We recently got away to the beach for a family camping holiday. Camping isn’t the most ideal way to holiday when you’re pregnant, but it could be a while before we can go again. Camping in a tent with a baby does not appeal to me. It was nice to have some time at the beach and it’s nothing short of amazing that we could do that with everything going on in the world.
We found some interesting things on the beach and I managed to catch a fish. Yes, it was small and a little stranded in the shallow waters of the estuary. But I still caught it. With my hands. And then it died. I think it already had problems. I tried to throw it to the seabirds to feed them but The Little Fulla shot off in horror to retrieve it and tried to find a way to make it come alive again. It was the fish that kept coming back. It followed us around for a while in the hand of The Mother until we were finally rid of it and I could stop feeling bad about it. I am sure it already had problems though.
Of course, we ended up in a forest…
Of all the views to see at the beach, my favourite one was this:
No, it’s not the beach. The inland countryside, with fields, hills and trees is what really stirs my soul. I can’t help it!
We weren’t away for very long but at the end I was ready to come home. I missed home. I missed my garden and my chickens. I missed my non-inflatable bed. I missed having country animals around and country views. I missed being able to go outside and harvest my produce. There’s no place like home, when you’ve created a home that brings you joy and rest.
Now we’re in high preserving season. I’ve pickled more gherkins and made apricot chutney. The apricots were bought, but it’s been a few years since I made apricot chutney and I felt like having it back.
I’ve also made a large batch of chicken stock (broth). That helped clear some of the chicken parts out of the freezer. It feels a little insane having a pot, no, two pots, full of chicken feet and other strange chicken parts. That’s when you know you’re not ‘normal’. But it does make really great stock!
One chicken I butchered was rather a fatty, so I saved the fat and rendered it down in the slow cooker. It’s like rendering lard but easier. You just wait for the useful bits to melt, discard anything that doesn’t and strain the liquid fat into a jar through muslin cloth. I should probably do this more often. But most of the young chickens don’t have a lot of fat.
The Husband has made two batches of tomato soup so far. The tomatoes are coming in thick and fast, which is excellent. I have been picking them every day, usually early in the evening so they have warmed up in the sun for good flavour, but it’s not as hot for me outside. The tomatoes taste so good. I cannot decide my favourite yet. I think we need to do a blind taste test.
We have eaten some ground cherries and we’re all fans. I don’t know how I didn’t know about these little fruits before. To me, they taste like something between a feijoa (guava) and a pineapple, with a hint of something else.
Things have gotten pretty dry here. With hot temperatures and no rain since before we went away, the soil is not so happy. Most of the crops are still doing ok but some are having trouble with the heat and the dry. We need some rain soon.