Thursday, 19 April 2012

Not for the Squeamish!

I had been looking forward to this for a couple of months. Today's butchery course, organised through the Fenland Goatkeepers and Smallholders Club. At 7.30 I picked up Brian, who used to keep a large herd of wild boar, and off we headed to deepest Norfolk. A great day to pick, since there were "standing water" warnings issued by the Met Office for the day ahead - I think that's a new way of saying it's going to rain cats and dogs. 
Our teacher for the day was a very accomplished butcher. It's just a shame I couldn't spend a while with him telling him how to teach! No disrespect, just that there was such a wide range of experience amongst the group that the poor bloke didn't have a clue how to cope with it. Unfortunately for me, I seemed to have the least experience by far. So, after 5 minutes, I began to feel like the 'thick' child who's missed most of his lessons and doesn't have a clue what's going on.!
I carefully made a mental note of everything I was told for the first 5 minutes. For the next couple of hours or more, I watched a very interesting, adept and enthusiastic demonstration of how to cut up and add value to a pig. Then we were put into teams to repeat everything we had seen! By now, I had forgotten that first 5 minutes and all the rest. If I'd been put into a group of less experienced people and given more attention, I would have been very willing to have a go. Unfortunately I wasn't and I wasn't, so I spent the rest of the day waiting for the sausage making. At least I'd get to have fun on the sausage machine, that stalwart of the have-a-go gameshow. As time ticked on, it became apparent that this was not going to happen either, and I left the day having gained very little knowledge. What a shame. I just hope that the other people on the course got a lot more out of it.
I did meet some very nice people though, and may even have found a couple of ladies for Gerald (the boar who overstayed his welcome) to go and visit.

If you're squeamish, look away now!
Scenes of blood and gore will appear on your screen if you scroll down any more...

This is what we started with
Then we were shown how to divide it into about a hundred cuts!

Then we were expected to do it!

Luckily 2 people on my team had previous!

By the end I felt about the same as this pig.

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