Friday, May 21, 2010

Doggy blue (means 'fight'?)

Well, doggy updates -- they are in Sydney. And Wednesday and Puggles had a 'blue' and both needed to be checked out by a vet. Ah well. They're all fine. Expensive but fine.

We've had a couple of sets of visitors today. The 'drop in' is something we miss a bit, but maybe we're starting to get there. We had young Jeremy and his son Harry this evening(who is the sort of toddler that could encourage childless couples to have 6. Good natured, friendly, easy going and bright.) B and I are fond of kids anyway, so we did the pre-grandparent turn-to-goo.

The olives are all bottled and labelled and put in the back dark corner. They're in strong herbed brine, and should spend at least a couple of weeks in that before we possibly re-brine (less concentrated salt) or transfer into olive oil and vinegar/lemon and/or various aromatics. Now is the hardest part of the process - waiting to see if it all worked out. We have to wait at least a week before trying them.

We did a big freezer clean-out/ sort with the two secondhand wire baskets we bought - the freezer is full. We're doing our best not to overstep any of the fisheries regs with forgotten stuff in corners. Of course some like squid is just damned awkward. We divide squid into tentacles, tubes and wings. Wings are mostly for bait, and the others are cut into serving amounts. So Barbs's battle mother is in 7 bags. (3 tube, 2 tentacle, 2 wing). They're all dated, but not all together. We're supposed to have a personal possession limit of 15. So... 15 what? At the moment we're using bait slowly, because we have our near our quota of wrasse, and we haven't been after flathead for a while. I'm sure we have less than 15 tubes(I'm not even sure that's 15 each -which makes sense or 15 total - which doesn't, but we try and abide by). I'm still a Fisheries Scientist at heart and try and keep to the rules. They're not really designed around (or for) people like us. Gee. What a surprise. We don't fit again.

I've started drying some bunches of herbs against the cold killing off our stock. I need to take Quilly's advice and move some indoors or at least into shelter next to the house... but well, writing, visitors. There is a finite amount of time - speaking of which, back to work. Vet bills to pay :-(


  1. I've started reading some of these Southern magazines Jody's mom sends me through subscriptions. I was surprised to find out that one basil plant needs an 18 inch pot to grow well. I hung up the fresh parsley I wanted to dry in the kitchen, above the stove and away from sunlight. It's retaining it's colour nice and is nearly done.

  2. One thing you might try is mini greehouses because your climate is not too harsh. Gather up some clear 2litre drink bottles. Cut the bottoms off them and set them over the plant with the cap off. If it gets cold at night you can put the cap back on to keep the heat in. More then a handfull gets to be a chore, but putting a few caps on when giving the doggies their evening out might be doable.

    I know people in Dalas, where the temps rarely dip below frezzing after the 1st of March, who do this to get their tomato plants off to an early start. Last fall I was able to keep the tomato plants in one section of the garden going into winter by throwing a tarp over them at night.

  3. Quilly, your comments about mini greenhouses reminded me of my prep school in England. They had a market garden with glass cloches (anyone remember them) over the plant. The cloche was in the shape of a little doll’s house with 4 sheets of glass held together by a wire frame. They were plonked on top of the plants to keep the frost at bay.

    But best of all, the market garden was beyond an 8 foot high wall at the end of the cricket pitch. Big cheers and hoorays when someone managed to clout the ball over the wall (straight drive back over the bowlers head), followed by the tinkling of breaking glass.