Monday, 12 January 2009

1 week on

Well, it's been a while since our first post - rest assured that a lot has been happening and there has been plenty of activity! We will make a conscious effort to update the blog more regularly though.

So what have we been up to...

4th January saw us roasting our first duck from the freezer supply, have to say that it was absolutely delicious. Our oldest son even wanted some duck on his school sandwich (what was left anyway).

8th January the mincer and sausage make arrived so we made our first batch of home made sausages. We followed a tried and tested recipe of 5lbs lean pork, 2.5lbs bork belly fat, 1 lbs dried rusk, 1.5lbs water and some spices. All of this produced 10lbs of sausages and it didn't half keep the family entertained for the evening, it was even surpisingly easy and fun.

9th January was a very early start (4:30am) to go deer stalking so that we could put some venison in to the freezer. The morning was spent muntjac stalking, a fantastic morning out in the country - but on the day the muntjac outsmarted the stalkers and we had lunch empty handed. The afternoon saw the luck change and we managed to bag a 115lbs red deer. Absolutely huge and will keep the family in venison for ages. There were some mixed feelings amongst the family as we struggled to find a suitable platform to hang the carcass up on in the evening. In the end we all agreed that it was necessary to deal with the gore in order to have it on our plate. The next big challenge will be the butchering - suspect that there will be plenty of reading and knife buying before then. We'll probably practice on the chinese water deer carcass that ended up being part of the deal. Ideally the deer carcasses should hang for a week or two so there is a bit of time yet.
On to things less gory the breadmaker also arrived on the 9th, meaning that we woke up to the smell of freshly baked bread on Saturday 10th - what a treat and happily looking forward to this in the future. 20kgs of wheat also arrived on the 9th - now we just need to milling machine to turn it in to flour.

10th January went pheasant shooting in Norfolk and it was -5 degrees. Needless to say we ended up empty handed as any bird with an ounce of common sense stayed tucked away. We did however go and collect the trailer and brought it home. This is the trailer that was meant to fit in to our garage - oops - bit of a measurement error as it does not fit at the moment. We are hoping that this will be resolved once the deer have been butchered. Otherwise we'll just have to find a parking space outside.
The highlight of the day was eating some of our home made sausages, they really were delicious and even required some oil in the pan to cook (how lean is that?).

11th January we managed to make a better stand for the deer carcasses using 2 long ladders and sokme sturdy planks. It really is amazing how much clearler the brain thinks when it is not exhausted!!

12th January and the wheat mill arrived - the box is quite big and we have decided to leave it unwrapped for a few days (not sure if we'll be able to). We are really looking forward to producing our own flour. To keep our fingers from tearing away at the wheat mill box we made some pasta this evening - we have learned that we need to up the quantity as it is a firm favourite with the whole family and we are even trying to freeze a batch to have some available for another day...will let you know how that works out.

So far we have managed to source all of our veg & fruit from the local market, even if we have had to vary the list. Today there were was no celery available and the apples looked like something from the 18th century (mind you they are very very tasty!). It's all about using what is available.

What we can report is that there is not too much TV watching going on - and that is definitley no bad thing looking at the TV listings. Main tasks for the next few days is to get some wheat milled and to start ordering seeds and plants that will need to planted soon, there really is not much time left... best get cracking.

Talk soon...

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