Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Real country food - not for vegetarians or the squeamish!

One of my friends phoned last night, whom I am going to give one of my Jostaberry plants that I have grown from cuttings. They are a cross between gooseberries and black currants and produce lovely big berries. I do not know how long it will be before they fruit, but as they are now getting quite tall and starting to bush out, we may get a few next year. I was only thinking about her up the lottie the previous day and decided to phone her to see if she wanted it now or in Spring, she must have been telepathic - she beat me to it.

During the conversation she asked if I wanted any rabbits, as she had had half a dozen already last week which were now in her freezer; wild rabbits that is, we get a bit overrun with them in these parts, to say the least.

A friend of hers had another 10 so she phoned to see if I wanted them. Pat was eavesdropping on the conversation whilst pretending to watch some soap on the T.V. but I did not take any notice.

I asked how many rabbits I could have, she said as many as I liked, so I said could I have 6 or 10 if she didn’t want them. Pat’s head swivelled round to me and with a face like thunder he said, ‘No, you’re not having any rabbits' – (that is the edited version). I was flabbergasted as he likes rabbit stew as much as I do! My friend had heard his remark on the other end of the phone and sounded shocked as well.

It dawned on me then that after getting my way with the chickens, and having been pulling his leg about getting a couple of rabbits next, he must have thought that I was going to fill the garden with 6 or 10 live rabbits!

It did make me laugh! - And my friend too!

So today I will be skinning rabbits and freezing them, and we will be living like kings through the winter, with free range chickens already in the freezer, and free range pet chickens supplying us with eggs, all my organic veggies in the freezer and up the lottie.

Hmmm I wonder if she can get any pheasants, I haven’t had any yet this year.

I'll be back this evening with any more news.

Well the rabbits arrived just after 10.30am, and by 12.30pm I had gutted and skinned them, and Pat rinsed them and they were bagged up in the freezer, and one in the pot for rabbit stew. I did have all ten, and later in the winter I should be able to get some game birds too, which will be nice.

In case you were wondering how the rabbits were killed - I asked that question myself and was asked on a forum too. They were caught in cages, and dispatched humanely (not shot) and when I skinned them they did not have any marks or broken bones.

In the past when I lived in another county and bought game from a butcher there were always warning signs about the shot they might contain!

A quick trip up the lottie this afternoon to dig up the Jostaberry - it was already looking dark at 3pm when we went up there, so we didn't linger long, I dumped the compost and Pat dug up the bush - my back was aching from the rabbits, but it was worth it.

Mike, my new lottie neighbour had staked out his boundary with lovely treated wooden posts and string, it is beginning to take shape already.

I have got a surprise for him, a few strawberry plants that I will save until I next see him. They were talking about having fruit like me. I shall see if I have any raspberry cuttings that I can take, and I have some currant cuttings coming along nicely too.

I have been thinking that maybe I should start ordering my seeds for next year, I have prepared a list, but it is too long, and deciding what not to grow is rather difficult. It is the varieties of vegetable not the actual vegetable if you know what I mean. There are so many nice Heritage ones to choose from.... decisions, decisions. How nice to have lovely ones like that to make.

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