Oh it’s been mad here lately, but, what you can’t tell from where you’re sitting is: I am on-line on my very own internet connected computer! (It's not connected to the printer yet but you can't have everything.)
So we’ll brush over my recent inactivity, writing-wise (I don’t suppose you think fete advertisements count?) and get down to the business of recording life in my little rural idyll.
On Sunday we had old friends to lunch. A traditional family affair, with a roast leg of lamb and rhubarb trifle, followed by a walk along the river, through the allotments and back up the glebe field and home for tea and carrot cake. As I stripped the joint and chopped the leftover vegetables, boiled up the bones for stock and assembled the base of a shepherd’s pie for supper later in the week I had one of those flashbacks.
Roast lamb with onion sauce and homemade mint jelly is a meal I completely associate with my grandmother’s home in Hythe. It’s not that I haven’t eaten it throughout my life, it is just Granny who I picture mincing cold roast lamb in one of those enormous metal contraptions that had to be screwed to the vicarage kitchen table and fed through the top – being careful to keep your fingers out of the way.. and cleaned through with a crust of stale bread afterwards come to think of it. Why I was particularly struck last night was because that is no longer how I make shepherd’s pie – though I used to use the whizzy machine and it’s efficient blade for ‘mincing’. I never met my mother-in-law, she died unexpectedly and rapidly of cancer a few months before I met Husband, but I was very soon told that her version of said pie was better than mine. I have learnt to chop the meat and vegetables so that you can still see what’s what, and to add a good spoonful of pickle (apparently it should be Branston but adding my own is now accepted).Roast lamb always comes with carrots and peas so clearly they can go in along with any left over roast potatoes, the gravy and onion sauce.
Topped with freshly made mashed potatoes and baked in the oven to heat through and crisp the top it is a perfect supper dish! Tonight. When Clergyuncle, who is visiting, will be joining us. I wonder if he will agree that my mother-in-law’s version is better than his mother’s?!