WARNING – MAY CONTAIN PIG PARTS
Well we did it – bit the bullet and sent the pigs off to the abattoir this morning. It took us a while to get all the pieces in place – make sure neither were on heat, find time to talk to the butcher to tell him what cuts we were after, buy a freezer to stash all the meat in and so on. We also had to explain to the children why we couldn’t let the pigs die of old age. Which after a few tears, they accepted. Our helpful English neighbour could see I was pretty wobbly about the whole thing so he kindly offered to take them to the abattoir himself at the crack of dawn this morning before we (and the pigs) were awake. This meant loading them into a trailer last night. They went in like lambs (or pigs) to the slaughter, happily following the buckets full of their last supper (organic eggs and walnuts and leftovers from the poshest restaurant in town) and we clanged the tailgate shut behind them.
Then of course the trailer and HeadChicken’s new (well not that new) Mitsubishi got completely stuck in the mud so we had to ask Kind Neighbour to pull out the trailer (and the Mitsubishi) with his Landrover, which he did with great glee and not a few disparaging remarks about the provenance and quality of said Mitsubishi. I feared that the pigs would be stressed by all the engine revving, exhaust fumes and slipping around in the mud, but no – my last sight was of them happily munching on the loose walnuts rolling around in the back of the trailer. Gourmands to the bitter end.
The Kind Neighbour’s comment, when asked how the abattoir run went, was “They’re doing well – just hangin’ and chillin’….”, with a sympathetic smile.
Of course I miss them, especially when I realise that I now have to put the children’s leftovers in the bin, instead of the pig bucket. But thankfully the children have moved on already. I caught the eldest drooling over this, which I had left stuck to the fridge for going through the various cuts with the butcher:
And with all the current panic about supermarket meat of unknown provenance, it will be really nice to know, when we finally pluck up the courage to tuck into our first “Bubble and Squeak” roast, that these were our animals, raised on our farm, with good food, fresh air, and space to roam.
I also have to say that I was really quite happy not to don overalls, wellies, hat and coat and trudge through the mud and pouring rain with two heavy pans of bran mash this morning before taking the children to school, as is my usual routine.
So now I have a bit more time on my hands, how about some lambs?