Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Death to the Food Thieves

If we are to have any chance of self sufficiency I do realise that meat has to be on the agenda.  Not for me I hasten to add, I could no more eat a pork chop than I could chow down on one of little Suky's legs, but Lovely Hubby is a meat eater through and through.

Last weekend saw the first proper go at keeping down the pesky food thieves on the hillside whilst putting meat in the freezer.  Two humongous rabbits were shot with the high powered air rifle and 
using his woodsman's knife (lost since the move and just recently discovered), he skinned and jointed the two 'victims'.  

The dogs had a wonderful supper of cooked rabbit trimmings and four large fillets were prepped for the freezer.  I must say that Lovely Hubby did all this very discretely with me up in the office on the computer while the butchery went on in the kitchen ..... with a rapt audience of dogs.

The only thing is now that she has tasted cooked rabbit I have visions of Rosy bringing her rabbit kills back to the house for cooking instead of eating them on the hillside .....yuk!!

Lovely Hubby's knife was made by Ben Orford who we met at River Cottage way back in 2010 (see HERE). 

As well as buying the knife we bought a couple of kitchen utensils and after seeing us scraping together all our available paper money to pay for the knife (he didn't take cards) Ben made me a lovely Spurtle on the spot.  

It's something I use to this day  .... although rarely for porridge!!

Hopefully in the future as well as rabbit for the freezer we are hoping to have our own chicken, lamb, and pork products as well as other cuts of meat that we may be able to barter for.  If you're doing this self sufficiency malarky you do sometimes have to do things you might not completely like.

Although we have decided to help me stay sane, that the large chest freezer that will be holding the meat is moving out of the house and into Lovely Hubby's new workshop as soon as it is built.  The house freezer will hold vegetables and just the week ahead's meat.

*** *** *** *** ***
Edited to add - After reading my post this morning my Mum sent me an email ......

  Subject: Sex after Death
 A couple made a deal that whoever died first would come
 back and inform the other if there is sex after death. Their
 biggest fear was that there was no after life at all. 
 After a long life together, the husband was the
 first to die.

 True to his word, he made the first contact:

 "Marion . . . Marion . . ."

 "Is that you, Bob?"

"Yes, I've come back like we agreed."

 "That's wonderful! What's it like?"

> > "Well, I get up in the morning, I have sex, I have
> breakfast, and then it's off to the golf course. I have
> sex again, bathe in the warm sun and have sex a couple of
> more times. Then I have lunch (you'd be proud - lots of
> greens). Another romp around the golf course, then
> pretty much have sex the rest of the afternoon. After
> supper, it's back to the golf course again. Then
> it's more sex until late at night. I catch some much
> needed sleep and then the next day it starts all over

"Oh, Bob, are you in Heaven?"

 "No...I'm a rabbit in Shropshire."

Sue xx


  1. Oh dear! I may be in the same position from 1st August. I made a decision recently to become vegetarian from the 1st of next month - however I live with a family of meat eaters. I 've never been vegetarian but have become very mindful of how the meat which I buy has been reared, treated, etc. I try to buy free range/organic whenever I can, funds permitting. The other bonus for my new eating habits for me is that I will hopefully consume our courgette glut in one form or another!!

    1. A wonderful decision to have made. I hope it works out well for you. xx

  2. It's a tough one is this. We are meat eaters here. But even if we weren't we would still have decisions to make about meat. We keep free range hens and a cockerel and each year we have male chicks to either grow on or cull there and then (and anybody who says "keep them" hasn't seen cock fighting) When we had goats for milk and cheese over a 20year period we had 32 male kids born here. What to do? We only once rehomed a male kid to an "animal lover" who proceeded to keep the poor creature in an outside loo and take him for an occasional walk. At a few months old he started to smell of billy and she got rid of him - who knows to where poor thing.
    We are really only happy eating meat we have grown ourselves and that isn't easy but is honest.
    I think you must be a very loving person to keep meat animals and serve up meat when you yourself are a vegetarian.

    1. I too would rather a male goat be culled for food after a short but happy life than going to a 'good home' that in fact goes against everything the animal needs.

      There is care and concern and there is misplaced sentimentality, I think that is the lesson you learn when you go from town to country. If along the way you find things you don't like then you have the power to influence or change the outcome, which is just what I have done and am doing.

  3. Many years ago I used to live with a smoker, yuk, couldn't do it now. Not sure if I could live with a meat eater either now.

    1. I couldn't and wouldn't live with a smoker, but I would no more divorce LH for being a meat eater than he would divorce me for refusing to eat it.

  4. I meant to add in my post above that my hubby spent all his childhood living on a working dairy farm in Devon and he has had to explain to me many times (being a townie!!) the problem with veal calves born to dairy mums. I also read somewhere that by the time the veal calves go to slaughter at 6-7 months of age (on British veal farms) they are older than most of the lambs, pigs and chickens we already eat. I still couldn't bring myself to eat veal though - or venison. Proper townie aren't I!

    1. If more people would eat British veal more male calves would be saved from slaughter instead of their Mums going through labour only to see their calf shot in front of them a few moments later, it's so sad :-(

      So many people eat chicken without realising that the bird they are tucking into had a miserable and painful life that lasted only 8 - 12 weeks, THAT is also sad!!

      The whole commercial meat industry is horrific. If I can make sure that the meat LH eats is from animals that at least had quality of life and a longer life then I will be partially happy.

    2. Yes, totally agree. Perhaps more Veal farmers is what's needed also. Luckily over here in this country there are already some of these in business but the unlucky veal in Europe aren't so lucky (lucky isn't the right word though!) living in horrendous conditions as veal is eaten a lot more over there. Here in the UK apparently only 1 in 100 households eat veal. (See, I do read my Sainsbury's magazine!!) Surely there must be a scientific way in this century to only select female chromosomes or whatever, for dairy mums.

    3. More male calves need to be kept in this country and raised here! The majority of those that survive are shipped overseas to be raised in the inhumane way that goes on over there, it's cheaper for our farmers to do that.

      If only folk that want to eat meat were willing to pay a fair price for it and not expect good quality for little money :-(

  5. Good job done dealing with the rabbits, I think its great that your hubby has shot prepared and will soon eat them, we are slowly raising our own meat as well as them having a good life they are free from the chemicals and antibiotics that commercial rearers are forced to use, raising our own means we also dont waste any and are a lot more thoughtful of the animal who has given us meat. We couldnt be vegetarian we both enjoy meat although we often have meat free meals during the week, I dont enjoy the culling side of things but its a means to an end and part of the process to put food on the table, anything being raised for the table is never named and our relationship with it is different to other livestock.
    I am all for hunting for meat and think your hubby has done a wonderful job :-)

  6. I was vegetarian for 8 years but now eat a small amount of meat. But I wanted to comment on your spurtle. I have one I bought in an antique shop a few years ago, it's the rustic version, but the same size by the looks of it, as the one Ben made for you. I use mine as a laundry stick when I'm soaking clothes. It reminds me of the old copper stick my mother used.

  7. My husband and I had a great laugh over your Mother's joke. I love rabbit, almost impossible to find it for sale here in the States. Once got it at a pub in England, it was listed as Underground Mutton.

  8. Sue, what a funny story. Thanks for a big chuckle on a Wednesday!

  9. Nice knife!
    I think you know where I sand on the whole meat eating thing, I also need to start knocking the rabbit population down a bit as they're everywhere at the moment and I want the grass for the sheep!

  10. It's a good job 'Bob' is a rabbit in Shropshire and not on a Welsh hillside where he would be in your LH's crosshairs!
    Actually, that might make him a 'cross hare'! Sorry, I couldn't help myself then!!!

  11. Hi Sue, I read about your favorite room on Ronda Jean's blog. You grow a lot in that tunnel and you must be pleased with it. Thanks for sharing and have a blessed day.

  12. Loved the joke, it feels great to start off the day with a good laugh!

    1. P.S. It is 9:05 am here on the other side of the world! ( I noticed that the time of my previous comment came up as 00:02). Believe me I was in gaga land then, and most definitely did not start my day at that ungodly hour........just in case anybody noticed..........!

  13. Ooh Sue I felt rather proud of seeing your tunnel on Rhonda's blog. I recognised that beautiful poly tunnel a mile off x

  14. I agree re home raised meat, happy life and less trauma.

  15. I used to be a very strict vegetarian, but when we moved to NZ we got a smallholding with the intention of being as self sufficient as possible. We have bred, raised and killed (humanely with captive bolt or rifle) our own animals for the table. I still don't personally eat much meat but I'm prepared to do so for the rest of the family, knowing that our animals have been well cared for and had no stress right to the very end. It's bloody hard work, I remember one wedding anniversary we were sat at 10pm, making sausages from the pig we had killed a few days before!

  16. Enjoyed your mum's joke...the only time I've laughed today.

  17. My husband and I thought your mum's joke was brilliant. Made us laugh. I eat very little meat. I make loads of vegetarian meals for my husband and it is only occasionaly he requests meat. I have lots of cookery books and cook from scratch every evening. Yotam Ottolenghi Plenty and Plenty More are superb.(These are my latest purchases) (Also Hugh FW River Cottage Veg Every day is also a good book if you aren't into spices. I love following your blog. Please keep it up.


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