Peperoni Ripieni (Stuffed Red Capsicum)

Today, while I was building a Rooster Box to shut up Alvin (literally as well), Mrs BYF really delivered!! Peperoni Ripieni di Riso e Peperoni Ripieni Melanzane.

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We found some perfect, ripe, small capsicums, just right for a great antipasto. Half of them were stuffed with risotto made with onion, a bit of home made pancetta and one mushroom that had escaped yesterday’s lunch. The rest were stuffed with eggplant, and here is the recipe with a hearty Salute! to the great Marcella Hazan.

Pepperoni Ripieni (with eggplant) 

4 small peppers, if you are using large ones adjust the recipe to suit

1/2 cup fresh unflavoured breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon anchovies chopped

1 big pinch of oregano

1 tablespoon capers chopped

2 cloves of garlic (adjust to taste) chopped

1 ripe, fresh tomato, chopped. It should really be peeled but I could not be bothered

1/2 cup of fried eggplant chopped

2 tablespoons of fresh flat leaf parseley chopped

olive oil for sprinkling at the end. The fried eggplant will have enough oil so you do not have to add to the mix

pinch of salt

black pepper

retain 3 tablespoon of crumbs to sprinkle at the end

Place the whole peppers under the grill and roast on all sides until the skin is charred all over. Let cool and when you can handle them, remove the skin and seeds carefully. retain the ‘pocket’ shape of the pepper.  The roasting makes the flesh of the pepper dense and luscious and imparts a smokey flavour.  I always have fried eggplant in the fridge under oil but it is very easy to fry the eggplant in a bit of oil until soft. Slice the eggplant in slices about 1cm thick, sprinkle with salt and leave for 20 minutes at least. Rinse off the salt and dry well with a paper towel. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan and and fry the pieces of eggplant without overlapping or overcrowding.

Mix and chop all the ingredients together, adjust the salt to taste. Stuff the peppers tightly with the mixture. Pack them in an ovenproof dish big enough to contain all of them and keep them from falling over. Sprinkle with the left over crumbs, add a tiny drizzle of olive oil, and bake for 20 minutes in an oven pre heated to 200 degrees

Remove from oven and leave to cool for about 10 minutes or bring to room temperature before serving. Do not refrigerate before eating.

All of this enjoyed with some perfect red home made wine and afterwards I would be excused extending my siesta to 90 minutes in stead of the normal 60. ENJOY!!

The SIX golden RULES of keeping quail and other poultry

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Treat them well and they would reward you for your efforts !

Give your birds :

1. A balanced and specie specific correctly formulated diet

2. Clean water and fresh feed at all times

3. Optimal environmental conditions with correct temperatures, dry and drafts free with correct lighting patterns and intensity

4. Enough space with clean dry bedding in well designed cages providing proper ventilation

5. Well bred animals housed in the correct male to female ratio

6. An owner that enjoys keeping and attending to poultry

It is easy and enjoyable to breed and keep poultry



6. Free of insects and other vermin


Back Yard Farmer’s Poultry Self Feeder

I did not know what to do with some wood that was always in my way in the workshop area.  The wood was from an old bed I dismantled some time ago. I am building a new chicken house to accommodate some of the Anconas who are now temporarily in the rabbit hutch. While doing this, I was again made aware of the spillage and waste of layers pellets as result of the bad table manners of the chickens. Suddenly I had a use for the old pieces of wood –  I made a chicken feeder the Backyard Farmer way!

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I designed it in such a way that it holds 15 Kg of pellets – enough for five birds for at least two weeks (so I can go on holiday). Having ordered some water nipples, this, together with the new feeder, will virtually make the chickens self maintaining. (I wish!)


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I have also designed it in such a way that with a few adjustable hole positions in the lifting arms, it could be set that it works for any size poultry – from Quails to those Jumbo Cornish Crosses.

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The proof of the pudding was to see what the intelligent Anconas think of  it as they have been in the rabbit hutches for only one day, and will be there for a short time while I am busy constructing their new luxury apartments. I was a bit worried because I was sure they would not appreciate another change in amenities and environment.

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While the boys were measuring each other up for size, the girls were interested in more important matters – FOOD! It took them less than one minute to decipher this piece of “modern” technology and enjoy a feast.

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RED MITE MONSTER from Piterest

As with most parasites control programs there is no quick fix solution and it should more often than not be a long term management plan.

I do sell DA at $26 per 3 Kg – Free delivery in New Zealand (RD delivery is $5 extra)

Back Yard Farmer

Tel – +64 211 34 14 52

Dunedin – New Zealand

hen spats


This week  three lovely new Ancona hens arrived, unrelated to each other or the rooster and older hens. Needless to say, the established hens hate the new girls. All my cages are occupied so I could not introduce them in the correct manner by putting them in a cage beside the main run so they could get used to one another, just put them with the others straight away. Now  the new girls are holed up in the roost and the old girls are downstairs preventing the new ones from coming down to eat. I have to feed them up there and clean out the messy roost regularly. The rooster is having a great time entertaining upstairs as well as downstairs! Next time I shall BUILD a cage for the newcomers no matter what and do things the right way to save myself time, work and stress.