Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Trade

Thanksgiving is over, and the bounty has been shared; just this evening, Kathy graciously gave us a bag of home raised, humanely nurtured pork for our freezer.  I'm so grateful.  I never expected such a treat.

Now, these were some happy pigs.  Apart from the West-Side cow incident a week or so ago (I still have to laugh at that; I'm a little twisted), those pigs had it good.  Here's the recap (Nov. 14th blog):

"Last weekend, my friend El and I visited the farm together so she could see our newborn calf. One of the volunteers had forgotten to shut the gate between the cow field and the pig run, and chaos ensued. I have never seen cows band together like a street gang and attack before; usually they just mill around, benignly grazing and mooing. These cows were pissed! They attacked those poor pigs enmasse. You've never seen fat pink buttocks running away more frantically. I'm ashamed to say that I can't stop laughing about the visual memories it brings up: think "West Side Story" (the Jets and the Sharks). Those poor piggies! Thankfully, the vet and his assistant were on site, checking out the goats, and between the 4 of us, we were able to break up the rumble. The piggies had to take a long nap that afternoon."

And although I've been hearing endless conversations about being vegetarian vs. being a carnivore (omnivore), and I understand both the philosophical and environmental implications, I am, without doubt, an omnivore.  I do hold myself to ethical standards when buying my food, however. These pigs had a good life, as do the chickens whose eggs we eat, and the goats and cows whose milk we drink.

So, in order to make room for the ham, sausage and pork shoulder, we had to go spelunking in the freezer.  I know how much we'll want the greens this winter, so they were off limits.  I decided to pull out two quarts of cantaloupe sorbet, a bag of tomato something-or-other which I'll make into a stew, and a quart bag of black elderberries.  Elderberries!!!! We picked them and froze them this summer!

Flu season is coming, so I sent Peter off to the liquor store for some 100 proof vodka to make a tincture.  It can't be easier...50% berries, 50% alcohol, let rest for 2-3 weeks, then sip as needed; as preventative medicine, the suggested dose is a tablespoonful in the morning and evening.  Strain out the berries unless your bowels are bound up (then eat a'll do the job).  And elderberries are good!  If you're more interested in sweet things, elderberry syrup has the same healing properties.  You can find many recipes for it on the web.

So, Miss Kathy can expect some elderberry tincture and some cantaloupe sorbet for her generosity.  And we'll be eating a local ham for Christmas.  Farm life is good, even here in the city.  We're blessed.

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