The other night there was a knock at the door at about 9pm, I was in alone and thought "who on earth is it at this time of night?" Well, when I opened the door (with Chrissie at my feet incase it was someone dodgy!!) I got a bit of a shock. It was our neighbour with a brace of duck for me, shot that day. Hmm, what do I do with these was my intial thought, but being the thankful neighbour that I am, I gratefully received them and accepted the instructions as to how to "deal" with them. "Don't bother plucking them, too many feathers, just slice them open and cut out the breast!" was the instruction - boy could I have done with Hugh F-W! I left them hanging at the front door overnight while I deliberated over my dilemma. Gregg wasn't home until this morning, so do I deal with them myself or be a wimp and leave them for him? I very pathetically opted for the latter!
So, Gregg got to it this afternoon, with me watching, he's skinned a mink before so kind of knew what he was doing! After a bit I got bored and decided that I was probably never going to have to do this kind of thing so I didn't really need to know, a bit pathetic, eh! I didn't think you'd really appreciate photos of him skinning the duck, so I'll spare you the gory details.
It has brought us back to a conversation we have constantly, one of our main reasons for moving to the sticks and having some land was so that we could be more self sufficient. We have just over an acre at the moment, enough to keep the chickens, geese and ducks, a large veggie plot and lots of room for growing flowers. We'd love to have a bit more land, ideally the field across the burn from us would be perfect. My dream is to Keep Tamworth pigs, breed them, some for selling and some for the freezer. I'd also like to keep sheep, again to sell, for the freezer and for their wool, ideally a rare breed too as we would then at least feel as if we were contributing to the preservation of our rare breeds. I quite fancy an Anglo Nubian goat too, but that's more for a pet and just for the fun of having a mad goat, she would of course have to be called Gertie!
So, we were sat at the table this evening enjoying our duck, although I have to say I did find it a bit weird eating meat that still had feathers and a head attached to it a few hours ago? Gregg asked me the question that he asks me all the time whenever I'm whittering on about this menagerie of animals that we're going to acquire "so, do you think you'd be able to take one of your little piggies or lambs down to the abatoir for slaughter and then enjoy a nice Sunday roast?". Hmm, I think I could, I would love to think that we will one day, but how will I actually feel when it comes to eating it? Only time will tell, I know for a fact though that if we do get all these animals I won't be able to use the excuse "but they're our pets", from the outset they will always be destined for the freezer, maybe that will help me get my head around it.
I'll leave you with a picture of our supper, pan fried duck breast on mashed potato, veg and a good dollop of leftover home made cranberry sauce! It was rather tasty...........