Lambing Time

It’s lambing time. I love and hate it. It’s filled with little damp noses and sharp nibbly teeth. Slimy hope and tragedy slipping between your fingers. The smell of slightly fermented haylage, animal poo and malty, molasses flavoured sheep cake. Baaing and blearting and occasional knocking against the side of the shed.

We had a small tragedy last night. Hopefully it isn’t going to be a double. The sheep is still alive, so far. She’s been given the sweetest little baby baalamb ever made; a bit of incentive to live. Cross fingers for her that it gets a bit cooler, weatherwise.


Garlic Chips Extravaganza

There are some snacks that should be eaten in secret, at night, where no-one can hear you crunch. This evening I discovered garlic chips. This may sound like a revolting skeleton in my cookbook, but … I just love garlic.

Slice a couple of cloves of garlic quite thinly (not too thin).

Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and toss in the garlic. Stir it around so that all the slices separate, sizzling with a heady smell. When the pieces start to brown, lift them out into a small bowl. Burning is bad.

Salt and sugar them – a medium pinch of salt and a little pinch of sugar to take any bitterness away.

It’s wrong but I did it anyway.

Editing and Eating; or, Bulgar Burger yum

Editing my book has been a challenge. I’ve been through it once, and I’m two thirds of the way through the second pass. Much more stringent this time. I missed a lot in the first pass. I’m worried I’m overstepping my time with it, so I’m calmly panicking, with the aim of finishing today.

Unfortunately, for me, sitting in my kitchen equals stuffing my face. And sitting in my couch in front of the fire, equals falling asleep. So for editing, I have to park in the kitchen and risk becoming a large lady. I’m trying to be good, but endless fights with cigarette addiction has shown me that I can only concentrate on improving one area of my life at a time. So I’m editing my book and I’m stuffing my face, and I’m trying to eat healthily so that my body forgives me more readily.

Yesterday I accidentally created a vegan meal*. And ate it. And it was gorgeous. As a dyed in the wool carnivore, I have very little good to say about veganism. Many recipes I have scoured have advocated the eating of what I consider to be barely food. More nutritional chemistry than food as we know it. I can’t approve, I believe in natural. What you put in is what you get out, that is the remit of foodyism and I’m planning to stick to it as a belief system. However this one is a goody and if you can be bothered to faff a little bit, knock yourself out, I say.

*If it isn’t, please let me know, I’m hardly an expert in these things, but I couldn’t see any ingredients that were remotely of animal origin.

Bulgar Burgers

Simmer a couple of handfuls of bulgar wheat in salted water until soft. Blitz a handful of nuts in the food processor and add a tin of pinto (or other) beans. Gently saute an onion with some garlic and add a few teaspoons of cumin and smoked paprika (or chilli powder). Add this to the processor. Salt bravely. Non-iodised Maldon of course.

Tip in enough bulgar to balance the other ingredients (about the same amount of bulgar as there is quantity of other) and heave in two or three scoops of tahini to bind everything. Blitz until it is mainly mush.

Make a series of burger sized pucks, using a tennis ball quantity of gunge. Place on greaseproof paper on a tray and freeze for at least 10 minutes. This stiffens everything up, making it easier to handle. (Honestly, sometimes I think innuendo hits me like a shower of meteorites).

Heat some oil in a frying pan, and get frying. They just need browning on both sides. Don’t bother with the grill or the oven, the oil is extra wonderful. The crispy outer layer of the burgers melt nuttily into your mouth.

I had these with coronation butterbeans and minted cucumber. Vegan, right?

Don’t plants have feelings too?