Well with me being off out all day butcherying, marketing and delivering poor Gavin was bored and lonely so we had some more babies (of the 4 legged variety) for him to look after. This is number 8 and has the most enormous ears I have ever seen. Maybe it should be auditioning for a part in Dumbo.
I have been travelling this week and managed to choose the only foggy day for weeks to drive up to Jarnac near to Cognac, for deliveries. It is usually a very attractive drive going through the vines and the little villages in Charente. However on arrival I was met with smiley faces, tea and freshly made cake. And by the time I had left the sun was shining which made the trip home simpler.
Emily was home last week and after examining the cupboards in the house for anything nice to eat and then having failed with that, anything to eat, was forced to resort to baking something herself. Thanks to our trusty Good Housekeeping recipe book she found the recipe for pastry (I was not in at the time, seems to be a feature for me at the moment) and made epic Mince pies
Just in case you were unaware it is 9 weeks today until Christmas Day. And to get some of you really uncomfortable I have actually been out and done some shopping in preparation for the event. I feel one of those annoyingly organised Christmases coming up where I manage to be super Mum....mainly born out of necessity as I will be at work right up to, and including 24th December. So to get you all hot under the collar and panicky there are 9 Saturdays left to hunt the perfect gift, and I will also mention at this point, that for those of you who like a practical shopping experience rather than the more soulful centre of Bordeaux option, there is a very large shopping centre in Bégles, Rives d'Arracin attached to a Carrefour.
Other news from our house is that Number 3 is officially no longer small as she attended her first disco last week and stayed out til midnight. And so it begins again....
Patrick is settling in to Holland by the sounds of things and has done his first days work in a kitchen doing food prep. My opportunity to crow at how all those enforced skills they have learnt at home stood them in good stead for future employment. I do believe they find me rather annoying at that point...It's great being a parent.
Both the big kids have exams and tests coming up so it will be a good measure for them on how things are panning out. With any luck we will all be together for Christmas. Today has been a typical Sunday morning..the sheep escaped and Gavin has spent 4 hours fetching them home and moving fences. Luckily someone else is cooking for us today.
See you all soon
Work, work, work, work. It has been a busy week. I am trying to get my organisational brain into gear, always an interesting experience, ready to confront the descent to that end of the year celebration thingy that we do, called Christmas. And I know it is arriving because the supermarkets are telling me so and I had 3 more orders this week for December. So, if you know you want something delicious for Christmas and live at least in France, preferably within 2 hours of our home, then best to get in touch. There is a Christmas page on the website now with yummy food listed for your choosing. I will be working right up until December 24th as that is my Saturday market at Sainte Foy la Gande.
The plunge in temperature was a bit of a shock to the system and we finally had to light the fire last night which meant dusting it off from under the cobwebs, which quite frankly had become a fire hazard. Luckily Emily had decided to make this her weekend trip home to do her washing and shop in Mum's cupboard, so there were exta hands around to fetch and carry wood. Gavins favourite thing with having the fire lit again is that the stove kettle is going all the time, so tea is nearly free and always available in great abundance as long a you have remembered to top up the stove kettle with water and haven't left it aimleesly boiling away all day long. Ihad to wear 2 pairs of socks to the market to avoid chilblains which have been the bainn of my life for as long a I can remember and yes I even had them in Zimbabwe because the floors were concrete and the weather could be chilly during the winter in the evening getting down to below 10 occasionally with no central heating or insulation.
I am an avid Strictly Come Dancing watcher along with my girls and sometimes Gavin and Patrick. We are delighted to have a bit of sunshine in our house everyday, it dilutes the misery that afflicts the world and media at the moment and allows me to descend into a world of sparkles, pink glitter and triviality just for a little while.
Well I have just been shown by my delightful daughter how to search for a photo quickly on the computer.
Oh that's easy I hear you say, trust me it's not. So from now I should be able to put these blogs together a bit more rapidly. I have also taken steps to have a little bit of education in the near future, helps the little grey cells to work more efficiently. Though it wil be nothing that will take me too far from home, in fact not even the sofa.
Have a super week everyone
Well finally we had a little rain last night and this morning. Not enough to do any damage thankfully but enough to lay the dust, soak into the ground and hopefully start the journey towards some grass growing ready to put the boys and girls in the right frame of mind and condition for some lamb making. As you can see from the picture the market was packed at 8.30am.
We are usually quite busy and this week was no exception. Gavin has been madly moving sheep around the fields to try and break the fly cycle that seems to have been bothering us at the house this year. I had thought that with such a dry summer the flies would be less enthusiastic, but it seems to me that they hang around the house and water troughs more, as I suppose that is where they can find food and water since it is so scarce further into the forests due, of course, to the dry conditions. Need to have more chickens probably to do the cleaning up necessary to eliminate the fly egg production. However if I said that out loud it would mean Old McDonald (alias, Gavin) would have more excuses/reasons to purchase more animals.
Designed a new sausage this week. Hungarian flavours so it lends itself to a cassoulet or lentil based stew neither of which I had time to make on returning from the market. So here is a quick version to serve with rice. Number 3 thought it was delicious.
1/ Brown your sausages only use oil if you really need to. Remove from pan.
2/ Chop an onion and a green pepper fry them in the oil left by the sausages. Add a tin of tomatoes and half a can of water and a teaspoonish of thyme. Put the sausages back in the pan either whole or chopped. Put a lid on simmer for 20ish minutes. Get the water ready for the rice.
3/ Chop some spinach/swiss chard or something similar put on top of sausage mixture replace lid. Cook the rice.
4/ Serve and eat.
Note: Do not add extra spice, salt or pepper until the end after checking, and only if you really need it ;)...... just trying to look after your health folks.
Lunch at the butchery on Thursday. Yummy bacon butty.
And playing with Border Collie puppies on Monday, not ours I hasten to add. It's a tough life but hey someone has to do it.
See you all soon
I am farming sheep and goats on the Dordogne/Gironde border with my husband and our 3 children. We have an on farm butchery and sell our meat direct to the public via the markets and delivery points in our local area