I am driving to London tomorrow, which feels as if it’s quite an event, though it’s for a dull enough reason. You may know that I own a building in Islington, divided into two tiny flats. The downstairs tenant has just moved out, after nearly 15 years and the new tenant is due to move in next Friday. However, previous (lovely) tenant omitted to defrost the freezer, I’ve discovered, and I can’t possibly let someone move in to another person’s ice. So I’m defrosting it myself. Wink is coming too, to keep me company. The plan is to arrive late morning, turn off the freezer, knock on the flat above’s door and meet my lovely tenants there, whom I’ve not yet met and then Wink and I will swan off for a lengthy lunch. Then we’ll finish the defrosting and come home again. Nothing interesting but, I hope, a nice lunch.
Which describes today, mostly. Though the pork pie I bought on Norwich market wasn’t the most delicious ever. All fine but the bottom pastry was a smidgen thick and – this is the case with every pork pie nowadays – there was hardly any jelly between the meat and the crust.
My mother used, for a special occasion, to make pork pies. Hers were fabulous. Hot water crust, hand raised, a pig’s foot boiled for the extra jelly. Nothing since has ever quite matched up. Back in the 1960s, she was a seriously fabulous cook. She was after that too, but she decided to take the slightly easier option, which was entirely sensible. Not being at all sensible myself nowadays, I have an ambition to make a proper pork pie, to see if I can come anywhere near my mother’s standard.