Tuesday, August 17, 2010


No, I haven't gone mad and bitten B's leg off. We just got our share of a bulk order of meat, which with the insanity of an island with at least 50 cows for every human... and no abbatoir facilities, is cheaper than buying the stuff that gets shipped off to get slaughtered, is packed and shipped back to be sold retail by the butcher. Gah. I will get to doing our own, in time. And yes I'll contrive a chiller and hang it properly. Anyway, some place on the big island had a special on rump so we weakened and bought 4 kgs. So tonight I made pittas, put uncooked swiss-chard (silver beet) in them when they came out of the oven all hot and puffy and poured onion, mushroom, thyme and bacon sauce into that topped it with strips of rare steak and salsa verde, and made my very carnivorous wife a happy woman on about 100 grammes of steak. It's a great way to stretch a little steak a long way.

We got yet another lunch invitation ("You'll be there seven years before anyone invites you into their home" - standard don't leave South Africa 'advice'. Maybe in a big city, or maybe if you're like the sort of miserable saffer giving the advice that's true.)from an Italian/Australian couple who came to collect their share of the bulk order from us. Of course you only have to say 'Italy' to me and I go on a food mission -- we got straight onto gnocchi and from there it was a short step to salame, pancetta and then calamari. I have a feeling that if make my pancetta here, I will be very popular with the Italian part of the community anyway. I am sure, with the addition of fat, wallaby would make very good salame. More projects to fit in.

Worldcon creeps ever closer, and B has been organising. Business cards for moi, a hire car, peering at the map to work out where we have to go. After Flinders it is an alarming idea.


  1. You'd think one abattoir (even a part time one) would be worth it for a few thousand cows. I assume there's some stupid government elf'n'safety regulation that prevents it from being set up.

  2. If you ever make it to Seattle, I'd be delighted to act as chauffeur, so you wouldn't have to try to figure out your way around (I could take you to see the troll!).

    Lisa S. in Seattle

  3. For a second there I had thought you were going to say you would make pancetta out of wallaby. The horror!

    I said before that most every little town down my way has a part time meat processing plant (abattoir)that really kicks up during deer season. That might be a second source of cash. Open a small facility, seems the island could use one.

  4. Well, Francis, you're right but wrong. It is partially government interferance - they subsidise the shipping of cattle off-island, to the point where it costs no more to do so than to ship them to a regional cattleyard. Without that land on Flinders would be even less valuable, and the island would have even less people -- but they only have to do that because they took over the ports and made the costs of shipping (via regulations and large port fees, and handling regulations and labour rules) vastly higher, making the old wholly private service (more erratic, but totally privately funded) non-viable. I'm notthat fond of government regulation and nannying, but in this case, if it wasn't for that, I don't know what would become of Flinders. In truth there is an abattoir here. It's just closed.

  5. Lisa, if and when we get Seattle we will take you up on that!