Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Olive Trees taste good, so does rabbit!

 One morning last week, I looked out of the window and spotted our neighbour's sheep in what I thought was his paddock. I could see the new baby lambs and went out to take a photograph. As I got closer, I saw they were actually on OUR side of the fence! (must need new glasses!) AND they were happily nibbling on the newly planted olive trees. Frans and I chased them back to the other side. They didn't even notice the electric fence! Our grass and trees are obviously better as they have visited a number of times over the past few days. We have also noticed that the trees have been gnawed along the stems. Rabbits! Tell tale droppings have confirmed that we have too many nightly visitors that are helping themselves to our trees. I've since wrapped strips off cut up feed sacks around the stems to hopefully stop the damage.
These little babies are twins. They play and jump around the paddock. So lovely to watch.

So back to the rabbits...
Well, two of them are going to be pie!

Frans has learned to skin and gut a rabbit in quick time. They get left to hang overnight and then I get the job of cutting it up. No point in being squeamish! It's food. Delicious, low food miles, and free! And don't worry, those t.towels are not for kitchen use!
I jointed the carcasses, and layered them between baking paper and popped them in a zip lock bag (my favourite kitchen helper!) There was 2.5kgs of meat. This will provide us with a family feast when we next have an big group of visitors!
We're coming to the end of our Summer and Autumn veggies. I pulled up a big basket of beetroot this week. We had a delicious vegetable lasagne with home grown veggies and home made ricotta cheese. 
My brother Lionel visited us for a night (quick visit!) and I shoved a big fat free range chook into the wood oven. The stove has been burning 24/7 for a couple of weeks. Many pails of wood will be hauled into the kitchen in the next few months. There's something about the warmth in the kitchen that a wood stove pumps out. It says 'home'!
One of the last chores for the season is seed gathering. I'm drying dill seeds in these packets. I pick the drying flowers, bunch a few together and put them 'face down' into a brown paper bag. I leave them for a couple of weeks then make myself a cup of tea and sit outside in the sun and wriggle all the little dried seeds from the flower heads. I will use the seeds to grow more dill next spring, but even better, I have a big spice jar full of these aromatic seeds. They are delicious sprinkled in a potato salad, fish or in a salad dressing. 
The sunflowers are also coming to the end of their splendour. I've cut the heads off the stalks and will dry them. Then it will be another cup of tea in the sun activity... breaking the seeds apart. Some will go into seed bags for next season, and the rest will be given to the chooks. They LOVE the seeds!
There are so many different varieties and sizes of sunflowers! This is a BIG one. Can't remember the name, but the stalk grows to over 2m!

In between working in the yard or the kitchen, I'm madly working on Sara and Stephen's wedding quilt. It's not going to be finished on the day, but I'm hoping the top will be done. I am making it all by hand. I started off doing all the hexagons myself. Since I began, I've had a few helpers which has been great. There are a few local friends who are adding their workmanship to the quilt, as well as my Brisbane friend Michelle Steel who made a huge pile of these little babies! I lay all the completed 'blocks' out on the tables at the Saturday Birregurra Sewing day. It has grown since this pic was taken. I have a few more to go.... 
A close up of the blocks. Sara chose the fabrics. I love the retro feel the quilt is taking on. Here you can see where she played with the fabrics and also some ideas of what the finished quilt will look like! 
And so it seems that no week is complete without a little tractor action! We bought some hay last week and our good neighbour Graham moved it to where we wanted it. 
And you can see Frans directing the traffic here.... And you see that pole just to  the right? Well it is no longer there! Didn't need it anyway Frans said....

And a beautiful sight as I say goodbye this week...
We had visitors a few days ago. Three magnificent peacocks. Well, one peacock and his two hens. They wandered away from Graham's place and found that our shed roof was a cool place to view the world from. An hour or so with 4 people  chasing them around our yard, we finally got them back where they belonged. 
Have a great week!


  1. I am yet to try rabbit pie but rabbit stew is a family favourite, it's just that they're so hard to come by!
    Wow, the quilt is amazing and a great deal of work I'm sure.
    Peacocks are indeed magnificent, lucky you to be visited.

    1. Thanks Handmaden :-)

      Yes I think the quilt will look stunning when I finally finish it! I need a cold wet winter so I can sit guilt free and quilt it!

      Bunnies... yes... cute to look at, but a pest! Better in my pot than in my veggie patch!

  2. Ok, tell me how you got the rabbits - gun? Steve is keen on getting a gun so some of the big fat rabbits round here can become rabbit stew. And because he is a dab hand at shooting baddies on X-Box games he thinks he will have no problem knocking off rabbits! :-)

    1. Yes Dy, a gun. .22. Steve needs to get a license first. Handy if you have rabbits on your property. You don't want them eating your veggies!

  3. What a great read. You are living a wonderful lifestyle. I have read so many of your tales and it is always a pleasure. Rabbit in a seeded mustard casserole is always a winner and such a lean healthy meat.

    1. Thanks Wendy. You still have to visit! November is my favourite month!
      Got a special recipe for your rabbit casserole?
      Hey, did you see your hardworking sister in the latest post:-)
      Stay well!

  4. Welcome,Ami!

    I just added your beautiful blog to my sidebar. I meant to do it awhile ago and forgot. You live in such a lush paradise, there on the island! Thanks your for commenting.fencing adelaide.

    1. Thanks Ferguson. Yes, we're very lucky to live where we do :-)