2015-02-26 - Sick Giraffe

Do yourself a favor and allocate 15 minutes of your time to read all three articles.

We are trying at all costs to stay away from purchased products.





Anconas in the Backyard : welcoming Sparklespot

2015-02-23 - Sparklespot

When I started my small flock of Anconas I knew that the genetic material for breeding would be limited.  In the struggle to find additions to the happy family is ongoing, with long road trips to collect chickens not related to Alvin the rooster and consistent lobbying on the internet has become a way of life. Sometimes I celebrate a new arrival. The 4 year old grandson went up to the coop to inspect the new girl, and to give her a name. To our delight he announced: ‘she IS Sparkelspot!”. Great name for such a spotty chicken.

Beetroot Tops Pie

2015-02-23 - Beetroot Top Pie 3


We have agreed the beetroot tops are more tasty than spinach so, today, Mrs BYF made a delicious pie out of the leaves and all the stems of the leaves. Even the thicker bits went in to the pan. The reds and greens of the leaves and stems were colourful and the slightly rough texture was very good. It was so good that I had to share the recipe.


This recipe works with sour cream or home made yoghurt, full cream, no light stuff. Greek style bought yogurt may work as well.

2 cups of self raising flour

1 cup butter cut in small cubes


1/2 cup yogurt or sour cream

you can add a tablespoon of sugar if you are making a sweet pie

Whisk the dry ingredients in a bowl, add the butter and work the butter in until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the cream or yogurt and mix and knead util the dough comes together. Refrigerate until needed


1 large bunch of tops, well washed and roughly chopped. Use the tasty stems as well but chop the thicker ones finer

2 tablespoons or more of olive oil

pinch of chili

pinch of pepper

1/2 cup ricotta or soft cream cheese

2 table spoons of parmigiano cheese or any cheese you have on hand

1 egg


Use a lidded pan that can hold all the spinach and add the olive oil and chili. Turn the heat to med high and cook the chili for a few minutes before adding all the tops. Do not add any water, the water clinging to the leaves after washing will be enough. Cover the pan and cook until just softened. Do not  over cook. Cool the leaves a bit and mix in all the other ingredients well.  Line the pie dish with the pastry keeping some to make the lattice over the top. Fill the pastry case with the filling mix, decorate with strips over the top and bake for about 30 min at 200 degrees.

Do not forget the red wine. ENJOY!