A blog of the Freer Family's adventures and misadventures emigrating to Flinders Island, Tasmania, Australia, and settling there.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Why am I picking up females?
There is a different season for male and female crays, and the female season has closed... So today my total catch was female (I caught 3). However James kept the honor of the family alive with his first Flinders cray. He swam back to the boat with it clutched tightly in both hands. It weighed 3.3kg.
That's the old South African KZN measure against it.
The guy we dived with kindly gave us one of his.
Only problem is our biggest pot - 12.5 litre
And B had a hard day cutting up two wallaby hindquarters we'd been given... So now the freezer is truely groaning. This is good... but I think we're going to need a bigger freezer.
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Cook it with mushrooms, man. Oh - and don't be too cautious. The grazing hereabouts is really good, so the critters are (relatively) fat. You can cook them without the kind of precautions you have to use with venison, wild rabbit and so forth, and they won't turn out tough and dry.
I seem to recall you have a charcoal gorilla. Consider skewering your wallaby on sticks with onion and mushroom and capsicum, drizzling it with sesame oil and sweet soy and chili, and grilling it. Absolutely fantastic!
(PS: my sympathies regards your cookpot. I'm a little taken aback - that's the largest size I've got, too!)
So how does one tell the difference between a male and female cray? Enquring minds want to know what bits hang out differentlyReplyDelete
And back in March you were lamenting that, "So far I haven't actually SEEN a Flinders crayfish."ReplyDelete
They were just waiting for him to get a proper pot for them to climb out of...ReplyDelete
To bad they don't have proper claws...that's my favorite part of a lobster is prising out the claw meat. They sell 15 gallon pots here for outdoor fish fry. Perfect for your giant crawdad.ReplyDelete
While you still have hands around you might want to consider making a small cold frame garden. Spinach is great in cold frames and is chock full of foliate. It's an early spring crop here (which is analogous to your winter) and can withstand mild frosts without coverings. Many gardeners here surround a patch with hay bails and simply throw a tarp over it if it looks like over night freezing temps are called for.
It's where I got my idea to tarp tomatoes in November.
Wonder if lambs-quarters has made it to Flinders. Chenopodium album. http://www.veggiegardeningtips.com/surprising-lambs-quarters/ReplyDelete
It's a widespread weed that grows in disturbed soil. I have it in my garden as a volunteer, growing more vigorously than most of the planted veggies, and I happily harvest it. It's also in the corner of the lawn, and outside the garage, and ...
Don't know for sure about folate in it, but it is certainly a "dark green leafy vegetable." There was a 3-foot one in the iris bed at my rent-house day before yesterday, that I pulled out. The handy-man offered to take it over to the dumpster, and I said that no, I was going to eat it. It was way too tall and branchy to have edible stems; they get wiry when the plants are older. So I just ran my hand up each branch and stripped off the leaves, neat as you please, and had a nice serving for one from that single plant. It shrinks some in cooking, but not near as much as spinach.
Flinthart - you read my mind. I suspect rare is good?ReplyDelete
Actually one the other interesting things is I used to boil about maybe 10% of my crays - splitting and grilling most in the shell - do that to one of these monsters and it'll never cook before the meat close to the shell turns to charcoal. So a re-think on cooking....
Francis - we make them watch an episode of sex in the city, and observe their reactions.ReplyDelete
Actually, to further your lurid imaginings :-) we look under the tails - the swimmerets are markedly different. http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/WebPages/ALIR-4YG4EQ?open#Sexing
Well, AbigailM - I really didn't see too many this time either. I was in the water for about an hour and half and saw 3 crays. I'm going to have to re-adjust my thinking.ReplyDelete
Quilly - there is parallel evolution at work here, as - unlike the south African ones I was used to - the front foot is very thickened, and has an opposible spike - it's half-way to being a claw. I'll try to post a picture.ReplyDelete
Spinach - Swiss chard AKA silverbeet is doing fine - we've only had 2 mild frosts. We eat a lot of greens - I suspect the low red-blood cell count was more down to a lack of red meat, myself, and I hope we're turning that around.
AbigailM - back in South Africa they call it pigweed :-) There is sometalk of farming it. I haven't seen any here, but New Zealand spinach grows wild.ReplyDelete
Now there's a title for a chapter in your forthcoming book about life in the wilds of Flinders -- "Sexing the Wild Crayfish and Other Wonders of the Pot"ReplyDelete
I'd like to commend the entire readership for not taking advantage of Dave's title for this post. Anywhere else the thread would have run wild.ReplyDelete
"Why Am I picking Up Females"? Going to the wrong bars?
It is a Claire! Give her a hug from me?ReplyDelete
"Because they're lighter."ReplyDelete
Blame it on Quilly.
It is a Clare. I shall.ReplyDelete
Quilly - I haven't found any on sand-bars :-)ReplyDelete
Mike - they might think it was the wrong pot :-)ReplyDelete
Tantalus - oddly, they are.ReplyDelete
Rare is good - but not totally necessary. Medium is fine. It's the most accommodating game meat I know.ReplyDelete