Thursday, August 27, 2009

A day in the life

My apologies for the time away from the blog. I recently bought Cooking with Jane Austen and I'm trying to work up the gumption to cook a big feast. Most of the dinners are very daunting though: a dozen dishes is typical. A review of this excellent book, to follow soon, I promise.

Meanwhile, I've been treading a more moderate path for this diet. Most weeks I'm satisfied with making a few recipes from source cookbooks and the rest of the time I do the best I can. A typical day of Jane Austen Dieting looks a little like this:


Thick cut, Nieman ranch Canadian style bacon (Nieman Ranch is one of the few traditional pork producers in the country that don't use GMOs or antibiotics. The meat actually has fat on it!)
Four oatcakes
An ounce of raw milk, farm house cheddar
A tablespoon of home made marmalade (this is one of the few uses I've found for the stuff. It's great with pork. Not so good on toast though)

Sandwich with home-made potted liver spread
hard-boiled egg
"Quick pickle" salad of cucumber and mint
tablespoon of sour cream for egg and salad

Smoked, peppered mackerel
green salad
boiled new potatoes
boiled green beans from neighbor's garden
lots of butter

One of my staples, especially for lunch since I'm away from home is potted meat. I've hit upon a few different methods from various cookbooks. Here's one of my favorite, that's easy, tasty, healthy, traditional and you can call it "pate" instead of "potted meat."

Liver Tureen

Wash and pat dry one package of chicken livers. Place one tablespoon of tallow or lard in frying pan on medium heat with a large shallot minced and sautee until the the shallot begins to color. Add the liver to the pan and cook a few minutes on each side. You don't want the liver to be over-done. I used liver which had been frozen at least a couple weeks so that I wasn't worried about any bacteria.

Add the liver, the fat from the pan, the shallots and two tablespoons of butter to a blender or food processor and puree until you have a smooth paste. Pack this mixture into small crocks and cover closely with plastic wrap. These will keep in the fridge for at least a couple of weeks. The fat is a very good preservative. I've not yet managed to keep them long enough that I'm worried about it, though. This is great on warm toast, in a sandwich or on a oat cake. I've made similar tureens with leftover ham or beef, though the liver is my favorite.

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