Saturday 21 September 2013

Back in Lay

I was out changing the geese's indoor water for fresh and clean, and noticed the top of a white egg part hidden in the little bit of hay which has been in that house since lame-goose Fotherington Thomas ceased to need it. A quick rummage found me two more eggs - we had three and one of the geese is obviously back in lay. I had not seen any mating behaviour and was not aware that geese laid eggs except for the spring time mating season but, no, apparently they can come into lay if the weather suits, pretty much any time from February to September, so says Mentor Anne. Anyway, we had another last night and we are delighted with the extra kitchen supplies. These eggs will be used up as eggs. Regular readers will know that we are no longer breeding geese with the almost certainly brother/sisters combination we currently have, so if she goes broody then we'll just have to discourage her.

As autumn rolls round we are thoroughly enjoying the fact that we are using almost exclusively our own vegetables. The meal of sausages pictured was one of my 'roll your own' specials cooked while Liz was off at Knit and Natter. It has our own onions, peas, yellow French beans, kale and new potatoes. We are also doing very well for herbs like parsley which Liz notes is the best parsley we have ever grown. The magnificent mound of green was started from a supermarket pot which we had taken all the leaf off for cooking but were loath to throw out so I heeled it into the kitchen garden. Tonight we had gammon, spuds, beans and leeks and Liz was able to make a gorgeous 'boat' full of parsley sauce to go with. Irish Heaven.

Yesterday was a day for neighbourliness, visiting and being visited. In the morning I was off to little ol' lady down the lane, Una where I'd volunteered to clear fallen Leylandii 'needles' off her gravel drive, clip a hedge and dig out the ditch to her 'swolly hole'. The needles thing was interesting - she was worried that I'd sweep up a load of gravel with the needles and she wanted that 'back', so I invented a way of dibbling wads of the needles/gravel mixture in a bucket of cold water so that the gravel would sink and the needles would float. "I never would have thought of that!" said she. Ha ha, I thought. That's probably because you were raised as a sweet young lady, and I was down there playing mud pies and puddle ducking! A 'swolly hole' turns out to be where nameless household liquids drain away. We ended up in her lovely rustic farmhouse kitchen drinking 'tay' and eating homemade fruit scones with homemade blackcurrant jam. Heaven.

We were just about to sit down to supper, rice cooked, table laid, plates warmed all ready to go, when neighbour from the other side, John Deere Bob rocks up. We love him. He is completely unfazed by us being about to serve up and plods in in his boots, sits down in his chair and accepts a glass of blackcurrant cordial. He's going to do the standard half hour chatting anyway. We burble away happily about village stuff, the imminent Referendum on getting rid of the Senate (equiv to House of Lords), geese, sheep etc till his mental half hour is up and he stands up with a 'Well, Good Luck now!' (he has a strong local accent, so he says it 'Good Luck No') and he's back off down the drive to his tractor, parked at our entrance. The supper (curried bunny) was no worse for the wait.

I love all this stuff and I always take it as reassurance that I have not fallen into the 'ex-pat' cliché trap of seeking out and only associating with other Brits. Plenty of our friends are actually Brits and I am delighted with that, but that is more by accident than design.

1 comment:

Mr Silverwood said...

Hope the goose eggs were nice, I tried to boil one once but had a nightmare getting the timing right, lol