Saturday, 3 December 2011

New Vehicle, Turkeys, Pheasants & Christmas Food

At last after almost three weeks of having no vehicle the Farmer & I can now get out and about in our lovely new (to us!) Daihatsu Fourtrak. We have been very fortunate in finding this is ten years old but with very low mileage (only 46000!)  and in near perfect condition & at a very reasonable price. Let me dispel the myth that all farmers drive around in new Discoverys or similarly expensive vehicles. Most of our farming acquaintances have terrible tatty pick-ups or down-at-heel saloons that do everything from carting bags of feed & wet dogs to getting the wife to town, which of course is just what our vehicle does, though while it is is still in its shiny polished show-room state I am very loathe to allow muddy boots & filthy dogs anywhere near it. I am sure however that by the end of the week it will be getting that well-used farm vehicle look despite my best intentions...after all it  a work-horse and has to be utilitarian and just going up and down our drive it is already spattered with a fine coating of mud.

Well, we are on the run up to Christmas and I already have 3 Christmas cards on the dresser, two of which arrived in the third week of November which really is a bit too soon.
The turkeys are doing well. We had 20 but are now down to 18 thanks to the over-enthusiasm of Molly the sheepdog. They spend much of their days roaming freely around the farm and can be found chattering gently to each other in sunny corners. They are so ugly but quite entertaining to watch with their need for company and constant reassurance that they are all within in sight of each other.

The Farmer, Younger Son & labradors have gone off beating again today. A nice dry day for it and the sun is trying to glimmer through the cloud. They will all come back tired, muddy & with a brace of pheasant apiece which will hang for the best part of a week before I have to do something delectable with them. Iam getting through the range of cooking methods, roasting, casseroling, braising & I think I shall try making a type of terrine with some of the meat, also game pie always goes down well.
I spent the morning making large quantities of mince-pies which I shall freeze for a couple of weeks to be brought out nearer Christmas & I must get on with making marzipan for the Christmas cakes and various special sweetmeats (nice old-fashioned phrase) to be given as presents in pretty tins & boxes.

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