Monday, 31 March 2014
Keeping Busy is the Answer
People keep warning me that I shall have my husband constantly underfoot when he retires. I think not: witness this week-end for example. 7.00 am, Sunday morning. - we are in the kitchen starting to 'work' the remainder of our scraggy bits of venison meat together with one (expensive) lamb, to make sausage. We haven't done this for years, as in a previous life we were committed to a low-fat diet. However, with the new regime, we can eat glorious, home-made sausage again; the old machines were hauled out of the shed and we set to work. An exhausting 7 hours later, we were the proud producers of 20 kilograms of sausage and 10 kilos of ground mince for the freezer. In the past, my husband has made a 'boys' day' of this event, sharing costs and labor with two of his friends, fortified by sufficient whisky and beer for the duration and I used to make good my escape.
This disadvantage of this method was that it took me 3 days to clean my kitchen. However, time and people have moved on and this time I was called upon to assist. The usual husband and wife spats did occur, sometimes ludicrously. e.g. when it came to the weighing of the total amount in batches of 3 kilos on my small kitchen scale, I wanted my husband to shout 'next' and he insisted on saying '3', for me to write down. I sulked briefly but gave in (being the better person!) Mostly, I stuck to cleaning up as we went along. Another week-end, M was inspired to have a shot at making 'Witblits' or Moonshine as we have a large crop of black grapes every summer which we normally throw away as they are very sour. This time a still got made, copper tubing was twisted into shape, Youtube was consulted, lots of sugar was bought and for about a week the liquid was left to ferment. Thereafter, I was asked to sample the first drops - really, really strong was my verdict as I wiped my watering eyes. There was much studying of the rate of 'bubbling' - ours was really fast, possibly 80% proof? Since then, we have kept one bottle - but are too scared to drink it. Perhaps it will light our Bar-B-Q fires?
For my part, I am making my spare bits of material into a commemorative 'puffed' quilt. There are reminders of various parts of my life: my daughter's bridesmaids' dresses, my mother-in-law's curtains and other things. Thus I can move on...taking it with me.