Archive for the ‘Blog Exclusive Content’ Category

The Changing View

January 24, 2016

I like to watch the changing view across the road, looking south from our property.  I have decided to start this post and add photos to it as the seasons and events change the scene.

This is what we see on a nice day.  This was 4th November 2013.  The cows come and go.  🙂

Mersey Valley and Great Western Tiers with Snow

Covered with snow, 4th August 2015.

Snow covered paddocks and hills

 

In the morning during the bushfires 24th January 2016. We sometimes couldn’t see the closer hills let alone the mountains due to the smoke.

SmokeyView

Lovely Spring day.  September 14th 2016.  You can see the old dead tree has been cut down and removed for firewood. Also the river has moved on the flats after the floods – you can just see the white of the river rocks in the dip in the middle of the tree line.

SONY DSC

Just thought I would add a close up of the dip through to the river flats, so you can see that the river can be seen there now.  We could not see it before the floods.

Paddock, River and Mountains beyond

September 5th 2017  A not so extreme snow day.

SnowView2

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More Fires Nearby

January 22, 2016

The Lake McKenzie fire flaring up on Tuesday.

Smoke over the Western Tiers

View from Union Bridge Road on Thursday afternoon (while we could still see before the smoke blotted out the world!)

ViewFromUnionBridgeRd

Short movie – looking north up Union Bridge Rd and panning around in a full circle, to the west then south then east then north again.  An interesting contrast of the beautiful blue skies looking toward Mount Roland compared to the dark brooding smoke over Mole Creek.

 

Smoking!

May 18, 2014

This week Lydia organised the building of a smoke house for us, so that we could cold smoke some hams from the pig we processed the week before.  (Only one pig left now!)  Yesterday we tried it out, and though the fire box will need some tweaking it did the job just fine.

Smokehouse

The hams had previously been cured in a salt and glucose brine and here they are being cold smoked, along with one of my home made cheddars.

HamSmoking

Our brine cure was a simple 2 litres of water, 3/4 cup salt, 4 teaspoons pink salt (insta cure #1) and 2 cups glucose (also called dextrose – in order to go along with the “sugar-free” diet we are currently trying).  The hams were kept in the brine in the fridge for 2 lb or 900gm per day.  As it turned out this was not quite enough and the cure did not reach completely into the centre of some of the hams, leaving some of the sliced ham with pale roast pork colour instead of the usual pink.  This doesn’t really matter as mostly the flavour is there, however another recipe I read later suggested 1″ thickness of ham per day.  I will do them a bit longer next time.

When they came out of the cure, the hams were sat in the fridge for a day to dry in preparation for the cold smoking.  We smoked them for 6 hours which seems to have given them a good amount of smokey flavour.

After the smoking they get cooked.  We baked ours until they reached 150°F in the centre and thereafter they could be sliced and eaten!  Yum.  The family find them particularly delicious when hot, and the first one I cooked to try it out almost disappeared in an evening as a rather more-ish snack.  The rest are now waiting for me to slice them up and store them away.

HamMay14

The taste is delicious though the texture is a bit different from store bought ham and is perhaps reminiscent of corned beef.  I’m not sure why, perhaps it is the pigs age or the fact that they free range, however it does not affect our enjoyment of the product.  Kim wants us to try the old fashioned dry cured ham now, so we can hang it up outside for a few months instead of using the fridge and freezer.