Saturday was definitely a day for beasts of the field. After the A&P show, we visited friends who live in Martinborough in a lovely colonial style house with lots of garden and paddock space. They have sheep, two cows, two alpaca, a dog and many chickens and ducks on their land, as well as a good sized vege garden and lots of space to relax or run about.
Face to face
Lots of chickens
Mother hen and her chicks
The alpacas say hello
After feeding the hens, ducks and alpacas, it was time to take the dog for a run while the humans picked some blackberries from the many bushes along a path next to the house. We collected quite a few there, and also from some more bushes at the end of the sheep paddock. It really is such a relaxing pursuit, strolling along, looking for ripe berries, avoiding the prickles and chatting about this and that.
One of the random topics that came up in conversation was old New Zealand recipes, including Colonial Goose. This dish, traditionally served at Christmas, derives from the times of the early settlers. They had no geese, only sheep available, and so a dish was created consisting of a lamb leg, deboned and stuffed with breadcrumbs, and shaped to look like a goose. It actually sounds quite nice and you can find a recipe for it here.
The other recipe that was mentioned was that for Kiwi Mayo Dressing, which is basically condensed milk, malt vinegar, mustard powder and salt. I cannot imagine what this tastes like, but feel compelled to try it one day, served, of course, with a shredded lettuce salad. If you also wish to try it, you can find the recipe here.
I used the blackberries in a blackberry and apple crumble, with a crumble made of half wholemeal flour and half white flour and brown sugar. I served it with vanilla ice cream to big smiles all round.
All in all it was a great weekend, and a good chance to relax and gather some energy for the busy weeks ahead.