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When the pigs went to slaughter early August, we filled the freezers to the brim. We made bacon which was nice, just not very big on the medallion (pigs were lean from their breed and free ranging). I brined the topsides and thick flanks which we then cooked and used as ham. I also froze a leg ready to brine for Christmas. We had so much meat that I decided to hang fire and do it now for mid January when we can have it as a centre piece for a get together or just turn into slices. We scored the skin and prepared the brine. We used the river cottage brine last time which was lovely. I added slightly less sugar this time, purely as I didn’t have enough.
Once ready I put it all into the wine bucket and put it outside on the step as we have cold enough weather at the moment. In fact, I’ll have to bring it in tonight as it’ll freeze! This will stay in here for a couple of weeks, after which it’ll be ready to cook (or smoke?).
It’s snowed here today and this is the first proper snow we’ve had that has stuck around. The kids loved it and had a good time playing out before they got too cold and came to warm up in front of the Aga.
As we’re in the thick of winter, we’re having to find alternate methods to exercise the horses. Sometimes it is simply too slippy to ride out safely. Our parking area is all stones which doesn’t get slippy, so we put the horses in there to let them have a roam around whilst the fields are out of action.
Annie got to meet the sheep yesterday before the snow came. I got the impression she was telling them a story!
No time in the potting shed today. I have onions and cauliflower that I want to get in. I’m also putting the project list together for 2018. We’ve some big ideas! More about that soon tho.
More often than not you can fine Steven’s overalls drying on the Aga, keeping warm for him putting on the next morning to go to work. I can’t dry everything on here as we have too much but it is very handy. Nothing better than warm overalls to put on when it is a chilly morning going to work at 5.30am!
After more hard work from Steven we moved the sheep to their next grazing spot which has lots of grass and trees for them to chomp down on. Of course only time will tell if it’s secure enough for them as they are quite the escape artists. They do come back for the buckets if food we offer them though so at least we have a plan b if we see them running up the lane!
I also bagged a load of cooking and eating apples today which I am really pleased with. I made a tester stewed apple which was lovely so I think I will do a big pot and then freeze individually but also save some whole apples to see how long they will last.
We were lucky enough to be invited to Sunday lunch today so I haven’t had to make our own which was nice. However that was the softener to the hard task of dispatching a duck. It was in pain and had something wrong with her that we couldn’t put right.
Remember I mentioned were moving in to the time of the year where we need to be on top of the muck heap and keep it as low as possible? Well thanks to freecycle we now have a few regulars who come and make a big dent in it literally! I’m also nearly ready to fill the rest of my beds with it too. I didn’t get in the veg plot today but there’s not too much left to do so I will try and plan it in this week.
Also I’ve moved the dogs’ beds back in to the kitchen in front of the Aga. They’ve been living in the utility on a night through the summer but Buddy is looking so thin (his condition) so I feel they are better where the Aga is for him to sit in front of if he prefers. The puppies will no doubt lay on the kitchen seats instead. Cheeky.
|Aga toast – from when we first moved in and ever since!|
|Quite comfortable here|
|Yummy food from the Aga|
|He seems to be here a lot!|
|See what I mean?|
|The Aga fixes poorly children|
|and sends you off to sleep if you sit there too long|