© Number 10 B & B 2016
A lot of mates tend to disappear to the UK or even further afield for Christmas but we do love having folks around while the house is decorated and festive. So it was that early in January and before 12th night seemed the perfect time to invite friends round for lunch.
Wanting to spend time with them and not in the kitchen, we opted for a prep-ahead menu including a slow cooked beef main. It was a recipe that had passed the taste test previously when made with braising steak but actually called for beef cheeks. Determined to do the job properly this time, I went to great lengths to get my cheeks, including placing orders and visiting two different butchers in order to get enough for 10 hearty appetites.
A happy afternoon was spent preparing and cooking the beauties ready for the following day – perfect everything was in hand - that was until I tried to slice and portion them on the day. Knowing how hard it is to make neat slices out of meltingly tender meat, I opted to slice them cold before reheating. That is when panic set in as I could hardly get a knife through them. By now it was after 2.00 pm and Richard was summoned to pass judgement and agreed that they were not what we were hoping for. Time for a rapid rethink and a quick dash to the shops!
After a bout of frantic activity and by the time everyone was gathered for pre-supper drinkies the replacement main was ready and the evening passed in a glorious alcoholic haze – phew!
Left with an absolute mountain of beef cheeks, Richard and I decided to make a start. What a revelation as once warmed through they were everything we had hoped for and more as they were absolutely tender and delicious. Oh damn – all the panic and extra cooking were completely unnecessary and I should have had more faith in Chef Ramsey who had never let me down before.
The following Sunday with an 11th hour invite we were joined for a lazy lunch by good mates, Rob and Janice, to help us ‘eat up’ and therein lies another tale.
With lunch just a memory it was time to plant the horseradish. Having been warned that it could be somewhat invasive, all I needed to do was plant it and stand back. Max was as usual in attendance and really felt that the ‘stick’ I was carrying should be thrown for him and not stuck in the ground so I was careful to make sure he came back inside with me afterwards.
Deciding the next morning to do a quick recce to make sure all was well, it did not come as a complete surprise to find that low and behold it had disappeared. Knowing full well who the culprit was I could not think it would be chewed beyond recognition like a normal ‘stick’ as surely even his enthusiasm would be somewhat limited by the taste.
Despite searching I could find no trace of it, so was delighted when a couple of days later he presented me with it virtually unscathed. Another planting followed, this time making sure the lad was left behind but it was rapidly followed by another disappearance the moment he was let out.
OK time for different tactics – boy shut in as before but a different spot chosen in the garden, bury it completely and put a stone over it to mark the spot. Cross at being confined to barracks when I was clearly doing something interesting outside, the minute he was liberated we watched from the kitchen as he tracked my progress across the back garden to the very spot. Fortunately nothing seemed to interest him and he returned without a trophy.
Days have now past and I have just been across to check and it would appear to be third time lucky. I have my fingers firmly crossed as once it grows leaves it will be of no further interest.
We are always on the lookout for alternatives to drugs when dealing with the unfortunate effects of growing steadily older.
set up this blog which will hopefully keep you posted. We will also, as and when we get time to explore, try to let you know more about another glorious corner of France.
So it was with interest we learnt from Janice about Golden Paste and its efficacy for a whole host of things, including arthritis.
A quick search of the web and we had our recipe. We were amused to see that it was first pioneered by a vet and most of the recipes were to be found on veterinary sites. It is reassuring that there is also a lot of information relating to the many and varied benefits to those of us with only two legs.
Max has his mixed with a little mince and despite the high pepper content seems more than happy with it. We have ours in warm milk and he only has to hear them being stirred to appear in the kitchen in readiness for his dose.