Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Wednesday, November 20

I wasn’t there when Neil killed the old ewe, but I was present when he drained the blood. I didn’t think I would be able to do this, but as I know it will be good food for us, I decided I should witness whole process of gutting the carcass and cleaning the intestines. Neil thinks sheep casings are not as good as pig, but since they will hold the filling together, I was willing to try.

Linda, Neil’s wife, has made sausages before so I was glad of her help and advice. We diced onion, softened it in sheep fat, then added the blood and cooked it with seasoned oatmeal till it thickened. The task of cleaning the casings was very time consuming without the help of mains water. We washed the skins with salt water, then turned them inside out, scraped them clean and rinsed them again in clean salt water.  We used a funnel to fill them and made a coil of sausages to share. The rest of family did not want to be involved in the preparations, but I know they won’t be so squeamish when they can have something different for their breakfasts.

There was also a lot of hard fat around the sheep’s kidneys, which we have finely chopped into shredded suet. This will be most useful as we are very short of fat for dishes. We are going to cook the liver and kidneys today as they will not keep well. Neil says the heart and lungs are also perfectly edible, but I’m not sure I could persuade any of my family to eat them. Neil just laughed and said his dogs would not turn their noses up at it and as they are hardworking animals, they deserve a good meal too.

I am going to cook our share of the offal with onions and potatoes, maybe with the addition of some smoked paprika. I’ll do my cooking early while there is still some light then take a pan up to our neighbours for their supper.

There were 4 eggs today.

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About Suzanne Goldring

Suzanne Goldring writes the kind of novels she likes to read, about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. Two of her novels have been placed in the Winchester Writers' Conference First Three Pages of a Novel competition. She is currently working on a novel set in Corfu and her blog is a diary, set in real time, called Powerless, The Year the Lights Went Out.

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