Friday, September 21, 2007

meat is a topic of interest to me

Today my grandma is coming to visit and pick up a bunch of sweet peppers to make relish--and we're on the receiving list this year, which is fun. I'm not usually a relish person, but this is not too sweet, and it's great on Sloppy Joes. (This is my grandma from Grace.) My kids love visiting her, because she buys fun kid foods that they usually don't get here, they get to play in the treehouse and ride horses, and it's even more rural than where we live, so they can run around like even crazier monkeys. It doesn't hurt that she lets them mow her lawn with the riding lawnmower, either. She's an incredible lady, which is why we named our daughter after her. I figured she couldn't go wrong being named after two strong women. Strong women are something we have in spades in our family--coming from all directions. Some of us (cough, cough) veer toward bullheadedness, but we can still be quite nice.

Aside: I looked it up, and it seems that both toward and towards are okay. Phew!

It turns out that the local beef is SCRUMTRILLESCENT. Seriously. I made braised short ribs with polenta and you have no idea. They were falling off the bone, and so tender and juicy. I do love red meat, heaven help me.

We've toyed with the idea of raising a pig, but I'm not sure. It would be another avenue for disposal of slop--we can feed pork to the chickens, and chicken to the pig, right? I wonder about that. They're both the sort of animal that will eat anything you put in front of them, but it's not a good idea to encourage them to cannibalize, I think. But what about meat from animals outside their species? Is that grody, too? I haven't decided. We typically put meat leftovers in the garbage, though I suppose we could give them to the cat. He'd love it, as it would help him in his mission to become the size of an ottoman. Anyway, if we can throw together some panels and stick the pig over by the ash tree so it would have shade and room to move around, that might be something I could deal with. I wonder. It's worth looking into. I like pork, but pigs are kind of yucky in their habits--eating their own poo , dividing the hoof and chewing not the cud and whatnot. Should we really be eating an animal like that? These are the things I think about.

Tilde's horns are growing. Not superfast or anything, but they're definitely going to need to be dealt with. I think we'll try the elastrator method--I certainly don't want to cut them off and have that opening into her skull. Edna has some little nubs, but they don't seem to be growing at all. I'm hoping that they'll have good udders when they freshen in the spring. Catwoman has one more chance, and then we're going to have to cull her, I think. We just can't keep everyone, and her udder looks like it's not attached very well. I'm interested to see how Tilde and Edna perform in the milking stand next spring--I was so pleased with everyone last year once we started milking out by the pen. Goats are so intelligent, and I probably shouldn't anthropomorphize them (especially if we're going to continue eating them), but they really do have different personalities. Finola throws very gregarious and affectionate kids, and Traci seems to be more varied in her offspring. Captain Stubing and Audrey were both very friendly, but Edna was a little more standoffish. However, she is a lot calmer than Audrey, and she doesn't make the horrid noise that Audrey did.

In the next couple of months the ladies are probably going to have a new roommate--it's breeding season, and I imagine our neighbors would rather let us borrow their buck rather than take on the care and feeding of five additional goats for a month. I'm trying to decide what to do about Finola. We think we might give her another shot with Bobcat and hope for the best out of her broken uterus. She's not getting any younger, as John says, and we really want a Finola/Bobcat baby.

I think we'll plant another fruit tree on the south side of the garage where our "garden" currently is. It'll provide shade for the chickens, and we can let them run around in a bigger area and keep the worms out of the fruit. Our apricot tree was a bloody balls-up, but maybe over by the garage we'd have better luck keeping it away from the goats.


highdeekay said...

We raised pigs when I was a teen. It was actually pretty fun and they aren't nearly as dirty as I'd thought. They ARE great garbage disposals. The worst was when our sow got out of the pen an went for a trot down the highway with our pony. I had to chase them down just as the school buses were all headed home. A little embarrassing for a prissy teenage girl.

Layne said...

Hee. Thanks for the awesome mental picture.