Chopping up a pig, and making bread. Two not entirely unrelated things. The pig – that is pretty obvious, we will need to have some decent knowledge, and I have always wanted an excuse to take the course. If you live in London and have even a tiny bit of curiosity about butchering, run, don’t walk to the nearest Ginger Pig and take a course. They are incredibly informative, great fun and the end of the course is stuffing your face with an amazing roast dinner, chatting with butchers and like-minded people…an all-round great evening. Dom and I each left the course stuffed, and carrying a 4kg boned and rolled pork loin roast. I won’t say whose joint was ‘prettier’.
The following week was Sourdough bread at Bread Ahead in Borough Market (any excuse to hang out at Borough Market is good for me). A great afternoon. Kevan –my Yorkshire baker instructor was crazy passionate about bread. Not only did he teach me (Okay – and 10 other people) about the joys of sourdough, I picked his brain at the end of the class about dealing with a wood fired oven. He trained in France and knew exactly what I was taking about when I told him I was planning to move in to a house with an 18th century stone bread oven. I came home with recipes, two loaves of delicious bread and I am also now the caring ‘mom’ of ‘Louise the London Starter’. Kevan recommended I begin a separate ‘French’ starter when I move to France- and maintain them both (I am thinking of calling my second ‘child’ Franny).
In addition to the actual hands on course I have been stocking up on books about sausage making, pig and goat rearing, vegetable gardening and ‘French building terms’. I am making point of reading something in French every day and scouring the internet for all things French/smallholding/cooking classes/running holiday lets. My brain is filling up and I love it! I smile to myself many times a day just thinking about what is to come. I know we will have a lot of hard work, but this is so what I really want to do …I almost can’t believe it took so long to get here.
The next big step…I am going to start stalking/reaching out to people who I think are doing wonderful things along the lines of what I want to do. Let’s see how that goes.
We still aren’t there yet…and a couple barriers lie ahead, but I am keeping positive!