident wasp hunting for flies in the aluminium window sills. She doesn’t bother us…we don’t bother her and everything is fine down on Serendipity Farm where we all live together somewhat harmoniously…

Steve was a bit worried about Pingu today when he found her clucking behind a box in his shed. I told him that I thought that she was trying to get cool as it’s a hot day out there but he was sure that she was feeling some sort of poultry identity crisis and would probably need some sort of chook therapy. I was happy to relate her antics to him when I later went out to feed the hens some multigrain bread and noted Pingu pinching bread from Big Yin and dashing about happily stealing from any hen foolish enough to leave a bit of bread unguarded. She will get used to her new situation and she is in the “somewhat safe” category now because she is a mid-sized chook rather than one of the smallest chickens. Some of the first round of Serendipity Farm chicks are promising to be most interesting after changing on a regular basis. No idea what sex most of them are as they appear to be keeping it under their combs for now, but no doubt we will be seeing definite rooster behaviour in some of them someday soon. We have stopped being the overprotective first time parents that we first were and now, should something scoff one of the younger babies, it’s sad, but not the end of the world. We thought that Effel had lost one of her remaining 2 babies the other day after a particularly loud commotion out near the cat conifer. The cat conifer is where the cats have laid claim to and is a very large shrub indeed. There is a sort of no-man’s land that the hens and cats warily pass each other by and that Effel insists on taking her 2 small babies into on a regular basis. On the day in question, Effel had her babies right next to the gap where the 4 new kittens regularly appear and they might not be starving, but a little fluff ball is a most interesting toy for 4 kittens who spend all day cooped up in a large conifer waiting for their mum to bring them sparrows. We get regular commotions from the hens and we tend to ignore them now as it’s usually Big Yin attempting to repopulate the earth or a hen looked at another hen sideways and they took offense. The boys don’t even bother to run out much anymore but we all raced out this time and noted Effel and 1 baby and lots of poultry representatives in various stages of “cluck”. After watching for some time we couldn’t see Effels other baby and after scorning her from above for being such a dumb cluck and bad mother we headed inside to commiserate over the poor little thing that didn’t stand a chance with such a loser of a mum. The next day it was back! Houdini hen still has 5 feral babies that are growing exponentially and that do not return to the coop at night time. I don’t know where they are living but the side garden appears to be where they hang out most of the time so that is my best guess. The babies are going to grow up semi-wild as they don’t trust anything much including their mum who led them into the path of Earl twice in a single day and I had to extract them from various shrubs and agaves to save their lives while mum attacked me and clucked me senseless for my efforts. We are learning so much about life cycles, what matters and what is most important when it comes to birds and poultry. They are pretty easy going and seem to be reasonably self-sufficient apart from needing daily fresh water and good quality free range poultry mix. Who knows what sex the ducks are, but if I get a male and a female Nat is going to get back from work one day to 2 ducks (and their progeny) on her front lawn…

How’s that for a post? Hopefully alright constant readers considering I haven’t written a post since the Sunday before Christmas… I hope that you are all recovering nicely from Christmas and that you find something to use your leftovers for that will allow you to feel smug and not guilty because you are tossing out loads of semi-mouldy overly expensive food that cost you an arm and a leg and that really was too much for your needs. Next year we have both decided that we are going to help out with the Beaconsfield Anglican Church “Meal for everyone” in whatever capacity they want us to help on the day, we are then coming home to a meal of amazing subway style sandwiches full of every delicious ingredient that makes our hearts sing washed down by a nice red for Steve and a bottle of my favourite Rekorderlig Swedish cider for me and a box each of our chosen favourite ice-creams (mine will be almond magnum’s…). There you go. It will cost us about $50 unlike the $500 odd that we spent on food and drink this year. I steadfastly and point-blank REFUSE to give in to commercialism next Christmas. If anyone is staying with us, too bad. It’s subway or the highway! See you all tomorrow when I have a special post about a new creature living on Serendipity Farm…


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kym
    Dec 29, 2011 @ 14:58:52

    Well we have a bit of roast beef left over so I have minced up about half of it for a shepherds pie. I did this with a wonderful attachment that goes on my second hand Kenwood Chef. I bought this off a lady who’s mother in law had passed away. It has every attachment known to man! They must have been presents each birthday and xmas, there’s even one that makes cream… I love it to bits. Its old but still going strong, I just need to find a ceramic bowl for it as it has the plastic one. Other than that we have been having yummy lunches and teas, which along with hungry young men, have gone down well. It has turned hot so it is nice not to have to cook. I haven’t had shepherds pie for years, so i have looked in my trusty women’s weekly file to see what recipe they have. From memory it is pretty much like the one Mum use to make. I still have some left over roast spuds, okay I went overboard on those, so we can have them with the pie too, and the last of the salads.We are one son down at the moment so the food has lasted a bit longer than usual. Chris is unit sitting with his girlfriend. Her sister has gone away for the week. It is saving us around 50 bucks a day! LOL. I’m off to do a mini top up shop, just the basics, so take care and looking forward to tomorrows post x


    • narf77
      Dec 29, 2011 @ 16:00:49

      I am suitably impressed Kym! We have been throwing things out to the chooks, feeding the feral cats (apart from when they are feeding themselves our little chickens that is!) and trying to find interesting ways to recycle our masses of Christmas leftovers. We made goose fat roast potatoes and were looking forwards to something heavenly when we spent just on $16 for a small jar of French goose fat and to be honest, they were no better than our normal spuds done with olive oil! To anyone believing what the gourmets say on TV DON’T waste your money on goose fat. Its simply not worth it. We are back to just Steve and I and could you send a few of your hungry sons over this way? We have so much food that even though we gave a fair whack of it to our daughters (who also have way too many leftovers), we are slowly drowning in it. We often see old Kenwood Mixers and bowls and I have a friend who has a market stall so I will keep my eye out for any Kenwood ceramic bowls. If I find you one I will get it for you. Market prices here are really cheap and garage sales are ridiculously cheap so I should be able to pick one up (should one come along that is…) for very little. I will also keep my eyes open in op shops as I frequent them often and we are going to be tossing out most of our clothes tomorrow so that we can find things in the wardrobes so I will have a hunt. Well done on the leftovers and I have recycling envy of your prowess. Shepherds pie is one of Steve’s favourite meals so I won’t show him this comment or I will have to make it to :o) See you tomorrow


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