Saturday evening, and Z has been drafting.

I’m continuing with my family story, on my mother’s side, and I know this is going to be difficult. I intend to say something that my mother kept secret all her life for one thing, and she was a strong-minded person, so I’m not doing it lightly. But I think it will release her from something which she blamed herself for, but which was so trivial – and so unkind – that it will sadden you that it meant a lot to her.

That’s for another day. Tonight, we have had more lamb for dinner, This was a casserole of the tough bits, the neck and the shanks. I cooked them with onions and tomatoes until tender the other evening, and then took them off the bone, tiddled up the gravy a bit, and served them with gorgeous, newly dug turnips and curly kale, and, um, oven chips*. Well. I’d been busy, and didn’t have any more time. And chips are tasty. Especially when sprinkled with Maldon Sea Salt. My parents used to buy this from Fortnum and Mason in the ’60s, and I still have never tasted a better salt, nor seen a prettier. Little pyramids, they are. Sweet**.

*For non-British readers, of course I mean French fries, not potato chips, which are crisps. Oh, American English. It’s all right when it’s pavement = sidewalk, as there’s no room for misunderstanding. But the chips/fries/crisps hoo-hah, the pants/vest (which are, to us, underwear), shorts, suspenders kerfuffle, they could give rise to serious misunderstanding. If we were not all so sympathetic and intelligent.

**Sweet meaning adorable. They are, of course, salty.

10 comments on “Saturday evening, and Z has been drafting.

  1. laurel

    mmm. I’m having leftover spaghetti…yours sound so much better!
    enjoyed catching up on your life this saturday afternoon…loved the saxophone.
    Do you have Maldon Sea Salt for your chips?

  2. Z

    I like leftovers, Laurel, very comforting. And often, the flavours develop a day later.

    Yes, I did sprinkle the Maldon sea salt. And I’ve added a link to the reference too.

  3. Chairwoman of the bored

    Katy’s gone out, and Little Brother is attempting his idea of Haute Cuisine, which is apparently going to be a Cumberland sausage sandwich and a mug of Heinz tomato soup.

    Never mind, one of Katy’s acquaintances has a smallholding and he has recently slaughtered some pigs. Parts of one of them are in the freezer, and will be lunch tomorrow. I just don’t want to know its name.

  4. Z

    A friend of mine, some 15 years ago, was very poor and was thrilled to win the Bowling for a Pig competition at the village fĂȘte. She opted for the piglet rather than the alternative joint of pork; it was named Poppy and reared for the table. They were nervous about telling their three sons of Poppy’s fate, but needn’t have worried. All three banged their knives and forks on the table and chanted “We want Poppy chops, we want Poppy chops.”

    But I’m not a farmer’s child and I agree with you.

  5. Chairwoman of the bored

    Damn. No piggly wiggly for us today. Katy’s ‘bubonic plague’ has had a resurgence. Today’s feast will probably consist of the emergency tray of Sainsburys chicken pieces put in the oven by Little Brother. If his menu runs true to form this will probably be accompanied by a tin of baked beans.

  6. Anonymous

    Funny but I have a thought about this recently for a blog post and here you are doing it – well sort of…

    I think even in SA (a former Brit colony to boot) we use the pants thing differently to you..maybe not?

    Pants to us are trousers..panties are knickers…

    Chips can be fries or crisps – we usually define it by saying hot chips…

    We call those thick American pancakes crumpets or flapjacks.

    What you call flapjacks – we call crunchies.

    Yes it is odd – all these differences.

    My Mom always said that a lamb stew and a curry improve with time – so she’d usually make it at least a day or 2 in advance.

  7. Z

    Chairwoman, as long as Little Brother does the washing up/stacks the dishwasher, baked beans will be fine by me. I was taken out to lunch by a Gentleman Friend, which was very enjoyable. A delicious red onion and goat cheese tart and salad.

    There was, of course, originally, a Dutch influence in both SA and the US, so maybe that’s something to do with it – cookies comes from Dutch, whereas biscuits comes from French. But as to the rest of it, heaven knows.

    There are in India too, all sorts of phrases that make perfect sense but are unknown in England, which gives an extra entertainment to reading Indian newspapers. You’re going to ask me what, and I can’t think at the minute, but an example may come to me.

    If I lived in India I’d probably be practically vegetarian, as the veggie food is so gorgeous. But Indian meals are so complex, I wouldn’t be able to cook like that every day.


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