From the sublime to the ridiculous, or was it the other way round?

We are being held in the moist hand of a humid hot spell.  It won’t last long.  It is September after all.


But all the wearers of fur and feather  and leather coats are panting.


Water  is a dog’s best friend on days like these.


Though some are more dignified than others. Ton prefers the gentle sublime.


Not to be out done. I gave the piglets a bath too.

aubergine-008 aubergine-010

Soon I will have to stop calling them piglets!


The chickens in the Ark drink a lot of water and they are eating so much grass I think I should have put a little motor on the back of the ark, that could chug them along in teensy ever moving increments like a revolving restaurant without the revolve. They could just perch on roosts when they need a rest.


These last few days I have been shifting them four and five times a day so they don’t actually strip and over-fertilise the patches of field they are sat on. They have only another month to go so I don’t mind the extra work.


I made a batch of ketchup yesterday.  Ketchup  is derived from an ancient Chinese recipe that Indonesia evolved into Ketchup.  Ketchup is an English derivitive of the Malay-Indonesian word Kechep.  Many of the old Ketchups did not even contain tomatoes. Right up to the 1800’s the Americans believed that tomatoes were poisonous and were slow to trust the fruit. Few would  eat fresh tomatoes but by the early mid 1800’s the tomato sauce was a widely used condiment.  Heinz launched their version in 1876.  Some later producers tried to call it the Anglicised  Catchup  then Catsup  but the word did not catch on as well.  In New Zealand we call it Tomato Sauce.

There is a rumour that a food blogging friend of ours is going to be sharing his Ketchup recipe soon, so I am eagerly awaiting that recipe.

Today I am making a Steak and Onion Pie and so I  made a spicy Tomato Sauce (ketchup) yesterday to go with it.  The kitchen got so hot I put it in the crock pot to finish cooking down.


Eggplant (Aubergine), charred and chopped, became a creamy layer in yesterday’s shepherds pie.

Have a lovely day today.

your friend on the farm, celi

51 Comments on “From the sublime to the ridiculous, or was it the other way round?

  1. Great photos of the animals cooling off! I’ve been putting the sprinkler out for Daisy deer and Spirit lately. I’ve never tried making ketchup, but I would give it a whirl! Is there a webpage you might suggest I go to or have you done a post on making ketchup in the past? Looks lovely!

    • This one I kind of made up but hopefully we will see a really good recipe soon. I will let you know when we see it posted. I am presently trying to find the old NZ one. c

    • I cannot imagine living without tomatoes and potatoes. and eggs .. eggs have only recently become so widely available.. since electricity i guess, hmm maybe this is a blog post… what a thought.. c

      • Potatoes and Tomatoes are members of the Deadly Night Shade family, so people were right to worry about them! But thank goodness someone decided to give them a go (and didn’t die) and now we all can reap the great goodness they both have!

  2. One of the rules of thumb I was taught many many years ago, if lost in the bush what wild fruit can one eat.?? It was taught never trust a bright coloured fruit as it was a warning of poison… now I suppose a tomato would fit that bill… but most of our berries etc are dark coloured and safe to eat, there are however a few very bright red that are well known to be extremely poisonous… interesting that the Americans thought along the same lines…

    • Thank you! I shall go and look.. tried and true is always best and I have another 15 pounds of tomatoes sitting on the harvest table..c

  3. A great smorgasbord of a post, a veritable feast! I wouldn’t have thought of putting ketchup with steak and onion pie – I make it with a good beer or sometimes red wine gravy and it needs no sauce! Enjoy your own feast tonight.

    • In New Zealand we use the tomato sauce as a condiment. Some people take the crust off the top and POUR the cold tomato sauce into the pie! But Everyone has tomato sauce with a meat pie. It is a NZ tradition.. I have a lovely beer to cook my meat in today, we are eating from the bottom of the freezer so it will need a good day to cook!! c

  4. Interesting anecdote regarding the root of the word ketchup! And I have actually tried the Indonesian version! Very different from Heinz’s! But still good. Love all your photos of your lovelies on the farmy, Celi! I just wish I could hug them all! Hope you are all keeping cool and that normal temperatures return soon…we are due for a sweltering hot day today here in Toronto, after also enduring previous months of flash floods.

      • It’s called ketchup manus, and is a thick tarry soy sauce. Here in Aus we….well, people I know…. call it ABC Sauce because that’s the brand name. You don’t need much as it’s very strong….not the thing on your pie or fish and chips!

  5. I love homemade ketchup! Thanks for the reminder. I need to make some more for my winter pantry. The first batch I made came out great, but the next batch I will make more spicey. The spicey-ness seemed to tone down after the canning process. I am making Lyn’s Roasted Garlic sauce today with about 30 pounds of perfectly ripe plum tomatoes I picked yesterday! We froze many bushels of diced tomatoes yesterday too, put up in gallon bags. My goal is to put up enough tomato products to last through the winter, a goal we accomplished last year, even after giving away tons of jars of sauce and other goodies!
    We’ve had it cool here. It’s felt like fall the last few days. I’m hearing that your heat wave is coming our way. The garden is still pushing out tons of veggies, and I’m not quite ready for it to be over!!! (Another part of me is going to be grateful for that first frost…)

    • I achieved the tomato goal last year as well but still i was planting more. My problem is the freezer being so full of meat.. i need a bigger freezer for the vegetables. Mostly i am putting food in jars this year .or drying it. hopefully that works.. c

      • I am looking forward to your first frost, because after the clean up we can start making the silver bangles for all my girls.. (and me!) .. by we I mean you of course but i don’t want to sound rude! c

  6. I can’t believe the North American taste for ketchup! I guess maybe you had to be raised with it or something, kind of like coke. Can’t stand the stuff myself but my non-European children love it with some foods, but use it pretty sparingly, unlike some of their friends who insist on it with practically every food! Oh well. I understand the commercially available ketchup very high in salt and sugar and preservatives so it’s probably the best idea to make your own. 🙂

    • I have never been a ketchup person either, and certainly not with anything but fish and chips and meat pies, I also know of people who put it on everything, not here though, I don’t buy it. Making it is a treat though! c

  7. First it was hot, then it cooled off, now it’s hot and humid again…and they are saying it will be in the 60’s by this weekend! No wonder I’ve got the sniffles! t

  8. Fun to see everyone including those rather large piglets having a cooling dip! Makes me want one, myself! And thanks for the history lesson on ketchup…I had no idea of its origins. Sounds delicious with Steak and Onion pie.

  9. I feel positively chilly looking at all those beasties sploshing about! We’re cool, misty and drizzly today so you can understand why! Why does Ton Ton look so guilty about cooling down, bless him.

    • He is waiting for Boo to jump in too, but i had told Boo to sit and stay, So Ton is kind of holding his head waiting for the play attack! Poor Ton, that Boo is such a bully! c

  10. Your dogs seem much like mine; one with slow dignity and one with just abundant joy! I always love reading your posts, Miss C. Seeing your animals brings me up every time I feel down!

  11. Got the hot humid stuff here too. Just back from working in my friends veggie garden. Planted 9 Broccoli, 9 Kale, and 19 cabbages (I grew all in my GH). so I hope she remembers to water them! Still they say it will cool back off by the weekend.
    One of my chickens got out over the weekend and I played “round and round the malbury bush’ with her for an hour (actually it was a big privet tree) on Saturday. Caught her in the end, but only because she wasn’t moving so fast from exhaustion in the end. And I had to go in and have a cup of tea too as I was dead on my feet!
    My tomatoes were a big disappointment this year, and lucky if I can pick a couple of pounds a week! Note to self, plant more next year!

  12. Those are great pictures of the animals cooling off! I hope you got your chance first before everyone else muddied up the water?
    Interesting info on the Ketchup…for some reason my husband will eat anything with tomato sauce & ketchup but I think he must still believe that fresh tomatoes are poisonous. Hard to believe he’s Italian.

  13. My mom used to can tomatoes in every way one can imagine. Ketchup was one of them. Your animals do love their water. 🙂

  14. Great shots of the dogs and piglets in the “pools”. Especially liked the explanation for TonTon’s expression. Poor fella. He just can’t relax with Boo around. I can’t believe you’re making ketchup in this heat. I’ve got jam to make but I’m waiting until the temps fall again. That won’t be long, from what I hear. Have a great evening, Celi!

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