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I set off this morning to take the dogs out over the forest. It was a lovely day and I was checking the blackberries and looking at the apple trees, not long now before I pick a few for my mincemeat.
So there I am, happily walking along when I heard the most awful screaming and one of my dogs was going beserk, stamping at the ground and generally freaking out! My first thought was that the dog had found an injured bird but when I got closer it turned out to be a teeny little piglet!
I picked it up and it was very cold so I set off back home with it.. well I couldn’t just leave it!
I arrived back home and started wrapping it up in warm towels and blankets. Tim looked at me in amazement and said it makes a change from me coming home with bags of blackberries or nettles!
Here’s a picture of the pig when I first got home. I did wonder whether it would survive.
We warmed some baby formula milk and offered it to the piggy in a baby bottle. It must have been starving poor thing as it guzzled it down hungrily.
Then it went to sleep for half an hour and woke up and had more milk. By this time its colour had returned and it was as warm as toast so we unwrapped it from its blankets and put it on the floor. It was soon walking around the room, having a good sniff at everything and really perking up.
We sat on the floor with it and it was running around, snorting away and having a good time! It really enjoyed climbing over our legs and poking its head out as if to say ‘hi’ then running back the other way!
By now it was late afternoon. I had not heard back from the RSPCA even though I had rang them twice. I left the kids ‘pigsitting’ and went off to the local farms to try and locate its owner. I soon found the lady he belonged to. It turns out that Peter (ok I know, never name your food!) was quiet and not feeding properly the day before so the owner had given him medication and when he wasn’t there at headcount this morning she assumed he had just gone off to die as animals often do. The last thing she expected was to hear that he was bombing around my front room playing hide and seek!
So I went back home, collected Peter the pig and took him back to his Mum. He has a lovely shed with plenty of open field to run about in. His owner is a lovely lady who believes in the old fashioned caring ways of farming. She even gave me a bag of sausages for my trouble!
Now I actually found it quite hard setting off to find the pigs owner. What if it had escaped an intensive farming barn? I hate animal cruelty and I think I would have pushed the RSPCA to find it a petting farm or something. I certainly couldn’t have taken it back to a cruel home. For a few moments I let my mind wander to raising the pig myself and letting it play in my garden. That wasn’t realistic of course.
I’m glad I met the lady owner. I felt ok giving him back to her. I know the animals fate. I also know when. I am a meat eater and I can’t see that changing but I only eat meat that has been raised well and in a respectful way.
I hope Peter pulls through this. He seemed to be laughing when I tickled his chin. I won’t be back in contact with his owner to find out. I’ll just make up my own happy ending.
I am so late making mine this year!
Its the thing that marks the beginning of the autumn season in our house. The wonderful aroma that fills the house from the fresh fruit and spices lasts all day and is just heavenly!
I like to make it around the end of September. Well I say I like to make it the end of September but every year I seem to get later. I finally got round to making it last week. I use Delia’s six pound recipe and find that I usually have a small jar left that gets turned into pies around July… such a treat!
I like to use wild apples for the mincemeat and I pick them the same day as I use them to make sure they are as fresh as possible. I just feel it makes the mincemeat that bit more special and of course they are free! I make it with vegetable suet as my son is a vegetarian.
For the pastry I always use the self raising/all butter recipe. I know its not the traditional way but its how we like them. I hate the rolling out as the dough easily falls to pieces and has to be treated gently but it is so worth it. They also freeze really well, although I have to hide them in our house as they don’t last very long.
I am hoping to eat them warm and drenched in caster sugar whilst cuddling my new grandson. He is due on Christmas eve so we should have a few left….
Well I am still here but its rather hectic so writing on my blog has been pushed down my ‘to do list’ i’m afraid. We have had the wall taken out where the modem was so no internet for a while but I’m back online now. I missed surfing but its no biggie, however my teenage son was in a bad way and even muttered something about ‘going out’ once or twice. He’s back to himself now though and we can have a proper conversation… through MSN of course!
I’m going on holiday in a couple of days but after that I hope normal service will be resumed. I’m off to Spain for a few days to catch a bit of sun. Actually thats not true, I don’t get sun tanned, I just lose my bluey whiteness! People always want to sit next to me on the flight home because I’m so pale and I make their tan look great!
I’ve been checking on the wild apples and they are coming on fine. The blackberries are well into bloom as well so it won’t be long before I can start this years supply of jams from the wild. I hope you are all busy collecting jars. I manage to get most of mine from friends and family, its amazing how many jars they can save in exchange for a nice pot of jam lol!
I’ll see you all when i’m less pale……..
I’ve been so busy recently. We are having a lot of work done on the house and its difficult to get on the computer sometimes. As we have wooden floors, everywhere seems permanently covered in dust. I think I’m fighting a losing battle.
So, back to the chickens. We have always had complaints from the neighbours about them. We didn’t clip their wings and every so often one would fly over the fence and go have a go at the neighbours plants. We would have to go chase it round until it got bored of the game and let us catch it. It can get very tiresome trying to apologise whilst stood in the middle of the neighbours favourite flower beds.
This didn’t bother us too much as I was just happy that the chickens had a good life and were able to run free. The real problems came with the rats. The problem built up over a period of time. We put poison down but we had to be careful where we put if because of the chickens and dogs playing in the garden. The rats were just too clever and only ever ate from the chickens dish. One night I locked the chickens in the coop and filled a 12 inch round container with chicken feed to a depth of just under one inch. By next morning it was completely empty… heaven knows how many rats there were!
We tried everything, we moved all food supplies indoors, cleaned the cage out every day, only put scraps on the patio for the chickens but the rats just kept coming. One night when I went out to do a head count before locking the chickens up I had the fright of my life. I leant into the coop with my torch to count the chickens when a rat that must have got trapped in the coop decided to make a run for it. It ran straight for the little door, but of course I was stood in the way so it launched itself and hit me in the chest before falling at my feet and scurrying off. From that night I was terrified of doing the head count and had to force myself to open the coop.
So anyway the chickens have now gone to live on a small holding a couple of villages away. They free range just as they did here but now they have ducks and geese to play with. I’m really sad and the garden seems so quiet.
Once the chickens had gone, we went straight outside and filled the feed bowl up with poison and by morning it was empty….
So no more rushing up to my feet and mugging me whenever I go into the garden. I really miss the eggs as well. If anyone knows anyone who sells fresh free range eggs in the Ashby area, then please let me know as I certainly won’t be buying any from the supermarket now I’ve been spoilt with freshly laid ones.