Sunday, May 25, 2008

We've got cows!

Today was a big event on Cabbage Tree Farm as we bought 5 heifers. They are about 1 yr old.
Here they are enjoying the sunshine and grass.
The plan is we will graze them for a few months then have one of them butchered for the freezer and sell the remainder, then we'll buy in some more calves.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


While he was out at work, Graham (hubby) was given a whole lot of Granny Smith apples by a generous farmer. I've made apple and blackberry crumble and an apple shortcake, plus this morning apple nut muffins, recipe below:

1 egg
2/3 cup apple juice or milk
1/2 cup veg oil (I use Grapeseed)
1 tsp vanilla essence

2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbspn baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped nuts (I use pecan)
1 chopped apple
*cinnamon sugar to dust prior to baking

Mix wet ingredients together. In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients, add wet and then the apple and nuts. Mix gently until mixture moist, do not overmix or muffins become tough.
Put into oiled muffin pans, dust with cinnamon sugar and bake for about 15mins at 200 deg C.

* Blend 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon with 1/4 cup granulated sugar.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Liver and bacon casserole

Tonight I cooked up half of the piece of beef liver we were given from hubby's workmate Bruce, and it was delicious, nice and tender. I sliced it and coated it in flour then fried it to seal, and then put it in a casserole dish with some fried onion and some chopped bacon, a bay leaf and some stock. Cooked in the oven for about 1 1/2 hrs.

Game season part 2

Well we are a bit further down the track with game season and though hubby has ventured out several times in our locality, no birds as yet. Not very many ducks about and virtually no pheasants..... bad luck for us. Still there is time yet, and possibly better luck to be had in another location.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mushrooms and crab apples

Well once again we were given a whole lot more field mushrooms, just delicious. I made mushroom and bacon pasta again, also made cream of mushroom soup which was very nice. Just fry chopped onion and then mushrooms, add some milk, add some torn up white bread, let the bread soak up the milk, then whizz, add some cream and some herbs - I used thyme, the recipe called for parsley but as hubby isn't a great fan of it I left it out, add salt and pepper to taste and serve with fresh bread or bread rolls.

I've also made a whole lot more crab apple jelly recently. This time round it was much more successful, setting just right and no froth as I was vigilant about scooping it out during the cooking process plus I poured the jelly into the jars through a small sieve. I must have about 35 small jars now. Also enough juice to make another 25 or so......... yikes, oh well will keep us going for some time, plus always good to have in the pantry to give away as gifts.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Feijoa scones

I was looking for a cake recipe and happened upon this one for scones. It's from a fabulous book called A New Zealand Country Harvest Cookbook by Gilian Painter.

The scones were delicious so I'll definitely be making them again, and probably soon since it is feijoa season.

2 cups flour
2 tsps baking powder
50g butter
about 1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup chopped feijoas
1 egg
milk to mix

Sift flour and baking powder together and rub in chopped butter until breadcrumb-like. Add sugar and fruit, mix. Beat egg and add with enough milk to form a soft dough. Knead quickly and lightly on a floured surface. Roll out to about 2cm thick, cut into 5cm rounds and bake on greased baking tray for about 15mins. 210degs C.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Game Season

Yesterday saw the beginning of the game season. Hubby went out looking for duck or pheasant but unfortunately returned empty handed. The season runs for 3 months so there's plenty of time yet to have a nice meal of game bird!
We have a wetland area at the bottom of our land which runs along the whole peninsula and fortunately several land owners who are happy to let us have access for hunting purposes. Many of the surrounding properties are empty which is good for us.
Anyway I've got a few recipes lined up to try when the time comes.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Feijoas make a delicious pie

This time of year sees the short feijoa or pineapple guava season in New Zealand. I'm not much of a fan of them raw but love them cooked in pies. I've read that feijoas can be substituted for apples in pretty much any dessert recipe.
One of the favourites in our household is this recipe from Alison Holst.


1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
75-100g very cold butter (I freeze mine) the bigger quantity for a richer, flakier pastry
1/2 cup milk to which 1 tsp white wine vinegar has been added

Put flour and baking powder into bowl. Grate the butter and mix with a fork. Add the milk gradually while tossing with a fork. Gently press dough together then refrigerate for about 10 mins.


about 600g feijoas
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp melted butter

Halve feijoas. Scoop feijoa flesh into bowl. Add ground almonds, sugar and melted butter. Stir.

Preheat oven to about 200deg C. Roll out pastry to a largish round. I place this round on a baking tray or in a dish, then fill with the feijoa filling, then I just tuck the pastry over at the edges, pleating a few times, "free form" style.

Bake for about 25 mins. Serve with whipped cream, or your home made vanilla ice cream.


Steak and kidney pie, crock pot version

Once again we were very fortunate to be given some more fine food. This time, fresh kidneys and some liver courtesy of hubby's workmate Bruce, who had recently had a steer butchered. So steak and kidney pie was on the menu.
I found a good recipe for a crock pot version of cooking the steak and kidney, then just make some short crust pastry for the actual pie.


Some Stewing beef about 500 or 600g
Kidneys or just one chopped up beef kidney, it was quite large
3 Carrots, peeled and chopped
2 onions, chopped
A good slug of Worcestershire sauce
A small dash of Balsamic vinegar
About 8 juniper berries
About 8 whole black peppercorns
A squirt of tomato ketchup
A small handful of dried shitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water (add some of this liquid to the stew)
A handful of fresh thyme, chopped
Enough stock to almost cover the contents of the crock pot

Preheat crock pot and spray with oil. Chop up the beef and kidney into bite size pieces. Toss in flour to coat. Add to crock pot. Add carrots and onions and stir.Add other ingredients and stir. Cook for about 10 hrs. I started mine on high for a couple of hours then turned it to low.


2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
about 180g cold butter chopped
about 6 Tbspn ice cold water

Make pastry, chill then cut in half, roll out to fit base of pie dish, plus top. I used a pie funnel, put meat filling in, then topped with pastry. Brush with beaten egg. Cook 180degs C for about 35 mins.