Saturday, 9 July 2011

Lily, Pigs, Pavlova, Fishing and Hunting

Lily, my lamb, died last night. She had the scours (diarrhea) since she was born and not much was coming out so we thing she was born with a dodgy intestine, and she was very very small, much smaller and less wooly then her twin. I'm very sad about that as I had looked after her. Pam just said that's why she never binded with lambs, or had much to do with them.

I havn't mentioned the pigs much so far. They are getting bigger, on almost big enough to eat. They used to be terrified of me and would hide when I came to feed them. But now they come up to me and bite my feet until they get food so I have to kick them away. We feed them pig meal and household scraps. A domestic pig will get fat on scraps from a family of 4 and one bag of meal. But these being wild grow slower. And are on their 5th bag of meal. To help us the owner of the mini horses comes by once or twice a week after his pig run. He goes to the big supermarket and gets the stuff they throw away. Most of it is perfectly good to eat. He as a pickup truck with the back full to the brim of fruit, vege dairy and baked goods. Its ridiculous, we've been eating most of it ourselves. There was a butternut squash with just a tiny bruise on it, peppers (which are $4 each right now) which we have had for dinner and tomatoes ($14 a kg since the floods in Australia), milk 3 days till its sell by and pastries. Some stuff you wouldn't touch like a wilting broccoli and some soggy lettuce but a lot of it is fine and would make any African cry at the waste. Its just Western extravagance and wastefulness that stuff like that gets thrown away.

I've also found out that my mum, and in fact everyone I know including me makes Pavlova wrong. It is a Kiwi desert. We always use egg whites and sugar to make a meringue (and a little white vinegar and vanilla if we have it) the top it with whipped cream and fruit. But in fact Pavlova and meringue are two separate things. A pavlova is when you add a little corn flour to the mixture as well which give the middle a spongy marshmallow like texture, with a crispy outside. I told Pam we never used cornflour and that I had seen that for the first time at Christmas when I was googling different recipes. She says thats the traditional way to make a Pav, and as she is a Kiwi I take her word for it.

There are some other interesting things I have learned from Dave since I have been here. Everyone in New Zealand hunts and fishes, with such a rural country you sort of have to. I said in England hunting is a upper class thing but here its universal. He says thats because in England any wild animal on your land is yours, and if someone else kills it you can take it, which means only landowners hunted, or their friends. In New Zealand they said that every wild animal belongs to the Crown, and once its dead it belongs to whoever killed it. So if you are on public land or in national parks you kill it you keep it. If you are hunting on private land without permission of the land owner they can tell you to leave, and leave the animal but they are not allowed to take the animal themselves, just ask the trespasser to leave without the kill. As all species hunted are non-native and introduced species there are no laws protecting them, just the native bird life. With fishing most areas will have restrictions on what you can take. Up here you can only take 2 blue cod, between 30-35cm., however you are allowed 3 on the west coast and there in no limit in the south sea. Shellfish are also restricted depending on the area and if you take more then you are allowed they take your boat, your equipment and your car just because they can and give you a fine.

The only exceptions to these rules are the Maori. They can fish as much as they like as long as they have permission from the tribal leader. I can understand why, they were hear first and in the Treaty of Waitangi that is what was agreed to. But they abuse it so much, a police came across two Maori men with 5,000 scollops, 5,000 when the area limit was 50 per person. There was no real reason either, no funeral or tribal celebration, it was just in case they wanted them over the winter and there was nothing the police could do about it. The Mutton-bird, or Petrol is another bird which was once seen all across New Zealand but now has bee driven south and onto Steward Island. Its supposedly a Maori delicacy (though there is little evidence of it being eaten before European contact) and a native bird they are permitted to hunt according to the treaty. However Dave has a theory (he trained as a botanist) that with their declining numbers (and therefore less poo) the soil is losing its fertility. They say they are the worlds best conservationists but with attitudes they have now, and 35 extinct birds the think of I think a serious amount of education, and an amendment to the treaty is needed! but that is my opinion.


  1. I hope you got a new recipe from Pam, can't wait to try it!!