It’s amazing what a few rays of sunshine can do. This morning’s dawn of a brighter day seemed to put me into overdrive. I’d made bread, a venison stew and achieved the utopia of empty washing baskets by 8.30am. My efficiency drive continued and the baskets are still empty now*.
I had a rare opportunity to pause today. My mum and I took the smalls to Petworth for a walk. After lunch, Small demanded hers so I sat on a bench in the sun and had an incredibly happy half an hour feeding her and looking at all the beautiful colours Autumn had brought with her this year, highlighted by the unseasonably warm sun. To my right, my little pixies were climbing trees. To my left, some other children were on a deer hunt.
Given the dinner I’d put on to slow cook that morning, the irony wasn’t lost on me and it set my mind off on a train of thought about the provenance of food. This is something I’m increasingly passionate about. I don’t buy supermarket meat and I love game. For me, these animals live a very non contrived life with a more natural diet than their farmed counterparts. This can only be good for us.
Venison is one of my favourite meats. It’s lean, high in iron and incredibly tasty. Here’s how I did it today:
A large handful of diced venison per person, tossed in seasoned flour
A few shallots, chopped
A can of Guinness
Punnet of redcurrants or jar of redcurrant jelly
A few sprigs of rosemary
A punnet of mushrooms.
Seal the venison with the shallots and mushrooms. Add the Guinness, redcurrants and rosemary and bring to the boil. Chuck in the oven to slow cook for as long as possible and serve with mash, veg and a glass of full bodied red wine. Or Guinness.
But the best thing about my solar powered efficient day? I was tucked up in bed by 7.30 with Small for cuddles. Get. Right. In.
*Is it cheating that subsequent washing was just thrown straight into the machine, thus bypassing the baskets? They’re still technically empty.