Tuesday 14 November 2017

'Oveja' está en el Congelador

A fine looking carcass
'Oveja' está en el congelador ('Oveja' (The ewe) is in the freezer). One good up-beat story tonight and, I'm sad to relate, a couple of less happy ones. First up, after the mixed feelings of slaughter-day and taking our bought-in ewe lamb (Oveja) on her last journey to town, a week later we get the happy job of seeing the carcass butchered up and bringing home the product.

Ignatius splits the carcass
We have a lot of time for the guys down there in Castlerea (Joe the Slaughterman and Ignatius G (Victualler). It is lovely to watch them work and we chat away. Do we want the legs as halves? Do we want the full shoulder or gigot-chops? Do we want the chops as 'racks' and how many chops to a rack?

Labelled for the freezer after cat inspection
I love the old chopping block in that shop - a massive lump of wood on a robust looking stand of darker wood. The block is actually made as a parquet-floor style bundle of smaller blocks, surrounded by a rim of thick planks and strapped at each corner with thick wrought-iron 90º pieces.

We got one rack back as chops so that we
could give a couple to a neighbour.  We
"tidied up" the rest in house.
By now it is shaped into big sweeping curves where they have chopped out big 'valleys' over time and left ridges, then obviously spun it round 180º at one stage and turned it over to use the other side. (I should have grabbed a photo, shouldn't I?). I asked them how long a block like that would last. Ignatius told me that 'this one' was 35 years old. The lads have had the shop about 40 years at this stage and there is an equally venerable block out 'back' which they got when they first bought the shop and had it 'done up'. Lovely.

A lovely "pie" to go with those chops. Leeks and cream cheese
The meat is now home, labelled and stashed in the freezer. This was only one lamb so we both doubt the store will see the year out but all being well the first 2018 babies might be born in January, so by June/July we might be able to restock. That's if Pedro (our new ram) continues to behave himself.

The 'late' Prada from my post on 19th Aug
My first "less happy" story involves the sad loss of our good friends, Sue and Rob's gorgeous St Bernard dog, 'Prada'. Sorry for your loss, S+R, we know how close you were to that lovely, soft old girl and how much she will be missed. Our commiserations.

Red sky in the morning? It rained all day.
These massive dogs do not tend to live very long because (Sue tells me) the heart was never really bred to cope with the size of the dog. S+R have always had St Bernards but have never managed to 'keep' one beyond about 5 years. Prada was 7/8 so the longest lived St-B they had ever had and they were always amazed by her. Rest in Peace, you gentle giant. We will miss you too.

The last of that lovely cream cheese went with bagels
and (properly) smoked salmon.
Finally another loss and this one I need to do on that 'no names no pack drill' basis which I do when I do not have the blessing of the main players. This one is the sad loss of the biological mother of a little girl who is very dear to us. Our deepest sympathies. Those concerned will know who I am talking about here. Sorry for your loss.

Rob took this lovely pic of Prada just
enjoying the company of their Grandson
as he fished. Happy days. 
That is probably enough for this post. Look after yourselves

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