A haggis in reserve


Recently I read over the blog entries from our early years.  Many magical things, as we did everything for the first time.


We’re a little older and a bit more cynical, but more than our fair share of magic still happens.  So back to the blog, with occasional entries from now on.  The entries may be a bit shorter.  I used to wait for Ally to check them first, so that I didn’t say anything too dreadful, but it’s more likely to happen if you get the raw unadulterated blog and I apologise afterwards.

Last week, the neighbour’s son appeared at the door with a barrel full of sheep’s innards.  And we had indeed asked for them, just not been very precise as to when.


A few weeks ago, Allison had granted Owen’s wish for a haggis.  That was a bit of a horrifying ordeal, though the results were surprisingly edible.  And somewhere along the way, I’d mentioned to the neighbour that we’d like to do it again for our medieval group.



This time we were a bit more organised about it.  The “pluck” (heart, lungs and liver) were efficiently cooked up and minced by Allison.



The part she hates is cleaning out the sheep’s stomach.  I don’t have much of a sense of smell, so it was OK to do, just time-consuming.  You have to wash out all the partly-digested grass, then scrape off the brown inner coating — some came off easily, and for other bits I had to add boiling water.



Then there’s lots of connective tissue to clean away.  I’m not sure how much is strictly necessary, but I took some care.


The stomach lining has now been frozen too, and we’ll assemble and boil haggis #2 at a later time.  Coming to a Pot Luck near you!




The farrier was here this week.  Things have been soggy here, and two horses (Paulie and Chad) have some rot in their feet.  They need to have their hooves painted every couple of days.



My favourite horse Gawaine has been off with our jouster friend, Sarah.  The plan was for him to learn jousting, but lots of wet weather and some unscheduled life events have meant that he hasn’t yet done much.



We still have the miniature horse Jasmine, but the food here is too rich so she spends most of her time at Jan’s farm.  Despite getting almost nothing from her paddock there, she’s still on the edge of foundering so she’ll just have to be locked up.
Another week has gone by without actually posting. Oh well.
Soon after we moved to Yarra, I joined the local Landcare group.  Lots of really wonderful locals, many of whom are 70+ and capable of a producing a rather excellent cake or slice.  Not that any of that motivated my attendance, of course.
We’ve had lots of wonderful times, but we’ve just had the AGM and several of them have been unwell or no longer willing to take an office.  In fact there were no nominations except me (Treasurer again).
We’ll put out the call for more volunteers, but I doubt we’ll get any.  In any case the Government is no longer going to subsidise the insurance costs, and we’re a pretty small group so we won’t be viable soon in any case.
I expect we’ll stagger on till our Christmas party (always mid November; they’re early birds) and wind up after that.  We’ll transmogrify into a monthly social gathering.

Some weeks ago the Sydney medieval club somehow bought a three-storey terrace’s worth of leather very cheaply, and we ended up with an X-trail packed to the gunwales with hides of coloured leather, for $100 and the petrol cost.  Plus we got some shelving for the shed too.  We’ve sold maybe a quarter of it (still an awful lot of leather) cheaply to our local medievalists.

Anyway, last weekend we ran a leather crafting workshop.  We had four leather-working experts, and about 25 medievalists learning how to pattern and make all manner of things.  A most enjoyable day at the Goulburn Club.
That night, we had a bonfire and pot luck dinner at our farm.  Truth to tell, mostly we spent the time around the wood fire in the wwoof house, but it was most convivial company including a few new faces and some recent friends from Sydney.  Not all the dishes were super medieval, which was fine in the circumstances.  On the night my favourite was the bread-and-butter pudding, but I have to say that the next day I had some of the sticky date pudding with (now cold) caramel toffee sauce and it was pretty amazing.
Next week I hope to tell you that I’ve been getting to the gym more often!