I'm quickly learning that to provide for yourself from your own garden, or that of friends and neighbours, you have to put in a significant amount of time to not only harvest it, but all importantly, to preserve it. Being citrus season means there are lots of lemons, limes and oranges in abundance and I've been lucky enough to have been gifted some. My carrots also are to the point where they'll soon be past their best so I've decided that pulling a bunch of those and preserving them will be worthwhile also.
So my kitchen time this week has included lemon and lime cordials, preserved lemons and a wonderful fermented carrot and ginger recipe that is just delicious!
Another important kitchen activity this week was the processing of all my lamb bits. I didn't want anything to go to waste. I sliced up the livers and dehydrated it to create a tasty treat for Ruby. I froze a bag of fat for later processing but did manage to render down quite a bit, put it in jars which are now in the freezer. I use tallow in a lot of my cooking. Animal fat, from animals that have been grass fed, is a healthy fat, full of more omega 3 fatty acids than you'd find in animals that have been reared on grains. I also minced up all the scrappy pieces and the offal (that I should eat myself but don't), and froze this. I make Ruby's food so this mince will be used for that as needed.
I did manage to escape the kitchen to do a few other things. I enjoyed getting some more plants in the ground. I planted some clivias up in my top swale. I put in some bulbs that I had been gifted and a few other random plants here and there. I potted up some herbs that were spreading through my kitchen garden and gave to my neighbour who had been very helpful with getting my small generator back into working order.
Yesterday I found my calf, Ned, was not 100%. He didn't seem himself in the morning, not rushing to the new paddock as I opened it up for everyone as usual. Later in the day, once the rain and wind had eased, I headed over to the animals with an armful of hay to give them all. Once again he was not interested. In fact he just remained laying down under the shelter of some branches and didn't really move. The morning before I had posted a video on Instagram of him enjoying a fantastic rub on these same branches but now he was down. Quite the change from the day before. I prodded him to get him up, which he did, however he just stood there, shivering. Mmm, not good. Rang my neighbour (a vet nurse) who said to get the vet asap. She came over and helped me move him to the stockyard. The vet soon arrived and helped the little fella with some meds to treat bovine respiratory issues. She said that sometimes when moving animals (ie from Euroa) they can pick things up and he actually had arrived with a runny nose that had settled since. We moved him to the hayshed for the night. When I left him last night he had a big drink and was starting to eat some hay so hopefully he'll be back to running around and giving the sheep a little grief, soon.
Something that I love about fermented foods is that it is alive. Full of beneficial bacteria that do all sorts of wonderful things for our health when we consume them. This weeks video is on how to make a really delicious fermented carrot and ginger recipe. Have a look and give it a try. Let me know what you think!
Enjoy your week everyone.