April 2009


No. Not the title of my latest unpublished children’s book; my soon-to-be-published post on our not very hard working working horse.

Besides turning acres of pasture into wheelbarrows of manure, Pepito has recently started proper work. First he pulled a tree out of the woods (that I’d failed to cut down successfully). Then he did some harrowing practice on what was the old pigs’ last field.

Here’s me having a go:


And here’s Her Outdoors (note the look of concentration on the face – and the lack of gloves – she’s hard, she is):

The orchids are back. So far, between the tractor and the veggie patch, we’ve found these (shot like this for reasons that will become clear when you see the website):

Early purple orchid:


Lady orchid:


Fly orchid:


Burnt orchid:


I’ll keep you posted as the others come up.

I bought what I thought was a duck breast last week. It certainly looked like it from the outside. (And it was in the right fridge in the supermarket.)

But when I opened it, there was no skin. Not a hint. Equally unexpectedly, the meat was in strips. I looked at the label on the packet for the first time and discovered I had bought some aiguillettes.

Not having a clue what these were, I turned to our biggest French-English dictionary and found this definition: aiguillette (cul) aiguillette.

Being none the wiser, I turned to our biggest English dictionary and found: aiguillette [2] a variant of aglet.

Obviously I wasn’t letting it go there. And, beginning to feel like there was only one word in all our dictionaries, I found this on the previous page: aglet [2] a variant spelling of aiguillette.

I put the packet back in the fridge.

I mentioned my problem on Sunday at a friend’s house. She, her husband, a friend and her husband all said: “Aiguillettes! They’re delicious, they are.” I was even given this recipe:
Pan fry the aiguillettes for a couple of minutes on both sides, then remove to a plate.
De-glaze the (very hot) pan with brandy, set on fire and reduce.
Add crème fraîche and reduce again, before returning the aiguillettes to the pan.
Serve with rice.

I did this on Sunday evening for me and Her Outdoors. I still don’t have a clue what we ate, but it was bluddie delicious.

It was more like half a centimetre. I would show you, but Her Outdoors has gone to England to see the newest member of the family – with the camera. Leaving me with potato beds to dig, a website to write, life to manage, all that fun stuff.

If you’re desperate for something interesting to read, the formerly boy-genius Cafe del Nightmare has started blogging again.

UPDATE: It still looked tight, so I cut another half centimetre of it the other day. It still looked tight. I blame the drip edge. Few wouldn’t.