Thursday, 9 July 2015

The Ritter and I, and lengthening shadows

Yesterday evening, and I was sitting out under the oak tree. It was breezy and slightly chilly, a welcome relief from the hot and sweaty days we have been having recently, with high humidity and heat making it difficult to do anything except sit down and doze. Not to worry, we have managed, but work in general has slowed down, except Builder Jim, who has made considerable headway in the back kitchen. I now have three kitchens: front kitchen, middle kitchen, back kitchen. Now at least I can stay tidier. After the last seven years of working in a tremendous jumble, with nowhere to put anything except in boxes or left in piles of stuff here and there.....I have done my best to make a home, but really, really, it has been difficult. Not that I am complaining, because the renovation journey has been a good teacher of patience. But now we are nearly done with this phase. There is still the upstairs of the house and tall barn to do, but if we are meant to do them, then the Universe will have to provide the money for us to do them. 

But.....three kitchen areas! I feel very blessed. It will save a lot of time, and free me up to do other things. In other words, I shall become more efficient, a necessity when one is running a smallholding and providing most  of one's food. Of course I am me, so I am confident that there will be times when everything will get into a jumble, but at least most of the jumble will be in the back kitchen which will not be seen by anyone because it now has a door which can be shut!

....and so there I was, out under the oak tree, having an end of day spinning session, watching the lengthening shadows, noticing that the light had changed, that there was an air of autumn just round the corner, that the year is spinning around on its axis, that summer is done although still has to be finished off, which was  a strange feeling because we are not halfway through July yet, but it feels like we are coming to the end of August because of the recent spell of very hot weather.

All of us are struggling to feed our animals at the moment, the fields now being burnt off with the heat, and still a long way to go until the end of summer rains. Most of us in France are having to feed our animals winter hay, this I know through the 'Smallholders in France' forums on Facebook. We ourselves are using the last of the hay from the little far field, and soon will have to buy in hay, and start using it well in advance of when  we would normally do.

Meanwhile I sat under the oak tree, spinning away, watching the day go to its rest, enjoying the feeling of not being cooked by the heat, letting worries and concerns slip away as the spinning wheel turned. Precious moments.


Aha! Finally got round to buying myself a food cutter (a Ritter from Germany). Thought about getting one for a long time, and now I have. Already it has paid for itself by slicing up the bacon I recently made into thinner slices than those I have been able to achieve so far by using a knife. Door steps, that is what my bacon rashers looked like.

But this bacon, this bacon is a very good bacon, unlike my previous attempts which have been not quite right, although eatable, mostly by Lester, but not by me. Too salty, that has been the problem. But I blame myself for this......bacon needs to be kept in a salt based cure in the fridge for a few days, with attention of a only few minutes being given to it daily. This I forget to do. So in the past the bacon has languished in the fridge for at least the twice the time it should, if not longer. But this time I stayed alert to the needs of that curing bacon, and it only went one day over its time, and it is a good bacon this time, one which I have enjoyed eating as well as Lester.

And now the Ritter has arrived, and the thinner slices are done, the slab of bacon is now all sliced up and made a nice big heap of rashers on the plate, all of which are now in the freezer so that I can pace the speed at which we eat it ....if left in the fridge most of the bacon would, by now, have been eaten.

Apart from being efficient at slicing the bacon,  it sliced wonderfully well a couple of onions and a loaf of bread. I think me and the Ritter will be good friends............I can see that it is going to be a very useful friend when I have lots of vegetable produce to prep ready for dehydrating or canning.

Lester needs to be helped to rise from up from the slumberland he is currently visiting, in other words...got to wake him up and get him out of bed....and I can hear twitterings in the hallway, which means that there is a gang of half grown chicks invading the house through the open front door.........

...... so I need to be on my way, but thanks for sharing time with me, ......

Vx

12 comments:

Dawn McHugh said...

It was very autumnal here the other day but summer has arrived again, there is a lot in the garden so far behind and if the summer season dosent sort itself out and arrive properly some things will fail to produce.
Three kitchens oh what luxury, you have waited a long time for them enjoy :-)

Kev Alviti said...

Love the bacon slicer remibds me of the koke about a butchers shopMan walks into a butchers shop and says "Wheres your assistant?"Butcher replies "I sacked him"Man says "Sacked him? why?"Butcher replies "He kept sticking his dick in the bacon slicer!"Man, shocked says "So wheres your bacon slicer??"Butcher says "I f@#$ Iing sacked her as well!!"

Kirsty Udall said...

Vera, the bacon looks fantastic!! I can just smell it cooking...mmm. I'm glad you're enjoying your evening spinning sessions, sounds like you're doing well.

Vera said...

DAWN, some things are on the slow side in our veg garden as well, but then we were late in planting out this year. But down here in SW France we have quite a long growing season, so things might catch up. However....that depends on whether we have any rain! Three kitchens does sound a bit grand, but they are not, just areas I can do food prep in!

Vera said...

KEV, oh that was sooo funny!!!

Vera said...

KIRSTY, we are doing OK, and hope you are too.

Rhodesia said...

I have had a slicer for years, had it even before I got married. Still have the same one and I would never have survived without it. Just watch your fingers, many years back I had a finger a little to close!!!! Three kitchens wow you are stepping out :-) Take care Diane

Vera said...

DIANE......I am finding that blade on the slicer quite frightening to be near!....and not really three kitchens....just the back kitchen which has been divided into two by a newly built wall, which should give me three working areas, I hope!

Kerry said...

What a great machine, I'm sure you will use it for more than bacon x

John Gray said...

Sorry been away for a few days...... Its been a shit time as you know...
Nice to catch up old bean x

Vera said...

KERRY, you are right...... I am looking forward to using it to slice the courgettes for dehydrating tomorrow!

Vera said...

JOHN, blessings to you my friend, it has indeed been a not very good time for you, including having to help keep your cat in life after half a dead mouse got stuck in his /her throat. Good luck with the flower show.