On the menu today was Pâté de Campagne, basically a very meaty meatloaf with no breadcrumbs. It consists of minced pork and chicken, layered with bacon and chicken liver, cased in bacon. A very retro recipe. Not something I would cook or eat of my own volition. I psyched myself up for it by imagining I was cooking for a nice, elderly French woman. I totally underestimated the recipe – there were lots of little steps that mounted up – grinding spices, trimming livers, flattening the bacon casing, and making fluting paste for cooking. I thought it would never be ready! When it finally was it looked just as unappetising as I had expected. It sits for 2 days being pressed down by other patés so we will eat it for lunch on Thursday. Can’t wait.
I also made flaky pastry dough which is chilling in the fridge until I make a pie on Thursday. I ran out of time and had to abandon the onion marmalade that was supposed to go with my pâté, so I helped my partner flip crepes instead – much better!
We had Rory for demo. I am endlessly amused by his vocabulary. When he was unhappy with the shade of his beetroot soup he said “The colour is alarmingly close to ointment pink.” Basil is ‘the crankiest of all herbs.’ Today he used a tiny saucepan and said ‘this is a heavenly little thing, isn’t it?’
In the evening I went to a fermentation workshop with Penny Porteous, a strong believer in the health benefits of kraut and kombucha. Apparently members of one tribe (I can’t remember where) have 1000 friendly bacteria in their guts while the average Westerner has just 400. Fermentation can toughen up your gut! She gave us grains for water kefir and we made some sauerkraut.
I learned : Beef carpaccio was invented in Harry’s Bar in Venice for a customer whose doctor had recommended raw meat.
When seals attack salmon they eat the belly first because it has the most fat.
The brown flesh on salmon has the most Omega 3’s so don’t discard it!
Food of the day : Crepes with salted caramel.
Line of the day : From Rory. ‘Never serve meat on top of mashed potato. It is not cool it was NEVER cool.’