Saturday, 2 July 2011

A melon and some very nice breasts

Sad to say, I can barely even think of food at present. Well, not much. Which may say something about the tiredness I reported earlier this week.

After a pleasant lunch at a local cafe, which was also very relaxing, we simply snacked for the second evening running last night.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. We had picked up bread on Thursday, along with some pâté, some sliced German sausage and some salad leaves (the live, still-growing type), tomatoes and radishes.

I had most of the weekend's food already plotted out - and the shopping was over and done with ease and really quite quickly.

We had a minor gardening binge too, with The Other Half cutting back the pyracantha that had got rather out of hand and was obscuring my sun.

So then it was time to sit outside. It's been warm without being muggy, and bright - albeit with cloud now doing what the pyracantha had done.

This has been my first attempt at writing on my iPad, using a free Moleskine app. It's practise for our forthcoming foray to France, when I hope to be able to post regularly, but without the need to lug a massive amount of kit around. In the meantime, it's worth working out just what I can do with this.

Tonight's food was simple.

I scraped and boiled new spuds, and when they were about half way through cooking, heated a small amount of good rapeseed oil in a frying pan and then added pigeon breasts and gave them plenty of heat.

They need about two and a half minutes per side, so I timed it to allow four minutes for a pan of freshly podded peas to boil.

This was all served simply with good butter for the vegetables and some hawthorn jelly, which has been sitting in a cupboard, unopened, for a good year.

The best-before date was last December. But best before dates are just that - not a dangerous after date. I opened the jar and found it in perfectly acceptable condition. Since I hadn't got any other jellies around that would compliment game, it as worth trying.

As it happens, the jelly was a perfectly good compliment to the meat, which is incredibly dense and very, very tasty.

I feel that I'm getting better at cooking pigeon breast. It's readily available on Broadway Market, is not expensive and can be prepared in a variety of ways. As I've mentioned before, it goes beautifully as the centrepiece of a warm salad.

But that has meant that I've been practising. And practise, if not having yet made perfect, certainly helps - not least as it builds confidence.

The oil that I used was Cullisse Highland Rapeseed Oil, cold-pressed by Robert Mackenzie in Ross-Shire. You can find out more at I was introduced to Robert a few weeks ago by Andy, whose game stall is now selling the oil.

The hawthorn jelly was from Heavenly Hedgerows. To read more, visit

I also found an absolutely gorgeous melon at La Bouche - Max was laughing as I pressed it to my nose and inhaled the glorious perfume in a state approaching ecstasy. But that's when you realise just how good such fruits can really be. And it's the sort of thing that, even in my tiredness, excites me.

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