Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Competition Time!

There'll be blue skies over...
All we hear on the news just lately is doom and gloom about the recession, double-dip recession, depression, recession depression etc etc. It's not like people haven't been through all this before in the past and emerged out the other end ok, albeit poorer and battle hardened. It's enough to make you get your gas mask on and hide away in the Anderson shelter!

I was thinking about thrift the other day when I was shelling out for bags of organic chicken feed and corn. Austerity measures begin at home.

So this time around the competition is for a cracking 1949 reprinted austerity Penguin book to read and a mug to drink your cha out of whilst your doing it. More info on the Competition Page...

Good luck!

31 comments:

gz said...

My daughter is the fourth generation following "Make Do and Mend"....you get sick of it after a while and yearn for something new!!

Tom Stephenson said...

Your comp almost makes me want to keep chickens, Chris - I don't think our landlord would allow it though, so I'm not entering.

Chris said...

Gwynneth - know what you mean. Makes good sense though when you keep livestock to buy in as little as possible. Especially now.

Tom - powdered egg for you then. So what about bunny wabbits?

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Speaking of mend - my purse has had a big hole in the liner for months now. My cell phone keeps getting lost in it. You'd think if I wasn't going to buy a new purse, I'd have mended it by now...

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Okay, just checked it out, definitely interested in winning! We tried to switch our hens to a more economic food, but they stopped laying, so we had to go back to the $$$ type.

Carly said...

Count me in Chris, we already dispose of, uh hum, 'feed', our scraps to the chickens. Book looks good anyway, I do like a bit of nostalgic reading. There's also always room for a pretty mug in our kitchen. Organic feed must set you back a tidy sum...we're lucky that we live a short drive from Riverside Feeds so just go collect a few bulk bags direct when required :)

The Barefoot Crofter said...

This is so timely, Chris. We are having huge problems getting pig and chicken feed that is not GM!!! In fact, the guy at the feed shop was talking about the organic being 3 times the price of the 'normal' stuff! When did gmo become normal? So many regulations too about what you can and can't feed.... I feel a ranty post coming on sometime fairly soon. In the meantime, I would be pleased if you would put my name in the the tin hat. xxx

John Gray said...

tally ho old gal!
an excellent idea... recycling unwanted christmas pressies eh? what?

count me in ( there's no show without punch)

you never know!!!!

Melodie said...

This is a great prize for all us homesteaders! I always try to grow extra for the chickens but I still have to buy feed. I was told once in the"old days" farmer used to put things out for them like deer carcasses to peck clean for the protein after the farmer had processed the meat.The Boy and I always joke that if for some reason someone passed out in the chicken yard they would peck us clean too!

Chris said...

Lisa - if you win I'll also include aneedle and thread in your NAAFI parcel

Carly - just feeding the chooks/bunnies is just a small part of the book really. There's stuff on coops and runs, rearing young, and dispatching for the pot! Your name is on the list...(calls down the queue) 'Next!'

Jacqui - it was a habit I got into when I only had 4 chickens. Now I've got 18 something's gotta give. There's a chicken riot if I don't produce a night-time treat. Ever seen a chicken riot? It ain't pretty LOL.

Chris said...

Mr Punch - Judy, Judy, Judy.

Have you had all your rations at once John LOLX! JG on the list, 'Next!'

Melodie - can't imagine getting away with that now. You should skip the chapter on feeding the chickens on captured German POW's too.

Hippo said...

In today's disposable orientated society, one facing austerity measures, I am surprised the coalition have not reissued that book! Joking aside, I am sure we could all learn a lot from it.

My geese, chickens, dogs, wife, child, all eat the same as me. All this crap about not feeding chicken bones to dogs, if my three year old can gnaw on one, I am sure the dogs'll be OK and clearly the chickens have no tabbo style hang ups and will happily tuck into a plate of rice and chicken scraps.

Bugger all goes to waste in my household and once the restaurant is open, I will just increase the number of beaks and snouts to feed. I will definitely get some porkers to fatten up.

The book will be a useful and no doubt highly entertaining and nostalgic guide but I think, running a restaurant in Angola, I might need the mug more!

By the way and no kidding, the word verification for me to post this comment is 'be able'!

Cro Magnon said...

You'll only know when there's a proper recession on, when we revert to eating whale meat. French cuisine only gained its original reputation due to poverty!

Chris said...

Hippo - hello and welcome. Wow,an Angolan restaurant. Now that sounds like somewhere worth visiting. Is the food mostly Portugese then or something totally different?

Sounds like you have the feed idea licked. Nothing goes to waste in nature, in Africa perhaps more so.

Cro - well the Japanese won't starve then will they. I eat like a peasant anyway out of choice. I wonder if the chickens themselves would be on the menu if it gets really bad...not sure how I'd be with that one.

Hippo said...

Ah, Chris, finally someone who knows that Angola is a country in Africa, a former Portuguese colony and not Angola, the Louisiana State Penitentiary.

Obviously Angolan cuisine has been influenced by the Portuguese but it remains predominantly African. The staple diet here is Funge, a paste made from manioc flour bearing a remarkable resemblance to wallpaper paste. There is also Funge de Milo, made from corn flour, which much to the surprise of my Angolan neighbours, I do not like preferring the real McCoy.

Funge is usually accompanied by anything in a sauce. I really like Moamba de Galinha. This is made using the really tough and gamey half wild chicken we have here stewed in a peanut sauce. It is delicious. Then they have dried meat, Carne Seca. This also needs to be boiled for a million years but comes out great. Nothing goes to waste. They harvest the manioc tubers and make flour out of it. They harvest the leaves, pound the hell out of them and make Quizaca, which looks like spinach but is flavoured with either Moamba or fish. Oleo de Palma (palm oil) that rich orange extract from palm nuts is used rather than olive oil.

An undeniably Portuguese influence is Bacalhao. Ironic, really because even the Portuguese in Portugal have to import their salted dried cod from Norway yet it is now the traditional Christmas Dinner here in Angola for those that can afford it. This too needs to be soaked overnight but it can then be turned into my absolute favourite dish, Bacalhao com Natas. I know that just the idea of cod dried in the icy air of a wind blown Fjord then salted and shipped half way round the world to be stored at a rather warm room temperature until bought and cooked sounds awful but, believe me, having been soaked overnight and then braised in the oven with potatoes in milk and cream, it is divine. It certainly beats Dover bloody Sole with a slice of lemon on it or Cod in Batter.

Feijoada is evident in all previous Portuguese colonies. A stew made from pigs ears, tripe, any raggedy bits, various types of sausage, palm oil, kidney beans, cabbage. If it once moved or grew, you can throw it into the pot, boil the hell out of it and serve it with rice and the mind blowingly powerful hot pepper, Gindungo.

Then there is pasta in all its forms. Keep the kids happy (and fed) by boiling up some spaghetti and mixing in a tin of Tuna.

For a typical dessert, try boiling a can of sweetened condensed milk in a pan for several hours (without piercing the can). This will caramelise it. Crush up half a packet of Marie biscuits into small crumbs and whip up a packet of long life cream. Layer the ingredients in a dish and hey presto, instant diabetes. It is really nice and, depending how you layer it and the inclusion of home made custard using eggs and powdered milk is known either as Camel Spittle or Bride’s bed (I guess you do lose something in translation).

You will note that these ‘traditional’ dishes all display one characteristic. The ingredients used are all either freshly killed or have a long shelf life without the need for temperature control. Before the advent of electricity there were no fridges. Thirty Seven years after independence, there are fridges available in Angola but there is no electricity.

My restaurant is more of a Grill. I will offer some of the dishes above but the menu will be predominantly fresh meat and fish grilled in front of the customer on a barbecue. I will also offer some decent curries and a venison ragout in an unctuous sauce served with red cabbage and spaetzle, a German sort of pasta.

Once I start turning in a profit I shall import wines from Germany and London Pride beer to provide a hopefully welcome alternative to acid Portuguese wines and lager worse than piss.

As if all that wasn’t enough, the waitresses will be stunning.

Chris said...

A table for about 8 o'clock then please Hippo. I'll pass on the vividly portrayed Camel's Spittle/Bride's Bed delicasy for now though LOL.

Hippo said...

8 o'clock, no camel spit or bride's bed. Check.

What about the waitresses bed?

Texan said...

Count me in :O), please. Keep Calm and Carry On. Liking that mug :O).

Elaine said...

I've just spent the afternoon in the wood, with the girls - Sick Chick, Little Red Hen, and Billie the Beak.

I told them about the comp and they're more than a little excited at the idea of some decent food at last. Apparently scraps sound so much more appealing than the grain, chicken crumb, and all those free-range insects they spend their day scratting around for.

Crow said...

Ok. I must have my name in the hat. What a great prize!

Now that my pigs are no longer in the position to receive the table scraps, I tossed some old banana bread, scrambled eggs with cheese and wheat toast for them yesterday. It was gone in seconds.

I need that mug to leave coffee rings on my desk too.

I may have to break out my witch skills and win these. ;-) Naw, I will play fair.

Crow said...

"them"... as is chickens. Not pig spirits.

Jim said...

Sure! Why not! Count me in Chris ole boy! Waste not, want not...as my grandmother would always say.

Chris said...

Tex - counted:-)

Elaine - it's weaning them off the grain that's the trick. My girls and boys are utterley ruined.

Crow - none of that missy!! And please stop moving my morning coffee around the desk to tease me :D

Jim - If it got you into keeping chooks Jim it would be a good thing. Consider yourself counted!

Mitch Block said...

This book is brilliant. But it would mean I'd need to begin keeping poultry and rabbits at all. Don't know that my other city-dwellling neighbors would appreciate it. Very fancy mug, too. I was expecting tin. I have to say, my favorite is the KEEP CALM FOR FECK'S SAKE sign.

Molly said...

Feels a bit austere here too so go on then - count me in

Chris said...

Mitch - I'm sure they would appreciate the free range eggs though!

Molly - feels austere just about everywhere Molly and who knows where it will end. More of the wartime 'blitz' spirit will get us through though. Dig for victory!!!

Texan said...

Came over to answer your question, yep I did the embroidery on the bags :O).

Amy Saia said...

Seeing as I have no chickens around, then there's no reason for me to win. But best of luck to the others! (Putting a good word in for Cro).

Rebecca said...

And I thought scraps were for teenagers... It's odd that after years of throwing things away (without a second thought), we've finally started thinking about how much we throw away... Count me in on the drawing :)

Janet said...

This book would be a welcome addition to my library in preparation for my future chickens that will be on my future homestead... (dreams do come true, dreams do come true...)

But then again, I'm in the U.S. of A. where austerity is not highly regarded ... Hey! All the more reason that little book needs to travel across the pond!

Janet

Chris said...

Tex - you are very good at it.

Amy - what about bunnies?!

Becks - They are and teenagers are for the mines and chimneys! Counted!

Janet - they do Janet, they really do. I hope you get chooks on your future ranch. :-)