Monday, April 28, 2008

Roast chicken (our very own)

Last night we ate the Indian Game rooster that hubby had butchered while I was away on my travels. For what looked like a small bird it was 2kgs in weight so not bad at all.

I stuffed it with a mixture of prune, couscous and pistachios, also a little fresh ginger, cardamom and cayenne. Then I roasted it in the oven for a couple of hours. Very nice.

Our first attempts at eating our own chicken weren't quite so successful as previously we took the feathers and skin off together as it was much easier than plucking. However, the meat dries out too easily without the skin so it's worth the extra effort to pluck the bird, rather than take the easier option. One or two errant feathers still remaining in the skin came out after cooking so no problem there.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Autumn in the garden

Well it is time to get into tidying up the vege garden so it can be prepared for winter crops. The weather has cooled now, and we've got rain again today.
Yesterday I removed the last of the runner beans. Also collected the last of the pumpkins and pulled up the vines.
We still have tomatoes, but a lot of them are victims of rot or bugs, so no good to eat. I went through them yesterday and saved the best. I'm going to make tomato jam for a change. The rest will be pulled up as we need to turn over the soil, hubby will do this with our rotary hoe. Then we'll put down some fertiliser - will muck out the chook coop and use that, also have some bags of sheep manure we bought back in Spring from a local farmer. Finally we need to cover any bare soil with mulch, have lots of sawdust ready for this.
Seedlings being raised at present include cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, onions, and green and red cabbages. More to go in due course, including leeks, turnips, carrots, collard, Welsh onions and asparagus peas.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Field mushrooms

We were lucky to be given a harvest of fresh field mushrooms today (thanks Bruce).

One of my favourite recipes for mushrooms is Mushroom and Bacon Pasta.

Olive oil
1 small onion chopped
1 clove of garlic
About 150g mushrooms, wiped and chopped
A few rashers of good quality bacon, chopped
Cream, about 300mls
Sea salt and cracked pepper
Pasta, I use dry spirals or penne, but fresh is always best if you can get it.
Parmesan or Romano cheese for serving

Fry onion, garlic and bacon in oil until soft.
Cook pasta until "al dente".
Add mushrooms to bacon and onion mixture, cook through and then add cream, let it bubble and thicken for a while.
Mix pasta with the sauce, serve on hot plates with the cheese grated on top and salt and pepper to taste. Maybe a little green salad on the side. And a glass of nice wine. Delicious.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Holidays, roosters and roast lamb

I'm back after a couple of weeks touring NZ with my sister and her son, who were over from the UK. We had a great time. It's lovely to be home though and hurrah we have rain today at last! It has been so dry and we were just about out of water (being on tank supply - filled off the roof).
In my absence hubby has butchered a young rooster and put it in the freezer all prepared to go in the oven, so we can have a nice roast chicken one night when we feel like it.
Also we sold one the other big Indian Game rooster (in picture) to a local lady. Our hens will no doubt feel a lot better not having the attention of so many male chooks!
Tonight though I'm cooking up roast lamb with some rosemary and olive oil. We were given a couple of joints of lamb by the local farmer a while back. Since I'm using a very small benchtop oven I don't have room to do roast veges too, so it will be a mash of potatoes and pumpkin (out of our garden) and maybe some good old peas as we are a bit lacking in the green vege dept.