Sitting by the front door, spinning. I often wonder about the people who have lived in the house over the years, especially those of long ago, and wonder what they would make of our rescue of it from a ruin. I don't feel that anywhere else in the house, just on the front door step.
I put the remnants of the last fleece I was spinning on the compost pile because there were only a few handfuls of fleece left to spin, and they were being difficult and unhelpful as I tried to create a yarn from it, so out it went. And this is the next fleece I am spinning. It has its mucky bits, probably from under the parts that were on the lower half of the animal. Some people sort out the best of the fibres from the not so good, but I don't, I spin everything.
This fleece was stored in a dustbin bag, but even so it has stayed full of puff and fluffiness. I have noticed when fleece is washed that it seems to flatten during the drying process, so I prefer to wash the wool after it has been spun. I also like the feeling of being close to the sheep that the fleece used to be protecting from the elements, and I also like the soft smell of the sheep still lingering upon it.
And the magic of seeing a twist of yard coming out of the fibres of the fleece. No matter how much I spin, it still fills me with awe,,,,
The Dye Project:
The production line of producing dye to colour the spun wool seems to have come to a halt, mostly because over the weekend I went through a bad patch of feeling overwhelmed by the work we are looking towards doing in the future. Must have been the full moon which brought that on, because once the eclipse of Monday morning was done I felt a lot better!
As for the dye.....
I am still processing the sloes I picked last week. I had a look in the pot just now, and wow, the aroma of sweetness that came out of the now fermenting sloes was gorgeous, and well worth sniffing at every so often for the rest of the day. They are not supposed to be fermenting, but I don't suppose it will make any difference to the dye. The colour is beautiful.....deep purple to a raspberry red when it is watered down slightly.
In the kitchen......
I continue to dehydrate the riper tomatoes, thinking that that is the quickest way to get them into storage. A lot of the tomatoes are rotting now, but I have been cooking them up for the pigs. The chickens were getting them, but we have decided that if the chickens are 'free range' chickens then they need to go out and about to find their food, and not stop hanging about in the courtyard waiting to be fed, or getting the bedding in the cow barn all mucked up, or harass us when we try to do jobs outside. They also get bored, especially the cockerels, who then start harassing the hens or squabbling amongst themselves. And they leave poo everywhere for us to step into. They are fed morning and evening. The rest of the time they are out and about.
But they are not allowed in the veg plot. I have just planted six rows of broad beans, two rows of winter lettuce, and several rows of garlic. They will surely find them, of that I have no doubt! So I have barricaded the entrance to the veg plot in the hopes that they will not go in there.
The last batch of meat I cooked up, which was chevre (goat) produced two meals for us, plus five jars of meat, plus lots of bits and pieces for the dogs, plus bones for them as well.
The jars in the photo are much fuller of meat than what they look..... I think the canning process must pressurize the meat down to what looks like half the contents in the jars!
So in total, I now have meat meals for eleven days, which is a good start.
And a raid in the freezer produced this large chunk of belly of pork, so that is going to be made into bacon. I have just made a quiche with some of the last lot of bacon I made, and it tasted really nice. After my first disappointment with making DIY bacon, I am now really pleased at what can be produced.
And the next meat to be canned: two legs of pork.
They have been slow cooked with seasonings, and now are being roasted, so another roast dinner for us, then into the canning jars the meat will go.
It does feel like a production line of food processing at the moment, but I am getting used to the work it involves. I know I have said this before, but it does give a secure feeling knowing that no matter what happens we shall not go hungry.
Off to get the pork legs out of the oven, and carry on with getting lunch done.
It is a bit of a trek to do this though, because I am banned from using the hallway in the centre of the house because work is being done on them today. So it is out of the door of the half barn, turn right, walk across the courtyard to the tall barn, turn right, walk through that barn (chasing any chickens out who might be thinking of getting into the cow pens), then the middle barn, turn right into the back kitchen. To get to the front kitchen takes a bit longer because I have to retrace my steps back to the half barn, walk through that, turn left.
I counted 150 steps each way, which is not good if you have forgotten something you need which is in the kitchen other to where you are.
Not to worry, in a few days the tiles will go down, and the space will be finished, apart from being painted.
I can smell the meat cooking, so best go and rescue it.
Bye for now,