Showing posts from December, 2013

Feliz Navidad

We culled the geese on the Solstice.  We didn't plan it that way, it just happened to be the only day that all involved could do it.  And in the end it was most appropriate. I was quite concerned about the killing of the geese.  After all, a self sufficient lifestyle is what we hoped for when we moved here.  But always at the back of my mind was the thought that I might not be up to it. The whole thing was very quick, very quiet and the geese did not suffer in the least.  Which was a huge relief. Once the plucking began and then the gutting it became less about the geese and more about learning how to prepare food.  And food preparation and cooking is what I am good about. The Spanish way of preparing the goose was not quite what we were used to.  Traditionally the Spanish housewife did not have an oven in the house so all food is jointed into pot size pieces and fried or pot roasted on the fire.  We had to step in to prevent our lovely goose dinner from being hacked

The Olive Harvest

The harvest officially began the day after the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.  Our harvest began a week later.  We always seem to be playing catch-up and our watchword for several weeks now has been 'it'll be better next year, we'll be more prepared!'  And I certainly hope we are. The work on our house was finally completed just three days ago.  All that's left to do now is stuff we are doing ourselves, painting, curtains, blinds, cushion covers.  But they will all have to wait.  The Co-operative will only accept the olives until the second week of January so we need to get a move on. And so we begin our first ever olive harvest.  The tools of the trade are two fibreglass fishing poles (lightweight and strong), a couple of large nylon nets, a scoop, a wheelbarrow and some containers. Some of our neighbours have machines that shake the branches but we are using muscle power.  Before beginning I was under the impression that this would be fairly simple,

Christmas is coming and....

...the geese are already quite fat!  Welcome to our latest new arrivals... the geese!  At the moment we have seven geese but the deal is that the four youngest ones are for the pot... three to be given away and one for us for Christmas.  That will leave us with a gander and two unrelated females for breeding more goose dinners for next year. We had great difficulty in moving the house down to the water meadow in preparation for the geese but with the help of friends who were donating the geese anyway the house was transported piece by piece. It has been a very dry autumn so far here in Extremadura and the stream is not running so our poor geese were a bit glum. They had not enjoyed the drive here and when removed from the cage in the back of our friends van they were totally covered in poo.  With no water to wash they were not at all happy. We set off on a mission to locate some paddling pools - well its not swimming pool season here and the best we could do was t