Friday, August 04, 2006

The memory of Meat Loaf

Meat Loaf is releasing the third and final episode of his Rock Opera, so I downloaded Bat out of Hell to throw me back to being eight years old at grown-up parties full of scary, unshaven and stumbling drunks and to being sick-drunk on pilfered tins of Special Vat cider. It is sobering to think that somewhere, possibly not too far from here, a child of a new generation will soon be entertaining him- or herself with bottles of white cider, charging people to go to the toilet and stealing fags from the denim shirt pockets of the subdued, flaked and blacked-out; or possibly witnessing a woman collapsed fully clothed in the shower behind a locked bathroom door, a wet and sticky Alice Cooper face becoming more frightening with every mascara-dyed teardrop. Or is this just a Highland thing?

Food wasn’t really on the cards tonight, and I knew I had the rest of a ham hand and a few bits and pieces to liven it up.

I boiled a few more tatties and a big handful of fine green beans, and sliced and cooked in butter one of the overly expensive fennel bulbs I had picked up at the smelly farmers’ market. I tossed it all in with the remaining beetroot & rocket salad and the rest of the ham trimmed and torn into bite-sized chunks, all of it coated in a simple vinaigrette. The fennel, which I had flambĂ©ed in some Ricard for the craic, was extremely sweet owing to the slight caramelization of its vulvaic cross section. It was soft and delicious; organic, inconsequentially, and more like a light green plait of tender shoots than the giant bulb of woody stems typical of the supermarket variety. It went very well with the hand, which has fed us now for two days at a cost just £2.80. If I don’t put the Loaf off this minute, I am going to wash it all down with the ice cold tin of Scrumpy Jack that has been tormenting me from the depths of the fridge for hte last 5 weeks.

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