Monday, December 15, 2014

Feasting

Friday was a day made up of very slight disappointments.  Nothing happened the way I was expecting it to at work.  Nothing went wrong as such, it was more that things didn't run particularly smoothly.  After work I walked to Waitrose, where I met The Builder and we made our way, slowly, slowly, slowly to the Heeley City Farm to pick up half a pig carcass that I had ordered some weeks ago. It took absolutely ages to get there, and it isn't all that far. Then we drove back into the city centre and went to the Peddler Christmas Night Market, which was due to start at 5:30 but which hadn't really got going when we got there.  We pondered the possibility of going for a mooch round town and coming back later. But then we thought that there was half a pig in the boot of the car.  We might just as well go home and eat some of that. So we did.

So we had pork chops for tea, and very nice they were too. But we have been very spoilt by the butcher at Marsh Green who, when we buy half a pig from him, butchers it ready for small families, makes mince with the offcuts, and gives it to us freezer-ready. The pig from the Heeley City Farm butcher came with chops, but all the joints were enormous, and needed making ready to put into the freezer. Plus it came with half a head, a tail, some feet, some odd bits that I didn't recognise and an ear. But no mince. Another slight disappointment to round off the day.

In the car on the way home, I said to The Builder that it wasn't going to work going to any further Peddler markets after work on a Friday.  They don't get going early enough for us to go to when I finish work. And it's not a big enough event to make it worth coming all the way into Sheffield just for that.  Maybe we should do an afternoon stint at Bishops' House and head on after that.  Good idea, said The Builder.  We can do it tomorrow!!

And indeed we could.  We do not usually do afternoon shifts at Bishops' House and we had been there the Saturday before.  But they are struggling for volunteers at the moment and keep having to close the house for lack of people to open it.  We had already said that we could do Saturday afternoon as an extra shift.

I was still a bit puzzled about what to do with all these odd bits of pig. So I bunged them all into my stock pot on Saturday morning and let the stove sort it all out. I only JUST remembered to turn it off again before we headed off to Bishops' House at lunchtime. We were there from 1-4 and had enough visitors to keep us amused - and quite enjoyed doing a shift that was at a different time from our usual one. Then we retraced our steps to the Peddler Market and found quite a few people there and lots of interesting stalls to look at and lots of food stalls to buy yummy things to eat.  We shared a pizza and then had a delicious pad tai. We had a glass of wine each. I didn't have an espresso martini - and I really wish that I had!! I'm not usually a big fan of cocktails, but lots of the stallholders were drinking them and they looked lovely! And then we went home again.  Friday might have been made up of very slight disappointments, but Saturday certainly wasn't.

I went to sort out the pig stock on Sunday morning, and found that the stock had turned to jelly and the jelly had set so well that I couldn't get the bones out!! I had to gently melt it all down again :)  I'm going to have to make some raised pork pies :-D  But no time for that on Sunday.  Paul and Carol were coming to lunch and I had to tidy the house so they had somewhere to sit and somewhere to eat.  Plus, of course, I had to produce lunch.  A lunch which was nut-free, strawberry-free, gluten-free and vegetarian friendly.  No difficulty at all.  We had miso soup with rice noodles and sliced spring onions.  Then we had a tofu sweet and sour with both firm tofu and fried tofu cubes with extra vegetables thrown in for good measure, with rice on the side.  And then we had stewed gooseberries and apple with custard.  It was all very delicious, if I do say so myself.  It is, however, possible that when Paul and Carol went home again, we should have tidied up the kitchen instead of repairing into the lounge room and opening another bottle of wine. It was not a pretty sight at 6:30 this morning!!

Last week at work before a fortnight's break and Christmas.  I'm looking forward to having a couple of weeks off. I'm getting a bit tired.

(I made the sweet and sour following this recipe.  I don't care much for pineapple, so replaced it with pink grapefruit juice.  I've used yellow grapefruit juice before as well.  I also used gluten free soya sauce. Most soya sauce is made with added wheat flour! And obviously I used tofu, not chicken)

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