I am really making great progress in my development of preserving meat, as per my list of 13 skills. My latest batch of Biltong went better than the last one. The meat has turned out to be more tender in the middle… a little bit more moist. They were also a lot less salty that the first batch, yet with a little more flavour. I allowed a friend with whom I work to try a piece. She said she doesn’t eat jerky at all, yet she didn’t mind the Biltong (although she said it could use a little more salt). With this in mind I made another batch on the weekend, using Corned Beef as the meat. The Corned Beef was $6 a kilo, so I bought the smallest one I could, a 2kg piece. I documented the process so I will write something about that in the future if it tastes good. In this batch I didn’t wipe off all the salt as I did for my second attempt at Biltong, so that this batch will retain more of the salty flavour. I did encounter a small problem when I ran out of space in my small cardboard meat drier. I got around this by making a second drier out of another smaller box.
While preparing to attend a friend’s home on Sunday night to watch a DVD on Permaculture and discuss the concepts therein, I thought I would take along the last batch of Biltong to share with the other people who would be there. On examination of the goods I noticed that a few of the pieces had some mould growing on them. The Biltong had been kept in a non-airtight container in my backpack. I suspect that the container was heated up and as the Biltong was a little moist on the inside, they created a warm, moist environment for mould to grow. This is something to consider for future storage of Biltong.
Interesting information came to me on the weekend. Apparently Australia has been in the grip of an egg shortage these past few months. Kitty and I have not realised this as we are provided with all our eggs from our small flock of chickens. We also don’t pay much attention to the local news service, due to its tendency to focus so much on sports.
This article from December last year explains that an Avian Flu caused the culling of around half a million birds.
While an egg shortage is not what I would consider the end of the world, it could be a real inconvenience. Several of my friends have chickens to provide their eggs, so they would probably not notice this shortage and it is good to know that some people are looking out for their families well being by maintaining a small flock.
On the topic of chickens, I mentioned previously that my chickens had destroyed our entire Strawberry harvest. We now only get a few strawberries at a time. I had tried to put my hens in my fenced chicken pen, yet they always escape (even with clipped wings). Today we discovered that the chickens have now demolished our blueberry harvest… which is devastating! I need to do something about these chooks and I have decided that if I remove their Rooster, they may stay in the pen with the Rooster that lives there. It is worth a shot.