In 2006 we sold our house and off I trooped to train as a chef.
“Right then.” I said rubbing my hands gleefully. “Let’s go and live in the countryside for a few months. It’ll do us good!” So off we went to live on a farm near Honiton with a farming family called the Pratts.
Being a family from the ‘burbs’ we had lots to learn about the countryside and how to get accepted into the community. We lived on the farm for nearly three years, the kids helping to feed the sheep and being swept off by the farmer’s wife, Dinah, to see the lambs being born, so there was plenty of time to adjust to that way of life.
Once we’d shown that we didn’t mind the least bit being kept awake all night during harvesting, having to shoo live stock out of our garden or even drowning in biblical swarms of flies during muck spreading, we began to be invited round in the evenings for a bit of supper and a chat. Excellent fun and not all for the polite readers of Devon Week, but one of their stories had me in fits of laughter… and still does.
Farmer Chris Pratt, a smashing bloke with a lovely thick rich Devonshire accent, told me once about a calving where he’d attached six feet of rope around an unborn calf’s legs and a bar through the other end. He could then put the bar behind his knees, lean back and add a bit of pulling force to yank the calf out.
We were all in fine fettle that evening as I remember. I’d been showing off my newly acquired catering skills and Chris was retorting with his newly acquired case of French wine.
He leaned forward in his chair and caught my kids with a conspiratorial look.
“Well,” he said. “The next thing I knew, the blooming cow took off with me running as fast as I could, six foot behind it with this bar stuck behind me knees. I was running like the wind I’ll tell you but I daren’t let go of the rope or I might have been dragged to me death.”
“Still… it was all under control until this cow changed direction at the end of the field and I was off like a fair ground ride…right up in the air and screaming blue murder.”
“It’s not a very big field so I reckon I must have flow as far as France by the time she calmed down.”
How good is that…?
- The Deli Chefs at the Westcountry Game & Equine Festival - March 26, 2011
- Tiverton Pannier Market – one of the premier markets in Mid Devon - March 12, 2011
- Discover the inviting and exciting Totnes Good Food Sunday Market with The Deli Chefs - February 26, 2011