Life at the end of the road

January 4, 2011

Only four :-(

Filed under: animals, daily doings, food, harbour, pigs, weather — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:21 pm

This morning I was up just after 5:00 eager with anticipation to meet the day, it was my last one at work for three whole weeks and I felt Jamie Lea would have dropped her litter during the night. Now when you consider that the smallest litter she’s ever had is ten but more usually twelve or thirteen you can probably see how I was a little disappointed to see only three piglets this morning.

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There were none lying squashed in the straw and these three lively chaps looked like they’d been around for a few hours. I stayed with her for a while but she showed no sign of having any more so I left and got ready for work, shouting the good news up to the swineherd as I left 🙂

Once at work I got on with my engine room project as there was little in the way of traffic to distract me. Around 9:00am Jamie produced her last piglet and wifey (who knows about these things) assured me that it was the last one 😦 The shorter than normal day flew by and I handed over to my relief at 15:00 before heading home in daylight, or at least twilight by the time I’d loaded 400kg of coal for my neighbour.

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Skye Coal were quite happy to deliver the seven bags she’d ordered but had been unable to get up due to the snow. They’d offered me a bag of coal to do the job with the Land Rover, and whilst I don’t use the stuff I took it anyway to give to my neighbour, it would make up for the logs that I took around on Hogmanay instead of lump of coal 🙂

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Of course the first thing I did upon arrival at home was to go and check out the four new piglets, there might only have been four but they were certainly large and lively 🙂

Only six piglets in Brambles last litter, now only four in this one, seems to me that our boar Ginger is destined for sausages 😦 I just hope that Rocky is a good a boar as Ginger.

On the way into the house I lifted the first of our two brine cured hams as they’d now been soaking for 13 days. I took the smallest ( 4kg ) one in as the larger one would benefit from an extra day. This was the one we did in cider, apple juice, dark and light brown sugars, bay leaves, peppercorns, and the remnants of Jamie Oliver’s mulled cider.

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fruit-recipes/incredible-mulled-cider

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Here’s his recipe

• 2 litres good cider, such as Scrumpy
• 6 cloves
• 3 or 4 star anise
• ¼ nutmeg, finely grated into the pan
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 1 vanilla pod, halved
• juice of 1 orange
• juice of 2 clementines
• juice and seeds from 1 pomegranate
• 4 or 5 tablespoons of caster sugar, to taste

and once we’d drunk nearly all the cider I tipped the dregs into the pot with the ham, I’m not sure just how much it contributed to the flavour but it seemed like a good idea at the time 🙂

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Wow just look at that, of course I couldn’t resist a few slices before hanging it up to dry above the sink, check out the colour and think rich, dark, sweet and full bodied. If that piece of ham were a bottle of red wine it would be around £30 and have reams of garbage written about it 🙂

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I really can’t see this lump of meat lasting very long in such a prominent position,

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the ‘wee dug’ could not reach it but she was trying very hard to move it telepathically off the hook 🙂

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The idea behind this brine cure was to preserve and flavour a joint of meat that could then be soaked overnight and baked or even boiled. However just slicing a bit of there and eating it ‘raw’ it’s every bit as nice as the finest air cured prosciutto, though I don’t suppose it will keep as long, can’t see that being a problem 🙂

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Anyway that’s about it for the day so I’ll just leave you with the weather as I have other things to do 😦

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Well the weather and some fantastic aerial shots from Gary Brindle at  http://www.scotaviaimages.co.uk/ ,

IMG_2397Fladda Scotavia

this picture of Fladda has to be one of the best images I’ve ever seen. Taken at a high (ish) tide with a northerly swell you can see just about the entire area that I fished for lobsters and scallops. The raised beach at the north of Fladda is clearly visible, as is a patch of sand in ‘the ring’, that three forked bay at the north of the island. The long reefs south west of Grian a Sgier are white with the foamy swell whereas the islets of the Glas Eilean and Fraoach Eilean to south in Fladda’s lee are not. Calum’s road is just visible before Tarbert in Loch Arnish, Dun Caan is just to the right of a distant Glamaig and far to the top right (south east) are the Crowlin’s, Kyle and the mainland, AWESOME Gary 🙂

South Raasay Clachan scenery 0809174597

And here’s one from the other end of Raasay looking north, judging by the old Polish caravan behind the village hall, lack of progress at the harbour, weed killed fields in front of the avenue and lack of bracken I’d say May 2008 🙂

IMG_2384 Calums road Brochel Castle Raasay

Not sure if this beauty of Brochel is taken earlier in the year than the last one, or the north end is just slower to ‘green’ but this one looks more like April to me 🙂

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