Tuesday, February 5, 2013

"Blah. It smells like... bird."

The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.
- Julia Child -

I can't agree more. Yesterday I took a break from cleaning to try some baking again. This time I decided to make shortbread because I had all of the ingredients. Shortbread is yummy, even when I cook it. It's sort of crumbly, but it was still good. I took some to my neighbor. She's an older lady and is so sweet. She invited me in to talk for a little while. It was like getting to spend time with one of my grandmas, which I enjoy. She told me that Scotland seems to get wetter and wetter as the years go by since she's lived here. She told me that winter typically ends about April. She likes to feed the birds but finds the sea gulls and magpies are like hoovers so she chases them away or hides the bird food in the bushes for the smaller birds. One day she saw a squirrel with a red face and a gray body (hybrid?). She says that it's our duty to take care of the wildlife. She is brilliant.

Oh yeah.. I'd just like to rant that I have a killer washing machine. I'm happy to have a washing machine... don't get the wrong idea. When it's spinning the clothes to remove excess water, it shakes the entire house. I had my teapot sitting on a radiator to keep the tea warm. It shook it off balance, which knocked off the lid and broke it. My teapot is dead. I need to find a new one. My grandma suggested looking for one made here. Good idea. :o)

Moving on. Last night I decided to cook pheasant and wild mushroom ragout. The butcher gave me two pheasants, which unknowingly to me, were WHOLE birds. I just needed the breasts. Well, if Julia can handle a goose this big, I can handle a little pheasant! (Pictures in black and white for those of you who have sensitive hearts.)

Julia Child preparing the goose

My kitchen looked like a murder scene. I've never carved a pheasant before last night. They are really bony! I started to pull meat from the wings, but then gave up. Oh, and you better watch out for these! Wouldn't want to break a tooth.

Since I didn't want to mess with the rest of it, I threw everything but the breasts into a pot to boil and feed to the dogs. They were anxiously waiting.

Now, I have to say, pheasant smells terrible while it's cooking. I threw it in the pan, looked at Steve with a wrinkled nose, and said, "Blah. It smells like... bird." 

"Yeah...," he said as he left the kitchen.

The meal was really tasty though! It wasn't "gamey" tasting at all. Maybe it's how it was cooked, or is pheasant a pretty light-tasting bird?

Moving on. Today Steve forgot to take his bag to work. I know. I'm not sure how you forget your laptop bag when going to work. Poor guy must be really stressed today. I put some shortbread in it, hooked up Angel to her lead, and walked the 1.2 miles to his office to take it to him. I didn't mind doing it because Angel needed to get some exercise anyway. When we got there, Steve said, "Did you have fun running?" 

"You think I ran with this laptop bag?"  The man has amazing confidence in my abilities... guess I can't blame him. ;) 

We ran back home. I think Angel enjoyed running and the nice warm bath at home. :o)
Today I didn't cook because of Kung Fu. I think I'll take the leftover venison stew, top it with clapshot, and have a sort of shepherd's pie tomorrow. Yum!


  1. Maybe you can find a pretty tea set at one of the charity shops :) or at least the pot!

  2. Oh yeah! I have seen some. I'll have to go back and check them out more closely and see if I find one that I like. Then, I'll disinfect every nook and crack!


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