Thursday, June 28, 2012

Piles of Peas

It may not look like much, but this is good stuff:  snow peas.  My half of this week's CSA haul included a couple of quarts of peas.  We've gotten a pint or so each week for the last few weeks, but this week when I showed up, they handed me a gallon-sized bucket and told me I could fill the whole thing.  Woot!  We haven't had this many since the first year of the Moose Hill CSA, when we got buried in shelling peas.  They had underestimated the crop yield and haven't made that mistake again (too bad).

I spent this evening prepping them for the freezer.  I had to dig out my instructions for parboiling (these got par-steamed).  I like to use the snack-sized bags for single servings.  But those bags are thin and don't seal well, so I put a few snack bags in a quart-sized freezer bag before popping them into the freezer.  It has worked well for beets.  I hope the peas do as well.

Bertie and Pinniped got to pig out on pea-ends.  I did several taste-tests.  Happiness all around!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Still Life Photography

I was writing up the post on Bertie's birthday when I realized I didn't have a photo go to a long with the blog entry.  Oh, no!  So I asked Rob to quickly shoot a few photos of Bertie.  Amusement ensued.

When I pick up Pinniped, no mater how traumatized she is at being held and snuggled, the nose starts to go.  She's always willing to interact, at least a little, with her adoring fans.  Bertie, however, has a mind of her own, and was entirely unwilling to play along.  She sat like a lump.  Not even bits of clover, pressed against her nose and whiskers could entice her to budge.  Only her nose twitched.  Absolutely nothing else moved, not even her whiskers.  If I had done the same to Pinni, her lips would have followed after the clover, on their own volition.  It's pretty funny to watch (hmm... I may need to get a video of that).  But not Bertie:  I don't want to be here and you can't make me be cute.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Paper Bag Fun

Pinni and a new bag
After 8 hours and after 24 hours
In case you didn't know, paper bags stuffed with hay are the ultimate toy.  At least that's what my pigs have told me over the last decade.  I like to joke about it:  you can go in the bag, around the bag, on top of the bag.  You can eat the hay, pull out the hay, stuff yourself in the bag and lay on the hay.  You can eat the bag or drag it all around the cage.  Endless possibilities with just a single paper bag!  Oh, joy!

Generally, a single bag of hay survives only a few days of attention.  I think its transience is part of the appeal.  For Pinni and Bertie, the goal is to destroy it in the shortest span of time.  As soon as I placed the bag in the cage, Pinni began to clean out the hay as Bertie nibbled the edges.  I didn't see the work that went into it after that, so I'm not sure if it was accomplished by a single pig, tag-team or a joint effort.  However, this latest one was disassembled (and yet spotlessly clean) in less than 24 hours.  That's a record in this household. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Completed Cross Stitch

It's done.  I did the last bit of outlining on Sunday.  Huzzah!

But now, what to do with it?  I had picked up this kit just for the fun of stitching it.  I wasn't necessarily looking to keep it.  I'm not sure if I want to frame it.  It's not cheap to properly stretch it, so I'd really have to like someone enough to frame it and give it away.  I'm thinking about making it into a pillow as a gift.  Of course, once it's framed or made into a pillow, I may not want to part with it.  After all, I did spend three months working on it, and it is a pretty pattern.

Decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bertie's Third Birthday

Bertie is the youngest of my pair.  And she's turning three.  Goodness.

Bertie and I had a rough time last summer.  I felt so bad that I was too sick to deal with her illness when I first thought something was wrong.  I'm so glad she pulled through.  This summer we're both much better.  

Bertie is still a very timid pig (as we discovered with this photo shoot).  Even so, she's warmed up a lot over the years.  On the surface, she's still the utterly cute ditzy-dope of her namesake.  I'm starting to suspect that's an act; Bertie appears to be the more intelligent of my pair of pigs.  She has learned how to beg on command (although if she's too scared, she'll refuse to do it).  She has also learned that if she sits still in the cozy that the Girls Next Door will hold her nicely, and being fawned over really isn't that bad.  And, of course, she picked up how to properly chew bars from Willow.

Bertie found her voice over the last year.  I find her chortling around the cage and have occasionally been surprised by a wheek that isn't Pinni.  Bertie still prefers biting the bars, though, to get my attention in the kitchen.  Neither one of these dopes have figured out how to do the full-blown I AM STARVING wheek like some of my previous pigs.

Of course, her big accomplishment this year was regaining her rightful place in the hay rack.  After a long and drawn out battle, I had to concede the hay rack was hers to do with as she pleased.

Happy Birthday, Bertie, my little feckless, yet determined, little pig.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pignic Fun and Games

Pignics tend to be a day of eating grass and socializing.  The 9th Annual Boston Spring Pignic had all of that, but also had a few added surprises as well.

My first surprise was early in the day when checking over sows to go in the communal pen:  I was handed a pig that had a face very similar to Willow.  I was thrilled to have a happy, healthy and young Willow-look-a-like in my lap.  She was enchanting.

The last couple of Spring pignics have not had the contests we've had in the past.  However, this year, the weigh-ins for heaviest and lightest pig were back on, along with contests for wildest hair and largest herd.  The heaviest pig was over 1400g and didn't look nearly as hefty as he was.  The lightweight was a diminutive elderly boar, who beat out a few growing six-month olds. 

Willow look-alike; boars hanging out; playing games; getting weighed; in the doghouse; grass coma

Monday, June 11, 2012

Spring Pignic 2012

Pretty sows, all in a row (including a Willow look-alike)
For the first time in years, we didn't have to postpone the Boston Spring Pignic due to rain.  And, boy, did the weather gods smile down on us.  We had a beautiful afternoon to hang out at the Wellesley Town Hall Bowl.

This year we had about fifty people attend the pignic, bringing just shy of fifty pigs.  It was a first pignic for several of them, and I could see they were delighted to be there.  The pigs seemed pretty happy, too.  The Pig Patrol did their usual amount of clipping nails and doling out advice.

We had quite an assortment of pigs.  There were all sorts of shapes and colors, a few nekkid ones and several with long, unruly hair.  New people tend to bring young pigs, but we even had several elder-piggies - a few of them were five years old and one was seven.  I always enjoy seeing healthy, active older pigs.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

It's All Mine

I think Pinniped is a little jealous that Bertie has her very own hay rack to sleep in all the time.  I walked into the room last night to find the new hay rack completely emptied and Pinni sprawled out on a pile of hay.   I won't accuse her of pulling out all of the hay - I'm sure Bertie could have helped out.  However, Pinni did look awfully smug atop that pile of green.

Mine.  All mine.  And I'm not sharing.