Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Reverse rejection miracle!

This is ongoing from the previous blog about the lamb whose mum forgot about him.
Lester on bottle feeding duty. Gave the lamb a 6pm feed. Lamb's tummy expanded to almost bursting, which was good. 10pm feed. Tummy now all gone down. Should have been hungry, but only took a couple of sips of milk then lost interest.
Despite being a warm day, the night air was chilly. Lester expressed concerns about the lamb making it through the night. We both went to bed with thoughts about that little lamb on our minds.
Morning came. The lamb had made it through the night. Lester offered the lamb the bottle. He took a couple of sips.
Then he raced over to his mum, dived under her belly, and launched himself on her udder, obviously preferring her milk to the bottled milk. She did not refuse him.
What to do....sometimes situations need to be left to mother nature, so that is what Lester did. Off out into the field for the day went the lamb with the rest of the flock. He was going to have to fend for himself. Lester was not going to go chasing him with the bottle, that is the decision we made. 
Evening came, and everyone was stood at the gate, including the mum ewe with each of her twins snugly tucked into her side, giving them instructions to stay close for the mad dash across the lane and into the paddock.
So all was well. The lamb was bonded again with his mum, and Lester could stand down with the six times a day bottle feeding.

And Milly giving Lester a hard time this evening....

She is going to be a big cow because she has been on Elise's milk since birth. Normally she would have been put on once a day feeds at about a month old, and by now would have completely weaned. But Bonny, our other cow, has been giving us an exceptional amount of milk this season, and since we have no pigs or chickens at the moment to give any excess milk to, we decided to let Milly stay with Elise. We are not sure if we are going to sell Milly or not at the moment. We are waiting to see how the year goes.
Meanwhile, Bonny has been magnificent in providing us with lots of milk, most of which has gone into making cheese, which is an excellent way of storing the milk.
I would show you a photo of the cheese I have made, but the cheese fridge is in a jumble and I was too ashamed to take a photo which I could show you!

But I have started canning the spare milk.....
I did a few jars last season, and they kept very well. The milk will be used for cooking, so will be heated again before we eat it. All the canned goods I heat before use, just to make sure that the food is safe.
And while on the subject of my canned goods larder....
I love that I can get an entire meal off these shelves..... meat, potatoes, green beans, and fruit.
I have just tidied these shelves up. Like the cheese fridge they were in a muddle too!
But..... canned potatoes? Absolutely yes. Open the jar, have a sniff to see that they smell alright. Slice them, then into a frying pan to heat through. Sprinkle with herbs, salt, pepper or any other spices you fancy, or grate some cheese on top which will melt. Takes fifteen minutes, or twenty five if you want crispy potatoes.
But.....canned green beans? Absolutely yes. Definitely do not taste like tinned green beans from the supermarket, and definitely do not taste like fresh green beans either. But they are alright providing they are not boiled, just gently heated. We shall definitely be doing them again this year.
The canned tomatoes are keeping well, as are all the canned fruit, and jams.
All in all, it is at this time of year, when the hard work of the previous harvest is but a shadow in the memory, that we appreciate the effort I made at filling our various larders. Gone are the ungracious moments when Lester brought yet another box of fruit or vegetables into the kitchen for me to process even though I still had not processed what he had brought in the day before, and I showed irritation rather than joy. Well, on a warm sunny day, one does not want to be stuck indoors sorting out the harvest! One wants to be outside lying on the sunbed.
Message to self: you have promised to buy yourself a sunbed every year you have been here, but for some reason don't. Therefore, do it.
I would have used the sunbed this afternoon. Even though it is only mid February the sun was so warm that I could have cheerfully laid myself out on it and had a roasting. I would not actually sunbathe on it in the summer though. I do not want to get my skin all wrinkled and brown. I did think I would like to sit under the shade of the fig tree and watch the sunbeams through its leaves, but the fig tree has been heavily pruned so that is not a possibility, so I shall have to find another tree to lie under. We have plenty of those. But first I need to buy that sunbed!
Bye for now,


Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

The ending to the lamb story makes my heart happy. I was a little concerned...

Cro Magnon said...

Good to hear about the Lamb, it's always sad when they are rejected.

I chopped down one of my Fig trees yesterday. It was in the wrong place and we have too many.

local alien said...

Magnificent, on all counts! Very envious of all your canning. Well done. You've earned a day on a subbed....when you get one

Vera said...

Toirdhealbheach Beucail, it was a joy to us that the lamb re-attached to its mum, so I am glad that we did as we did!

CRO MAGNON, the fig tree we chopped down was huge and not fruiting, so we hope the heavy pruning might encourage it to fruit again. If not then it will be chopped down completely!

LOCAL ALIEN, I am looking forward to getting a sunbed. Not sure if I will have much time to lounge about on it though as this year is going to be a busy one!

minwks said...

Hi Vera, It is so satisfying to see those colourful bottles lined up and to know that we can take control of some of our food supply.
My red currents gave me enough for four large bottles of jam and the golden plums many more than that but I have given so many away. I recently made three-fruit marmalade as the Seville oranges arrived in the stores. I was in the Netherlands for our Vancouver blackberry season but friends gave me some for Christmas. It's nice to have considerate friends!
Such a pretty line up of jams.
Such a nice story about the lamb - a relief for Lester not to be feeding around the clock!
Take care, Spring will soon be here,
Regards Janine

Vera said...

MINWKS, We were relieved that the lamb and mum were together again. As for those jars of food on the you say, it is so satisfying!

DUTA said...

"All's well that ends well" - I mean the story with the little lamb. Let's hope for the best for him.

I suppose you use the cow milk in its natural form. The one I buy at the store is pasteurized and homogenized. Despite certain claims that the high heating process destroys vitamins and affecte taste, I like what I buy, and feel safe about it.

rusty duck said...

Awww.. I'm glad the little lamb found its Mum again. Let this be the year of the sunbed!

Kerry said...

Love a happy ending. I agree, roll on sunbed weather.

Vera said...

DUTA, you are drinking mass produced milk from dairy herds which will have been fed a mix of food and chemicals which are not natural to them. To prevent these from getting into the human food chain the milk has to be certain treatments done to it, including pasteurization. Our milk comes directly from two cows which are fed naturally on hay and grass, therefore the milk does not need commercial heat treatments and is safe.

RUSTY DUCK, let this be the 'year of the sunbed' for you too, although, to be quite honest, I doubt either you or I are going to have time to use them much this summer!

KERRY, it is sunbed weather down here in SW France at the moment! Not 'stripped down to bikini(?)' weather, but definitely warm enough to have a laze on a sunbed!