Increasingly, I have to trick the dog into going out for a walk. At the sight of the lead she hides under the kitchen table and I have to lay a trail of gravy bones to get her into the porch (where there is nowhere to hide….). She has a point. The rain is ceaseless, the fields a mire and the west wind simply adds insult to injury. We stopped by to chat to the Rylands at Butterlaw today to find them reenacting scenes from Paschendale. The only happy chappies out there are the wily partridge and pheasants who have made it through the hunger games and are now safe (aside from foxes) until autumn. These are positively swaggering along the lanes.
Also swaggering, with the undoubted success of their inaugural sausages, are Keith and Lachlan. Fair’s fair, they were the best Toulouse sausages I’ve had in years. The garlic was not stinted. As live entertainment, the manufacturing process also had a lot to recommend it. The scene where the skins were eased over the extrusion pipe was comedy gold, worthy of Frankie Howerd in his heyday.
I find myself shuttling between Imelda the aga and the living room fire, trying to keep the chill at bay. Much comfort food production and knitting has resulted. My resolution to reduce my audiobook habit is in tatters.
Yesterday saw the development of the “Rhubarb and Custard” cake (I found a cache of frozen rhubarb in the freezer when looking for space for the, embarrassingly small in number, Toulouse sausages left after a couple of gargantuan breakfasts). I’m rather pleased with this one so have uploaded the recipe for posterity. Today, after a very chilly and wet walk, the thought of going out even as far as the car (with a view to a trip to the shops) was distinctly unappealing. I reviewed the store cupboard options in my post walk rechauffage bath and decided to knock up pasties from the remains of the last beef roast and the meat on some short ribs I’d been speculatively slow cooking with some sort of pie in mind. The first attempt was rather holey. I had rolled the pastry far too thin. The placement of the filling was also distinctly sub optimal, leaving disappointingly empty ends. I rejigged the prototype together as best I could and baked it as a tester. This had a rather Frankenstein’s monster look, but provided a busting fine lunch nevertheless. Having thus ironed out the teething problems, the remainder turned out fine. The sacrifices I make for my public……
On the knitting front, having completed Lachlan’s everyday jumper, with a view to saving his Christmas cashmere one from overwork, and with my new polo neck well underway and only wonky in a few places (where I may have been distracted by the denouement of a rather well plotted murder) I declared myself open to orders. Keith feels he may be in the market for a fancy one – like the cardi I just knitted myself, he explained, but with a different neck, a different shape at the bottom edge and generally a more manly design…I am to think of Laurence Lewellyn Bowen, but slightly less effete and in dark green (naturally the only colour of wool I don’t possess). Having expressed this thought on Wednesday, he asked yesterday how it was coming along and was crestfallen to discover I was still in “early stage product development” mode.
Somehow, having thus engaged in advanced pootling all day, I find myself in the dread hour before “gin o’ clock”, having completed none of the more serious tasks I resolved upon for the day. Too late to start now, too early for devil may care hedonism. Perhaps I shall sneak out to the pantry and snarf down an after dinner mint when no-one is looking…………….