Category Archives: Daily Meats

Why Turkey?

Christmas in Australia brings with it the traditional ‘English’ dinner fare, being a British Colony we follow old traditions that came over with their discovery of Australia. Why do  we eat turkey? I am not a fan and having a child who doesn’t like white meats of any kind and limited red meats it’s not the first thing I think about for a Christmas day dinner., but on the same hand I have a husband who likes it for it is normally only once a year we eat it.

I have done some research to discover Turkey was introduced into Britain by a Yorkshireman William Strickland over 500 years ago who acquired 6 birds from and American Indian Trader on his travels. Once it became a popular meat it would take an average family 1 weeks wage to save up to pay for it, and based upon today’s wages approx 1.7 hours in order to purchase it.

It makes sense in Britain to cook a hot meal but in Australia, it doesn’t,  it can be over 40 degree Celsius,  which is 104 degree Fahrenheit and the thought of being stuck in the kitchen cooking for the family leaves me hot under the collar. I would rather be sitting with them having a cool drink rather than heating the house to a hotter temperature monitoring a roast and all the trimmings.

Also moving around to see family and spend time with partners families can also be difficult to sit and have 2 full turkey roast dinners in one day, never alone with all the side dishes and drinks to accompany it. There is also nothing worse than moving around and having to take food in hot cars and trying to enjoy it later.

What do I serve? you ask, I do sometimes serve turkey as it doesn’t just come as a complete bird, you can get a rolled breast roast, legs, wings etc and cook that. This can help limit the size of the meal and time spent in the kitchen, for me it’s also a way to have it cooked evenly and can be done in a BBQ with a hood, so the heat is outside rather than in.

As I am one of 6 kids, we all take turns to have it and we bring things, as I have the greatest distance to travel to see them and my daughter (300km or 186 miles) I can sometimes take up the red meat (beef or lamb) and get someone to cook it for the day. I like to think about trifle. We are lucky we have white and red meats, fish, shellfish either prawns and lobster as well as much more.

The alternative to Turkey are as follows, Chicken, Lamb, Beef, Pork, Goose, Glazed Ham and Seafood. The reality is it is also not about the meat it is about what accompanies it, from Potatoes to Yorkshire puddings to salads. gravy and vegetables.

What is your favourite on Christmas day ? it doesn’t have to involve cooking of any kind. I’ll post some ideas and options over the next couple of weeks.

Here is a picture of a Jamie Oliver Roast Turkey Christmas dinner – mine never look so elaborate as I do  turkey breast roll (here is a Martha Stewart Turkey breast Roll)

Jamie Oliver Roast turkey dinner                                           martha stewart turkey breast roll

Mind you I buy my roll already done so all I have to do it put it in the oven or BBQ, cook it and then work out how to get the string bag off it without tearing all the skin off. Perhaps I can look to researching the trick on how to do that and post that tomorrow, unless someone wants to tell me how?

What are you doing with your defrosted Meat this Christmas?

It’s a busy time of the year and you grab some meat out of the freezer with a planned meal in mind, defrost it, something happens you place it on a plate and pop it into the fridge and leave it. You don’t want to waste it so you plan using it 24 hours after defrosting, then it goes into day 3 – can you still use it? Once meat is thawed, it is subject to bacterial growth. The amount of time you have to cook meat varies depending on how it was thawed. There are three ways you can safely thaw meat. If you need to thaw something quick, you can use the microwave. You can thaw meat in the refrigerator with some planning ahead. You can also thaw meat in cold water. Microwave and cold water thawing require immediate cooking and refrigerator thawing varies by a few days, depending on the type of meat.

Microwave Thawing

Meat can be safely thawed in the microwave but you should remove all plastic wrap and foam trays before beginning the defrost process, place it on a dish or plate and this will collect any of the water that leaves the meat as it thaws. Most microwaves have a thawing button – use this as it will be a lower power setting than anything else, if your microwave doesn’t have one use low power so that the meat is heated more evenly. After thawing in the microwave, you should cook the meat immediately in case portions of the meat became too warm and begin to cook. This creates an ideal environment for the growth of bacteria, especially bacteria that was already present before the thawing process.

Refrigerator Thawing

You can thaw meat in the refrigerator with some advanced planning because it takes some time. For example, a frozen turkey takes 24 hours to thaw for every 2.2 kilos or 5lbs. of weight. half a kilo or 1 lb. of ground meat (mince) or chicken takes 24 hours, perhaps longer if the temperature in your refrigerator is below the optimum temperature of 8 degrees Celsius or 40 degrees F. According to Food Safety guidelines, ground meat (mince), poultry and seafood needs to be cooked within a day or two after thawing in the refrigerator. Pieces of red meat like beef steaks, lamb chops and pork chops or roasts should be cooked within three to five days of thawing. It is OK to refreeze meat without cooking that has been thawed in the refrigerator, but some quality may be jeopardized.

Cold Water Thawing

Meat can be safely thawed in cold water but never in warm water or on the counter top because the meat gets too warm, which is ideal for bacterial growth. To thaw meat in cold water, place it in a leak-proof bag, submerge it in cold water, and change the water every 30 minutes so it stays cold. This method is half a kilo or 1 lb. of meat could thaw in an hour; maybe less. A few kilo/ pounds may thaw in two to three hours. Estimate about 30 minutes a kilo / pound for a whole chicken or turkey. Cook meat thawed in cold water immediately, even before you refreeze it.

Cooking Frozen

You can cook frozen meat without thawing it if you run out of time to thaw. Plan on cooking the meat at least 50 percent longer than if it were in a thawed state.

The rule of nose is, if it smells or has an unpleasant odour – throw it out, do not feed it to animals as they too can get sick from eating bad meat.

What are you doing with your defrosted meat this Christmas?

Mouse in the house

As it’s a good season here in South Australia with rain, crops and hay so much so that the mice are breeding rapidly. Farming and mice go hand in hand and I dislike it very much. Most farm houses have cats for this reason, they catch the mice, they eat them and keep the numbers down.

Not so much in this farming enterprise, we have 4 cats, they were born feral, by that I mean feral. They were wild and as kittens my husband found them in his header and shed and got the dogs to help catch them. They lived in a cage in the shed on old woollen jumpers / sweater, then they were moved by the hay forks on the tractor to the back porch, then inside as it was a very cold winter. The farmer use to sit there and put his welding gloves on and pick them out of the cage one by one to pat them. They now after 7 years living with us, like the comforts of home, sleeping on beds and chairs.

The fourth cat Gatsby was caught, mid winter cold, starving and on the road, he now also resides inside and his favourite sleeping spot is on the top bunk. He climbs up there and sleeps. But what these four cats do is enter the house through the two cat flaps that my husband has had installed. They bring with them mice, hares, rabbits, the odd bat and reptiles of the lizard kind. They are so well fed they sometimes bring these mice in via their mouths, cough like they have a fur ball and spit the mice out, 8 out of 10 are eaten  and the other two are left to run free…. in my house.

It’s not abating, I had to travel to our major city the other day 300kms where I picked up our reusable shopping bags, left them in the car overnight. I drove to appointments and then at the end of the day without thinking about it, I grabbed them out of the car, put them in the trolley and went about my shopping. I came to the cash register, handed over my bags to the gentleman, started unloading my trolley to hear the cashier saying “ooo, ooo, umm” and as I looked up towards him I could see he was backing away from my bags. I did the eye roll and asked “is there a dead mouse in there?” he turned and looked at me “oh no love, it NOT dead.” he said I walked up to the bag, took it from him and walked it outside the shops. I emptied it into the carpark, watched the mouse run off and went back inside to complete the transaction.

The cashier looked at me and I said “it’s a country mouse and not likely to survive in the city, it’s travelled over 300 km’s to get here. He said “OMG, the last time I saw a mouse my partner saw it and screamed like a girl!’ I laughed and said “I think you nearly did too, didn’t you?” “oh yes, did you notice that?” it was funny as everyone within earshot stepped back as I went to take the bag outside to empty out the mouse. I have no idea how to be rid of them, I wish it wasn’t standard practice in farming hat you need to adapt to them, any ideas how to keep the cats from bringing them in? If you do feel free to let me know.


Supporting Locals


I have had a couple of things come up and surprise me over the last couple of weeks and it does surprise me. I am a great believer and pusher of Eat Local SA where anyone can come into the community and Adelaide and find our fabulous regionally grown foods. There is a fantastic website and phone App where you can find clean, premium foods close to where you are to enjoy.

I choose SA  products and lifestyle as this is where my heart and family are. We support Brand SA are members of FoodSA and proudly support local producers, growers, providores, small businesses and upcoming food trends and much more.In fact even being considered to be part of the food industry is hard work on a daily basis. I now tell people we produce meat for human consumption, ethically, humanely with no growth promotants and with much care and consideration for the source of our enterprise.

As producers of grass-fed certified meats, I like to be able to create opportunities to showcase out meat. We have worked hard and are now getting spit lamb into restaurants one being, Mischief & Mayhem Wine Lounge and Art Bar in Glenelg South Australia and we love it, we help promote it the venue and the nights (friday nights) they have lamb on.

Lamb Roast

I am also looking for opportunities locally to support our products and be involved in the community.  It’s about supporting local events and being part of a community as one should do in a country town. I have been told of an event that requires catering and though our product was recommended the person concerned with the catering stated they were not buying local. Why is that? I have no answer but if anyone does, email me so we can get ideas out there.

As members of the Limestone Collaborative, living in the clean, green environment and fantastic food bowl of South Australia. We are engaged, we are promoting our regions and producers. We love locally grown food and where I can I always buy South Australian first, Australian second and others last .


Summer BBQ’s

The time to BBQ, it’s that time of the year in SA, well coming to it, when families want to move meal times from inside in the warmth to outside in the heat and BBQ. A few tips to make the evening pleasant – without using citronella candles that can take over the smell of a warm summer evening. One of my electrician friends tell me we do not use zappers correctly, he says to start it needs to be kept on for 5 or more nights before hand, to set up that barrier to prevent mosquito bites.

But the thing about Summer is the food, we go from comfort food in bowls to meat and salads on plates. Whether buying from supermarket, a butcher or farmer direct make sure the meat is fresh and has no smell about it.Take it back if you think it has a smell, turning food or rotten food will make animals sick so don’t feed it to them either.

What are the best meats to cook in a BBQ?  I say all of them, from beef to lamb to chicken, grilling brings a different flavour to roasting or frying, a BBQ is an Australian tradition and home chefs are only limited by their imagination and time. There is nothing nicer than having friends and family over to share a meal, where everyone can sit and enjoy each other’s company and eat some of the best meats in the world.

As well as doing the traditional lamb, beef or chicken roast, a staple in the Australian BBQ is the classic sausage sizzle. It is hard to walk past a BBQ cooking beautiful sausages, they don’t always have to be beef or lamb there are now so many flavours available to all tastes including vegan and vegetarian. Gourmet butchers have fabulous ranges as well as supermarkets. It is a matter of buying what you want cooking and eating them.


Depending upon the event, breakfast, lunch and dinner can be cooked outside and eaten with family, friends and or by yourself. Depending upon your time and budget there are many things to cook in a BBQ, here are some of mine

  1. Any kind of steak, Rump, T-bone, Oyster blade, Scotch Fillet, each will have a different texture and will require different cook times depending upon how you like it.
  2. Chops, I love nothing more than lamb on a BBQ, Loin, forequarter, Beef or pork, try saying no to beautiful pork ribs slow cooked on the BBQ.
  3. Sausages, beef, lamb, chicken, vegan & vegetarian as well as all of the gourmet ones available.

With the different types of BBQ’s available, you can cook not just meat, onion and sliced potato, you have different hot plates for different meats.  Never let raw meat, poultry or seafood touch cooked meat or any ready-to-eat foods, as this can cause cross-contamination. Food borne pathogens from the raw meat can easily spread to ready-to-eat foods and cause food poisoning. Always use separate plates, cutting boards and utensils to keep raw meats, poultry and seafood separate from ready-to-eat foods.

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Baling hay

I do find things on the farm that are interesting and though many people think having a big tractor can do anything (well I use to) but the tractor is only a tool to get things done, it lifts, pulls, drives, tows and lifts to name a few. But in order to get things done you need the attachments much like a mix master to have a complete system.

We don’t have a baler, we employ sub contractors in to do this. They work hard, sitting and driving for hours and hours while the moisture is good to bale the hay that was raked and is lying on the ground. They can do 20 hours days if the weather conditions are right and they have job after job to do.

He came all day and left after we went to bed, we helped him move his Ute so that when he finished he didn’t have a 10 kilometre walk back to his Ute to go home in when he moved paddocks after dark. we bale the hay so that we can keep it and feed it out to our stock to align with our farming practices, which is to keep everything as natural as possible.

Farming for us is a whole of life from birth to death for our animals, the farm has been developed to consider nature, the environment and the animals. This makes it a business enterprise that is sustainable, clean and green. Our meat reflects the care and planning the farmer does with all the decisions that he makes.


Living on the farm we have many animals (mainly calves and lambs) to rescue and raise. Most times we are successful other times we are not. There are reasons why some animals do not mother with their children, they must know they are born unable to survive. If we find them we take them into the animals Nursery.

No such problem with the bull “turn”as he was named came in September and took to drinking from the bottle quickly and confidently, he was soon joined by Johnny and Coco the merino lambs from the city. They bonded together and became a clan. Turnbull drinking in August, joined with the lambs in September watched by our Goldie.

The lambs have moved into a mob of sheep and I couldn’t cope with the constant pooh at the door and the flies they were bringing into the house every time a back door opened so they are living well together in the shearing shed in the next paddock behind the house.

Turnbull is a very quiet Angus calf, except when he hears the shower turn on so he comes to the window and bellows for his food (milk) and boy has he grown. He waits for me at the end of the carport and comes up for a face rub with or without a bucket of milk. I am still wary of him – he will grow to be approx 1000 kilos or more and he is now at underarm height and I laugh as he walks besides me on the way to his milk feeder. I think how ridiculous it must look to strangers to see this middle aged woman carrying a silver bucket of milk in one hand with a Golden retriever walking along and on the other side Turnbull is trotting and pushing into me, so I have to direct him with my hand.

I still don’t trust him enough to walk behind him I am now at good knee capping height as that will be where he would kick back, straight into my knee cap. No thanks. Having the sunshine back has been great for everyone, including the farmer and animals.