Monday, February 21, 2011

Smells like Spring

Seems like all our hyacinths (destined for sale) came out in bloom this week and their heady fragrance filled the house and thankfully wooed new customers as we set up stall at our village farmer's market. It was a very social event and so much more fun than the 3am start and 2 hour drive which we endured to sell in the city last week.

Jamie has been hard at work processing his precious pork. We tasted our bacon for the first time on Saturday which has great potential but unfortunately the pork scratchings, which Jamie laboriously chopped and baked, turned out to be too salty even for Jamie. How disappointing!! Jamie bravely chopped and sliced up pigs ears and tails and they turned into snacks for Eddie which we gather must be delicious since he manages to jump from a standing start up to my chest level to retrieve them.

The river was so frozen that we went for a cross country ski along it,we could have skied to the ocean if it wasn't for me complaining how hungry I was. And Eddie found a porcupine up a tree....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

All things pork and beautiful

With our pork returned from the butcher packed and wrapped we distributed two thirds to various families in the neighbourhood. We then spent the evening identifying various parts of the remaining animal before Jamie began the process of brining and curing for the bacon, hocks and ham.
Making sausages seemed like an endless process but turned out excellently with tasty results. We tried herbs, honey garlic, apple and sage and cumberland. I also couldn't resist sneaking out some of the sausage meat to use for homemade scotch eggs. However we are more excited by the 3 kilos of salami and chorizo which are now hanging to air dry in our living room. Jamie is currently making scratchings and I think we are even going to roast the ears for Eddie so he can join in the fun.

Jamie master sausage maker

 Scotch Eggs

Salami and chorizo

Scratchings before cooking

slow cooking pork shoulder to make pulled pork

A day at the market

We braved the big city (well Halifax is more like a small town really) on Saturday to make our debut at the Halifax Farmers Market. Despite the temperatures of minus nineteen disasterously killing 2 boxes of our plants on the way, on the whole, the 3am start paid off. It was certainly worthwhile for the experience at least.

Working it all out at home..
 At the stall

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bottling wine and jamon gets started

With the piggies gone, we needed a little pick me up so decided it was time to bottle (and taste) the 46 litres of wine which has been brewing in the basement for the last 6 months. With me bottling and Jamie using a borrowed corker, it didn't take us long to bottle nearly 60 bottles of Pinot Grigio and Spanish Rioja.
Tasters verdict: very drinkable especially considering wine pricing at NS liquor stores. Oh how we miss European wine (and the price!).
Driven by his longing for Spanish Jamon, Jamie visited the butcher and returned with one of the back legs from our largest boar, and started the curing process. In theory this ham will go nicely with our Rioja, however I am not sure that after 6 months, there will be any wine left.

Au revoir les cochons...

Two snow storms later, despite a little sadness at the departure of our characterful friends, we were relieved to see the three little pigs trot faithfully in Jamie's footsteps, following him through the snow and up into the trailer off to fulfill their destiny. Minutes after they left, snow started falling, little did we know it would silently and softly drown us. We have now drifts over the window sills in some places. The amount of snow is getting ridiculous, we don't really know where to put it all.

Au revoir little pigs