The best bangers and a mighty tasty calzone

Hi All,

Earl and I braved the highway today for a long walk home. Steve and Bezial are having a bonding day in town and Earl and I are spending a nice quiet morning at home. I quite like the idea of pottering around not doing very much but apparently Earl isn’t all that enamoured of this situation and is sitting on his recliner looking decidedly morose. Steve headed off to town to his awaiting hair appointment with Bezial and dropped Earl and I off up the road next to an apple selling stall and we had a cold but enjoyable stroll home veering off the side of the road whenever a large road train thundered past. I am very glad that Earl isn’t scared of loud noises or walking while traffic zooms by. We arrived home and Earl raced through the house excitedly looking for Steve and Bezial and returned looking quizzical which turned into deflated and now, as previously mentioned, he has receded into morose. Steve just phoned to tell me that Bezial had half a breakfast subway and a frolic with Qi at the girls place in town while Steve was getting his hair cut. Not one to be outdone, I promptly cooked Earl 5 eggs for his breakfast and I dare say the dogs will both sniff each other to detect illicit treats that have passed their lips while they have been apart. With a bit of luck Steve will be able to get some bones from Nigel’s Gourmet Meats on Tamar. Nigel makes the BEST sausages in the world. There…I said it. I just told you that any sausage eaters in your midst need to be EXTREMELY jealous because his bangers are the best. He makes the best Thai chicken sausages around and Steve recently had some amazing pork and black truffle snags that would make the queen drool. Nigel also produces the very best dog bones and Steve will be dropping in today in the hope that he has some left for the boys to share later on this afternoon. I will get another Gillian Flynn book to read…this one is called “Gone Girl”. I really enjoyed her last 2 books that I read and only discovered her through a food blog that I read.

This was the only “person” at the counter when we went to buy a whipper snipper head recently…he stared at us…we stared at him…not to sure what kind of customer service this was so headed on over to another counter!

A gorgeous big Japanese Maple on our walk around Kayena that we do on a regular basis with the boys. I love this house, this tree and this garden. What’s not to love?

Another one of our walks…this time up a steep hill near where we live. We are hill daredevils now! This road leads nowhere BUT it’s a pretty nowhere so we might just take a right here next time we are huffing up the hill…

I have been procrastinating about reigniting Brunhilda. We are on the dregs of dry wood in our woodshed but the weather has taken a turn for the worse and its cold today. I have wrapped myself in a doona as I type and Earl is out on sentry duty on the deck waiting for Steve and Bezial to come home. The weep-weep bird is back along with a particularly annoying new bird that sounds like a cat in distress. It would be bad enough with one bird making punitive cries all day and night but there are two of them singing/crying in unison! I was shaking out the blanket on Earl’s chair this morning  in a vain effort to minimise the hairs floating all over the place in all of the rooms and noticed Adrian next door wandering around looking for something. I think she was trying to find the source of the crying. Hopefully she realises that it is a bird and not something terrified or hurt which is what it sounds like. I just finished a rough draft for the article that I have been asked to write about the Tamar NRM. I can’t praise them highly enough for the recent series of free events highlighting sustainability and natural resource management. Back in the day it was called “farming” and “how to make do with what you have” but as trends change, so do the names that support said trends and everything is green in the state of Tasmania. We just heard that Tasmania has the worst jobless rate in Australia. I am not surprised. There isn’t much going on in Tasmania at the moment and the government seems hell bent on pushing unsustainable quick fixes as our future rather than supporting slow growth via quality food production and clean green tourism and businesses. They cling onto the past with a tenacity verging on panic. No-one wants to say the obvious that Tasmania has lagged WAY behind the rest of Australia thanks to its parochialism and nepotistic desire to cling to the past. The Tamar NRM is showing people how to make positive changes in their lives. Whether you have money or not, you CAN make small changes to how you do things that will add up to a cost saving to you and less of a drain on the world as a whole.

I need to thank Spencer from the wonderful resource http://anthropogen.com/ for sharing a fantastic link with me this morning. I actually subscribe to this blog but somehow missed this amazing article that is completely pertinent to our situation here in Temperate Australia. Here are the two links that caught my eye and got me excited…

http://permaculturenews.org/2012/09/06/perennial-food-plants-food-forest-gardens-and-food-security/

What a fantastic idea and a wonderful way to create a sense of community through ensuring our ongoing food security. That initial post led to this next one which is the first of (hopefully) many land owners sharing what they are doing to shore up their food supplies on their land

http://permaculturenews.org/2012/10/11/food-from-perennialising-plants-in-temperate-climate-australia-for-september-2012/

Its articles like these that keep me fired up for what we are doing on Serendipity Farm. Last week I became incredibly enthused with water wicking. I heard about it initially through Bev at http://foodnstuff.wordpress.com that uses water wicking beds to combat using precious potable water on her vegetable beds. Water wicking promises up to 50% less water used to grow vegetable crops whilst increasing the yield and quality of vegetables thanks to a much more efficient watering system and more readily available water to be used by the plant on call. I learned that you can create a wicked water bed next to your fruit trees and alongside young trees that need initial watering until their roots are able to seek water lower down in the soil profile. The more I learn about these amazing ways to do things that are more efficient along with less energy intensive the more excited I get about applying these ideas to Serendipity Farm. If you are after some quality information for free, check out these resources through http://www.soilandhealth.org/ thanks to Steve Solomon and now Justin Crawford. Its people like these and the many bloggers out in the ether sharing what they learn and know with the rest of us that facilitate a growing grassroots community of resilience and hope. Cheers to all of you and thank you SO much for your efforts. They truly are appreciated by us all :o)

It was a lovely day today on Serendipity Farm. This photo was taken by Steve as he walked Earl. The road goes right up to the edge of the river at this point and gives a lovely photo opportunity most mornings as we set off

I really like this shot of the river…Steve’s phone probably takes better photos than our camera!

It’s a magnificent sunny spring day here on Serendipity Farm. The sun is shining…the sky is bright Microsoft blue and everything is happy and sparkling. The local art group has chosen today to park at the Auld Kirk church next door and are drawing and painting this lovely day for posterity. Our chooks are suspicious of them and are protesting at more humans interrupting their clucking and scratching. Someone has a little Chihuahua type dog and Earl and Bezial have their ears cocked listening whilst pretending to be asleep and basking on the sun warmed deck. Our American hippy friend is apparently going to come to our house and use a Geiger counter to show us how bad our lights are for us…hope he doesn’t go too close to the computer, the fridge, the television and Earl or that sucker is going to go off the dial! Our American Hippy friend sees conspiracies behind every hedge. I prefer to save my conspiracies for when I give a damn about something as much like anything else, the novelty wears off pretty quickly if you immerse yourself in something constantly. He dropped off a couple of conspiracy D.V.D.s for us to watch and one about food forests which I might even watch. He rode his loud old motorbike (that we can hear all the way from his place) up and didn’t even come inside. We had even managed to find a Frank Zappa album in Steve’s collection to add his sort of ambiance to his visit. He was run over by a truck in Nam (or somewhere like that) and has a built up shoe and a strange way of walking but for a man of his age he is most definitely NOT boring. He has a long dreadlock ponytail, an unusual way of looking at things and wants our pile of old steel up behind the house. He can share it with our friend in the witness protection’s partner. The boys whined on the deck while he was here because for some reason they absolutely love him. Bezial thinks that he is his best friend EVER something that was reinforced into Bezials food controlled brain when he bought the boys some pig’s ears and was forever forged in Bezials mind as “A Good Sort”. He is our sort of people. Not completely “right” and definitely not someone that you would take home to meet your parents.

What a lovely part of the world we live in 🙂

As you can see, the road really DOES go right down to the river and this is taken on the border of Glads place next door and our property

I am sure that our respective neighbours will someday come to understand that Steve and I are not manufacturing crack, growing dope or plotting to relieve them of all of their worldly goods. I actually got to talk to one of the more upper crust neighbours who are terrified that our boys are going to eat her fluffy little “Nelson”. I was walking Earl because Bezial has a dicky digit and both he and I need the exercise or bad things happen. I just “happened” to let slip that we are studying our Diploma in Landscaping…not something that I would usually care to slip into the conversation (not being a wanker by choice) but this lady holds sway in the local vicinity and my little ploy appears to have worked because today, Steve was walking Earl on his own (Bezials digit is still dicky) and the middle classers who own the 7/11 on the corner (really an expensive environmentally correct house but it looks just like a 7/11 to us ;)) actually “spoke” to Steve! Normally they would rather walk into the house as the pit-bull toting rednecks wrangled those monsters past…maybe they need a hand with their lavender and rosemary hedges and their dry stone walls and their climbing roses? 😉 Best not ask us then!

Steve took this photo today as he was standing on the deck having a coffee

Looking back towards Glad’s place. As you can see, spring is making everything green here now

Gone girl tastes too good. It’s rich and creamy and I know I am going to “eat” it too fast for my own good and get sick and when I get to the end after rushing/gulping it down in one long marathon, sneaking it into the toilet and carrying it myopically into the bathroom when I am brushing my teeth I am going to be disappointed that I didn’t make it last…sucking the last of the marrow out of its bones and I will be sad. Was that poetic? It’s how I feel when I get a good book and can’t stop being greedy about it. I am a greedy person…generous AND greedy and I love to share my greed. I love how Gillian Flynn writes…she directs you like you are dancing with her and her hand is on the small of your back expertly ferrying you around the dance floor till you arrive at the winner’s podium shocked because you can’t even dance. Authors like that are rare and I am feeling a bit shell shocked that I have only just started her third and most recent novel and I am already lamenting “The End”. I put the book down (with difficulty). I just had to smile because I spelled “difficulty” correctly. The ONLY reason that I can spell that word is that my grandad taught me a little rhyme to remember how to spell it and even though I learned that little rhyme about 40 years ago, it has stuck with me and that word has never tripped me up. I guess one word is better than none! I think I might have to stalk Ms Gillian Flynn and see if I can’t get her to write her next novel A.S.A.P. because the book that I am reading was only printed in August 2012. As nice as she was to write a book for my birthday, it doesn’t make up for the fact that I am going to have to go cold turkey pretty soon so she is just going to have to write faster. If any of my American dear constant readers live anywhere near Ms Flynn, please feel free to head over to her house and tell her that I would like her to write another book… better still…how about she does what they did with the back to the future trilogy and writes 3 at once? Just sayin’…

This little seaplane often comes in for a landing on the river here

Going…going…

Gone!

It’s now just on 5pm and I have a batch of Italian herb bread dough on proving to make Steve some more calzones for his tea tonight. He must have liked the last lot because they are all gone, even the two that were frozen for later consumption. I ran out of sopressa so it’s all bacon, mushroom, capsicum and spring onion with cheese today. For some reason the bread dough was completely different this time to when I last made it. I am not phased because murphy has my name in his book of laws right up there on the first page and constantly feels the need to update me with his erstwhile laws right in the middle of doing just about everything so I am used to things going a bit skewwhiff. It smells good and that’s enough for now!  I might finish up this lazy post pretty soon. I have meandered through the day in a bit of a haze. Unlike most of Australia, Tasmania is still pretty cold through the day and as the last day of the Launceston Royal Agricultural Show has just about come to a halt we can plant out our tomatoes tomorrow! That might sound a bit strange but it’s a tried and tested date that all Northern Tasmanian vegetable gardeners adhere to religiously. If you plant before then…you are a “bloody idiot”! We were bloody idiots way back when we first moved here in 2007 because we didn’t know any better. We made a lovely veggie garden and planted out a multitude of unusual tomato varieties in complete blind ignorance. We didn’t even know to stake them and so we ended up with frizzled dead frozen tomatoes that had to be replaced (muttering and complaining) with more multitudes of varieties because most of them died. We flouted the “after the show” rule and lived to pay the price. Older now, and one would hope wiser, we are preparing to plant our tomatoes, capsicums, chillis and a small punnet of lettuces that Steve bought the other day at one of the local hardware shops (actually Woolworths in “local” disguise) car park sale. Our friend in the witness protection, who works at said hardware shop, was run off her feet and unable to say much because she was being trailed by elderly ladies and buffeted with questions from all sides.

Steve got all artistic today

and again…

Last weeks calzone fillings and a close approximation of this weeks calzone fillings 😉

And so our time together has come to an end…it’s actually come to an end because my calzone dough has risen up nicely and needs to be given a bit of a thump to remove some air and then I will cut it into 4, roll it out into nice 20cm circles and will cover half of the circle with filling, scrunch up the edges in a rough approximation of something that I saw on a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall program (so it must be kosher…), brush it with egg wash and shove it into a nice hot Brunhilda oven to bake. Steve is out trying to stop Felix from scarfing our feral chooks 3 little babies. He can’t sit out there all day and the mother is going to have to take her chances with a proven chick killer. It never stops here on Serendipity Farm! See you on Wednesday :o)

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. brymnsons
    Oct 13, 2012 @ 18:58:04

    Hi Frannie are calzones like gozlemes? They are delicious and I am going to look on taste.com.au to see if they have a recipe. If not I will go world web trolling, but not with nasty comments, just the old fashioned sort of trolling, before nasty got hip and people forgot their manners 🙂

    Reply

    • narf77
      Oct 14, 2012 @ 11:18:48

      Calzone are a sort of inside out pizza Kymmy. They are the same dough as a pizza, you pile one side of them up (like when you make pasties) and you fold the other side over and seal it (easier than pasties as bread dough LOVES to stick together ;)) and then bake them. They are easy to make (only 1 rise for the dough) and they are delicious (apparently). I put the link for the recipe that I made in the post before last or was it last saturday? Go check as I am sure I put a link in and the recipe is very easy. All I did different was to toss in some Italian dried mixed herbs to the bread dough and that made it smell amazing as well as put some dried chilli in the filling as Steve loves chilli. Good luck and I bet you love them! 🙂

      Reply

  2. christiok
    Oct 14, 2012 @ 02:19:25

    I’m putting Gillian Flynn on my list, Fran. And I love the river view and walk pictures. Tasmania is gorgeous. Kudos to you and Steve for connecting with a fearful neighbor, and wow, another interesting ex-pat American in Tasmania! I’m seeing a trend…

    Reply

    • narf77
      Oct 14, 2012 @ 11:24:55

      Lol…this expat American is mates with the other reprobate (Mr Solomon) and together they are formidable ;). Tasmania IS gorgeous and the sad thing is that the locals don’t tend to even notice the beauty. Steve and I walk around and still marvel at how lucky we are to be walking right alongside a gorgeous clean water river full of fish that we can head out into on any given day to fish, or just sit and read. Gillian Flynn writes really good books. I fell asleep over “Gone Girl” last night and woke up totally philosophical about man/woman relationships and stopping myself from complaining about things that I normally would. I have this problem in that I am always trying to work out the ending of a book as I go through. I love mysteries and it makes my day if I guess “who dun it” BUT it also makes the ending a bit of an anticlimax so I am trying to stop that part of my brain from wandering ahead to see if it can work out where the “Gone Girl” actually is…can’t say its working because my brain has already told me a theory about what is happening. Great writer and great books. Pity she has only written 3! I wonder if she lives in Seattle…. lol! 😉

      Reply

  3. foodnstuff
    Oct 14, 2012 @ 12:06:47

    Looks like you live in a beautiful place. I’m envious!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Oct 15, 2012 @ 05:08:58

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and a photo can cover a multitude of sins Bev. I very rarely show photos of the back of the block (the majority of the property) because it’s dry, arid, rocky, hilly, sheoky and a real problem to deal with. I once asked my lecturer how I was going to deal with the runoff from the property as our property is on a VERY steep incline (enough to get your heart rate up just walking down and back to the mailbox to check for mail) with all of the rocks in our soil and he said “Swales”…a difficult premise when you can’t put a spade into the ground without hitting rock. We have to build up our gardens and make raised garden beds because of the rocks and we only get 600mm of rainfall a year here in “our bit” of Tasmania, not much more than Hobart does and Hobart is the third driest city in Australia! It always looks greener over the fence and I make sure it does! ;). I am researching temperate xeriscape plants for our edible food garden and am having to narrow down a lot of water saving ideas and that is how I found your blog in the first place because I was researching water wicking. I can’t believe more people don’t know about it and I actually had to give my lecturer a PDF about it because, despite being an old hippy himself, HE had never heard of it! I champion water wicking now because I have learned so much from sites like yours. Cheers for the help and information and here’s looking forwards to lots more 🙂

      Reply

  4. Katie Glenn
    Oct 16, 2012 @ 03:22:46

    I’m so intrigued by the water wicking beds! Let us know how it goes if you give it a try.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Oct 16, 2012 @ 04:37:09

      I most certainly will :). Pity I can’t send you veggies… I dare say we will have WAY too many for our own needs :).

      Reply

  5. Hannah (BitterSweet)
    Oct 16, 2012 @ 12:27:18

    Love the photos of the plane- What an awesome moment to capture! That trio of images really speak for themselves, no need for motion of animation to bind them together. 🙂 Your surroundings are just so incredible, you must never run out of fascinating, beautiful (and yes, sometimes odd) things to photograph. Sounds like a dream to me!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Oct 16, 2012 @ 15:11:44

      You are absolutely right in that we never tire of taking photos of this beautiful place that we live in, however we bow to your photographic skills and can only thank goodness that some of our photos turn out alright or the blog would be one enormous monologue without breaks ;). We never take our surroundings for granted and the amazing thing is that the place we live is one of the less attractive in Tasmania! There are some amazing cold climate rainforests, some absolutely gorgeous rare trees and forests, pristine habitat, weird and funky animals and all tied up with a whole lot of history as Tasmania was the very first penal colony set up in Australia where they shipped all of the convicts (mostly Irish apparently) as far as they could away from the U.K. so there are some amazing places to search out historical photos of ruins etc. The church right next door to us was built by convict labour almost 200 years ago (that’s old for Australian history ;)). I will always be grateful to my reprobate of a dad for gifting us this amazing chance at life that he left us. “I forgive you dad!” 😉

      Reply

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