cull cows and rank boars

   Good events are taking place:  Polly came and checked all the cows and heifers for pregnancy, and found that five of the eight were bred, the delinquents being Daisy and Honey, the two smallest heifers, and Dahlia, the great dog-friendly Friesian who would buff her head on the seat of your trousers and who looked like the bulls painted on the palace walls at Knossos, minus the horns.  That masculine shape, it may be, was partly the result of cysts on her ovaries which prevented conception.  We scheduled her a trip to freezer camp and gave thanks that we’d have one less mouth to feed.  Besides, we were out of hamburger.  Daisy and Honey will be given tail-head scratch stickers and we’ll have another go at breeding them in the next couple of weeks.

   After giving him a three-week vacation with long-suffering Porca, our breeding sow, we took the boar on the long walk a couple of weeks ago.  We hoped, for a variety of reasons, some more reasonable than others, that his meat would not be tainted with “boar smell”, a very strong, rangy ammonia tang; and in that hope we are disappointed.  A small piece of boar’s flesh fried in a skillet in the kitchen will not only set noses burning all over the house, from cellar to loft, but will taint the skillet for the next use.  This is not insuperable:  chops cooked outside are delicious, the smell staying outside where they were cooked, and most of us can enjoy chili and other seasoned foods made with ground boar, provided that the initial cooking of the meat be done in the summer kitchen, and the rendered fat be carefully drained away.  But some of the boys won’t touch it under any circumstances.  We are reliably informed that one traditional use for a rank boar is in uncooked, highly-seasoned dried sausages like pepperoni and salami, and toward that end we have saved the intestines of the two steers now hanging on singletrees in Barry’s barn and are making sausage casings.  The making of dried sausages is an experiment we have long wanted to try in any case.

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