So anyway, the slaughter season is over once again. There doesn't seem to have been so much around us this year, and certainly our neighbours have said they are having less beasts next year. Unfortunately not everyone does 'the business' behind closed gates, and a trip to a nearby village revealed a pig killing on the lane we turned in to, with quite a crowd hanging about. But this is Bulgaria and old traditions are still alive and well.
So, from buying a half lamb to have some meat in the freezer for the year, joining the surplus cockerels, we now have a mountain of beef and pork ribs, mince and steaks, even liver. And bottled chicken. And today we received more beef ribs and mince from another neighbour. We have half a freezer full of meat now! All for one person.
Today Dave went round delivering cards and cakes and mince pies to the neighbours. They were only little cakes, a token to thank them for their help and advice over the past year. But being the generous people they are, one neighbour sent the meat, a pot of snowdrops, a litre of rakia (we'll have to start bathing in it!) and two litres of wine. I feel sorry for those who do not mix with their neighbours, this is what we like about Christmas here, not trees and presents and spending a fortune you can't afford, but useful tokens and help each way throughout the year. It matters not a bit that I am a veggie tee-totaller!
|There is still an unclaimed cake in the cupboard. Whatever did I do before Dave sorted these out?|
|A few awaiting delivery. Dave did the decorating this year, and a great job he made of them|
|We really didn't need anything in return, but happy to accept|
I just hope the goatherd (a bottle of whisky) and his goat ladies (chocolates) take their tokens as a thank you for their kind hearted handling of our two well settled and happy goats! We don't need any milk or cheese!
We had a visit from a lovely friend...actually two....last week which is always nice as it gives me chance to do some cooking. Another spiced pumpkin cake went down really well, and quiche with oven potatoes and apple coleslaw. And we got pressies too, a very unusual poinsetta and chockies. Yum.
|A very unusual colour|
We went out for a meal with friends and friends of friends the other day, about thirty of us in all. Dave even got a comment from the car parking attendant about the English invading the city! It was nice to see people but we were both feeling a bit rough, coming down with colds and not sleeping too well, plus sadness at another friend passing away. So we left early with a bag full of brussels sprouts on stalks for the goats! Dave is now in the full throws of a cold, I have yet to go down with it.
|Dave's starter, baked brie and blueberry jam|
|And my fried eggplant in eggy batter|
|Dave's 'breast' of pork with honey (ribs)|
|I didn't want a big meal, so had tomato, avocado and mozzarella salad covered in weird crumb....|
Other news...the two young chickens are both laying now so we have plenty of eggs again. Dandy seems to have been accepted by the ladies, he seems a gentle soul though has certainly found his voice since the new boy arrived! But he is only little so I think it's good that we want to keep them apart. We might give the new boy a couple more hens once we know what the new girls' eggs look like, the two young ones are big enough and strong so should cope OK.
We still have flowers and insects in the garden. It's really weird as the roses are still in leaf, the weeds growing, daffodils growing and the birds and toads are singing! We have had a good few frosts which has zapped the rhubarb, but the lettuce are continuing to grow as are cabbages and carrots. Good job we have lots of mouths to feed! We are eating broccoli and beetroot too. And fresh herbs still.
|Feeding on scabious|
|There are still lots of buds on|
|Roses in full leaf|
|Anemone coming through|
|Lots of lush weeds|
|Buddleia growing lots of new leaf|
|More young nicotiana coming in to flower|
|Carrots, beets and cabbage|
|The carrots are pale, but very sweet and tender|
|Looks like a spring garden, not winter|
My sister recently bought a carpet for her sitting room from someone who sells quite a few second hand on facebook, and after seeing it we indulged too and now have a very smart clean one for the winter, pure wool too. It may not be the most practical colour given the amount of mud the dogs bring in sometimes, but it will help to keep us warm for the winter (when it arrives) and I love it!
I would just like to thank all my regular (and not so regular) readers and contributers a very Happy Christmas and good health and happiness for the coming year. Thank you all for your support.