Monday morning

Good morning all I was hoping for a lie in this morning following a late night but of course I forgot the builders next door - they are hammering and banging for all they are worth.  Anyway the sun is shining and it is marginally warmer this morning.  After yesterdays lunch of bratwurst and sauerkraut I had a little splurge and made an irish stew with just the basics lamb onion potato water and parsley which James and I had for supper together with a panna cotta for dessert.  I made the panna cotta as an experiment and flavoured it with some lemon zest.  Today I would like to repeat the process with less sugar and this time with vanilla then I thought I would place a frozen strawberry in each ramekin before pouring over the hot mixture.  It could be nice or it may be panna cotta with sludge!!!only time will tell.  Then it is roast chicken in the halogen oven.  I have never cooked a chicken in any other way since I have discovered the halogen method which has never let me down.  For ease of carving I always mean to remove the wishbone but seldom remember until it is too late.  I will try again today.  

I was really disappointed when I read up on sauerkraut as I know it has many health benefits however these do not apply to commercially produced jars which have been pasteurized and so are sterile and missing all the good bacteria.  Many many years ago, when I was flat broke, I bought a cabbage at a farmers market.  They were being sold at 6d each [I told you it was long ago] anyway I was going to get my moneys worth so I got the biggest.  Once home I weighed it 14lbs OMG what to do now?  so I phoned my mother, the fount of all knowledge, and asked her how to make sauerkraut. Step one was to shred it finely and cover it in salt, the only container I had that was appropriate was a plastic bucket so once done it was banished to the garage to start the fermentation process.  The stench was incredible and finally I was forced to lift the drain cover and dispose of it.  So much for my great economy.  The boys and I never wanted to see cabbage again as long as we lived!!!!! Fortunately memories fade with time.  I like a challenge but some things are a step too far.  I have cooked a lot of weird and wonderful things in my time including crocodile and camel.  As I was a child in Africa I was deliberately made afraid of crocodiles and snakes as I was inclined to try and make pets out of anything I found.  I still think the best thing to do with snakes and crocs is make shoes, handbags etc. and I am still terrified of both good job they are not rife in the UK.  What is the weirdest thing you have ever cooked?  I once cooked a pike which was just full of bones and tasted of cotton wool not a success.

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