Managing the Heat

We are in the midst of a ‘heat-wave’ we have them every year in South Australia yesterday at the farm we registered 44.5 degree C 111.2 Fahrenheit which makes it incredibly hot. We have large amounts of animals that need us to constantly check on them, my Huz gets up and goes out to check on waters that all our animals need. This is not as easy as it sounds, if the trough breaks and cattle do break them, he has to be out in the heat to fix them, this can also drain the main tank that holds the water so after it’s fixed we then have to use power to pump water around the place. He does this check twice a day a least in this heat.

He also takes his working dogs, they are not working but get to ride on the back of the ute and afterwards he wets them all down. Me I have the chickens to look after, they are a bit dumb in that they will head into their coop (made from corrugated iron sheets) rather than sit under the trees and shrubs planted in their coop for shelter. We will even put a sprinkler on over them so that the ground is cool, if we find them distressed they are picked up and placed in a trough or bucket of water. We do the best we can in this weather, the 4 cats (expect Frankie – who always disappears in this type of heat) migrate inside, they have learnt the pleasure of lying under fans and or the air conditioner. Gatsby the new rescued cat has just been introduced to the pleasure of fan and air-conditioner and will now look up at the fans if they are not on, once on he stretches full length on the couch and sleeps. Pete my golden retriever is always at my feet or lying under fans or on the cool tiles. The house is closed up early and curtains drawn to keep the heat out so the thing I dislike the most is meal planning.

Cooking provides the same sort of issue, cooking inside heats up the house further and the main meal is at almost the hottest time of the day or close to it. The last couple of days I have used the BBQ and the wok on the BBQ. It may be hot standing outside but at least the heat remains outside. I have done basic things, like lamb and pork chops grilled, the wok was to cook the vegetables.

How are you all coping with the heat? Send me your tips on meals – that you make at home – we are no where near any take out places. BBQ tips and easy to prepare meals are the go. Stay Cool.

Cooking!! there is no glamour in this chore

It this really busy world where women and men are out working, being parents, playing sports, being on committees and numerous other roles unmentioned in this blog. There is always that nagging feeling when coming to the end of the working day, even if you do not work in paid employment after a day working, it comes to about 4pm and your mind starts thinking about the dreaded chore of preparing the evening meal. Remember the ‘frustrated Chef‘ from ‘Sesame Street’ well cooking daily makes me feel like this

There is no speech by your parents when you grow up about how laborious this chore is, yes they talk about sex, making babies, financial responsibilities and school and growing up but my mother never told me how this could be the worst chore ever invented and how necessary it is to daily functions. My mother also never told me how frustrating it is when you ask people in the house what do they want to dinner and have responses like “anything as long as I’m with you” as nice as it sounds it’s a cop-out. In Australian language that means I have no idea and I’m not prepared to offer any suggestions, this is frustrating to say the least, or what would be nice occasionally is to have someone say, “I know” and get up and prepare it and present it themselves.

We sit and watch shows like ‘Masterchef‘, ‘My Restaurant Rules‘, Huey’s kitchen and every other ‘lifestyle’ program has a cooking segment on it and we (pardon the pun) devour these shows, in my case I love some of the dishes and want to see who wins, that’s the competitive nature in me coming out there. But sometimes these dishes they don’t relate to normal life do they? Who really has the time (other than paid contestants) to spend 5 hours preparing meals? Not me I could not think of anything more boring. Preparing and presenting a perfectly cooked meal, consuming it and then CLEANING up.

There are some days when I think, can’t I just go and buy dinner? I live where there is no identifiable (no golden arches) fast food places within 150kms or in American terms 93.20 miles so when I do feel like this I rely on the trusty freezer, to have meat, oven fires and frozen vegetables and normally use this opportunity to do a mixed grill, rump, fillet or lamb chops which I will crumb, eggs from our chooks, sausages either our beef or lamb, then bread cooked in our bread maker and frozen oven fries cooked in the oven. This really is our choice, I don’t keep frozen ‘fast foods‘ like hash browns or others, these can be high in fat and salt.

But sometimes just sometimes I would love someone to come in and cook and clean. The last time farmer was out for dinner I cooked a microwave bag of popcorn and ate that, nothing else but white wine with it. When we travel to the city to see family and friends it normally is for a celebration so food is part of this shared experience, I have a family of cookers, they bring salads, hot vegetables, desserts and we cook either a leg of lamb or roast some of our beef. There is nothing nicer, but if we dine out, I note farmer goes for the seafood or steak, I normally go the steak option, it is just nice to have food prepared and presented to you. We also like Asian foods which I also cook when I feel I have time, but overall home cooking is always much more flavor some and healthy for you than ‘fast foods’ but for the convenience fast foods will win this mental trauma every time and this is back by the statistics, people would rather drive through than shop in.

My advice, find a great fresh home delivery company that will bring fresh fruit, produce and meat to your door, plan your meals so that you only order what you know you are going to eat. This will help reduce the high calories intake and save you from opening your purse. Put that money towards a long desired holiday where, when you get it you can PAY someone to cook what you want and clean up.

frustrated chef