What a lovely weekend we have had. SUN, SUN and more SUN.
Gareth very kindly brought me the new River Cottage curing and smoking book, which arrived on Friday along with our new cold smoking gadget from hotsmoked.com. So my mind was filled with what wonderful things I could make in the coming weeks. One thing In particular caught my eye, venison pancetta. Lo and behold at 11pm on Friday night my brother phoned to say a muntjac had run out in front of his car so he had it in the boot and was on his way home. My poor mother this happened once beforehand she thought we were hill billies then!
Gareth gutted the poor deer, it had taken the impact on its head poor thing. So we hung in the fridge for the night and went to bed.
I skinned it on Saturday and Dad butchered it thins morning, I am looking forward to curing a piece. We also have out neighbour a shoulder to enjoy. I would have liked to have hung it for a week, but the fridge needed to be clean ready for butchery his week.
Our nights have been rather unsettled this week, Gareth has been checking Tilly the Dexter at 11pm, then I have been doing the 2pm check. We have both been really tired. However yesterday Dad helped me rig up the CCTV unit on our 42" TV in our bedroom. With a quick shopping trip to Chelmsford this morning, we now have Tilly in 42" in the bedroom, a camera at each end of the barn. I do feel like we are invading her privacy and spying on her, but we want a nice heathy cow and calf so I'm pleased we are using it.
Esme has decided she does like the kids, so she has spent a lovely weekend in the field, enjoying the sun with them and their new friend Sally the oxford down.
All of the animals have enjoyed the great weather, the bees have been flying, the turkeys are feeling like love is in the air and The horses have enjoyed having their rugs off.
Maurice and Craig have been busy, they had the huge tasked of cleaning the sheep house out today, after 5 dumper loads, a lot of sweat and some nasty blisters, it's ready for lambing. Thanks chaps a grand job!
Next weekend is the Great Notley Farmers Markets, I have brought the cheese for smoking, the jars of chutney and jam are labelled and the signage is complete, we have created a little board all about our pigs and our sausage making. So I think we are nearly there.
The pigs are going Tuesday Morning, it doesn't get any easier, but they have had a great life. I have Friday off work to make the sausages with the help of our friends Martyn and Sally. I feel a busy week coming on.
I hope you all have a good week. And fingers crossed for no more rain!