Friday, April 27, 2007

Taking for Granted

Yesterday I went to the butcher to collect my order. Oh, how I wish I could afford some of the meat he had on display, not to mention a whole range of chickens of varying sizes. I stuck to my basics: minced lamb, beef and pork. Sausages, diced chicken, stewing beef, lamb's liver and a shoulder of new spring lamb. My intention was to buy a small leg of lamb (only the best for guests you understand), but my butcher suggested a shoulder of lamb was a much better buy being so much cheaper in price. So this is what I bought. Boned for me and then the bone replaced, as - when cooked - this will give the meat more flavour, but the bone easily removed to make the meat easier to slice.
In truth, it was my intention yesterday to cook the lamb shoulder for supper, but having to find space for the new bulk buy of meat, I decided insteead to cook the two lamb shanks that were already in my freezer (served with new potatoes, minted green peas - both drizzled with butter, and accompanied by gravy, mint sauce and redcurrant jelly). I ate salad and some ham that needed using up - because there wasn't a third shank and I still need to lose more weight. It was agony when I could smell the meat cooking and know I wasn't going to have any.
Sometimes life is unfair. But today or tomorrow we will all be going out for a curry. That's more like it.

Yesterday, my friend and I spent a happy hour (at least for me) - while I bagged up the meat into small portions - she writing labels to go into the bags. Then we sat down and costed out the price of my butchers meat (which is of excellent quality and flavour - they supply the top restaurants in our area), as against the prices quoted in a brochure for similar meats from a well known mail order meat supplier. In truth, buying from mail order, it would have costed me twice as much as I paid for buying meat from the local butcher. So although I did have to freeze the meat I bought - the mail order supply it already frozen in vacuum packs - and that may make a slight difference as to texture once thawed, it all boils down to 'you pays your money - you makes your choice'.

You can come back to me now non-meat eaters as I am interested in what you think of the fresh green soya beans that are now on the market. Are they meant to be slightly chewy, or do they need longer cooking that it says on the pack? Can't say they have much flavour. But I do know soya is the one 'pulse' that contains protein that can be taken up by the body without having to include another foodstuff to help it on its way.

Well, I have rambled on long enough. My friendly guest has now popped her head through the door, and my husband has gone to fetch the paper. It is his working day today, so I have plans to work in the kitchen (I hate it when he peers over my shoulder and keeps asking why I am doing such and such). Am planning to take photgraphs of completed dish - which I know will be eaten a.s.a.p. (but not by me). Will report back on this tomorrow.