So I'm a swineherd. At least that's what Trent says, and frankly, there's no point in arguing with a guy who can look Gordon Ramsay straight in the eyes (as he did a few months ago during a filming of "Kitchen Nightmares" in New Jersey) and with a poker face face tell him that his cheddar was better than anything to be had in England.
Apparently what makes me a swineherd is that I helped to return one of the new Duroc sows to the pasture after she decided to take advantage of the fact that we left the gate open. I'm not sure where she thought she was going, but she only got as far as the house before we turned her around chased her back in.
It was actually kind of fun, although it was more than a little disturbing to think that she could so easily abandon her 12 new borns :-)
But really, does herding a swine once make one a swineherd? I don't think so, sigh. I am tempted, however, to post the question over at Ruhlman's blog where even the most obscure comments are often blown up into gigantic discussions by his readerships seemingly insatiable appetite for many of the more arcane aspects of culinary culture. I mean, where else can you expect to find an audience that will leave 180 comments on the subject of coffee pots? When Michael wants to take time off from blogging, all he has to do is type the words "foie gras" or "Iron Chef" into subject header and 20 or so of his readers will argue for a week. It's an amazing machine he has built there.
In addition to herding swine I made a boatload of food last week: 120 pounds of sausage; 8 gallons of iced tea, 8 gallons of soup, rice pudding, iced cream and more. There's lots of stuff coming in from the garden including some amazing sour cherries half of which I cooked in heavy the syrup and the other half which is right now fermenting into wine by way of its final destination of cherry vinegar.
Here's a few pictures of the pigs and the garden. I hope you enjoy them, I may or may not be a swineherd, but I'm no Alfred Stieglitz, that's for damn sure.