Friday, 21 February 2014

Our Visit to the Yabby farm

I have so many happy and wonderful memories about growing up on a sheep and cattle station in the Riverina. Looking back now, we were so sheltered from the rest of the world, and fun was created not by hanging out at the local Mall or takeaway shop, but rather outside in a paddock- either helping Dad mustering on horseback or motorbikes, in the shearing shed, cattle work or playing down by the creek in our beloved tree house.  I will admit I was occasionally envious of our town friends who would hang down at the local pool on the weekends, but I also knew how lucky I was growing up where we did and what an unique experience it was. 

My parents often had two or three families working and living on the property. Main reason was to keep our local primary school open- the most students it had was 12, the least was 9! It was almost a small community out there and we really did entertain ourselves. 

One of our favourite activities was Yabbying. The Columbo Creek ran through our property but we also had quite a few dams to choose from and they were much easier to catch from. We would take our esky of old smelly offcuts of meat, fishing twine and nets down to the dam bank. A stick would be tied to the string at one end and an old piece of meat at the other. Then throw- as far as we could. After letting it float down to the bottom of the dam, the smell would radiate through to our little friends. We would then sit quietly, staring at the string, waiting for it to move. Occasionally giving the string a gentle tug to see if there was any pressure. If you thought you had something, you very slowly and cautiously pulled the string up towards you and get your net ready for the big swing and catch! A move that required some skill but with practice even the smaller of our kiddie crew could do! The next issue was picking them up before they scurried back into the water or bit your finger off! You learnt that skill rather quickly!

Once we had our bucketful of Yabbies we would head home to cook them up. I actually don't remember too much of the cooking process- that was left to the grown ups. It was the country folks version of prawns though!

So when I heard that there was a Yabby Farm just out of town,  I thought it would be fun to relive a bit of this childhood memory and something fun to show the kids. We didn't actually get to go yabbying, but we were shown around the farm by Chris, and we came home with a kilo of freshly cooked yabbies.

The Yabby Men are local suppliers to two restaurants (Oscar W's and The Star Bar) in town and open to the public on the weekends.

Chris suggested two simple ways to eat the shelled yabbies. First, in a simple green salad with a balsamic dressing. Second, on the BBQ, sauté the yabby meat in some garlic butter, just until meat has warmed through.

Im looking forward to when the kids are older and we can actually go out yabbying properly. I think it will make for a rather fun day!

The Yabby Men
Where- 144 Old Deniliquin Rd, Moama
Ph. 03 54809983

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