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Rump of lambThere is a tendency in many social circles to ‘name-drop’. I hate it. Only the other day, I was saying this to the Queen of England and she told me that neither she nor Michelle Obama approve of it. Bad enough at dinner parties and gatherings where people hob-knob but this ugly behaviour has now spread to food blogging.

When I brought up the serious topic of ploughed potato fields versus potato mountains on Shepherds Pie, I thought I had put all the arguments to bed. There were some feeble-minded individuals who suggested that I might have been wrong about the ploughed fields. I will deal with them another time. Flori over at Flori Cooks had the effrontery to suggest that the mountains on a Fish Pie should be replaced with waves. “WAVES?” I thought. Where does she get off telling me how to do my fish pie?

Lamb ShanksOne of the excellent things about writing this blog is that I can do what I like, unbound by convention. One standard would state that posting the same stuff twice is a no-no. To hell with that. If anyone can extract a second serving from one dish, I’m your man. One of my earliest posts was lamb shanks under the banner of How slow can you go? I now realise that I can go slower and lower, a lot slower and plenty lower. Hence, part one in my Meat Reheat series.

Pork in CiderThey say that keeping pigs in the orchard is good both for pig and orchard. The pigs get to eat any fallen fruit while keeping the soil in good condition and keeping pests at bay. One side benefit of this practice is that the pork meat from the orchard kept pig takes on a subtle apple flavour (or so they say). 

Be very afraid of the Wicklow Hunter’s Gun, gun, gun…

Wicklow Hunter

An image, supposedly of the Wicklow Hunter supplied to me recently.

Sorry Bunnies, when the Wicklow Hunter is out and about with his trusty .22, you can be sure that there’s going to be a date with destiny. Actually, that’s not a bad idea. Dates! Their lovely sweetness could go nicely with the slightly dry, gamey flavour of rabbit. Let’s prepare a Date with Destiny and Wild Wicklow Rabbit Casserole.

Venison

Not the sort of thing one expects to have delivered. Particularly as I’m not a butcher.

Question 1 “This early in the season, is this a piece of legally shot doe?”

Answer 1 “I’m told it is. The now infamous Wicklow Hunter tells me that they were out on a night shoot on the 31st October and ‘…just after midnight’ he downed a young doe. That brings it into the November season where that sort of thing is OK in Wicklow.”
In short: Doe.

Question 2 “What recipe are you going to use?”

Answer 2 (Here’s where the Homer like d’oh! could come into its own.) “I am going to try something totally original. I am going to cook Venison and Plum Stew.” Given that I had no real idea what to do with the venison, this was a brave outburst on my part. An outburst, fuelled by a glass or three of Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon.
In short: D’oh!

I’m not  a big man. I stand about 5′ 8″ in my socks (not a sight you would want to see). When I married the Wife a good few years ago, I was smart enough to be sure that I married somebody smaller than me. That way, she would represent no physical danger. As I have matured over the years, I realise that there are more ways to be threatened by the Wife than with simple physical violence. Red Cooked Chicken Ingredients

FigsI don’t believe that Oscar Wilde was talking about baked figs when he quipped that famous quote. If he had, he would have said “I can resist anything except baked figs and, oh yeah, temptation.” A chance discovery of a tray of figs for €6.95 got this recipe underway. Those of you who had a look at my baked peaches in a previous post might be forgiven for saying this is a very similar post. I don’t care.

ScallopsI dedicate this post to innovation. Our advertising business is now a broad communications company because we have been innovating like mad over the last few years. If we hadn’t, it would have gone the way of hot metal (I am long enough at it to remember the compositors in the Irish Times, Irish Press and Irish Independent newspapers outputting the lines of type from molten lead on huge noisy typewriter like machines.). Those skilled craftsmen are now a part of publishing folklore as will be the UX Specialists of today (User Experience to ye outside the know).  It’s all about change management and innovation. This is an excellent thing because it keeps us mentally agile, interested and hopefully, interesting.

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