Saturday, 9 February 2013

Puppies, bacon, light.....

Bacon Update: Into Day Five, and looking good. Still having a difficulty with sorting out smoking apparatus, so will probably not smoke this piece. Would have a go at rigging a smoker up myself but it is still raining so any time spent outside is connected to our animal welfare. The lambs are definitely not as robust as those born last spring, but then it was very cold but also very sunny and that must make a difference to both the mental and physical well being of those little ones. We continue to give them hay, cut grass, and grain, but they need some dry and sunny days. Anyway, fiddling about making a smoker is not something I need to do at the moment. 

I found out on the Internet that the bacon can have all the salt and sugar added all in one go.... that you pack all of the salt around the piece of pork, then put it into a freezer bag, then into the fridge, and leave it for the seven days. Someone else did the same, but packed the salt and sugar (he used loads of brown sugar which I would not do because brown sugar is expensive here in France) around the meat, then put it into a plastic box, put a lid on it, and again left it. 

But I like the method which I first found, which is rubbing the meat with the salt and sugar, then putting it on a tilted rack to drain, and repeating this process over the seven days. I also did not know spices and herbs could be sprinkled on the meat before the salt mix is rubbed on, so something to try next time. 


....and the puppies. Things they have found put:
- that hanging from the clothes put out on the rotary washing line, especially trailing things like sleeves and apron ties which they can get a good grip on, is a 'must do'. Also especially pleasing if wind is blowing the washing about, then they can swing around as well. 
- that climbing is good either outside, (clambering up to the top of the pile of sand and gravel, then sliding down the other side) or inside on the chairs. Chairs have also been found to provide a good position for sleeping on. This is not allowed as we don't like animals up on the furniture, which is why we don't have cats here. 
- balls of wool are a fascination, more so if they can be unravelled round and round and up and under the kitchen table and chairs. If attached to a piece of knitting then all the better, or got from out of a box if this is not available.
- that when told off, if they look forlorn and miserable then they are quickly forgiven. Rolling of the eyes in a flirtatious manner also seems to work.
- that 'outside toilet' sung at them in a sing song voice seems to flick a trigger in them that they need to do deposits outside. 
- that if they squirm and cajole miserable Gussy enough, that he will wriggle his tail at them if they work hard enough at doing so.
- that electric fencing is something that does not need to be tangled up with.
- that the joy of egg hunting is likely to be met with a telling off. 
- that they can't pick goose eggs up yet.
- that men working in the house have things called tool boxes, which can be raided by stealth when no one is looking.
- that leads are meant to be played with puppy to puppy, and are not to be taken seriously.
- that there is a good result to be had from the goats inside the goat pen if they put their faces to the gaps in between the railings. 
- that it is best not to swallow a rat whole because that rat will be pulled back out.
- that chicken and geese poo are handy snacks for in between meals.
- that tall grass is great for outside ambushes, and for inside ambushes there is always the building stuff stacked in piles here and there. But that doing a toilet on top of a stack of new wood will be met with dire consequences.
- that dead flies are a treat. 
-  that chasing chickens is a no go, although this can be done by stealth if no one is around. 
- that trying to eat the maize put out for the geese and chickens will be met with hisses and pecks, but still worth doing all the same. 

We have lights! The electrician has been in and now most of the downstairs, has now got proper electric plugs, media sockets, and ceiling lights. And what a joy it is to walk down the hallway in the early morning to get the doggy band out for their pee and poos and not trip over things along the way. And we have a light right outside the front door now, so if we are returning home at night we shall now be able to cross the courtyard without risking falling over something in the dark. 

The electrician has also put in another earth for the electrics. Touching certain equipment, particularly the metal parts of the shower, were producing mild jolts which is not a nice experience when standing under running water. Apparently the jolt would not have amounted to a full electric shock because the electricity would have shut itself off before this happened. Well that's as may be, but having even a little jolt it not good. It also happened when I touched a part of the dishwasher. But we did have an earth, but now we have two. 

Jean Pierre in today, working on the hallway mezzanines. Staircase to be started soon. It is hoped that we will be able to have people here for rest and recovery. Sometimes this end target seems a long way off, sometimes it seems to be galloping towards us. Hey ho, it keeps life interesting.

Bye for now, and hope you have a good weekend.


rusty duck said...

Puppies reaching the 'interesting' stage...

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

The puppies sound like they are learning but they have a long way to go yet. By the time they are two years old they may well have settled down :-) On the other hand, our Beagle at 10 yeas old, I think was worse than when he was a puppy, just cheering you up He he.

Glad to hear you have your electric sorted. Half of our house is earthed and half is not!!! Have a good weekend and I hope the weather soon changes and dries out a bit. Take it easy Diane

Ohiofarmgirl said...

puppies and bacon! my favorite things! we loved having Kai and Zander as puppies - so much wiggling! give those little smooshie faces kisses from me!

will you take your bacon to a butcher to be smoked? you'll be glad when you get your system worked out.

John Gray said...

In a few weeks you are going to have a proper house
What will you do with yourself ....?

rosaria williams said...

I have never made bacon, so, I'm learning from you. And those puppies, my they are cute and busy and into so many things. You are never bored, for sure.

Horst in Edmonton said...

Isn't it wonderful to have lights. Have a wonderful Sunday.

Vera said...

Jessica, they are!

Diane, our fourteen year old springer spaniel can also have his manic time! Hope your unearthed part of the house does not give you any jolts!

Ohiofarmgirl, our local butchers don't do smoking, and I am not sure that it is a particularly popular thing here. Lots of air dried meats, but not much in the way of smoked products, so will have a go ourselves when time and money allow. But at least I am becoming acquainted with making bacon!

John, we have plenty of work still to do. But what a good question, and I think the answer is that we might having animals is likely to keep us occupied for most of the time!

Rosaria, no, I am never bored, but sometimes I run into a full stop! Doesn't last long though, as there are always things to do!

Horst, those lights are a blessing. Hope your Sunday is a good one as well.

DUTA said...

Have you thought of an appropriate name for the rest & recovery place you're hopefully establish on your property?

Jean said...

Your puppies are such fun and so inventive in their mischief. It's almost a shame they have to grow up !!