Monday, May 14, 2012

G.G.Garden Update:Buying Livestock, cold weather and the racing pigs

The 2012 Annual show was an epic success. Even though I forgot to enter my baking into the competition on time (it's probably for the best. Let's face it- I need about another year's prep), everything else went very well, and so much fun was had by all!

Some of my favourite born and bred Stickarians were out and about for the day including but not limited to the infamous Possum Magic, Caddachee, the Dr, Deano, B and C and Jac  (as well as a few others) and guest stars Gem, Kay and Mish.
You will never even believe that those three gorgeous guest stars (who have never been to The Sticks), road tripped down from Brisbane to spend the weekend! How hilariously nice of them! I didn't really think they would come- but sure enough- they turned up, ready to rock n roll in a luxury 90's sedan that G's boyfriend had suped up for the trip. I provided them with a little pack on arrival with emergency supplies like winter wooly socks and (obviously) some nutella, because I thought they may underestimate how cold it is here.

In the lead up to show day, I manically cooked food - so much food! We killed, boned, stuffed and rolled a turkey on Wednesday so it would be ready right on time. When I say we, I mean our friends Bert and Lars, with me looking on. It's a tradition to get a turkey every year from Bert the bird breeder. Lars was trained as a butcher in Denmark so has some serious skills. He's a handy guy to know and cuts up all our home grown meat. They make great allies. Boning a turkey is tough work but totes worth it in the end. The turkey was deliciouso. 6.5 kgs of boned meat is A LOT and we served it on a platter, as well as in sandwiches with homemade mayo and homegrown rocket.

I cooked literally 120 mini quiches (which didn't all get eaten but did the next day) and we had Gem's brownies and some popcorn too. Also featured was a spinach and feta pie, with all the spinach coming from the patch. Good work The Patch.

We had ringside car stands, and bought a spare car stand to set up a little tent where we could chill and eat.Obviously we had front row seats for the very grand Grand Parade.

I'm actually in this photo but looking towards the ring- so you can't see me. Can't reveal the real G.G.! 

I was super sad to see that the water game (that I usually completely dominate) wasn't there, but I don't really blame them. I seriously cleaned out their year's supply of prizes, so they will have marked The Sticks - with a 'never to return to sticker.' Smart carnies.

It was however, very relieving to see my favourite 'ride' of all was present and unchanged since the late 80's - the Worm! The worm provided us with a good 15-20 minutes of screaming, axeing ourselves, sliding all over the place, and being too unfit to get back up to the top of the slide. I haven't laughed so hard since the last time I was in the worm. Gem and Kay were waiting outside for us and were considering coming in to drag us out, because all the little kids that went in ages after us, had been and gone. 

I do not go on other rides, because in year 9 a boy locked me into the zipper for about 9 rides (with a bunch of stolen tickets) and I was SOO sick I could not hold my head up for a day. I had to be taken home and the rumour around town was that I had far too much to drink. Unlikely. I was too busy scoffing food and fairyfloss. Mish and Gem went onto the oldschool chacha. I can confirm they were playing sideshow hits such as sexy and you know it and of course, the obligatory 'Here's Johnny' which is obviously a sideshow classic.

The attraction of the day goes to the racing pigs! You go into a sweep (which is for charity), then they pull out tickets, and if you are one of the lucky 6 to be pulled out, you get matched with a racing pig. It was absolutely amazing that Kay got a pig and P Mag and I (team) managed to gets a pig too - out of literally hundreds of people! P and I were pretty confident, our pig was dressed in red and was named Rippsnorter- we could not have named him better if we chose ourselves.

The pigs barrel around a course, and the first one to get to the top of the haystack is the winner. Our pig had promise and bounded out with menace, but then got occupied with other things and came (sob sob sob) last!!! ARGHHHHHH- the devastation. P and I had already planned what we were going to spend our winnings on (livestock) but Kay's sneaky pink pig came first! She edged around us! I cannot even describe to you how entertaining these guys were. It made me want a pig even more than before, which I didn't know was possible. Seriously, please buy me a pig. And Rippsnorter, of all names... I'm still laughing.

After the pigs, we went back to the car for some more refreshments, which then ended in a trip to the animal nursery. At a dollar for entry, it's cheep ha ha ha (sorry, I think I annoyed myself with that joke) and what a time was had. As has been tradition, I ended up buying some chickens (I didn't go for ducks this year) even though we don't have keep chickens. I took them back to Mum, who is, by now, used to these sorts of shenanigans and then was told I wasn't allowed to keep them. It didn't shock me because this happens every year. One year my friend Pipes and I bought ducks and kept them in her back shower and made the perfect habitat for them until they got too big.

BOOOO to Mum. I secretly knew she was right and responsibly chose to gift them to the Dr because I thought it would be good to have a couple of additional chickens in his new brood. He too was taking them home as a surprise to his parents (then leaving the next day ha ha) but they do have a proper coop and were actually really happy to get them. If only I could have bought a goat/cow/llama/pig/more chickens/ducks and actually keep them, I'd be a happy girl. I am a primary producer you know... I'd be more legit if I had more(/any) livestock to my name.

The produce section was competitive, but let's just say that next year, I'm already feeling pretty confident about The Patch performing exceptionally well. The Patch may be able to rustle up a 'biggest pumpkin' - you even get a felt ribbon if you're the winner. Something to strive for.

Gem and Kay did eat a dagwood dog- oh MY GOSH. I actually cannot even think about eating food out of a carny van, but they smothered those bad, dead, weird, fried things with tommy sauce and finished them with an amount of glee that I do not deem appropriate. Kay also bought a plastic 'boot' filled with slushie. Oh you crazy carnies.. What marketing genius will you come up with next?

Fireworks at the Show are a big drawcard, and this year, they seemed to go all night. We didn't mind a bit. There were some comments from Gem that were pretty spot on. It's like someone bought all the fireworks they could find in NSW and then let them off with no real rhyme or reason. Beautiful all the same. 

The show generally marks the start of really cold weather, and this year was no exception. Coming down from QLD means you are never really equipped for the bitter chill in the night air- and we were all rugged up but still freezing cold- so decided to go home and drink cocktails out of coconuts to make us feel a little more tropical. Moral to the story- come to The Sticks for the show and be amazed and mystified! I did have a sad moment when remembering those that weren't among the fun. It's a shame the sibbys and extended pretend/foster sibbys and friends weren't here, because I know they all would have loved it too. Next year please.

Now the show is over (another round of sobbing), the serious chill has really hit the air. I'm pretty sure Mother N waited for it to be over - so thanks for that one. However, if you are listening Mother N - the patch would love a little bit of sun during the day (with less wind) and a lot of rain at night. Much Appreciated. Sitting outside today was super chilly and I tried to steal some warmth from Charlie who had been baking, but he isn't much of a hot water bottle. 

I must get to some knitting so the I don't die of cold. Actually, that's not the best solution. At the rate I knit, I will die of cold, because a full length blanket will still be in the making on my 90th birthday. I may knit something to take out to the chickens.

Patch update coming soon. I'm actually wondering how the plants will go. I know they are plants, but are they really equipped for this sort of chill? My hands are positively freezing as I type and I'm at the stage where I'm finding it hard to tell if things are wet or just cold...I lose my superpowers when it is freezing. My friend P Magic (on the left) and I (right) will just have to sit in the sun and drink west coast coolers (or scotch and water for me) for old times sake.

You should see the garlics sprouting everywhere- maybe 100 plants!! The radish are delightfully crisp. For M's Day, we ate a salad made entirely with things from the Patch and salmon that I smoked on the weber. I got the recipe from Chef Oskar when I visited Mango Hill Farm about a year ago. It's the first time I've made the recipe since and it was a success. I'm planning to smoke some ribs soon, now that it's colder, so will see how they go and will serve with home grown veg.


6 fabulous comments:

Kay-Lynn said...

Awesome post! :) I'm so glad we made the trip down for the Gunnedah show!!! :D Your garden is inspiring and I'm making plans to fill my parent's backyard with delicious plants.

Anonymous said...

Great post G.G!!! Can you please write to the president of the show society (who by now should be our friend from The Ridge) and ask what dates the show will be on next year...want to lock it away in my calendar!

Nic@diningwithastud said...

Naww pigs are the cutest things ever! Fab name ;)

Michelle said...

Loved reliving the Funnedah show reading your post GG! Put a smile on my face! That crazy worm ride gave me bruises all over. But it was totally worth it. We had the best time!! Gunnedah Show 2013!! Next time I wanna win the piggy race! :) xx

Barbara said...

Great post E. What a great weekend. Always good when shared with friends.

Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said...

Lots of fun! Still don't know why you can't keep chickens could start a coup?

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