Thursday, April 29, 2010


I just realized how insanely awesome yesterday was. Woke up to a letter from my favourite chef, bought a new outfit for nearly nothing, dyed my hair back to bright bright red, got a well-paying job in Melbourne in a few weeks (I absolutely adore Melbourne) and then my husband took me on a dinner and date movie which was fun and enjoyable and then when we got home I pretended I was a real estate agent trying to sell him our house. It ended well - but I don't think he's gonna buy it. Ha.

I've been having a LOT of fun with life lately and am seriously looking forward to attending more events with people. Problem is I don't like common events. I hate huge crowds and lots of drunk people - just like being at work. yay. I prefer things like dinner parties and sunny days with gardens and drives to the country and wine tasting and things like that. It's hard to make friends like that - everyone in Brisbane seems to be caught up in this 'hip' thing - which is hysterical because I wouldn't say Brisbane is hip at all. It seems like an entirely new thing.

Melbourne is pretty much my exact type of lifestyle. Coffee, food, motorbikes in the city, trams, rainy days, tea shops everywhere, handmade jewellery stalls on the side of the road, gourmet chocolate shops every few feet and quirky little things like potato restaurants, wine and jazz nights in the city (nearly empty as well!) and the lovely Jewish communities. I really feel at home in Melbourne. I just wish my husband wanted to live there.

Brisbane is not like that at all. I feel, lately, Brisbane has been getting into the 'must like rarer music than my neighbour even if it's bad and must only like local art and talent and can't like anything from anywhere else as I dye my hair purple but only in a shade nobody has'. Seriously it's all come out of left field, too. Nobody wants to have quiet drinks at a smooth jazz tapas bar anymore... well, they never did in Brisbane. It went from bogan to trendy-scene in a matter of a year. Bizarre.

So I don't think I mentioned this but I'm actually not married yet. I'm getting married in November. I call Glynn my husband because, well, we're already like a married couple. Insanely in love. Insanely!! I'm talking people make movies out of our life kind of insane. We're just wild about each other and we're almost on year two! Woohoo. We still do tickle fights and pull faces at each other and dance randomly in the livingroom to a cool song. We rarely argue, if at all. So maybe he's not a husband! Ha.

The thing I think that makes the best relationships is a sincere desire to see the other person happy. Glynn hates ducks. If you haven't noticed... I have a duck. I hate having huge things in the garage that never get fixed. And yet, there's a broken down car in there. Been there for months. LOL. Neither of us are mad about it - because I know he'll someday get around to fixing it and replace that with another thing that makes him happy... and I'll be happy with my duck. It doesn't really feel like 'compromise' to me.. just a sincere desire to see him happy, so I go "Meh, what's a broken down car?" and he goes, "Meh, what's a duck?"

Life is... good.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I was so upset (no, not really) last night when I did all the laundry in the house and discovered that, if I was currently wearing a shirt, I had exactly the number of hangers to hangable clothing in my closet and thus, could no longer purchase clothing.

Well my husband wouldn't have it! He proceeded to empty his hangers that matched mine (I must have matching hangers on my side of the closet for some reason) and put his on mismatching ones so I would be able to have six new pieces of hangable clothing. Haha and people wonder why I love him.

Anyway I decided to go to the shops today to put money in the bank and I went by this small clothing place I keep eyeing. It's had this gorgeous ruffled chocolate brown skirt in the window for weeks. I noticed it was on the 'under $50' rack today and well... it was well under that! $20 to be exact. Not content with just that, I managed to find a lacey top and undershirt for a futher $20. So this entire outfit cost me $40:

Modest yet kinda sexy. I like it. I plan on wearing my gorgeous Roberto Cavalli ankle boots with it and some black leggings. When winter comes I'll throw a thick trench over it all and it'll be gorgeous. I love winter. Winter makes it so I can wear the best outfits. And yes, I am aware that I am a woman who owns both chickens and Roberto Cavalli heels. It's why I changed the tagline of my blog to 'From Gucci to Geese' on here. Ha.

You can take the girl out of the city...

Today has been an amazing day. I woke up to an email from my current favourite chef, Matthew Evans, the house is practically spotless, I've nearly finished melting all my beeswax down into managable shells, I redid the budget yesterday and was pleasantly surprised and then I scored this lovely outfit for forty bucks.

Now I sit here listening to my favourite Jenny Owens Young songs, sipping on an espresso I got from The Mount Tamboring Coffee Plantation and just plainly enjoying the day.

Oh, and I got three eggs from Fanny Cradock this week. She just started laying and she hasn't stopped once, unlike Julia Child. I'm now very fond of her. Yay!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Duckling and Gordon Ramsay

I think I forgot to mention that when I went to the farm, I brought the Two Fat Ladies and Nigella Hoverchicken with me. Nigella was always supposed to be Mother's but the Two Fat Ladies were simply causing too much trouble in my roost to keep for long. With 750 acres and a couple old biddies who are barely laying in a much bigger pen, they should fair well and just be on laying age for Mother to start getting some chicken eggs once more.

I have this...habit.. much to Father's faux distress, of bringing up birds with me of various breeds. This time being the three chickens from my flock, nine ducks and three guinea fowl. The chooks weren't a surprise and the guinea fowl were probably only a minor surprise since Mother slyly hinted at wanting them when we called to ask her if she wanted peacocks (answer was yes followed almost immediately by a loud bellowing male "NO!" in the background). I think she secretly knew they'd be bought for her almost immediately and she'd get them if she put the idea in my head. It's what I do.

However when we went to pick up the ducks I fell in LOVE with this one I called 'Lipstick Duck' because it had a red tipped beak compared to it's brothers and sisters. When my husband was collecting them to bring to Mother, this one was wiley and got away and made funny noises and jumped on his hand and acted out in a great way. I declared that duck mine and then spent the next day and a half pestering my husband for the duck. No. No. No. No. No. OKAY FINE YES! Pft. He knew I was gonna keep it anyway, don't know why he bothered with the day of no's. Maybe so he could look like he had a say in it. Ha.

So everyone, meet my new little duckling, who is keeping great company with Gordon Ramsay, the chick of the 'farm'.

They are currently housed in the run I built with the other chickens, so the others can get used to them and not attack them when they're finally big enough to join the flock, which should be in a month or so. Exciting!

So much for this blog having my motorbiking and cleaning recipes and the like in it... oh well. Just to make this blog about something other than chickens, here's a photo of 20g beeswax shells I've been making for quick soap/candle dispersion:

I've been passively making these for two days.. I have about 40 of them now... just melt the wax, wait for it to cool a bit, pour and pop in the freezer. Repeat whenever I remember. All fresh from Mother's farm with a backdrop of the honey the same bees made for me. I love my pretend farm life.

Maybe I should change the name of this blog to Farm Girl in the Suburbs.

Monday, April 26, 2010


I love long weekends. Mainly because I get the wonderful few days where I get to visit the family farm. It's not my family farm, technically, but I would gather to say it's not far off. Visiting my husband's family farm to me is so welcoming and wonderful you can't help but feel part of the family, no matter who you are.

Always ready with my favourite, her roast chicken, Mother makes me feel like I'm completely rested and happy - even though it's a four hour drive! Only Mother can make you feel ready to take on the world after spending time with her and then driving four hours home.

The best part, other than Mother, is all the cows and goats and chickens. I spend my morning slowly waking up and getting to eat delicious fresh eggs with some pepper and toast before heading out to do some farm work. Farm work has to be my favourite type of work; it just feels so rewarding! Every single thing you do, whether it be planting or pulling or mowing or feeding or milking or collecting - it gives you something back!

If you plant a seed you can proudly say in a few months you'll get food. If you gather eggs you know you'll get a cake. Even if you end up coming back to the house with nothing in hand (which never happens), you can look out of the windows at all the work that's been done and be proud of yourself and feel important and useful. Better than any 9-5 job where your boss yells at your for turning in a tax report five minutes later than he wanted it.

The more time I spend there, the more I'm convinced my own smallholding is exactly what I want, much to my husband's happiness. He loves his farming and building and growing and shooting and eating so much. It's grown on me, big time.

My husband and I's favourite Sunday event is to gather the paper from outside and spend all morning over a couple coffees looking at houses with land and playing 'pretend'. We talk about where the stables would go, how many cows that acreage can hold and where I'd put my veggie garden. We can't afford a house or land at this moment, but we have a solid plan for one in the very near (5 years is near) future. We have immediate (6 months - 1 year) plan to at least rent farmland we can utilize and live on.

I have got to say - fresh homegrown farm food is my favourite food. I hate packaging and bottles and packets and premade food. When I visit the farm, my husband's sister, Tegan makes the most delicious handmade cakes and slices and desserts. Even me, sugar-phobic weirdo, indulges in a piece now and again, because they're just so awesome. You can taste the handmade love in them. I can never have too much thanks to my sugar sensitivities from rarely eating it, but it's always a treat when I do. My husband kindly devours the rest for me so I don't feel bad at leaving any behind. What a gem.

So... I'm back. Shockingly refreshed and full of life, excited to plant the bundle of seeds I traded with Mother (capital M, always). Excited to make a delicious fluffy cake with the duck eggs that were gathered lovingly for me. Excited to make treats and tea and scrub my face with the amazingly delicious crystallized honey Father collects from his hives (I never stick my finger in the bucket to taste, I swear).

If you're ever in desperate need for recouperation after a hard week, make a visit to a family farm. There's thousands in Australia that accept visitors for farmwork in return for free board for a few nights. They love backpackers who come by just to feed the cows and get a feed themselves. You can find ads on for such things, I discovered one day, happily. Trust me, you never ever in your life felt so relaxed and rejuvinated from travelling and working as you do when you finally come home from a visit on the farm.

Or it could just be Mother that makes me feel that way.

What a great weekend.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Soap Making Day - w00t w00t

Remember a couple days ago when I said I'd be making whipped shea butter? Well in my excitement to use melt and pour soap for the first time in years, I thought I'd give that a go first. I failed, miserably. What started out as me trying to make a red soap with seeds in it layered with a pale green soap to acheive a 'watermelon' look, turned into, well, this:

In the end, I did manage my watermelon soap.. but it cost me a bowl, a mould I had been looking forward to, about a dollar in lost soap and the bottom of my microwave. And since I had to use a massage bar mould instead, my soap looks nothing like watermelons!

Well because I'm a moron who can't seem to put together the simplest of soaps, I decided to go back to making cold pressed soap after a few days of recouperation. Apparently even though cold pressed soap involves lye, burning oils, temperature guages and the threat of death - I can do it much much better than putting a bowl of glycerine in the microwave. Score one for my self-esteem there.

And this beautiful girl came out! I'm excited because I finally used my new batch of organic shea butter to make it along with some mango butter - the organic butters making up 20% of this bar. Coconut oil (a very bubbly and luxurious oil for soaps) is 40% of the oils. The other 40% are my secret, but it's also got 3% Vit E. Plus.. it's pretty and swirly. It swirls all the way through except the sides got a bit blurry, but I like it. The colours are not AT ALL what I was going for, because, as it turns out, my colourants aren't CP compatible. Does the website say this? No. Have I learned my lesson? Not really - because I like it!

It was supposed to be fleuro pink and pale green swirls. Oh well. I call this one a success.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Chooks - A Guide

This is Phileas Gilbert, who is named after one of the writers of Larousse Gastronomique, a cookbook I aspire to own someday. She is a naked neck hen and is very friendly. She loves watching The Simpsons through the window every night. She also likes her neck scratched. She doesn't lay just yet, but I'm excited for when she does.

These are The Two Fat Ladies. They always hang out together and beat up new chickens together. They don't lay yet, either.

This is Nigella Hoverchicken, a little damp. She likes perching on the top of her run, persimmons and seed. She is very friendly but a little shy and likes to fluff her feathers when they're dry. She lays sometimes and always in a different place.

This is Julia Child. She is top of the pecking order but very friendly. I often see her beating up the Two Fat Ladies for beating up another smaller chicken. She's very protective of the flock. She loves rockmelon and persimmons and roasted meat. She is laying. She refuses to lay anywhere but the dog kennel, meaning I either had to worry about her finding a way to jump the fence to get to it where the dogs were, or just give it to her.. which I did. The dogs are not happy about this.

This is Jacques Pepin. She is shy and hard to get a photo of. She is scared of everything and I don't even know what breed she is, sadly. She lays really pointy eggs and always in the hole the dripping air conditioner made.

This is the baby, Gordon Ramsay. I don't know what sex it is yet, but the odds are good since it has a feather neck and it's a naked neck that it is female. She currently resides in a heated bedroom with food and water and a box of scratchings because the Fat Ladies are too dangerous around her. She likes apples and seeds and grass and jumping. She gets two hours a day of supervised free ranging with the other chickens. If it's a boy, I will maybe breed him with Phil, as they have different parents.

This is Fanny Craddock. So named because she's an Isa Brown and the other two are evil, so I named her after a mean chef. Ha. She doesn't lay yet either. She's much nicer than the Two Fat Ladies and doesn't associate with them much, even though all of them are related.

To Eat or Not To Eat, that is the question...

Everyone, meet my babies. Or, anyway, most of them. That's Nigella Hoverchicken in the background, a little bit wet from the rain. That's Julia Childs in the foreground saying Hello and two out of three of those brown ones are affectionally called Two Fat Ladies. The third remains nameless. I can tell the difference between them close up, but not from behind... however I think the two with their heads up are the Fat Ladies.

...and they might die tomorrow.

You see, the Fat Ladies are horrible horrible chickens. I named them at the same time because they never part from each other. I probably shouldn't have named them after such nice ladies, because these ones are mean! I put a baby chick (from the previous post) out for a supervised free-range and the ladies JUMPED it. Full fledged attack. Plus they attack everything else and after a day, everything stops laying eggs!

Julia used to lay and then once the Fat Ladies came into the picture, she immediately stopped. She's top of the pecking order, but she still seems to be effected by the Ladies' bitchiness.

So.. they're about six months old and if you know anything about real home-grown chicken farming, this is a very good age to be eaten. Only battery horrible farming chickens in locked up pens flooded with antibiotics were meant to be eaten at 6 weeks (and thank Gd who'd want to live longer in those conditions?). Hens tend not to be intended for food, but here we are... eggless with eight chickens and two should-be-laying scoundrels who have been nothing but trouble since Day 1.

Of course this means.. we have to kill them ourselves. This is going to be a new experience for me if I end up doing it. Part of me wants to send them to the farm, where they'll have 750 acres to play on but another part of me doesn't want a couple of hens attacking mother's chickens either! Who knows if they'll calm down in a bigger space?

So... I'm torn. My husband is perfectly fine with killing chickens and seems a bit gung-ho about it, actually. (His last text message to me being "Well then I'll give them the chop!") He was raisedon farms and his job, quite frequently, was quickly and effeciently doing away with birds for the dinner table.

I trust him to not let them suffer - however part of me is weirded out by the fact I have raised these hens, fed them, given them a home.. and then chopped their heads off. Then, there's the part of me going, "If I am going to eat them, I should be the one to kill them." And it's true - I should have the cajones to do the deed myself and not send someone else to do it. Of course, even farm cows are sent to meatworks to be slaughtered, the farmers rarely do it themselves - so am I really so bad sending my husband in to do off with them?

Moral. Dilemma.

Especially since the chickens may or may not lay. But here I am, faced with the very real decision of ending something's life - so that I may eat. I eat free range organic chicken nearly every day and I pay out the arse for it. I know what these chickens have been eating (and expect perfectly beautiful yellow corn-fed meat), I know where they slept and I know what kind of food they should make... this is it, right? This is farming.

So, basically I send my husband to kill them both, I kill them myself (potentionally doing it wrong and letting them suffer), I wait for them to stop being arseholes and costing me a lot of money in feed in the meantime for eight non-laying scared as piss chickens, or I send them up to the farm in hopes of reforming them.

If I can't kill a chicken to eat.. should I really eat chicken?

Edit: And just to chuck some confusion into the mix, Julia just laid another egg! If she keeps this up, we won't have to kill the Fat Ladies, seeing as they're not halting egg production anymore.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Money.. what money?

In a fit of online shopping my husband is still scolding me for (no, not really), I got all these beautiful happy soap making materials today in the mail. Shea butter, mango butter, colours, moulds, containers and some melt and pour glycerin soap, which I rarely use but have an idea for. And yes, I plan on making dog bone soap. What of it?

(Un)Luckily for me, the man was suddenly called to work (after suddenly being called off work) just as this shipment arrived. So I sit here, alone, with a pile of soap making supplies and nothing to do. Well, gee, I wonder what I could possibly do all day.

My first project? Whipped Shea Butter.

Oh yeah.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hoverchicken is clucky.

This is Hoverchicken. I call her this because her legs are so fluffy she 'hovers' instead of walks and just kind floats in a ball of feathers. A small part of me wanted to call her "Nigella" because she's all tits and arse. Mostly arse. Which isn't a bad thing - it's simply a state of being.

I have no idea what breed she is and was informed upon my purchase but in my excitement of having a ball of chicken, I forgot. I bought this one for Mother (capital M) who is actually Mother In Law, but Mother to me. I have a habit of finding birds for her. She lives on a massive farm and I constantly live vicariously through her by buying her bizarre pets with feathers. Dad still hasn't forgiven me for the five ducks. Neither has my husband, who had to clean the car after I decided ducks 'could handle a five minute drive' in the backseat without taking too big of a poo. I was not right.

Nigella Hoverchicken is broody. I only got her yesterday. She laid me an egg, told me all about it, told the rest of the chickens about it and then proceeded to sit on two plastic eggs the next twenty-four hours in an attempt to hatch them. So I'm getting myself some Araucana eggs, which are both an amazingly beautiful chicken and a good layer of baby blue eggs. Being a Jewish household, I don't get Easter, so I have to make up for it somehow. Egg hunts are only fun if the eggs are visible, otherwise you find a rotten egg a few months too late and have yourself a good ol' problem.

So Nigella Hoverchicken will be laying me some new chickens that resemble... this:

Very pretty little chickens with very fluffy heads. I'm excited. Also to replace Nigella Hoverchicken once she goes up to the farm (sounds like death but is an awesome place) is this little guy who will grow up to very much less pretty than the Araucanas:

Her/His name is Gordon Ramsay. I've named my chickens after famous chefs... because I'm smooth like that.

Nothing But Liz

I came to the conclusion recently I needed my own blog for generic posts, mainly because people consider me to be a very strange individual. I wouldn't say so - because I think all people have the capacity to be just as strange; but here I am, making a blog, knowing I have a million things to say and finally, a place to say it.

So, a little introduction on me and why people think I am strange:

I am a 23 year old woman, which is pretty average. I like to make soap from scratch using lye and fat, which is average. I like to ride motorbikes, which is average, but does not at all fit with the previous indulgence. I also have, at any given time, roughly half a dozen chickens hanging around my suburban home, which doesn't fit at all with my surroundings, which is a bit of a middle-upper class haven.

I am very particular about my food and eat mostly organic as well as 100% real food. I don't believe in packaging or pesticides or unnatural preservatives. Everything I eat I make from scratch, spending time bottling up chicken stocks and freezing them or baking a hot loaf of bread which never sees the light of day for more than an hour in this house. I would make two at a time, but I only have one bread pan and never remember to buy another.

In an attempt to save money on expensive organic free range chicken eggs, I bought my own chickens who eat my organic scraps and organic seeds. I am bad at saving money this way, as I seem to have a fond interest in collecting very colourful (and usually very ugly) chickens. I have fluffy ones that hardly lay eggs and ones with no feathers at all that like to jump fences and even more who lay eggs barely the size of a fifty cent coin but have pretty feathers.

On weekends, I take my clothes off for money so I can spend the rest of the weed indulging my silly hobbies, of which I gain a new one every week. I feel I live life to the fullest, making an effort to travel as much as humanly possible, learning tons of new things, having a myriad of skills and talents I gain by simply doing. I woodwork and make jewellery and practice motorbike stunts and knit scarves and take dance lessons, always a different style. I can do a Viennese waltz almost professionally, if there's ever a skill I didn't use the most. Men just don't waltz these days and I'm a terrible lead in heels.

So.. here I am. A young woman with an incredible love for life who always seems to find herself in the oddest situations but always makes it through, stripping, baking, soaping, stunting, raising, growing, eating, dreaming, travelling and living. I always look on the bright side of life. Optimistic most likely to a fault. I bring you... nothing but Liz.