Saturday, 31 May 2014

Not according to plan

Saturday's activities started a little after nine when Kathy H-R knocked at the door and deposited four suspicious, dripping plastic bags …

… She had called yesterday evening to ask if we wanted any pork as she had just had a kill and had a few joints left over. There was, of course, also the head for a batch of guanciale. We had gratefully accepted and I was now looking at what I thought was a minor change to my plans for today.

I had planned to make a start on filling the nail holes and so forth in the new woodwork in the Hall and thought that dealing with a few joints of pork would take no more than thirty minutes but my estimate was way off the mark. I started with the heads and soon had the cheeks removed and trimmed. I also cut off the ears to roast as a treat for T&M. I then reached in to the cupboard to grab a jar of cure mixture and found barely a handful in the jar…

… Bollocks! This meant that a further half hour was spent finding ingredients and grinding spices to make a couple of kilos of dry cure mixture. Only then could I get the cheeks salted and packed away in the cellar.

I was then able to attack the joints. The handful of chops were quickly sorted and packed in bags of three. The joints, however, were a different matter altogether. All of them needed to be boned, have the skin scored* and be trussed up ready for roasting. By the time I had them packed in bags, labelled and stashed in the freezer eleven o'clock was long gone and I was looking at a pile of bones and the final bag of trotters.**

The Jam Kettle was dusted down and filled with water. The trotters and bones were thrown in along with handfuls of roughly chopped veg, herbs and seasoning.  It would take a good three hours to convert this in to stock and I used the first one to tidy up the kitchen.

30% conveniently arrived back around one in the afternoon just as the last traces of carnage and butchery had been cleared away. We lunched together before I headed out around the Three Miler with T&M. By the time we had returned the stock was just about done and it wasn't far off three o'clock.

It was then a case of a quick cuppa before we headed out to check out a few cars at a local dealership.  There were some very attractive models there but we held back from talking to the Salesman as we know a chap who works there and need to enquire about discount before possibly taking things further.

Back home I eventually made a start on Saturday's objective … filling nail holes, remember? … some nine hours later than planned.
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* A Stanley Knife is the perfect tool for this and I had one handy … in the hall with the rest of my tools!
** In case you were wondering; 30% had conveniently arranged an appointment with local Jeweller so I was flying solo on this mission.

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