Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Spring Is Officially Here!

It seems like yesterday when I was overwhelmed by all the baby animals arriving on the farm and the whole process have started again with the first sheep lambs and baby ducklings having arrived these past two days!The 1st of September means it is officially  Spring here and Mother Nature's breeding program is kicking in again...

Remember the indigenous Pedi sheep we bought a little while back...the first twins have arrived,and both female!

This mama duck hatched ALL her eggs...Fifteen baby ducks for her to raise!!!

Yes,you read right,  fifteen babies and hardly enough space underneath her for them all...

I will have to see if I need to raise some for her...which I don't really want to do as they have to learn to cope with real life outside...

They are kept in a coop until they are about five weeks old, only coming out when I can watch over them for a while each day and then it is all about survival of the fittest....

Monday, August 29, 2011

Making Blouwildebeest Biltong. Part 1

I thought I would share with you all how we make biltong from the meat of the blouwildebeest Cules hunted on Friday. The carcass has been hanging in a huge fridge since then and Cules went to fetch it this morning to carve the meat into the required sizes (strips) He concentrated first on the back and hindquarters and the rest of the meat have been frozen until he gets to hunt a bush pig whose meat  will  get mixed together with the blouwildebeest  meat and then be processed into cabbanossi,cheese grillers,salami and such.

Here goes:

First you get all your ingredients together...Fluids goes in first,brown spirit vinegar and Worcester sauce,Golden Brown sugar, whatever biltong spice you prefer, we love Safari Biltong spice for game meat.

Close up of spices...loads of coriander!

First step is to cover the bottom of  your meat tub with the fluids...brown spirit vinegar and Worcester sauce in our case...

Then a fine sprinkling of  golden brown sugar...


Like above..

.....then the spices... this...

Then you start to layer your meat neatly on top of  the vinegar,Worcester sauce,golden brown sugar and spices..

This is where it is a lot like making lasagna..., layer, repeat.....repeat....

Fluids,sugar,spice on top of first layer.....

The second layer of meat gets stacked ACROSS like this...

I asked Cules why he stacks it across...

His answer; 

 His Dad taught him to do it this way!

Third layer of meat...repeat all the above steps..

Like making macaroni cheese...remember?

Or was that lasagna?????


Until you have used up all your meat..

Like so..

Repeat one last time,fluids,golden brown sugar and spices...

You then cover this with a towel and let it sit in a cool place for the whole day..(In our case,the kitchen)

Remember to start making your biltong early in the morning so it has plenty of time to sit in the vinegar mix.

Late tonight Cules will put his hands into the tub of meat and mix it right through..,messing up the neat layers and let it sit overnight...

Tomorrow he will put hooks in the biltong pieces and hang them in a cool,dry place with at least three fans blowing on it full time, like a porch for instance...or a garage..just don't park your car underneath the biltong as the vinegar drips off something terrible at first.

Depending on how thick your slices of meat is,and the humidity (not a good thing) or the dryness of the air (a good thing) which is why we only make biltong during winter..,your biltong should be ready in one to two weeks.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Blouwildebeest Hunt

Cules and Jessica went hunting yesterday...Cules shot his blouwildebeest and Jessica bravely said she wanted to shoot an  impala...., said impala ram walked into her scope and my brave huntress (to be) daughter lowered her gun and declared the ram free to roam the bush for a while longer..., because maybe she IS a bit like her Mom and doesn't do death,blood,guts and such! She says maybe not, maybe next time she comes home she will be in the mood for a killing...The owner of the game farm says there are plenty impala rams just waiting for her to try and outwit them in the bush..She actually stalked this ram in her socks,claiming her shoes made too much noise and she didn't want to frighten away all the game before sighting them...She is strange, that way..,  that daughter of mine...

Cules with his blouwildebeest

He wanted Jess to experience what hunting is all about, since she is the only female in this family who expresses a dire need to be in the hunting field with him...

Jess also had to pose for a picture..

Note the absence of shoes...that's how this daughter of mine does the "African Bush"  thing!

Cules, being an old hand at hunting had her go over to pick up the wildebeest'  head by herself  for the posing and the wildebeest burped or passed wind or something...

See that surprised look on her face looking at the wildebeest's tummy and her getting up and ready to outrun the dead wildebeest!

My daughter is an excellent athlete...she might just outrun a wildebeest...(in her mind)

Cules says he is sure she got rid of her shoes because she felt she might need to climb a tree or outrun a buffalo or something....

The End

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Oh Me, Oh My!!

Cules decided to spoil the hens a little bit...everywhere you travel in our Province you find guys selling these super cute little nests and he bought some....

It was amazing how quickly the hens took to laying in those snuggy little nest!

A close-up of one of my two "red neck" hens....

Between the two of them they have 22 chicks!!
They are excellent mothers and neither has lost a chick to date...!

So, how about you sorting out the sizes of the eggs yourselves....A nest for small,one for medium,one for large...and one for extra large eggs!!

Not too much too ask is it...?

On another note...earlier today after we had gone to town for groceries and what not and everyone was settling in in front of the telly (except me,I settled in front of Blogland...) and I was feeling a little hungry and made myself a sandwich on the sneak with last night's barbecue steak leftovers because I was to lazy to make some for everyone....guilt caught up with me and I offered half my sandwich to hubby after he pointedly asked what I was make a long story short, everyone was feeling hungry and wanted a sandwich like mine and I bluntly was after hours after all..and before you knew it, my whole family gathered around the kitchen table and (tried) to teach each other about the uses of Chinese sesame oil and Italian Verjuice juice.....

That was one of the most interesting conversations ever in our house..I couldn't believe the ingenious use of mustard,sesame oil,verjuice,cos lettuce,red onions,tangy mayonaisse ,tiny rosa tomatoes and left over steaks..!! My family discovered their creative arty dues and I am so proud of them!!
Just goes to show how much one can do for oneself when forced to!! 

Try it,you just might get your whole family fed without lifting a finger!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fab F.E.I. Endurance Ride At Dullstroom This Weekend!

Cules and I left for a bit of a holiday on Thursday...We loaded the horses...check...tack...check...camping equipment..check..nada! We booked ourselves into a chalet on the premises of the endurance ride! After two years of camping in the ice cold weather at this same ride,we booked a chalet four months in advance! It was heaven on earth,no dripping tents, no racing to the toilets in the middle of the night..,just exquisite luxury..Every morning we awoke to utter bleating,mooing,baaing,oinking,barking,quacking or crowing....only the horses making horsey noises.

The race itself was lovely,except for Ghost shying herself into a sore butt and me having to withdraw after the first leg,but Cules and Snapdragon were going exceptionally well except for the fact that either Cules or Snap missed a flag and lost half an hour of time which cost them first place and they ended up being third...not bad for their first F.E.I. ride! Snap surprised us by pulsing down to the required 64 beats per minute in exactly one minute!

We had a surprise as we went to check on the horses early Friday morning..,their water was iced over!! That really happens???? Never,ever in Tzaneen!

Snapdragon and Ghost warm and comfy in their new blankets

Wreckage Of Two Albatross Aircraft Found

Wreckage of missing planes found

Helicopters locate wreckage of two planes that went missing on Sunday carrying 13 people
Published: 2011/08/16 09:59:06 AM
Rescue officials have confirmed that the wreckage of the two Albatross aircraft with 13 on board has been located in the George’s Valley area near Tzaneen.
Aviation support spokesman, Ray de Vries, told Business Day that helicopters were eventually able to take off this morning and quickly located the wreckage in George’s Valley.
"We can confirm that the wreckage has been found, but there is no sign of survivors," said de Vries.
"As we speak, rescuers are being lowered from a helicopter to the ground to take a closer look. There is no sign of a fire," he said.
The search was put on hold at 6pm on Monday after mist and rainy conditions worsened.
An Oryx helicopter from the South African Air Force joined search efforts according to officials.
It was raining in Tzaneen on Tuesday early morning as search and rescue personnel and family members arrived at the Mopani District Municipality Disaster Management Centre.
The Albatross planes were presumed to have crashed in the George’s Valley area, between Polokwane and Tzaneen, on Sunday.
Initially it had been reported that 12 people were aboard the two aircraft, but it has since been confirmed that it was 13 people.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Local Air Show Catastrophy

Please pray for the families of the passengers aboard the two Albatross aeroplanes that went missing this weekend as they were heading homeward after an airshow here in Tzaneen. The Airshow was held at the airport only about 4km from where we live.

Here is a snippet of news I retrieved from the Internet today.

UTC 10:45 Aug 15 2011
As the clouds continue to build up and the temperature drops further in the Limpopo province of South Africa, the search for 2 Albatross planes continues. It is presumed the 2 planes went down in the mountainous George's Valley area.
After participating in a local air show the two small aircraft took off from the small rural Tarentaal Landing Strip heading towards the Rand Airport at Germiston, east of Johannesburg.
There are over one hundred people involved in the search which include foot patrols and aircraft. It is thought that between the two airplanes they were carry 14 people including the pilots.
Will update as and when news is received.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Poultry At The Show

An Olde English Game rooster

He wouldn't keep still long enough for a decent pic.

I can't remember what breed this one was...

This was the tiniest little chicken on display..
His challenging crows were hilarious!
I think he needed a little more bass...

This reminded me of a hairstyle out of the seventies....

On my way over to the poultry display I saw some cute little miniature horses.

The inside of the building where the poultry was...

I liked this guy...
Somehow I thought his hairstyle was a bit more modern..
His brother on the other hand....

......had something seriously gone wrong with his perm..

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Letaba Show

We have been busy showing our Dorper sheep at our very own Agricultural show right here in Tzaneen since Wednesday. For the first time  they had commercial sheep classes and Cules entered for his first ever sheep show with our sheep, we learned plenty! It was very informative and enjoyable  and both the goat and sheep judges went out of their way to explain the ins and outs of showing these animals! Cules placed 3rd,4th and 7th in different classes,which was really good considering that we have never even been to a show of this kind before and weren' t considering going until we were invited along on Monday!

When I first arrived at the showgrounds I was fascinated by the goings-on around the cattle pens..

There were cattle standing and/lying about everywhere waiting to be washed!

Pin-Zyl cattle

A very new breed;  Nguni X Pinzgauer

Santa Gertrudis butts


This scene reminded me more of a Horse-Show..

Except the cattle were much better behaved ,no rearing, loose, or runaway cattle.


Patiently waiting to be washed

It was clear these specimens were all very well handled and that their handler takes great pride in them!

Will you come wash my horses for me please!

What would they do if this bull decided he didn't feel like all this molly codling?


This guy was threatening to dismantle those pens..

I went to see some sheep..

Pin-Zyl heifer


Grooming the goats

Kalahari Red ram and ewe.

Just as popular as Boer goats around here.

The goat judge.

Mr Joubert Fourie

We used to compete together in Showjumping many,many years ago!

The sheep judge.

Mr Raymond Reed.

Hey, it may be my first ever sheep show,but you are obstructing the judge's view of my ewe!

Move your butt you...

That's better..

Now straighten out that leg, dang you sheep you!

Now you listen here..

That ewe got a good talking too...

It worked!

Yay,this got 3rd place!

You go Cules!

Will you judges get a move on now..!

My knees are a - hurting and...

My beer is getting warm...

See the sweat on his brow?

This is slap bang in the middle of the coldest month of the year here!

What you say, should we make them sweat it out a bit longer..?

Hmm,yes, give that bugger a placing and lets go grab lunch.

If you don't place him,there will be hell to pay at the function tonight!

The End