"We must achieve the character and acquire the skills to live much poorer than we do. We must waste less. We must do more for ourselves and for each other. It is either that or continue merely to think and talk about changes that we are inviting catastrophe to make. The great obstacle is simply this: the conviction that we cannot change because we are dependant on what is wrong. But that is the addict's excuse, and we know that it will not do."
—Wendell Berry

Sunday, 1 September 2013

and now for a nice chicken dinner

The meat chooks graduated from the pen to the freezer yesterday and today. I was quite pleased with the size and quality of the carcasses. Very large and plump. Of course the little feller had to help as you can see below. 
 It was a team effort. I caught, killed, scalded and operated the plucking machine before delivering the clean carcasses to the Child bride who dressed them out (which is a polite way of saying she cut of their heads and feet off before pulling the guts out) and bagged them for the freezer.
We ended up with thirty-nine good large carcasses, a bowl of hearts and a large bowl of livers. I have a recipe from a Danish friend for the hearts. She crumbs and fries them. Apparently they are a real hit with her otherwise finicky-eater children.
The livers I will use to make a very special pate recipe given to me by my sister in law, Robyn. It is simply the best pate I have ever eaten anywhere! I will publish the recipe (provided it is with her permission) in the future.
Last night we had a large roast chook for dinner. It was rich and tender and had a much stronger, but not at all unpleasant, flavour. It is simply the flavour we have come to associate with pure organic produce. The bird was large enough to supply three meals for a small family of big eaters.

On feral pests

As if cane toads, rabbits, wild dogs, feral cats and mynah birds weren't enough we now have a new feral pest to deal with around here.
Yes that is right, we now have feral peacocks or more correctly; peafowl. A week ago six peafowl wandered down the road and thought this looked like a good place to stay. They don't belong to any one we can locate and pretty much go where they please.
I know many people wonder why this is a problem. While I will concede they are pretty enough, peafowl bring a host of problems. For starters they are both loud and bloody noisy! In addition they will fight with our existing poultry for the food and ransack the chook shed. But mostly it is a problem because peafowl fly well and like to land on the roof - the same roof that catches all of our household water and I prefer my drinking water without a large dollop of peacock poo! 
So the peafowl must go. As efforts to drive them off have failed so far we intend to instead tame them with regular feed in one of the spare chook pens where they will eventually be trapped before being sold to some peacock fancier who lives a long, long way from here. Unlike most other livestock on the place they will not be fattened and eaten. This is because I am informed that peacock tasted marginally worse than barbequed sneakers...
Anyone want to buy a peacock, going cheap?*

*well actually going "macawww, macawww" all bloody day long as they roam about like they own the place.