Thursday, August 26, 2010

Where have all the eggs gone?

If you enjoy your eggs, my advice is to get some good laying hens as the demand for eggs has increased so much that we are facing a national shortage and this will have us paying considerably more for them. Read here for more

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Breakfast, 2010. the Day After

Tomorrow when I wake up after the dust settles & I think about brekkie, will I Labor over what to have? Will I be Liberal with my choice or just feel Green due to the effects of the night before?

Will brekkie be a jolly, rowdy affair or cloudy, Pollie despair?

'Moving forward brekkie'
Fibre-plus, to keep everything, erm, moving
Cup of Metamucil
Baked beans

'Stop the waste brekkie'
Corned beef hash
Bubble & squeak
Smuggled budgie & two eggs
Curried sausages

'Bringing peace to our forests brekkie'
Billy Tea-bring your own firewood though!
GE-free bran muffins
Fair trade coffee
Green eggs & free-range ham

Friday, August 20, 2010

Celebrity diet guess!

Five lines on the diet of a horse, a cat, a dog, some chooks, a bloke, his wife, their kids: a teeny(a her), a tweenie(a her) & pre-tweenie(a him)-guess who is who.

He loves peanut butter & Milo,
Cannot get enough of sausages,
Pumps the air, when learns that we’re having tacos for dinner.
Hoovers baked beans.
Assembles a salad sandwich with gusto & panache

She eats measured bowls of cereal
Loves exotic flavours, particularly Asian
Has a weakness for buttered crumpets & creamed honey
Adores fresh vegetable soups, particularly broths
Loves to taste but shows remarkable self restraint

She loves gnawing the remaining meat on bones
Drools at the site of food
Will do anything for tasty cheese
Likes an indulgent nap after every meal
Still looks great despite her penchant for carbs & saturated fats

He would eat pizza everyday if he could
Last meal would be bacon & eggs
Can’t get enough roast chicken skin
Makes no connection between expanding girth & his diet
Starts the day with buttered vegemite toast

She could eat spuds in all their guises everyday
Adores eating cake, biccys & pudd
Is a bread snob
Has a difficult relationship with fruit
Is crazy for salami

He always lets everyone know when he’s hungry
Is very particular about his eating habits
Is a keen trapper, forager & stalker
Supplements his diet with much wild caught game
Plays with his food incessantly

She relishes the regularity of her diet
And kills time before to her daily fix.
Variation doesn’t really appeal; it’s all about filling a void.
Though the odd apple and pear is a welcome sweet distraction,
It still reminds her of an empty belly.

She is melted-cheese-phobic
Loves vegetables & salady things
Will eat a jar of Polski Ogorki or pickled onions by herself
Is particular about the meat she eats, is an informed consumer
Enjoys the crunch of cruskits and many textural eating sensations

They pick over a daily smorgasbord
A bit of this & a bit of that,
Privileged, a cut above, the upper class you might think?
Each meal morphs into the next, no delineation
Grazing was an invented word, for them it’s just what they do

Thursday, August 19, 2010

In search of...Free-range chook in Tasmania

In the seventies, if you were to turn on the TV, chances were that you’d cop a load of ‘mystery shows’ which saturated on air content, much like today where its full of forensic crime shows or shows dealing with family issues.

I suspect our current pre-occupation with family issues might just coincide with the disintegration of family & community in our pursuit of commercial gain, but that’s another issue. The CSI infatuation, well I reckon we all just want to know how to ‘get away with things’.

Fresh after a long stint as resident emotionless, egg head on star Trek, Leonard Nimoy, eager to unshackle himself from the threat of being typecast, takes a gig hosting a show called ‘In Search of’ which is mainly concerned with the great unsolved mysteries of the world. In it he appears as the emotionless, egg headed host. Sorry Lenny, but I liked your pointy ear stuff better.

Anyway in the show Lenny would pose the question: ‘In search of..’ and the thus would begin an hour long investigation into the Bermuda triangle, Christmas Island statues or the Titanic sinking.

‘What has this got to do with a post on chickens?’ Well I wish old Lenny could dust off his dinner jacket & help me answer the question of why there aren’t more commercial free rage chicken suppliers in Tassie.

On the mainland you’ve got your Barossa chooks, your Kangaroo Island chooks, your Mt Barker chooks and your Lilydale chooks, but here in the supposedly ‘Clean & Green’ state, we got nuthin!

Until October 2009, Groenewolds poultry were the only bona fide free range chook suppliers in Tasmania. Interestingly I only heard about them through reading a menu from the restaurant ‘Pure South’ in Southbank Melbourne, whose shtick was to use produce from the South of Australia, Tassie included.

Many of you here in Tas might be under the not unreasonable impression that Nichols chickens are free range. As fine as they may be, they are not free-range, nor has the company declared so. How this perception of them being free range came to be accepted as conventional wisdom is anyone’s guess.

After a helpful comment from Jane advising me that as of April this year, Nichols chickens are in fact free range, thanks Jane!

So it came as a surprise to learn that there is but one fledgling player in the free-range chook market here in Tas & what makes this fact even more intriguing is that it is run by Chicken behemoth, Ingham’s.

In Premaydena, on South Arm, near Port Arthur is an Ingham’s chicken farm. I know this because once on a holiday in the area I passed the well signposted farm & made a mental note to myself, chickens are grown here & by Ingham’s.

These free-range chooks are branded with the ‘Marion Bay’ moniker. Usually suspicious of packaging that displays rolling green hills & pastures I was prepared that the rosy image might not stand up to scrutiny. According to the sales rep who flogs the chook, it’s the real deal said he having visited the farm himself. The website design is currently in progress for the Marion Bay brand from this company.

I put my prejudices aside & prepared the evenings roast with an open mind. I’m happy to report that the chook was lovely if not remarkable in any sort of way, cept the fact that it was free-range.
Lenny, stop searching, the chooks are right here in Premaydena!

PS-Actually Lenny-some peeps think the Marion Bay chooks come from Forcett but cannot confirm.

PPS. After an informed phone call, I can now confirm that Nichols Chicken are in fact free range and they grow much of their own feed which is definitely not genetically modified nor does it contain chicken parts-yes some pellets fed to chickens do.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Strawberry fields are NOT forever

In February this year I posted about the disappearing orchards of the Huon Valley.

In the post I included some photos of an orchard that had been denuded of its apple tree and the remains of the once beautiful grove, bulldozed into mammoth yet to be lit pyres of tangled wood and foliage.

For a newcomer to this part of the world it was a shocking and dispiriting sight to behold. Part of the attraction of moving here was the omnipresence of the apple culture which soaked deeply into the fabric of the area and seemed to resonate with so many facets of life here. The security of regarding lush green groves dotted with red and yellow baubles was a daily pleasure.

I have come to understand that the fate of this particular orchard is not an isolated incident; in fact many orchards are meeting the same demise, making way for lifestyle properties and subdivisions.

Over the last few months though I have noticed much activity and have seen this particular paddock transformed. Where once was a cleared, dusty, desolate, orchard-graveyard now sprouts an impressive collection of precisely laid and raised black plastic rows announcing to all that pass that this is now a strawberry farm.

Strawberries and other soft fruits are becoming more widely cultivated in the valley over the last few years. The size of this particular endeavor is very impressive and seems to herald a new sunny optimism for the future of the region, that change is in the air and that might just be OK.

According to convention, I am told you are only able to crop strawberries commercially for three
years max on one site dues to soil replenishment issues so while its great to see this paddock once again bursting into productive life, it seems that strawberry fields are not always forever.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The disappearance of the flower selling gypsy lady

To my dear gypsy woman,

I know this letter is too late.
Too late for you and too late for me.
I feel bad that I didn’t notice that you had gone, a bit ashamed actually.
I guess I just always expected you to be there, like you always were.
We both bore witness to another time, our time it seems.
Then I became numb and you expired.
When did it happen?
How could you just…vanish? Disappear so suddenly not leaving a trace.
It wasn’t that long ago surely that I watched you from the kitchen window bobbing from table to table before sweeping out, enveloped by your cloak of darkness into the streets. You always looked ill at ease under the lights, the warm glow of someone else’s happiness but for a fleeting moment visiting your face.
The callous hand waving you away from a table dismissively said more about their owner and their feelings toward their dinner guest than it did about your humble approach.
I wondered if you grew the roses. I imagined a small caravan on the outskirts of town, with a little pot belly stove, your red skirts, on a line, drying above it and a small ginger cat lying languidly on its hearth. Candles flickered, Django Reinhardt strummed softly in the background and the air was filled with cinnamon.
I think I was in love with you.
I thought you were real or,
did I imagine you?

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Was my Hot Dog happy?

Considering the Onanistic, weirdly erotic, auto-consumptive nature of this tattoo, I'd say yes.
But I am SO uncomfortable with the notion of using 'happy animals' in the advertising of food businesess devoted to the consumption of animal flesh.
Look, I like eating meat.
A disclamer of sorts perhaps, but I've always felt uncomfortable with the often gregarious demonstration of that many meat lovers tend to display.

Not all meat consumers be cut from the same cloth.

I chanced upon this blog which, in a post-modernist kind of way, highlights the 'ethical lows we have let wash over us ' as a meat consuming society.

Observing these images made me take stock.

It's not as if they haven't always been there, I know.

But sheesh, pinch yourself, wake up, shake off all that denial, look that eating-animal in the eye & say 'get in my belly'

This is where meat comes from. Wake up!

Are you happy to contribute to this Denial?