Search This Blog

Follow by Email

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Easter on the Farm 2008

Did you eat lamb at Easter? We didn’t. We finished up what was left in the freezer before Christmas, I think. We never have any new lambs big enough to eat by Easter – and our lambs are especially small this year as the holiday was so early. In order to have lambs ready for the dinner plate by Easter, we would have to convince our rams to end their summer vacations early and set to work about mid-August. And it’s pretty difficult to convince lambs to do anything in the heat – even that.
We heard that someone down the road managed to convince their rams to work in August, however. I wonder what their secret is. Perhaps they provide an air-conditioned space for the conjugal visits.
Most of our lambs are sold through the sale barn to Muslims planning their menus for Eid al Fitr - the grand feast at the end of their Ramadan month of fasting – or Aid al-Adha, the Islamic festival that falls in November - December.
Speaking of feasts, we had a grand one ourselves this year. We justify the excess by blessing the hands that made it (my husband is a skilled and imaginative cook – thank the Lord, because I am NOT), and making sure that none of it goes to waste. We have a “starving college student”, several extended family members and one or two hard-working farm dogs who are always happy to take leftovers.
I am not a true farmwife in the traditional sense. I can cook, and I do cook, but I don’t enjoy cooking. I have no patience for reading recipes, measuring ingredients, and standing over the stove, stirring a pot. I like dishes that take five minutes to throw together, and cook themselves. My slow cooker is my favourite piece of kitchen equipment. I can’t even wait for a cheese sandwich to grill before I’m wandering off to look out a window or check my emails. The sound of the smoke alarm means “Dinner’s Ready!” when I’m cooking.
Therefore, if there are any pies cooling on my windowsill, they came from a box. Or my husband baked them.
I wish I could cook. I certainly like to eat. But, truth be told, if I liked to cook, it might lead to disharmony in the Fisher household. If I wanted access to the oven, I would have to venture over to the inside of the kitchen island. And everyone knows that is Farmer Fisher’s space. I wander over there every once in a while to see (taste) what he’s cooking, but I don’t wear out my welcome. I know a good situation when I see it. He likes to cook and I like to eat. It’s all good.
We do eat lamb from time to time, along with our own chickens, ducks and turkeys, when we have them. Before meeting my husband, the only lamb I had had was at a Greek restaurant or in Australia. I find that many people don’t really know how to cook lamb, so they steer clear of it. Lamb also seems to be an acquired taste, and some find it a bit strong.
Thankfully, we don’t have to process our own lambs, so other than seeing them off to the sale barn, where they are auctioned, I don’t have to make the connection between the cuddly wee things springing around the barn and the lambchop on my plate.
Of course, I haven’t had lamb for a few months now, so I can’t say I will feel the same way about it the next time it’s on the menu.
For now, the only lambs I want to see are the ones that come at me four at a time when I climb into their pens with baby bottles for the evening feed. They nibble on my hair (perhaps they are trying to tell me something – it’s becoming rather straw-like?), climb on my back and suckle on my fingers, competing for the milk in the bottle. I have already named one Buddy (a mistake, for sure, the Farmer says…) and distinguish between the rest of them by their black or pink noses and black or white feet.
Many of them recognize me and welcome my presence. I wonder if they will remember me when they are released to the barnyard. Will they still come to my call? We can keep the females for years – some of ours are ten years old. The males will be sold at auction, however, so I am trying not to get too attached to them. Unfortunately, they seem to be the friendlier of the sexes.
I wish Buddy wasn’t so darned cute.

No comments: