November 28th, 2017
Well just to keep you up to date because of course all of you will be oblivious to the fact that we only have 26 days until Christmas;) I am sure you are all super organised and have been out and purchased everything online or at the shops ;) And have thought ahead and have already started to stock the freezer with delicious food products. Yeah right...I am sure most of you have buried your heads in the sand hoping that it might go away without you noticing...and then panic purchase on the 23rd and 24th December when you realise that you cannot ignore the inevitable and you wil be expected to pitch up and look happy with arm loads of gifts and food.
I admit I used to tend slightly towards Scroogism until the eleventh hour and then panic, however with our current profession I am pushed into starting to think about it in September, act on it by October and then get most of my shopping done in Novemeber. In fact this has turned out to be quite a stress free way of approaching Christmas. And has given me time to enjoy the anticipation of the day when I can down knives and butchers block and sit with the family. Well actually it is more like sleep for about 24 hours and then appreciate the family. If you practice the following then it might help pass the time on the big day by sending your own family to sleep in any stressful situations.
So we have also had to do a little practice cooking to better inform everyone about timings of roasted joints and crackling. This week it will be the turn of the rolled lamb joints last week it was pork roast and the new shoulder bacon I have started to make as the demand for bacon seems to be limitless. So the new shoulder bacon is delicious half way between back and streaky allowing it to be crispy, moist and meaty all at the same time. Yummy.
This is definitely one of the more difficult parts of the job...:)
It will be a busy week for us this week as The Christmas Market at Manoir de Longeveau is on Sunday 3rd December. So its sausages and bacon galore for the week ahead. I am trying to shake of the last remnants of a nasty cold shared with me by our youngest so that I can cope with the chilliness in the butchery and outside on in the market squares. It looks like we will have to wrap up warmly for the next few days it's going to be a frosty weekend.
See you all soon
Well apparently time has flown by, I have not noticed and have been extraordinarily neglectful of my blog posts. Quite a lot has happened in the last 5 weeks including the arrival of our shiny new vacuum packer, which I am still learning how to use. Also the return of our old, now fully functioning machine which has undergone a complete transformation during its holiday and is working with even greater enthusiasm. What a joy to have 2 excellent quality pieces of equipment to pack with, they will certainly be saving us some time in the future.
At home we are great advocates of the kids lending a hand when required, preferably with joy in their hearts and a spring in their step. Interestingly Patrick was always dead keen to go farming and avoid his homework, Emily more keen to do her homework until the butchery arrived then it could go either way depending on the subject for her homework. Alice falls somewhere in between the two big ones for both enthusiasm and for which department. Until the quad arrived firewood collection was always bottom of the list for any of them. Gavin would rather do everything on his own than have to go out with long faced children, but I tend to favour my Dads method. "Get them outside anyway, they probably need the exercise and they will usually enjoy it once they are out", if not, complain at your own peril. To make Alices trips outside a little more interesting I sometimes arm her with a camera and see what she comes back with so some of the photos are her efforts from the holidays. Obviously not the one above of her and "Pudding" who is a single female piglet from a Gacoigne pig called "Gasket". She is extrememly tame, and will be another one of our animals that ends up never leaving. I do wonder how we ever run a business with all these favourite animals hanging around. If I recall correctly our oldest sheep which was one of our first, is 13 and not looking like she is about to check out.
Below are some photos of the characters who accompany me to the butchery. It is a wise chicken that knows where some interesting scraps might come from. Brown Chicken 1 and 2 and Mimi and Bluey my sphinxes on the chairs. I can honestly say that I am never Home Alone.
We recently put some of our bottle reared lambs outside to enjoy the last of the autumn sunshine. These ones have the luxury of a shed if they are cold and wet later in the year. Abbey is in the background to check they are going in the right direction. The lambs are an obssesion for her. If we are not watching she likes to try and bite them through the fence.
The rams have gone to do some work down the hill with the main flock this week. Gavin says they have already been quite busy. ;)
Our Tobacco barn has had a much needed coat or three of linseed oil this year and is looking quite glamorous again. I will take a photo for next time to show it in all its splendour. I have even squeezed in a shopping trip with Alice in Bordeaux looking for new clothes. Attended my first French wedding ceremony where I met more lovely Canadians, caught up with some gossip with people I have not seen for far too long and only live down the road. Oh yes I have also finally sat my French exam to enable me to ask if the lovely French will take me to be my lawfully wedded country to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part. Which probably means I will have to do some blogging in French which should provide a serious amount of hilarity for my french friends, not due to the top notch quality writing I hasten to add.
See you all very soon,
Btw 49 days to go ;) ;)
Btw again, I just googled images for Gascoigne pig to check my spelling...am I the only one who doesn't know there is a Father Gascoigne in a game called Bloodbourne. Google my road to further education! Or destruction???
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