Friday, February 13, 2009

Chocolate & Kumquats, and The Piplet

So tomorrow is Valentine's Day, but Scott will be gone at his friend's 50th, and I'm in full-on lambing craziness, so we did our exchange today. (We'll do the whole dinner thing later.) Scott gave me a box of chocolates and a bag of kumquats. The truffles are made right here on the island, from organic, fair-trade chocolate, in some insane flavour combinations. I won't know what's in my box until I open it & play match-the-garnish-to-the-flavour, but one of my past favourites is basil & lime.

Chocolate may be standard V-Day fare, but kumquats?! Yes, kumquats. These are round, Meiwa
kumquats, as opposed to the oblong Nagamis. Whereas Nagamis are pretty much sour through and through, Meiwas are a surprisingly complex burst of flavour. On first bite (they must be eaten whole), they have a startling tartness. This quickly gives way to a curious sweetness; almost as if the tart pulp had been rolled in a generous helping of powdered sugar. I absolutely love the funny little fruits. They're not in any way local, but no citrus is, and in this time of darkness, I need a taste of sunshine!

Then there's The Pip-let... Thursday morning, one of my Cotswold ewes, Kimmie, lambed. She had twin ewes- one huge and one tiny. The huge ewe is gorgeous and perfectly healthy. The little lamb, well, not so much. She was plenty vigorous
from the start, but couldn't stand on her own. This is only the ewe's second time lambing (she raised a heck of a ram lamb last year), and, bless her sheepie heart, she tried hard for that little lamb! I quickly realised the small lamb needed help, and once I held her up, she latched right on to the ewe & started nursing. (At this point, I should say something about Kimmie. This ewe is wonderful. She's beautiful, but she's also amazingly mellow and easy to handle. She'll just stand there while I fuss with her lamb, trying to get the lamb to nurse. The ewe is an easy milker, and she stood there unrestrained while I pulled some colostrum to bottle feed the lamb.) So, after one rather sleepless night of feeding the lamb every few hours, and of her proving that she was not going to die, she has been christened Pip, aka The Piplet. And, until this evening, she still couldn't stand on her own. However, when I went out with a bottle tonight, Pip hurled herself to her feet and barreled over to me for her food. After she pulled at the bottle for a bit, she toddled over to her mother and proceeded to try very hard to find a teat. The ewe isn't rejecting Pip at all, so I think I'll bottle feed her for a bit just to make sure she's getting some nutrition. If she proves to be able to nurse on her own, I'll turn her out with the ewe & other lamb with the main flock. If not, well, I haven't had a bottle lamb in a few years, and I guess I'm due. Besides, my sister (who is sort-of responsible for me buying this ewe- they share a name) is REALLY good at raising bottle lambs...

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ben,
    If you're Sean's new forever home and would like his baby pics, please email and we will be very happy to send them to you. We will not bother you. Please know we are so happy that Sean (Schroeder) is going to be doing what he was meant to do. We adopted then Schroeder in October 2009 and after about a month or so we knew we could not give him what he needed. Please know we are experienced Border Collie people. Words cannot express how happy we are for you both!!!
    Jan and Wally