|Scrumptious Sam and Sam|
|Birthday Boy with escaping 'spooks'|
There is an enormous rib of beef in the fridge and a number of bottles of Cabernet on the wine rack, the heating is on full whack and there's a log fire a-burning in the hearth. Where to go?
One of Ged's presents from me and the kids in the fabulous Casa Moro cookbook by Sam and Sam Clark. Ged's been going through a bit of a creative culinary frenzy of late and has ordered himself a cast iron tagine to sit in the embers of the barbecue this summer. Casa Moro features those crazy clay 'tagias' - the Marrakesh layered stews which cook in the embers of the hamams. So hopefully, if it's not pouring down all summer, we'll be eating sticky lamb with preserved lemons and the like.
Ged had 'phoned me from Preston market on Tuesday after delivering the restored mayoral chain back to the Town Hall. "I've found spooks! How many shall I get? And what about some pig's tails?"
That added up to a bit too much creative culinarism for my liking. 'Spooks' are razor clams. He's brought both the clams and the tails home before and spent hours messing about, poaching 'em, frying 'em. The spooks were a bit rubbery and rather tasteless so I was surprised he wanted to eat them again. And on their last visit, the pig's tails exploded in a nasty fashion and burned through Ged's best shirt, scarring him for life. They tasted better than the spooks though.
So I said, "If you must" with regards to the spooks and "Not on your Nelly" to the pig's tails.
As it turned out, I was attacked by the spooks. They were sitting in a jug of water beside the chopping board while I was preparing the vegetables when suddenly one of the devils squirted me in the face; a full on great fountain of a spurt. Ged was highly amused to see his wife assaulted so violently by something without a face or limbs. I was not laughing; and, although not rubbery this time, they were still too lacking in flavour to be worth the time, the effort and the assault.