The Gillingham pasties out of the oven and cooling - for once I managed to get the amount of filling correct for the amount of pastry, I normally end  up with one or the other left over.  I am pleased to report that the filling of veal shin has worked perfectly and the ones we had for lunch were very pleasant.  Now as if this was not enough I also made a big tray of roasted roots half of which were converted into soup. Well I thought it was a good time to use the oven as the solar panels were generating like mad in the sun so the electricity was free.  I then ploughed on and made 6 luxury individual fish pies.  I say luxury, as each one contains a griddled scallop and two king prawns together with some cod, smoked haddock and salmon.  The mashed potato topping had been passed through the potato ricer and the last of the double cream was incorporated.  I think I managed to dirty every item of kitchen equipment I possess and that is quite a lot.  Anyway, the freezer is now full of ready to eat goodies for those days when I am not in the mood.

I popped round to see my neighbours who were back from Christchurch - they were both pretty shell shocked and very grateful to be alive.  Apparently by a stroke of good fortune they were on the top of a hill in a cafe when the quake struck and sheltered under the table until the first tremor stopped then hot footed it outside before the second.  Two people further down the hill were killed by falling boulders so the really were in the safest place.  Their hotel was just outside the cordon, and while they were told that they entered at their own risk, they made a mad dash to retrieve their possessions and then it was off to the airport and glad to be on their way back home.  This is one holiday they will really remember!!!!

The weather has turned nasty and it is pouring with rain as I write which does not bode well for my pigeon shooting foray this afternoon.  I can't say I really mind as I am feeling pretty tired and my tennis elbow is playing up after shooting on Thursday so tramping around in the mud is not high on my agenda of entertainment. Tomorrow is supposed to be a better day and I have agreed to go shooting down in Dover.

Today for lunch we are having experimental food - I have a veal heart which I am going to cook in two ways.  First, some very thin slices marinated and then flashed through the gridle pan and served with a salad, the remainder will be in a stew format cooked very long and slow with vegetables.  I have no idea if either of these methods will be any good but we are about to find out.  If everything fails the dogs will be delighted and there are always pasties or fish pie to fall back on.
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