Thursday, October 29, 2009

Buffalo hamburgers & tomato ketchup!

We got the second side of the buffalo from the butcher this evening after work so Raph, Jonathan, Kevin, and Nat worked long into the evening getting it all sorted out and frozen.

When they were finished they went up to the apartment where Camille and Debbie were waiting for them and enjoyed a little of their work with some freshly ground steak complemented with some of Kevin's delicious tomato sauce he'd made earlier in the week.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Grow your own health

I've been wanting to get my thoughts organized on this topic for a long time and even created some titles on our family web site years ago. But I don't seem to make the time the get it finished. So today here goes, with at least a rough outline and the basic idea.

Nothing happens by accident — especially accidents. Over the years we've seen a correlation between certain types of "accidents" and certain modes of conduct. The two we have seen most clearly so far are broken bones and cancer.

I haven't got time right now to be more detailed than this but take these thoughts for what they're worth:

1. Broken bones seem to come about as a result of back-biting, gossip, and divisive talk; one of the seven things the Lord hates (Proverbs 6:16-19). The Bible tells us that "Pleasant words are ... health to the bones." (Proverbs 16:24) Is it stretching things too far to suppose that unpleasant words are ... not health to the bones?

One of the strangest prophecies concerning our Lord (that was fulfilled to the letter, of course) was that not one of his bones would be broken. Ever wonder what's significant in that? It was not important that he never cut his finger or had a headache. But even after he'd died, it was important that he go into the grave whole, with not a bone broken. Ask yourself why? It is proof that the fact of a broken bone is significant.

2. Cancer is an independent growth in the body by a cell that is not working with the others but against them. The way it is working against others in the body is by working solely and exclusively for itself. A cancerous cell has given up its created and useful role in the body and all it is doing is reproducing itself according to its own, new, agenda.

On the human level, this seems to manifest a spiritual truth in physical terms and most often seems to come about as a result of an independent and rebellious spirit that displays an unwillingness or inability to work with others. This may well explain the vertiginous expansion of cancer in our society.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Harvest festival 2009

We'd decided that, with such an abundance of crops this year, we really ought to make a special meal today consisting entirely of our own grown and baked food!

We fired up the wood oven and started with whole grain breads, buffalo roasts, and finished up with baked apples, pies of all sorts, and meringues. I've uploaded two little video clips we took of this meal; one shows the table and the second shows us.

Hope it makes you feel like you're sitting down to eat with us: which you would be, if you were only here!

Harvest festival 1

Harvest festival 2

Friday, October 23, 2009

Suzy's Jewels

We've had requests for a video clip of Susanne singing her favourite hymn (it's almost gotten to be a joke). It is so cute as she sings with such energy! I've uploaded it for you to watch here (it will open in a new window) or just click below.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Raph with Dock

Raph and Jonathan ran over to the butcher in La Chartre this evening to catch a first glimpse of Dock, who was delivered yesterday to him (Hickory and Dickory are still here).

No more chasing that runaway buffalo!

He told them he was very agreably surprised by the apparent tenderness of the meat and was very upbeat about the quality. We'll get you a real appraisal by this weekend: Saturday we've decided to have a real Harvest Festival — more on that later!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Buffalo ice cream!

Well, it's been an interesting an eventful few days here! Raph took Dock, one of the original buffalos we got, to Vendôme yesterday. The word was, She went in peace. And she'll come back in pieces!

All went well as he was a little apprehensive of how the whole affair would come off and left early in the morning, just to be sure, but apparently it couldn't have been easier. She'll be delivered in two or three days to our butcher in La Chartre who is going cut up the carcass. Apparently there were 307 kilos of meat, excluding waste, skin, and offal so we're looking forward to seeing that.

You had to be there to taste Sarah's home-made chocolate ice cream made from buffalo cream! Everyone was unanimous in saying it was the best we'd ever had! Thank the Lord.

This was the surprise desert after the Saturday meal of delicious soup, rillettes, pâté, grated carrotts, and a big bowl of Jacqui's coleslaw. With twenty-four around the table I don't have to tell you we had some great fellowship!

Received an interesting email a couple of days ago from a brother named Jay in Munich — with his family and seven children. His reply to mine came this morning so we're getting to know each other prior to a visit.

Becky and Claire went over to the hotel last night to stay up and watch The Taming of the Shrew with the Strom girls. Then this morning everyone was invited over here to watch a new PBS documentary called From Jesus to Christ: The Early Christians which we found quite interesting. We started the fire for the first time this year and Raph roasted pans of chestnuts while we watched the film.

This afternoon everyone has gone to the orchard to make an ultimate harvest of apples (last week we just gathered the windfalls) before proceeding next weekend to preparations for applesauce and cider. At the same time, Sarah and I are making our final harvest of walnuts chestnuts of the season.

Work is progressing on the new "cold room" at the back of the chais (where we make cider and wine) so all this be a great help in working more efficiently. I'll show you a picture of how it's going in my next post, Lord willing.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Vendanges 2009

We knew it was going to be a good year — no rain for weeks and lots of sunny, warm days — and it is off to a good start with 350 litres of must. We had a great time with everyone's participation including Bertrand and Fabienne and all their children as well as Pascal & Aline (the only ones missing were Nat, who was visiting her parents in Lille for the weekend and myself who was on the road taking Rosemary home). Here are some shots of the day's harvest.

Claire, our willing worker

Roobie, hard at work

Millésime 2009

Ugni blanc

Treading out the grapes