Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Meet the sheep

Let me introduce you to the wondrous wool, meat and (hopefully) milk producing sheep of Beauty Farm. I am hoping that the girls will allow us to collect milk from them to help us to raise a couple of orphan lambs, in addition to the lambs they will be raising. I have been informed that sheep produce colostrum for the 24 hours following the birth of their lambs. If you milk this colostrum you can freeze it to feed orphans.

Let us start with our hand raised orphans from Spring 2009. We had 5 lambs, 2 ewes and 3 weathers. All the boys were called Bruce, although they all collected names from discerning features. They are all destined for the freezer. The girls, however, are a different story. Haidee and Heidi, originally known as pee-bum and poo-bum as these are the bodily functions they performed in the car, are the beginning of our breeding stock.

First we have little Bruce, he was very sickly and took some extra care, but we managed to nurse him through.

Next we have the girls Heidi and Haidee, with LJ. Plus a close up of baby Heidi's cute little nose.

In the process of yarding lambs for a friend ready for slaughter we arranged to swap a Bruce for one of their Ewes, now known as Heedee. Heedee was flock raised so has little understanding of what people are, although we have noticed that she is becoming more curious and accepting of people.

Last, but definitely not least, the piece de la resistance, Horrace. Lambed Spring 2008, a Wiltipoll Flock Ram. Wiltipoll do not produce wool, but we are hoping to have enough orphan lambs come through to supply us with the first cut of lambs wool, along with the fleeces from our 3 ewes.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Fabulous Felt

The weekend saw a lot of happenings at Beauty Farm. Dad was working on the Race Car to prepare it for racing Sunday, LJ was working and I was at a felt making workshop.

We reviewed the history of felt and its many uses, eg felt tip pen. We made our very first sample of felt, observing how it shrinks from the original size you lay it. Then we proceeded to make a scarf. I am very happy with how my scarf worked out. It's not my favourite article of clothing, but it is pretty good for a first attempt. I will let you judge for yourself. The leaf embelishments are actually designed for scrapbooking, but being creative is allowed!

Today I have been busy making another felted article(another scarf... one day I will make something more adventurous). This scarf has a weaved pattern showing through, which is from an old cotton scarf that I used as embellishment.

I am looking forward to making felt from our own lambs wool, we have almost enough carded to make a sample to see how it looks, natural, undyed fleece.

"Scarves for Sale" :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Why glass doors are dangerous

Have you ever had to leave for work at 4am?

I have to admit that being out of bed that early is definitely not the sane thing to do. Although, we have never claimed LJ to be such. LJ closed the glass sliding door behind herself when she left the house for work. You see, usually the door is left open so that Chester(hound dog) can go in and out. Not when it is dark though. Any who I digress, LJ forgets something stupid like her purse, or some such, comes striding across the drive with great purpose until, B-A-M, her knee hits the glass door. In a split second she thinks "what the...?!" looks down at her knee and W-H-A-M!!! Her nose takes the entire force of a door.

Now take a second to imagine her pretty little face squashed up to the glass, just like a flat mosquito. Laugh for a while.

You have my permission to keep laughing, I surely did...

OK, now you can feel sorry for her. Just for a moment.

She says that 36 hours later her nose is still hurting like crazy and she is determined to remember, THERE IS A DOO-*BANG!#*

Friday, March 19, 2010

MORE sausages!

1.5 kg beef
1.5 kg pork
500g bacon, diced
25ml salt
5ml ground pepper
2ml fresh grated nutmeg
2ml ground thyme
2ml ground allspice
125ml red wine vinegar
50ml ground coriander
1ml ground cloves
1 clove garlic, crushed
50ml Worcestershire
85g sausage casings
This is a South African Recipe, I have no idea if it is still an authentic recipe, but I thought it might be a good "template" for a spiced sausage. We used 3kg beef, no pork. Used less coriander, but more thyme. When making these they smelt divine, even the butcher commented. Mum isn't keen on the taste of them, plus they are a little dry, that is something I am hoping to rectify next time. I would make these again.

yes, I made sausages from a meatloaf recipe, so shoot me!
1 lb beef
1/4 lb diced bacon
1 cup rolled oats(I usually "zub" them in the food processor to break them down a bit)
1 egg
1/4 chopped onion
1 cup cooked, drained tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 t mixed mustard
Omit egg for sausages, retain juice from drained tomatoes, in case you need to thin out the sausage mixture. I DO use canned tomatoes. The family seems to like this batch, they retain a bit more moisture once cooked. We have given some to the woodman, still awaiting reviews.

To make meatloaf, if my memory serves me correctly, mix it all together and bake in a moderate oven. This got me rave reviews when in America, even fussy eaters ate it, very highly recommended.

I am more than interested to hear other recipes, or cooking ideas that you, your family or friends use, not just for sausages, I am a recipe collecter... if you're lucky I might share some of my great grandmothers secret recipes.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sausages, sausages

We recently had the butcher out and I wanted to make my own sausages. Flavoured with REAL produce, and less wheat. I had no idea what I was doing so google became my friend, also lots of research through cookbooks, but I was having trouble finding exactly what I wanted; A recipe for (Aussie) BBQ Beef Sausages, just plain, nothing fancy. I never did find that elusive recipe. Mum and I spent the night before we dressed the animals grinding, chopping and mixing some fillers for 4 varieties of snags. Then it came time to mix them and pack the sausage machine, "that mix is too dry" says the butcher. Well what am I meant to do?! I have no experience, no idea what needs to happen, "just add some water". I could do that. I didn't fill the sausage casings, or tie the sausages, but I paid close attention and next time I will give it a red hot go.

After cooking the sausages I am not happy with just adding water, it makes them spit and they dry out quite a bit while you cook them. My brain is already working on a solution, like tomato juice, which I know works, as one of the recipes called for it anyway, we added extra tomato juice instead of water. That sausage is brilliant.

I only have two recipes with me today, I will add the others at some stage.

Basic Snags
1kg Beef(ground of course)
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1/2 medium brown onion, finely chopped
2 small garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
sausage casings

Lamb Sausages
2 1/2 kg ground lamb
6 sprigs fresh mint
2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
3Tablespoon olive oil
3Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
2Tablespoon Dry White Wine
2T fresh lemon juice + small amount of zest
* As it is a lot of work to get the lamb ready I did it after the butcher left, about an hour to get 1 kg of meat. I altered the amounts in the recipe as needed with exception for the mint, which I only used 1 teaspoon and the Wine, which I drank instead. I didn't have a sausage machine so we made patties/burgers. Soak the meat in the ACV and Lemon juice, they are acidic and break down the proteins giving you a nicely textured patty, we ground it(in the food processor) after soaking for 4 hours. I made enough (small) patties to give us two and a half meals of 2 patties each. The whole family loved it and we are considering giving up some chops next time so that we can make actual sausages!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

For sale

Wintec 2000, Mounted $900-

Black Wintec 2000, 17.5", fully mounted, used 6 times as new condition. Has white(widest) gullet in place.

~ Genuine Black Wintec Girth (3 buckle)
~ Black Wintec Stirup Leathers
~ Gold Stirup Irons, they are second hand but have brand new black treads
~ Comes with its own poly/cotton blue wintec saddle cover
~ Medium(black) &/or Extra Wide(white) gullet
~ Velcro "Knee Rolls"

Postage costs not included.

I also have it stored in a red vinyl saddle bag(with attached girth sleeve) which I would consider selling with it to keep the saddle in tip top condition($30).

Leave a comment and I will get back to you or email

primo post-o

Well I guess this is the beginning of the end. I don't have enough time to do everything in a day already, so I go and create a blog spot, I know how very S-M-A-R-T

Eventually we are hoping that Beauty Farm will provide beef and lamb for us and for market, eggs(duck and chook), hay, honey, bees wax, handmade paper(from grasses/fibers and recycled paper), crafts(eg embroidered jam labels/lids, crocheted hand towels), photography services, pony rides, be a reconised breeder of Australian Quarter Ponies, petting zoo, felting & yarn(fleeces from sheep and angora rabbits), milk, yoghurt, cheese, icecream, preserves, vegetables, fruit and most of all a small income to survive on.

We are in full primping and preening mode to get everything organised for an influx of people, celebrating dads 50th this weekend. Today is dads Happy Birsday. Why the giant lamington cake? Dad loves lamingtons!

I am hoping to create users for the entire family so that we may record interesting events as they unfold for each of us.