Sunday 30 October 2011


We were given thirteen dozen pears! The Conference were nearly all eaten or went off. The Comise were harder and lasted longer. I peeled and cored 28 Comise. Keeping the skin and cores I added two bad conference and two old apples. Pulped with an ash pole in a bucket. Then blended. A strong smell of cyanide made me sieve the mush. This gave a base of three litres of mash. I added four litres of sugar water/cider lees that had been fermenting for a day, then topped up with another couple of litres of sugar water. The pumpkins from John and Sarah were another episode!

Update 1

A small piece of rubber blocked the bubbler, resulting in pear mash on the ceiling!

Update 2

The racked perry is refreshing if rather watery, a small beer effect which would certainly be preferable to drinking bad water.

Pot Roast Shoulder of Lamb

First proper use of my new 31cm oval Le Creuset casserole. After starting I re-read Pot Roast Shoulder of Lamb on Couscous, Leg of Lamb and Autumn Diced Pork for the butter beans.


A shoulder of lamb (1.092kg) from East Oxford Market.
Two 250g nets of Tesco organic shallots.
Three carrots (five more added later).
Sprig of rosemary, bay, thyme and sage.
Paprika and pepper.
Three cloves garlic.
One third of lemon.
Three leaks.
200g Tesco Chestnut mushrooms.
175g dry butter beans.

Place meat on a low heat in a little olive oil.

Peel shallots and add to pot.

Add herbs.

Add a teaspoon of paprika.

Ensure meat has browned on all sides.

After an hour put lid on and reduce heat.

Soak a cup of butter beans (175g)

Chop leaks and add to pot with mushrooms.

Leave over night, bought more carrots, micro waved and added.

Added beans and a few roasted pumpkin pieces.

Served with roast pumpkin, onion, garlic and parsnip with couscous.

Served seven (TimJ, Esme and Nina joined us). Added remains of roast vegetables to leftovers: a large pyrex full.

Also tried homemade cider: very dry.

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Guinea fowl with smoked bacon


Guinea fowl
6 large rashers smoked streaky bacon
12 small onions (ours)
6 carrots
1 large leek
2 large field mushrooms
3 cloves garlic
4 leaves bay
two sprigs thyme
Meg full of red wine.

Fried vegetables as I prepared them, in order given in Ingredients, in a very large casserole.

Left overnight.

Added wine and brought to boil.
Took lid off and cooked in hot oven (adding 2/3 pint of plain water) for 30 minutes.

Served with mashed potatoes (non-mashed would have been better) and runner beans.

Taste was excellent, smokiness had melded very nicely.