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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.

A couple of months ago, my good friend P put himself on a gourmet cookery course. This was a major step for him, he being a ‘can’t boil an egg’ kind of guy. P is also what the female of the species would call “A typical man.” He is not big on chit-chat. He hides a veritable candelabra of lights under his bushel. So, while we were supping a pint or three of Guinness in our local, the Galloping Green, it surprised me, in fact it shocked me, when he said that he had cooked a Lamb Tagine as part of his course. The shock was three-fold. Fold one was that he had been on a cookery course. Fold two was that he had admitted to being there. Fold three was that he actually cooked something excellent (his wife told me). My reaction was not what it should have been. I let myself down.

Shepherd's Pie People are so easily thrown off the real issue. Food people are the easiest of all. Suckers. Ask them about Shepherd’s Pie and it’s simple to move them away from the real deal and distract them with talk of “Beef or Lamb?”. A quick search of the internet will expose the great and the good arguing why it must be lamb. Others take the view that beef is essential. Some miserable scribes show their complete lack of moral fiber by suggesting that a mix of the two is the answer. Pathetic.  

Beef ribsThe other evening, I was ruminating about what to cook for Sunday dinner. I was thinking of doing something totally Irish and I had got as far as deciding on beef ribs when my musings were interrupted by the Wife;  “Whiskey, Honey?” she asked with her usual economy of language. “Yes” I replied as inspiration dawned, “That’ll do it”. So I enjoyed a glass of Bushmills and plotted Sunday’s feed. 

PastaI am suspicious of you. I believe that you are not always totally honest with me. Look me in the eye (Imagine I am there with you.) and tell me that you are always  frank with others and with yourself. You are starting to feel a little awkward, aren’t you? We both know the truth. All those “Oooh, I invented it myself” recipes, the unhurried preparation and fun time had with loved ones while you turn out unhurried, perfect plates of food. I think not. I have seen what goes on. I know the realities of the domestic kitchen.

But, I am a nice person. I don’t want to shatter your carefully constructed fallacy filled world so I am letting you choose the post you want. Delusional kitchen happiness follows in purple (as it would be). Reality is in black (as it usually is).

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