” He is out again. I heard the neighbours are looking up quail recipes”
I don’t know much about the beautiful rooster but the magnificent bull is a photograph of a wonderful painting by the South African artist Leigh Voigt from a book about the Zulu Nguni cattle, called The Abundant Herds . The book is the result of the collaboration of scholars, researchers and writers over an extended period of time. The many paintings reproduced in the book are accurate depictions of the colour patterns of the cattle. I once saw a similar bull in a herd of cattle in the green hills of Zululand. Would love to go back for another look!
Learning about bees wearing the most fetching bee suit ever! A beekeeper friend lent the suit to a grandchild so he could spend a day with him and his bees. Sadly, I think that I do not have the space for a hive in my garden, so I shall keep wishing and planning. In the meantime I will enjoy all the bumblebees and honeybees that visit my garden from elsewhere.
The quail eggs are selling well and many interested people visit my stall. The reactions of visitors never cease to amuse, and in some cases astound me! Going to the markets is really a fun pastime for anyone who has something to sell. Every Sunday I have people pointing at the eggs or quails asking: ” I have never seen quail before!”, ‘”what are those ? ” , ” can you eat the eggs?” , “can you eat the birds?”, ” ooh, lovely”, ” yuck!” , ” how can you eat such cute little things you heartless brute!”, ” I remember eating quail.. very yummy!”, ” I never thought I would be able to buy quail eggs and quails in Dunedin!”, and on and on. Many people have shown real interest in quail keeping and some have purchased not only quail but also cages and food from me. I hope they get as much enjoyment from their birds as I get from mine.
Today I ‘travelled’ to the East and to Spain and Italy! While there is a lot of local products there are imported items too, some new stalls and others that have been around for some time.
The colourful items of Ali Rashidinejad bring something very unusual to the markets. His bags and shoes are made from Persian carpets and are imported. I love colour and eastern carpets and am very tempted by his bags. Ali has been a regular stall holder for some time, is busy with a PhD in food science, working on specialised cheeses. He is a very pleasant character to talk to, his items are very fairly priced. Nothing beats personal service so why shop anywhere else for gifts than at the markets on Sunday!
Spain and Italy comes to the markets! Licorice from these countries are of the best quality and are irresistible. It was the second time at the Sunday markets for these girls and we hope that they will have enough support from the public to make it worth their while to come again.
Lots more to talk about next week !
Crabapple is not a fruit I have had much experience with in the past, but my BIG crabapple tree at my new house in Dunedin has forced me to have a closer look at possibilities regarding these beautiful little fruits. I have spoken with the experts, borrowed cook books from my neighbors, googled, took advice from bloggers and, after a lot of reading picked about 10 Kg of crabapples (still have about 30 Kg left on the tree). I have decided to start with crabapple jelly. Most references suggested throwing the pulp away after extracting the juice, but my “use all and throw nothing away” culture has compelled me to do something with it. So here is what I did
10 kg crabapples
10 liters Water
Boil for about 20 minutes
Separate the pulp and juice by filtering through cheesecloth and put the pulp aside
Heat the juice to boiling point and add 1 Kg Sugar for every kg of liquid. Simmer the mixture until it reaches setting point. Quickly, while still hot and before it gelatinises, filter again through cheesecloth and bottle. Seal bottles and sterilise in a boiling bath for 20 minutes. The clear, pink jelly sets beautifully and is delicious. I also made a batch where I added chili and rosemary to the original fruit – a very interesting and tasty jelly resulted and I would probably make some more.
I have taken the pulp and put it through my Italian tomato pasata machine, which separates the skin and pips from the fine pulp. Heat the pulp to boiling point and add 1 kg of Sugar for every kg of pulp. Simmer the mixture until it reaches setting point. Seal bottles and sterilise in a boiling bath for 20 minutes. Beautiful and absolutely delicious jam.
The skins and pips I am using to make alpple cider vinegar. I think it will be good, as I normally use the cores and skins of ordinary apples to make this. I make large quantities of vinegar every year, of which I use most as is, but convert some to a mosto cotto
ROASTED CRABAPPLES AND HONEY
I have dribbled some fresh crabapples with honey and roasted them in the oven until soft, then served with home made custard – I never thought crabapples could taste so good, even though it was on the sour side where the rest of the household was concerned.
This week I am going to try making crabapple chutney and a cider. After all that I should still have another 10 kg of fruit left on the tree.
I find it strange that the big kereru pigeons do not eat the fruit since they stripped the cherry trees and had a good go at the plum tree.