The children and our houseguest from Paris fled the room in horror. On the kitchen table lay a pig, dead but still looking very much alive. We had ordered a suckling pig, but somehow ended up with something that had given up suckling some time ago and was, well, big. There was no chance that even half of the body would fit in the Aga, so Mrs Hedges was getting out her knives: big ones. Silent Witness is a popular television programme at home, but nobody was prepared to help with cutting up the corpse, and the response from the other rooms in the house was anything but silent.
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Several hours later, we were eating the hindquarters with only a crispy tail to remind the diners of what horrors had gone before; it was totally and utterly delicious. For this weekend, we have renegotiated with the supplier and a mini version is turning up. It will be served at the table with an apple in its mouth and will still look very much like a pig. I’m wondering whether the children will lose their appetites at the sight or whether the memory of the sweet taste of its older cousin will win them over.