Lately, we’ve been out in the fields. I walk the dog, admiring the wildflowers that splash the verges of the fields with colour and the brilliant yellow of the oilseed rape flowers against the white of the blackthorn blossom in the hedgerows, while
Bill rushes around on the tractor. There’s spraying to do, fertiliser to spread (the big bags by the barn contain fertiliser), rabbit fencing to put up …
Recently, we’ve found a different use for rabbits. We have a problem with rabbits on the farm, especially on the corner of the field next to the Country Park where they breed like … rabbits. Normally we give away or eat most of the trapped rabbits, but last weekend they were used for a taxidermy course in The Barley Barn. Unfortunately, I was delegated to kitchen duties but I managed to sneak in to see what was happening. The rabbits were carefully skinned (there was some complicated manoeuvring with the paws that I missed because I was taking the huffers out of the oven) and after a wash and blow dry (there may have been more to it than that, but you can guess where I was) the rabbits were rebuilt and sewn up. I considered serving rabbit for lunch, but one of the course participants was a vegetarian and I wasn’t sure how hygienic some of the dissecting might be, so I gave it a miss.
As the days lengthen and warm, hearty soups and rib sticking puddings aren’t quite as appealing as they were on dark, cold winter days. After months of peeling and chopping root vegetables, it’s good to grab the scissors and wander out to the garden and hedgerows to cut fresh green leaves for salads.
Lately, there has been jelly to eat. Slamseys Elderflower Gin & Tonic Jelly to be precise. If you’re interested, you can find the recipe here.
If you wanted a non-alcoholic version, you could replace the Elderflower Gin with elderflower cordial and reduce the amount of sugar, but quite honestly, where’s the fun in that?