Boiled Baby’s Head

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From time to time Husband will come back from the local Co op with a packet of short dated meat saying “I thought we might have such and such this week”. The packet will then sit there getting closer to the use by date until one of us finds the time, energy and enthusiasm to do something with it.

It is not, I must point out, always me. My Husband can cook,( in fact our relationship can be dated back to a lasagna in august 2002) but claims that he is limited in the kitchen. He says that his Mum made sure that both he and his brother had the very basics, the stuff that you need to survive on your own, because she knew she was not going to be around for long, but that she passed away before teaching him the other stuff, that its useful to know but you don’t really need, such as putting a sunday roast on the table.

I have complained here before about the unadventurous nature of my family’s palate, but here is the strange thing. Husband is not afraid to experiment in the kitchen… I have no way of telling whether he’s always been this way or whether 7 years of watching me being not afraid to mess things up in the kitchen, has led to him from time to time picking up one of my recipe books, but yes occasionally he will get an idea in his head and will follow it to see whether it works.

So then, at the end of last week Husband came home with a packet of meat and said “I thought we could have a snake and pygmy”. The meat sat there until monday when it fell to me to get a bit worried about the closeness of the use by date, so whilst making dinner I browned off the meat, fried some onions and bunged the mixture with the remains of an old bottle of port into the slow cooker. To tone down the sweetness of the port and because we had no Worcestershire sauce I bunged in some fish sauce and a load of soy sauce.

Next day I was in the process of heating it up and about to break it to Husband that today was the day he learned how to make short crust pastry when he turns round to me and says “no, I was thinking of doing it as a pudding not a pie. I want to do it like my Mum did, in a bain marie in the oven” At which point we decided to have something else for tea as I pointed out we wouldn’t be eating until long after 9pm as it would take so long to cook.

On Wednesday night however, having earlier put in a plea for iron rich food I find that Husband and Spider have together been making suet pastry and there was a Steak and Kidney pudding in the oven in a bain marie and a recipe book covered with floury handprints (after an hour we took it out and started steaming it on the stove as the oven method wasn’t working) – and you know what, it was stunning !

You should never be afraid of trying something new. You should never be afraid of failure. You are never too old to try…and if someone makes an effort for you because they want to make you smile, you should tell them how much you appreciate it.

Next week we celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary…it’s amazing where some pasta and a tomato based sauce can take you.n

Boiled Baby’s Head is a colloquial term, possibly from the west midlands for Steak and Kidney Pudding.

ZZzzzzzzz….zzzz!

I have run out of energy and enthusiasm and am longing for my bed. Spider has been a complete brat all day.

Z is for zabaglione – which is a wonderful indulgent italian dessert, which can be done in the microwave, but it is a fine line between liquor flavoured egg custard and scrambled egg with alcohol… the way I feel at the moment I know that I would serve up the latter whereas I long for the former.

Husband set off for the co op 5 minutes ago and has returned with some fairtrade chocolate…so I am logging off for some guilt free (calories what calories at least it doesn’t  exploit anyone except the one eating it).

Request for cake…

Yay ! I just got my first email asking me to recommend a cake to go after a particular meal.

I would as a knee jerk reaction to any meal recommend Sticky Toffee Pudding (Gary Rhodes). Yes I know its now a restaurant cliche like the 70’s Black Forest Gateau but it is just heavenly if done well.

Anyway there were some restrictions to the cake. It needed to be made in advance, not require warming up and be suitable for handing round with a cup of tea just before guests leave. For which I recommend ginger cake. Either the Nigel Slater one I recommended earlier or the Nigella Lawson version of the same thing [here] (without the preserved ginger) either way I think the lemon icing is a must !