This makes me think of the old story about the priest whose flock had a higher than average alcohol consumption habit – a problem he could not resolve. He however thought to give it another go during his next sermon and as a demonstration at the beginning had two glasses, one filled with water, the other with wine and he dropped a couple of worms in each. At the end of the sermon he pointed out to the congregation that the worms in the water was still wriggling whereas those in the wine were dead. Hopefully, he asked the attendees what conclusion could they come to from this and soon an old gentleman in the front row rose to a stand and said ” Yesh, to get rid of worms in ones intestines one should avoid water and drink a lot of wine”
Yesterday was cheese making day and I discovered that I had no home made distilled water to re generate the frozen starter cultures. Instead I used tap water, with disastrous results. The milk would not even begin to form curds. After a lot of soul searching, I concluded that DCC must have put such a lot of chlorine and whatever other chemicals in the water (after the water contamination scare of last week) that their water obviously killed any bacteria, enzyme and other living matter in my cultures and in the milk. I took half a day and made some distilled water and tried to make cheese again, but now using CLEAN water – eureka! Perfect cheeses made for the cheese safe!
Needless to say, as always, I am not surprised at the poor state of health of the general population. Agricultural pollution, faulty pipes, and bad government all contribute to polluted drinking water. I can only imagine what the chemically laden dirty water does to our gut fauna and flora and subsequent health.
ONLY drink council water if you want to get rid of worms – I have already ordered my rainwater tank.
Panettone is traditionally eaten throughout Italy and the world by Italians during the Christmas period. The origin of panettone is from Milan where we consume it all year round. It is a tedious and long process to make, but always worth the while.
150 g Sugar
15 g Natural Live Yeast
260 g Biga (50:50)
200 g Egg Yolks
340 g Flour
220 g Butter
1185 g TOTAL
Dissolve the sugar and live yeast in the Biga, then add the egg yolks and flour and mix well until even. Ad the soft butter and mix well. Let it levitate 12 to 14 hours at 25°C or until triple in volume.
200 g Flour
35 g Sugar
50 g Egg Yolks
50 g Butter
10 g Salt
3 g Vanilla Pods
200 g Sultanas pre-soaked and dried
180 g Candied Fruit
50 g Orange Peel
778 g TOTAL
1963 G GRAND TOTAL
Knead the flour and first kneading until elastic. Add the sugar and the egg yolks and mix / knead thoroughly, then add the butter, salt and vanilla and mix until even. Lastly add the fruit and mix well.
Let the dough proof for one hour, then divide into portions and let it rest for another hour. Pirlare (to make the dough round) and place into moulds lined with baking paper.
Levitate at 30°C for 5 to 6 hours or until triple in volume. Bake at 160C for twenty minutes, rotate the moulds and bake another 40 minutes at 150 C (Approximately 60 minutes per kilogram for each mould). When taken from the oven, turn upside-down and rest for at least 3 hours, then put in bags and store.
For some time we every year imported a 10 Kg Albertengo Moscato Panettone from Albertnego in Italy.
Raising Californian Quail in captivity has never been, and never will be easy. Their nervous character and wild instincts make them very unsuitable to captivity. Unfortunately, because of their disappearance from the wild in New Zealand, they will have to be multiplied in caged conditions, should we want to preserve this pretty little bird. The cavalier attitude of New Zealanders regarding nature will probably prevail and our efforts for conservation would have limited success – I know I am going to get a lot of criticism because of this statement, but with New Zealand and Australia being the number one countries in the world causing species loss, my argument is more or less proven.
Survival rates of Californian Quail during their first few weeks seem to be abnormally low, and I have adopted a number of strategies and designs to try and overcome this problem – all with varying levels of success, but none solving the problem entirely.
My latest survival strategy however seems to have addressed many of the problems. Instead of sending my old Coturnix coturnix quail hens to the stock pot, I selected a number the calm and motherly ones as foster mothers for the Californians. I put the mothers into the brooders a few days before the Californian chicks hatch so they can get acquainted with the environment and the warm conditions. When the chicks hatch I place them straight into the brooder with their new mother. Her presence seems to have multiple positive effects on the chicks – i.e. she teaches them to eat and drink immediately, calms them down and also broods them. The end result is that the little chicks have shelved their desire to become Kamikaze Pilots every time I want to change food or water. Everybody seems calm and happy and mortality for the last four groups, at five weeks of age, each with their own foster mother, has been almost zero (lost one).
There are a number of younger groups at present, each with their foster mothers and they are very calm and doing well. I do notice that some foster mothers are better at the job than others and will continue selecting the better ones, even though their has been no difference in mortality rate between the groups.
Going back to nature can teach us a lot!!
I have known Merral and Alex for some time now and they are probably some of the friendliest, kindest, intelligent and hard working people I have ever known. They came to New Zealand in 2000 and established the most wonderful dairy ever and did everything correctly by the book, working 16 – 18 hours per day for 16 years without a single day off. They provided many families with healthy, tasty and nutritious milk from their very well cared for and loved heard of Jersey cows, and made us all HAPPY. Now a possum infected a single heifer which has caused them to ABRUPTLY loose their LIVELIHOOD, INCOME AND DREAMS. A TB free New Zealand sounds very nice and taking conditions into consideration, it could probably not have been avoided, nor can anybody specifically be blamed, but it may just be time for the MPI to start WALKING THE WALK and stop TALKING THE TALK.
Inside the church of Castelnuovo painted by my grandfather