The calendar says Autumn but nobody around here is convinced yet.
Every day the temperature gauge reads into the 30's. We are hand feeding every animal on the place. Weirdly, its beginning to feel a little like a beer ad from the 1970's - we shade our eyes from the glare of the sun and peruse the horizon with nary the cloud to be seen. The upside clearly being that we do have a "hard earned thirst" which warrants washing the dust away with a cold one. The certainty (apart from death and taxes of course) is that it will rain again, it would just help if we knew when!
On a much more positive note (OMG did I just fall down the rabbit hole of "whinging farmer"?) the lambs are looking amazing at the moment. We've crutched the heavy weights and shorn the younger and lighter ones. We've also just finished our main shearing, done the scanning and have dipping and lambing sneaking up on us in the very near future. Somewhere in there we will schedule in sowing the crops.
On the Outback Lamb front we had our Tullamore Irish Festival farm tour on the Easter weekend which went really well. I'm doing a course in Dubbo with the team from Regional Platters with a view to developing our agritourism and marketing opportunities into the future. We've been working closely with the wonderful Gourmet Goat Lady and co, hoping to develop our businesses through some strategic collaboration - more to follow as news comes to hand.
I have also been doing my safe food handling course through TAFE in the lead up to LollaProducer in June. We were delighted to be one of the 10 red meat producers invited to participate in this incredible food event. The brain child of Alexandra Olssen (of the blocks and salt fame) and John Susman of Fishtales its a food show like no other where 60 producers showcase their products to Industry heavyweights and influencers.
As we bid farewell to the last of the garden summer vegetables I thought it would fitting to share a recipe to use our home grow zucchini and capsicum - the bonus being they go so well with lamb. Sadly we can't grow the pineapple but it always seem to be available at the shops. For the kids I often don't bother to marinade, its just as delicious with just a squeeze of lemon juice.
Diced lamb shoulder
1 pineapple - diced
2-3 red capsicum
12 skewers - soaked in water to prevent scorching
1 red onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp sriracha sauce (or more to taste)
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
1 tbs tomato sauce
1 tbs white wine vinegar
1 tbs honey
1 tbs plum sauce
1 tsp salt
Chop the onion and combine with the garlic, ginger, sriracha, tomato sauce, vinegar, honey, five-spice in a blender or food processor with 1 tsp salt, and whizz to a paste. Massage the marinade all over the diced lamb and leave in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
Thread the lamb onto the skewers, alternating with the zucchini, pineapple and capsicum.
Heat the BBQ or hotplate and grill skewers until well browned on all sides, approximately 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer skewers to platter and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
Serve with a salad and some crusty bread, feel free to drizzle a yogurt and lemon dressing to cut the heat if you've gone hard on the sriracha. Bon apetite!