Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Mussels and faeces

It was the strangest interlude from the kitchen for some time, and a none too pleasant one either. I was scrubbing a kilo and a half of mussels at the time, standing at the sink with the mother-in-law reading the paper in the distance and my mind on precious little, when suddenly I found myself with my hand in a pile of human shit. Okay, it may have been my three-year-old’s, but shite is shite whichever way you look at it. I came very close to vomiting. There was something especially disgusting about the fact that I was cleaning bivalves at the time, full as they are of fecal matter. And in a less than hilarious twist, it turns out that the creatures had a nasty stench of piss about them.

They turned out ok once they’d been boiled up in Chablis, double cream and fine fish stock. But the ammonia was present for sure.

The second course took the taste away thankfully, a posh bangers and mash comprising a pile of venison sausages [bought out of way of thanks to the game bloke at the farmers’ market for his unbelievable roe saddle last week], some creamy tattie&celeriac puree and some shredded cabbage in mustard. Around this I spooned shiny purple dods of a makeshift Cumberland sauce, made by melting a few spoonfuls of damson jelly and boiling it up with orange, lemon, shallots and wine. I have eaten a lot of venison lately, and the stools speak volumes.

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