Whole Larder Love » Grow. Gather. Hunt. Cook.

As beautiful as it is living here in the rolling green paddocks, tucked away on the side of our hill, it’s also rather nice to have a change of scenery. The first few weeks of January are well suited to spend some time on the coast. The breeze off the ocean is often cool, and if the weather turns extremely hot, it’s the place you want to reside. We didn’t plan to be away during one of the hottest weeks in recent years, it just happened that way. But I’m glad we where housed right on the beach in our little caravan when the hot weather arrived.

The north wind blew hot. The sun belted down with ultraviolet fury and punished the beach sand, turning it hot like a bed of coals, so hot that bare feet was not an option. It only took me one experience of burning feet to forever remember to wear my shoes when heading beachside. Everyday our fellow holiday makers hit the waves, boogie boards, surf boards, board shorts and bikinis. Zinc covered faces, sunscreen greased bodies and bright beach tents rattled in the wind. Joyous screaming kids running from waves, dogs barking at balls and the smell of BBQ. It’s the Aussie beach experience. Its lovely.

The beach break for me means seafood. All types of sea food. I fish and I forage. This trip I was very lucky to be in possession of Dad’s bamboo surf rod he build the year I was born, 1976. The rod is a perfect example of Dad’s meticulous attention to detail. The people who know my Dad would agree, he’s no Rex Hunt when it comes to fishing. I reckon he had more fun making the rod than fishing with it. It’s a beautifully crafted rod. Strong and very functional. Each loop perfectly set and glued, the handle lovingly made with marine rope, tightly wound and glued. It’s a rod that gets people talking, and sure enough garnished some attention amongst other campers. Dad told me that the rod has never caught him a fish. Instead he’d stored it in garages over the years, ensuring its immaculate condition. Why he lent it to me I’ll never know. I’m a user of good tools. I like to set these tools into action, use them for their original intention.

My first afternoon on the beach was one of fine weather. I waded out to the breaking waves, the water initially cold and fresh, hell for my nether regions. I’d rigged up with an large anchor sinker and two wire leaders, baited with blue bait. Swinging that rod back for the first time was exciting. I know, silly to be excited about a some old fishing rod. But this was the one my Dad made. It was family. Back the bamboo bent, my arms reached forward with all my might stopping to allow the sinker and line to fly, and out she did. What distance the line went! Better feeling than any new rod could offer. Maybe I was just being sentimental, but this thing just flew. My Dad had made a superb fishing rod. Purpose made.

I fished for hours, on that beach, the odd man out. Most other people surfed and swam. I fished the waters on the edge of the break, away from where waves were worth catching. The fishing wasn’t amazing, but I did manage a few mullet and one lovely Australian Salmon. With the poor fishing, my darling Kate organised a few hours spell on a charter boat. She said it was a gift, but also dropped a comment with her serious voice… “bring me home some fish… I want fish”. With the detail clear, I fished hard and returned triumphant. A haul of sweet tasting flathead, a few dog sharks, mackerel and my fist ever snapper. We ate the fish very simply. Cooked with butter and olive oil, sometimes with a coat of flour, always with butter, lemon, salt and pepper. The whole family enjoyed the fresh taste of each difference species. Ooohing and aaaahhhing over the beautiful tastes. It’s great to see my kids eating food like this. Fingers grabbing meat straight off the bone. Food so fresh and natural. It makes sense. Sense in a shambolic world is what keeps me going.

After a few more sessions on Dad’s fishing rod, I decided the remainder of the week would be well spent on other duties. The kids and I, along with some visiting friends hit the rocks in search of a feed of mussels. The tide was well and truly out, but still too dangerous for kids to forage past the intertidel zone. So I picked some myself and returned to the van to cook them with garlic, butter and white wine. For extra zing I added some American flare, a seasoning mix called Old Bay which I picked up on my travels last year. Jack and I found it difficult to stop devouring the pot of mussels. The kids gave up trying them so it was really our duty to eat them. The juices at the bottom of the pot where soaked up with bread. The taste of ocean.

The unavoidable end to the break finally came, we packed up the old van and headed north. On the drive home, along the winding Great Ocean Road my mind drifted. I though about Dad’s beautiful hand made fishing rod. That rod represented a time past. Was it a time where men did things of real value. Where men preferred real adventure to virtual adventure. Man is different now. Facets of the old Australian male have changed. Is he redundant? Has a new man taken his place? Does he still desire to make things of purpose? Or does he prefers to buy things already made. Are certain skills being lost? Sure some are being revived, but most will fade. The spirit of adventure may fade for some, replaced by responsibility of paying back loans for stuff. Is that now what we must accept as the norm?

When you spend some time in a van you’re forced to live with less. Its a great experience. You can re-evaluate what is actually important. What you can survive with, and without. Its been a nice start to the year. Its been a nice living reminder to keep up the lifestyle I committed to. I life of living with less, using less, impacting less and living off the crumbs of society.

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  • January 23, 2014 - 11:02 am

    Jane @ Shady Baker - Love your words and your photos as always Rohan. That fishing rod sounds pretty special. I hope the Australian male that you speak of hasn’t completely disappeared.ReplyCancel

  • January 23, 2014 - 11:10 am

    Tricia - Beautiful words Rohan. I think most men still desire to make things of purpose – they just don’t reaslise it. Creating, foraging and growing bring me more joy than I ever could have imagined. Here’s to more people taking the time to create something as beautiful as your Dad’s fishing rod.ReplyCancel

  • January 23, 2014 - 12:31 pm

    Margaret Hogan - Nice post Rohan. You talk about your dad’s fishing rod like I talk about my dad’s snooker cue. He died in 2009. I think it’s got something to do with the fact that it’s spent time in their hands. I have the same feeling every time I use one of the wooden bowls or platters he made in later life. I was washing one up tonight and just got thinking about him. Somehow it makes you feel closer. Totally get the whole time out living simply thing. Camping has the same effect for our family. It’s a salve. And I’m so glad it’s inbuilt in the kids now. I know it will serve them well in years to come when they need their own time out. Thanks for a lovely post.ReplyCancel

  • January 23, 2014 - 1:48 pm

    Carl Schuerman - “Living off the crumbs of society.”ReplyCancel

  • January 23, 2014 - 1:51 pm

    Brad - Great post. I’m a new reader and I find myself immediately jumping over to your blog when a new post shows up in my reader! And now? Now I want to go to the beach and cast out a line myself. Thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • January 23, 2014 - 4:38 pm

    June - I completely agree, Rohan – when you live in a van it completely changes your view on what’s essential and what’s not. We spent three months in our van last summer and I got used to living with only what we had. There’s way too much unnecessary “stuff” in the world. Those fish look delish – I can almost taste them from here!ReplyCancel

  • January 23, 2014 - 6:42 pm

    Thad - Old Bay is not just an American thing, it is a East Coast thing. Old Bay is great on anything and everything … fish, chicken, potatoes! Always enjoy your writings and love that a touchstone of my culinary world (I carried Old Bay to the UK when I lived there) has made to your shores.ReplyCancel

  • January 23, 2014 - 9:41 pm

    lemmiwinks - “make things of purpose.”

    Nail.
    Head.ReplyCancel

  • January 24, 2014 - 8:32 pm

    maamej - Thanks for sharing this lovely story. I think being sentimental about the rod is totally justified, but what’s most important is that you are actually using it, it’s not just sitting in a garage gathering dust as so many keepsakes do.

    Reminds me of my own dad, who never made a rod but fed our family from his fishing all through my teenage years on the south coast of NSW.ReplyCancel

  • January 25, 2014 - 1:12 am

    The Rambling Expat - Very nice images, well done.ReplyCancel

  • January 25, 2014 - 2:15 am

    KEON - THANK YOU.ReplyCancel

  • January 25, 2014 - 10:42 am

    Airstream Family - You write brilliantly Rohan. I often wonder too about just how much is being lost. And if that life of old has become redundant, does that make life in general redundant? Seriously, a life of slavery to debt and virtual adventure. What kind of life is that?ReplyCancel

  • January 27, 2014 - 4:59 pm

    Jim - Not everyone has stopped making things with their hands but some days it feels like it. Make sure that you teach your kids how to use their hands to make some of the things they use too. It feels good.ReplyCancel

  • January 28, 2014 - 2:12 am

    Kristie - What a great post! This is the transition we’ve been making over the last couple of years…simple, meaningful, on purpose living. I never understood why my husband would want to make something himself or do it “the hard way”…I’m so happy to say that I really get it now…he is currently building our house…from start to finish with his Dad…it makes me so proud and we will have amazing memories of this time and of course when we are living in it!ReplyCancel

  • January 30, 2014 - 5:02 am

    Emma - Beeeeeeeautiful post. Made me smile.
    I’m glad that you are writing about this stuff, and hopefully inspiring men and women to get out there and make stuff of purpose.

    I know when my city boy built our chicken coop with his Dad last year he loved it and it made him feel so good.

    Glad you enjoyed your tripReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2014 - 12:23 pm

    ambradambra - Great post, I can almost taste that fish. Speaking of mussels and hand-made implements, I recently posted about foraging for mussels in Sydney in the ’60s using an ingenious contraption made by my father. You might enjoy it: http://ambradambra.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/working-out-for-our-mussels/ReplyCancel

  • February 18, 2014 - 6:18 am

    Fisherman - I hope those fish are of legal size. They certainly don’t look it.ReplyCancel

    • February 18, 2014 - 8:57 am

      rohan - Yes they are. Do you think I’m dumb enough to

      1. write about sustainable living/fishing then post photos of undersized fish
      2. post photos of undersized fish from a fishing charter and have the charter operators loose their license?

      These fish where caught on a charter. They are all legal size.

      Do you not have nothing better to do than ask stupid questions? ReplyCancel

  • February 18, 2014 - 11:36 am

    Fisherman - 1. Despite what you might think, asking about undersize fish is not a stupid question.
    I’m sure you’re aware that fisheries are under enough pressure without idiots taking juvenile fish and I feel quite strongly about fishing sustainably. So when I see a sustainability blog with a photo of what appears to be several 20cm long flathead, a snapper that’s not much bigger and a photo of fillets of said fish that aren’t much larger than the lemon wedge you served them with… then yeah, damn right I have time to ask if they were legal.
    3. I might be mistaken. After all, all I said was I hoped they were of legal size. A simple reassurance or a yes would have sufficed.
    4. I don’t know you so I don’t know how dumb you are. But I think I’m getting a fair idea.
    Good day.ReplyCancel

    • February 18, 2014 - 8:41 pm

      rohan - I get quite a few stupid comments here and a large amount of criticism so rightly defensive. The owner of this charter was questioned by me about how he manages size regulations and he was clear it’s either follow it or loose his livelihood.

      I once was told I was a monster for hunting NATIVE Australian rabbits and was going to be reported to the DSE. That the kinds of bullshit I have to contend with so yes I was defensive.ReplyCancel

Elsewhere in Australia its been a stinking hot start to the summer. However, here deep in the rolling hills of the Central Highlands, its been a slow start to summer. The vegetables have struggled to get motivated, but finally they’re growing as each warm day passes. Putting my talk/ideas/belief about sustainable food into action, we’ll once again be delivering fresh organic vegetables down to Melbourne for those people looking to tick their ‘good food’ boxes. This produce is grown just over an hour out of the city, its certified organic and its picked fresh based on your order. Its delicious too!

For those not aware of the system, let me explain.

We sell two boxes of real food.
A box of assorted organic vegetables (and some fruit) ($55 – approx. 10-15kg)
A box of Free Range Pork and meat (sourced from the Farmers Larder) ($57 – approx. 2-2.5kg)

What do you need to do?
Place your order via the shop website (click here)
The veg will then get picked in the following two days
We then deliver your box one of the four locations in Melbourne (click here)
You cook and enjoy the veg!

Simple enough system?

Some things you may not be used to if you’ve just been eating supermarket veg and meat.

1. Its organic veg – zero chemicals
2. Its picked fresh the day before you collect it thus ensuring major culinary delight
3. The veg will vary in size shape and show all signs of nature
4. The veg isn’t washed until you wash it in your kitchen saving being washed multiple times
5. The veg will change each week as the season progresses. i.e. you’re eating seasonally
6. The veg hasn’t travelled interstate or overseas
7. The veg doesn’t come wrapped in plastic, we re-use styrofoam boxes week in week out
8. The meat is all free range, free of preservatives and hormones and tastes like meat should

We have some simple rules. Please arrive at one of the four locations. If you fail to pick up your box we donate it to a family that needs it. We don’t deliver to your door. We will provide a veg box hotline so you can call to advise if you’re running late.
Please bring back your empty veg box as we’ll re-use it and fill it up the next time you order from us.

THE MEAT PACK!!!!!
For $57, you’ll get a pack of 2-2.5kg of tasty free range, local pork direct from us, small farmers producing artisan meat 10 mins north of Daylesford.
An examples of the type of cuts you can expect to find in the pack include a mix of preservative free sausages made with fresh herbs and spices, pork belly, chops, steaks, cutlets, mince, hock and/or ribs.
Please let us know if you’re gluten free (as our sausages are made the traditional British way – with bread crumbs)
Delivered in refrigerated van – we suggest you bring an esky bag or box to transport home.

If you’re keen and as excited as we are then place your order here.

We make the first delivery on the 25th January, then every Saturday until the growing season comes to a close around June.

Remember guys. This system only works if we get support. Unfortunately we no longer offer the Daylesford Organic Eggs as that family decided to close shop after a decade of trying to make a simple living from providing organic eggs to the city. Small holders will only survive with your support. So please tell your family, your friends and even your co-workers about the system. Lets make it work!

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  • January 8, 2014 - 5:09 am

    Ali - I love this idea and would love to subscribe, but lunch time on a Saturday is going to be difficult for me in the West.ReplyCancel

  • January 8, 2014 - 9:42 am

    melbournegirls - Hi
    Is there any chance you would consider doing a smaller box of fruit / veg? I found your box last year way too much for one person to get through in a week.
    Great product though …. Regards AnneReplyCancel

    • January 9, 2014 - 12:32 am

      rohan - We’re keeping it as one pack sorry. Maybe share it with a few folk? Sorry!ReplyCancel

  • January 8, 2014 - 10:36 pm

    Melissa - Will there be a ballarat pick up available for the meat pack?ReplyCancel

  • January 9, 2014 - 2:22 am

    Rose Black - What is the cut off date for ordering?
    CheersReplyCancel

  • January 10, 2014 - 1:35 am

    Carl Schuerman - Awesome! I’m from the U.S. of A. and find myself often daydreaming of running an operation such as this. Really cool to know that someone is actually out there doing it! Really hope all works out well this season for y’all.

    One gripe, styrofoam? Yuck. HahaReplyCancel

  • January 13, 2014 - 10:00 am

    Genevieve - Hey Rohan, this is great. I’m gonna share it with my Melbourne based friends and acquaintances… I hope it works out really well this time around. It’s bloody hard trying to make a go of being a small scale farmer/producer type person so I hope the good folk of Melbourne support you and your farming/butchering mates. All the best xReplyCancel

  • January 16, 2014 - 6:54 am

    theveggiemama - stooooooked! Can’t wait for the 25th. See you then!ReplyCancel

  • January 19, 2014 - 10:20 pm
  • January 25, 2014 - 2:38 am

    alexis - So, I picked up my box of veg from Brunny today, and got home to open it, whereupon BASIL! The smell of it filled the room and permanently moved into my nostrils and it was good. So good. I was really really excited by all the broccoli, so fresh that the stalks were positively sweet, so I cooked up a mega broccoli-potato-pinenut palooza, with olive oil and pepper on top, and ate and ate and, amazingly, my pants still fit. I love the red earth clinging to all the root veg (am going to scrub it off and donate it to my garden). I love that the beetroot and turnips and carrots come with their leaves still on, fresh and springy (there are chooks round here who will be extremely excited about the offcuts). Thanks so much for bringing this good veg to town.ReplyCancel

The killing day had finally come. My friend’s geese had matured and where now ready to dispatch, pluck, clean and package. The intention was that some of them would end up as roasting birds for Christmas day. I’ve not yet cooked with geese but I’ve heard it’s a lovely roasting bird, so I accepted the offer to work in exchange for a handful of roasting birds as payment.

White down feathers flew through the air, pure, white, just like snow. The home made feather plucker spun on high rotation attached to the old electric drill, mounted on some car ramps. It couldn’t get any more hillbilly. But it worked. My friends ingenuity may not look pretty but it’s usually functional. We soon got into a rhythm, finding our roles and working through bird after bird. It became slightly mechanical. I thought for a moment that I’d turned into the person that I didn’t want to be. Had I become desensitised to killing? It’s been many years of literally killing things to eat them. Making the choice to discontinue outsourcing my killing meant the only way to acquire meat was to do the dirty work myself. Holding the large birds, alive, then slicing their throat, the warm blood covering my wrist, the last vestiges of life wriggling from the animal. There is no way I could be desensitised from that.

By midday the killing floor was covered with a mixture of white feathers and rich red blood. It’s a reality that’s not really promoted at the supermarket, where most of us buy our Christmas meat. I guess any company that’s involved in the business of selling food would be mad to promote the reality of how said meat came to be in our shopping trollies. Most people in the disinfected western world, would not give a second thought to the reality that an animal was slaughtered. It’s just there, in the supermarket fridge, wrapped in plastic. What seems to be most important is the price per kilo/pound. There is no information on the meat as to how the animal was raised. Where its travels from. What it’s been fed. What medications its been treated with. Its a skewed reality.

In Australia, Christmas holidays mean hot summer. But it’s at this time of year that snow covered decorations adorn houses, offices and schools. Snow in summer? It doesn’t make sense. Sure up in America, Canada, England maybe. But down here it’s hot as hell for Christmas. So why do we have this skewed view of a snowy Christmas? Why do we have a skewed view of what’s important about Christmas food? Food in general? Why is this reality not known to the vast majority of people in the western world. Why does it anger people so much when I point this reality out?

Christmas is a wonderful time of year. It started as a celebration of the birth of Jesus. Whether you believe that or not, thats the reason why the 25th of December is celebrated. Can I ask though, has it turned into a celebration of consumerism? Walking through the isles of a department store to buy a kid’s present is overwhelming. There seems to be a lot of unnecessary stuff around this time of year. I’m sure we could live without it. There seems to be a lot of stuff made in the asian region that ends up being purchased, used for a short while then disposed of. It’s all heavily reliant on natural resources to create. Sometimes I wonder if its all down hill from here. Have we lost the plot completely? There will be some people that will consider it brutal for me to have killed live birds to eat. I’m sure there are people that will see me as barbaric. That is nothing I can change. Other people’s views will be just that. Their views. But the reality is that I know the reality. I have blood on my hands.

I’m looking forward to roasting a few birds on Christmas day. I’m looking forward to celebrating with my daughters. I’m looking forward to that afternoon siesta. I think Christmas is a beautiful thing to celebrate. I just don’t want to celebrate consumerism.

I wish everyone the best for the holiday season. I would like to thank many of you for your beautiful words of encouragement and support over the year. I thank you for your letters telling me of how your lives have been influenced one way or another. I want to thank you for giving me hope. That’s the best gift. Until next year. Much love.

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  • December 17, 2013 - 2:34 am

    Sylvia - Merry Christmas to you and all of your family, I’m sure you’ll enjoy a wonderful feast on Christmas Day.
    My father grew up on a farm and I grew up with him slaughtering rabbits and ducks he caught himself in the back yard. It wasn’t something I thought too much about at the time but now I’m glad that I grew up knowing about where food comes from. Keep up the good work and look forward to being able to buy some more fantastic veg next year. The drive up to the inner west is always worth it :) ReplyCancel

    • December 17, 2013 - 3:43 am

      rohan - Hell Yeah!!! See you soon SylviaReplyCancel

  • December 17, 2013 - 2:49 am

    thecitygourmand - You know it’s time for Christmas again where you see the decos popping up in October! Have a brilliant Christmas away from the maddening crowdsReplyCancel

    • December 17, 2013 - 3:42 am

      rohan - You enjoy mad Christmas as well!!ReplyCancel

  • December 17, 2013 - 3:29 am

    Jane @ Shady Baker - Great post Rohan. Happy holiday season to you and your family and thank you for your inspiration, both on your blog and in your book. I don’t want to celebrate consumerism either…sometimes I wonder if the world has lost the plot completely too.ReplyCancel

  • December 17, 2013 - 4:05 am

    Clara - Exquisite images xReplyCancel

  • December 17, 2013 - 4:42 am

    Richard - Merry Christmas to you and your family Rohan. You should try brining one of those birds before you roast it. If you want a sobering reminder of our consumerism and what is doing to our planet you should check out the documentary Trashed. http://www.trashedmovie.comReplyCancel

  • December 17, 2013 - 9:11 am

    Wendy Adams - Thank you Rohan for your wonderful blog and inspiring words throughout the year, I have enjoyed every sentence. Merry Christmas to you and your family.ReplyCancel

  • December 17, 2013 - 9:14 am

    Zelda - Always good to be reminded of where our food comes from. Thank you, Rohan. Wishing you a happy and peaceful Christmas.ReplyCancel

  • December 17, 2013 - 10:43 am

    lorraine hogan - Merry Xmas to you and your family, Rohan. Billi is going beautifully! Love her. Lorraine.ReplyCancel

  • December 17, 2013 - 11:03 am

    Ted of Glenlyon - Yes, they are all the right questions. Why are we compelled to buy a heap of shit for a heap of people that don’t want it anyway. The whole thing sounds bloody ridiculous! I’m not wishing you a happy Christmas, I’m inviting you to get your chainsaw and join me in the aisles of Kmart and we can show this world what we really think of Christmas. And then we can meet back at my place and lop the head of my rooster. He’s been asking for it for ages. Cock a doodle do at 3am, well, coq au vin here we come. We can combine the joys of Christmas and some blood thirsty butchering all in the one days outing. When are you free, my diary’s got heaps of spare days at the moment. Let me know and I’ll get some fuel for the chainsaw and meet you in the car park at Kmart Wendouree. I’m sure the locals wouldn’t blink an eye. You’ve been to Wendouree haven’t you? Ok, catch ya then.ReplyCancel

    • December 18, 2013 - 12:50 pm

      Alicia - One Mother Hen - I bought heaps of shit. A pig leg, a beef rump, straight from the abattoir(sadly I don’t have room to keep such animals)let alone slaughter them. Pressies for my nephews and nieces, those that are under 18. I didn’t go overboard, it’s all about making and seeing their eyes and hearts light up.

      A lamb leg from by BILs(slaughtered by him) farm, gifted for my hubby, for marking his lambs while he(BIL) travelled around Australia for seven months. I have chorizo, hand made by me and my Dad this year. Sour dough bread (made and frozen by me today) for christmas day. Nothing will give more pleasure to have my family and friends sitting around. laughing, loving, eating at my place for the one time of year I relish in those I love and are loved by. I’ll pass and say, Fuck prancing around the Kmart with a chainsaw buddy, in all respect with you this chrissie :)

      I actually don’t mind the crowing of my rooster, like I don’t mind the warble of a magpie and the squawk of the cockie. I will put up with the annoying bastard until I get a broodie hen, and then I will enjoy his delicious arsehole(the last bit that goes through the fence) and oysters(slaughtered by me). I always thought ‘Oysters and Arseholes’ would be a great name for a chicken shop. I know I’m sick and it will never happen!ReplyCancel

      • December 19, 2013 - 3:33 am

        Ted of Glenlyon - Yeah, chainsaws in Kmart, tongue firmly planted in my cheek. Christmas for me too is seeing the smiles on my kids faces. As for that bloody rooster, the real reason why I want his head off is because my angelic 2 year old went into the pen to collect some eggs and he attacked her with such ferocity that she was left with claw marks from head to toe. Oysters and arseholes would be a perfect name, and your Christmas Day sounds like my perfect Christmas Day. Wish it was happening at my place, next year perhaps. Hope you have a great day.ReplyCancel

  • December 17, 2013 - 11:19 am

    mzkynd - Love this piece!! You so simply and eloquently showed the need to have a relationship with our food, and I loved how you showed the beauty of a process that should be respected and not commercialized!ReplyCancel

  • December 17, 2013 - 5:38 pm

    derekmyate@gmail.com - Thanks my man likewise, make sure you watch the rich blood off your hands b4 you sit at the dinner table on Christmas :)!
    always keep life simple and wonders will happen.ReplyCancel

  • December 17, 2013 - 11:07 pm

    lemmiwinks - “It started as a celebration of the birth of Jesus. Whether you believe that or not, thats the reason why the 25th of December is celebrated.”

    No it didn’t, the Christians co-opted a pagan celebration in order to boost their popularity. Seems to have worked.

    Anyway, enjoy your goose! :-) ReplyCancel

    • December 18, 2013 - 1:48 am

      rohan - That’s correct! But you get the gist if what I’m saying? ;-) ReplyCancel

      • December 18, 2013 - 10:25 pm

        lemmiwinks - Stop buying crap? Hearing you loud and clear mate!ReplyCancel

    • January 6, 2014 - 10:27 am

      S/B - Exactly! Jesus was actually born in Summer, in the northern hemisphere, so really “Christmas”, as in the Christian celebration, should be held in July.

      As for a celebration of consumerism, if you go back to the roots of the pagan celebration, it was a way to gorge yourself on food – a form of consumerism – before the Winter truly set in, so you were nice and fat and well fed before your food stocks dwindled during the long winter months ;) ReplyCancel

  • December 18, 2013 - 4:31 am

    Josephine - Always love your posts. Thankyou for all your amazing photos and stories this year. May you continue to fly in the face of the madness. Have a great Christmas with your girls, I suspect the goose will be delicious.ReplyCancel

  • December 18, 2013 - 8:06 am

    Dale Morgan - Have a great Xmas and enjoy those geese, they will be delicious!ReplyCancel

  • December 18, 2013 - 8:41 am

    Holly Findlay - Have a wonderful Christmas Ro with all your girls. I don’t get the snow thing either? A couple of years ago we had the big white snowy Christmas in America, but you know what – we all craved for the heat, flies and sunny skies of this great land and were all desperately homesick for what we know, rather than what we try to emulate. Enjoy the goose and thanks for all your great posts throughout the year. You are inspiring.ReplyCancel

  • December 22, 2013 - 4:30 am

    Warwick Berry - “Be strong Mitzy”ReplyCancel

  • December 28, 2013 - 3:07 pm

    Sini│my blue&white kitchen - This post. Wow.

    P.S. Just discovered your site and this was the first post I read. I’m hooked.ReplyCancel

  • January 1, 2014 - 5:43 pm

    Allen - We raised and processed our own chickens and turkeys this year. Nothing gives you the sense of realizing just what is going into your oven and onto your plate like holding down a 42lb (dressed, it was a big bird) turkey as it goes through it’s death rattle. It is brutal and unpleasant but there is an honesty to it that is worth it.ReplyCancel

  • January 2, 2014 - 12:18 pm

    i am not a celebrity - We had goose a couple of nights ago in Cornwall, sourced from our neighbours’ farm. It was a first for me and I loved it. We served it with roast potatoes and a butternut we brought back from a Christmas spent in France – and lots of delicious red wine. I’m back in London now with only memories (and a few extra pounds) to sustain me.

    Happy New Year, Ro.

    Kate
    xxReplyCancel

  • January 10, 2014 - 5:39 pm

    Melinaphotos - Love, love what you wrote here. Sorry I’m so late to see it. Also love the photographs of the killing process and the killed. Real and educational and very much appreciated. Beautiful creatures. I bet you ate super well.ReplyCancel