Thursday, February 24, 2011

Baby Lambs Have Started Arriving!

Cules just phoned me from outside the house to come and look!

See what happened just now!
While I have been preparing supper someone else has been hard at work!
Thank goodness that wasn't my task for the day....

A baby lamb has just been born here on Stonecroft Farm!
Minki has another baby to help look after! Yay!
Mommy and baby are just fine,Minki want's to play nanny already,but Mommy isn't having ANY of that.
It is a little son of Mielies'

Two Butternut Soup Recipes

Seeing as I have been desperately looking for an excuse to buy one of those hand held blenders since my old "normal" blender conked in... I decided to share two of my favourite butternut recipes with you. Both have a South African "ring" to them! It is enough to feed 6-8 people and preparation time is about 25 min. It takes about 30 min to cook.

First Recipe (Canned tomatoes added)


1 Large onion
30ml cooking oil
5ml curry powder
5ml black mustard seeds
2ml fine cumin
1 garlic glove chopped
1kg butternut,cut in cubes
1.3l chicken stock
1 tin (410g) tomatoes
1 tin (410g) coconut milk
salt & freshly ground black pepper
fresh coriander leaves


Saute onion until soft,stir in the curry powder,mustard seeds,cumin and garlic
Add butternut and stir until covered all round with curry powder and oil.
Put the lid on the pot and decrease heat.Let the veggies "sweat" for 10-15 min.Stir every now and then.
Add the stock and then tomatoes and heat till boiling point.Lower the heat,put on the lid again and simmer for 30 min or until butternut is soft.
Mash or liquidise the soup till smooth. Now add coconut milk and and flavour with salt and pepper. Heat until heated through.Just before serving, add fresh coriander leaves. You can sprinkle some dukkah over the soup too if you like...Serve with fresh bread. A semi sweet white wine will go down nicely with this, since the soup is very flavourful, a fruity red wine should also do!

This is how they make butternut soup down in the Cape Province! My parents come from there and most of our family still lives there!
On my Mother's side of the family we are descendants of the Du Bios Huguenots from France.

Recipe 2 (Apple,orange juice,ginger,milk and cream version)

1kg butternut,cut in cubes
1 medium onion
1 heaped tsp curry powder
2 cm piece grated ginger
1 peeled and grated granny smith apple
500ml chicken or vegetable stock
1 liter of milk
250ml cream
125ml orange juice
zest of the orange
salt and pepper to taste
grated nutmeg
zest and juice of 1 lemon


Saute the onion, garlic, ginger and apple with some oil. Add curry powder.
When translucent, add butternut and stock.
Close lid and cook until butternut is soft.Puree the soup.
Add milk and orange juice. If you have a lot of pumpkin puree, use all the milk, otherwise add until you have a smooth runny, soup.
Pour back into pot and add all seasoning, such as salt, pepper,orange zest and nutmeg.
Stir in 200ml of the cream, keep the rest for decoration

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sad News..

 Yesterday afternoon at 12:30 Mielie's heart gave out...I guess he was just too old and it was time for him to go. This is the not so nice part of having animals, I will certainly not post about every single animal on the farm that dies, but the old man was very dear to us...On hearing this,his former owner called Cules and GAVE him a son of Mielie. So a bit of consolation there for Cules at least...

Mielie and his ewes last week...

Minki stayed with him the whole morning until the end..

R.I.P Old Friend...
Hamba Gahle

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mielie Is Much Better Today!

I am so happy to tell you all that Mielie is feeling lots better today! Thank you all so much for all the well wishes! He was standing up and insisted on going out to his camp with all his ewes. He is still a little shaky behind but moving about,drinking water,eating his hay and...asking for tidbits...Texwisgirl,sheep can live well into their teens,but around 6-8 years for a hardworking ram is normally "it!" I have known a sheep who lived to be 22! Jim, my pictures are now where near the masterpieces that you do!I have only a cheap Sony Cybershot camera. I just aim and shoot at whatever takes my fancy! Here are some pics of the more unusual plants flowering this month in our area.

Spider Lilies in front of the Vet's office

March Lily,they only flower in February and March and only up in the Mountain.
Their scent is to die for! They are flowering early this year and the whole mountain is covered with them!

Mielie's first lamb born this season,  last week at five days old.
We have only fifteen Dorper and Indigenous Pedi ewes and Mielie that we keep for ourselves. The other sheep we speculate with....

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Taking The Old Gentleman Sheep To The Vet

Our 6 yo registered, Type 5, Dorper sheep ram was not feeling very well this morning and we had to take him to the vet. Tarien,Cules and I struggled to load the 120kg old man onto the truck,yes he is "slightly" overweight! His name is Mielie, which is the Afrikaans word for Corn.....Our First language is Afrikaans and it is a lot like Dutch and Belgium language which we can follow quite easily! The vet on duty this morning was Hayley and she listened to the old man's heart and lungs which was fine,he was a bit feverish and had a runny tummy so she treated that. He was given penicillin and phenylbutazone shots. She tried to put a tube down his mouth to give him a sort of anti-acid medication but he was having none of it and bit through the tube! His fever was 39.

Cules is utterly devastated having to face up to the fact that the old man might not be around much longer..

Mielie, well and happy just two days ago...

A truck full of Mielie!

Taking his temperature....

This is where he got spunky and decided this whole situation is just too undignified...

You can all three of you sit down on my back and I will just...bite through the tube!

Come on lovely..,the doctor says you are good to go home!
The bond between these two is really something special!

His temperature has gone down to 38.4 now,but he is still lying down...I hope the old man makes it through the night.
It has already been arranged to tap semen from him if he should recover..,special equipment is being sent through from Pretoria so that our local vet can do this for Cules over the next couple of weeks.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Amusing Musings...with a Goose

Cules delivered some sheep feed at a client's house and before entering the house we met up with Poppy.
She is tame and allowed to go inside the house as she pleases and absolutely loves people! I am wary of geese as they ALWAYS like to chase me but this one's owner showed me how she loves to be picked up and cuddled! Like a dog licks you she gently nibbles you all over when you pick her up!

She is extremely chatty......."Hallo there,who might YOU be..."

..and follows you around everywhere...."Well, come along inside then for a cuppa will you?"

Monday, February 7, 2011

Of Sheep,Syringes and Needles

We went to dose the sheep of a paraplegic friend of ours today. There were lots of friendly animal faces about and I took lots of pictures while Cules did all the work!

These eleven piglets all belonged to the same mommy! 

You come near me with that needle and  I'll ram you!

This prize ram wasn't very impressed with the whole idea..

I really don't need a jab,I'm feeling just fine...really!
I wanted to take this one home with me...

Oh no! What's that in his left hand!

Jeez,that looks just nasty!

Horror! Ouch!

We really all need to turn around the other way! 

Oh, make it quick will you...
I hate waiting in line for my jab!

The indignity off it all!

My behind hurts....

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hide,Hiding Away

The male ducks and chickens are being bolshy lately....

The ladies are thinking up some ingenious plans to avoid them.

Are they gone yet..?

Oh,what's that...!

Phew,not a male duck,thank goodness

I think I shall stay here a little while longer,it's peaceful here.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Jock of the Bushveld

Has anyone out there ever heard of the story of a Staffordshire Terrier by the name Jock of the Bushveld? Well, just to give you a little bit of background info, he lived in the Mmpumalanga area of South Africa in the late 1800's. His owner travelled,hunted and lived around Pilgrimsrest,Baberton(Where I visited my lovely friend Jean and her daughter a while ago) Sabie,Graskop,Nelspruit,Lydenburg and even Mozambique! I love taking a road trip around those areas and starting just about 70km or so from where we live, we still have the old coach road where, to this day and age you can still clearly see the ruts the coach wheels made through the mountains! The road itself is clearly visible from a long way off, without any attempt of sorts being made to keep it maintained. This dog is a legend in South Africa having shown unheard of courage and loyalty out on the hunting field.He was known to jump into a river to protect his owner from a crocodile,has outwitted and killed a dog killing baboon, stopped a few meanies from hurting his owner and guarded a kill from lion and hyena throughout the African night until his owner could come to fetch it the next morning. The escarpment is one of the most stunning places to visit in South Africa and attracts tourists from all over the world. Everywhere along this route you will see little memoriams etc in remembrance of a dog called Jock. How neat is that!

Approaching the escarpment

On top of the world!

This man was very well loved by all his Pilgrimsrest friends to have had this memorial specially set up for him!

Jock was here,there and everywhere!

I expect Jock was well known to Edwin Blacklow
as they share this memorial site

Lover's Lane in Baberton,which Jean just had to show me!

The historical old town,Baberton.

The lovely Lorraine and her cute little girl.....and no,she was not conceived on Lover's Lane, I asked!