My father was a sheep farmer. So although I don't eat lamb now I ate great quantities of it as a kid. And one of my favourite days of the week was the day he killed the lamb. Now don't get the wrong idea here. Don't picture sweet baby lambs gambolling about the paddock. Picture more of a teenager. And who hasn't wanted to kill one of them every now and then.
So us four kids would arrive home from school and race down to the sheep yards where we would watch my father climb the fence, pick a tasty one, straddle it's back and cut it's throat.
Then he'd hoist it up on a hook by it's back legs and skin it. He was good at that, getting it all off in one piece.
And we'd all stand there with little bowls to get all the bits and pieces. Brains, liver, kidneys, heart. Nothing was wasted. The intestines and stomach bag would be taken to the chooks and the head would go to one of the dogs. Looking back now I didn't see anything unusual about carrying around a sheeps head and throwing it to a dog. You know sheep have lovely soft ears.
Then the carcass would hang about for a day or two in a shed until it was cut up. I wouldn't even be able to estimate the number of lamb chops I ate over those years. I considered a roast chook a real treat.
This is one of our pet sheep. He ended up on the dinner table by accident. My father had done the jump, choose, straddle, cut thing before he felt the collar. But it's not as if he was going to bury it once he made the discovery so the slicing and dicing went on as usual. We weren't told of course so ate Barney happily enough. My mother says she refused to eat him.
He wasn't really much of a pet. You'd have to scan the paddock he was in before you entered, make sure he wasn't in sight then run like hell. Because if he saw you he'd run at you with his head down and ram you. Thats why he was called Bunting Barney. Still, he's kind of cute.
Anyway I'm off the lamb now. Find it hard to eat anything that can look at me with lovely intelligent eyes like that. So these days you're likely to find me eating something like this spinach fetta pide I made for Lizzie and I to eat while the others eat their lamb pie. You know, you just can't beat home made bread.