The clouds of sadness that hovered over day one of butchering had completely dissipated before the second day arrived. Somehow, in the process of scrubbing out freezers, an over-abundance of milk from Bessy & the general busyness that symbolises life on a farm, the carcass had changed (at least in our minds) from our beloved animal into meat to fill our freezers & bellies. I highly recommend hanging carcasses for this very reason ( although I'm sure a butcher would give me a myriad of other reasons).
|An enormous ham we had to cook to make room in the freezer for the newest butchering ~ it was delicious!|
On the appointed day of the return of our butchers, an excitement hung in the air. We awoke early, as is our custom, to milk Bessy & complete the list of other jobs that mornings bring, however one ear was listening, awaiting the rumble of the butchers truck ~ and this unlike any other truck I've ever seen. Their truck is a butcher shop on wheels. Designed for this very purpose, it is made of stainless steel which ensures it is properly cleaned & sterilised after every use! When the telltale rise of dust was spied on the driveway, a cheer was heard from the children who had been on the lookout.
|A cute Eli with ham ~ just because...|
Armed with lists in hand & laundry baskets at the ready (to shuffle meat from truck to freezer), we were ready to begin. Thus began a busy day of making decisions & packing the meat which continued until after dark that evening. The lack of photographs is a reflection on the busyness of the day. Once the butchers begin working, you need to be ready to pack, pack, pack to keep up with them. Although we've never had them come to our farm before, we have been involved in this part of the process at friend's houses so were aware of what would happen.
The children very quickly tired of the whole process and decided it was the perfect day to build the ant farms they had been saving since Christmas. I ( in complete unawareness of what I was truly allowing) gave them permission. While this did keep them occupied for a good portion of the day, it also meant that plaster-of-paris, dirt & glue were everywhere. We also found that they hadn't fully sealed one of the ant farms & the big ants they had chosen to live in this prized location, escaped somewhere in the lounge room that evening!
|One of the things we did with some of the pork was to try to make our own salami. Here Zai is grinding some of the pork the old fashioned way!|
We did ask Zai to help us with the meat ( which may have been one of the reasons for the ant debacle). He is such fun to work with & scurried around completing numerous little jobs that needed to be done. He did, at one point, accidentally lock all the adults into the butcher's truck. Thankfully one of the butchers had his mobile phone because we had to call the house (which was all of 10m away) and ask Zai to release us.
By that evening everyone was ready for a good, hot shower & a long rest. Our friends came to help & we celebrated with a meat themed dinner which included meat, meat & meat ( oh & some veges too). Unfortunately I think we were all too tired to really appreciate it though.
|Salami & Prosciutto ( from previous butchering) hanging in our fridge-converted-to-cool room!|
The next day Dave made an emergency trip into town to purchase another freezer as we had completely overflowed the freezer spaces we already had. That evening I was given the arduous task of rearranging the semi - frozen meat. (This is so it doesn't ice together. ) By the time this was completed the whole area surrounding the freezers resembled a crime scene and I was contemplating becoming a vegetarian ~ LOL!
We are so thankful to be able to grow & eat our own meat. We are now producing our own lamb, beef & pork. We also have goat in the freezer which we butchered ourselves (although it was from a friend's farm) & chicks hatched here at Sunnyside using our own flock's eggs. The chicks are currently sunning under the heat lamp hidden well away from the cats. We have plans for a monthly hatching in the hopes of not just boosting our flock, but also providing our own home- grown chicken meat.
We feel incredibly blessed!
Have a lovely day friends