Out of Action

I can be somewhat careless when it comes to the use of expensive objects. Or equipment. Especially the practical, semi-essential kind. Take for instance, the food processor.

Or my Sony DSLR.

This is the reason that I haven’t written for a wee while. I dropped it you see, and then went on to lose the battery charger in the last few crazy-as-hell weeks that have been my life. So despite the fact that it would still capture a shot (which you wouldn’t be unable to see until you’d hooked the beast up to your laptop and downloaded the images (a bit retro, I realise)), the darned thing is out of juice and therefore, out of action for the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately, this means I’ve been unable to visually catalogue all the stuff I’ve been creating lately. And there have been some things that I’ve been so proud of. Real tear-jerkers for me, when I come to reminisce about them.

Take for instance, the near-perfect hazelnut macaroons I made for Muddy Boots’ Autumn Fair a few weeks back. Or the dissected view of my beautiful stollen that I’ve been making for the last week or so. Not to mention the savoury triumphs of late, such as the potted hough & pickled carrot sourdough canapés I made for my brother’s bonfire wedding bash, or the prune & (real) mincemeat scotch ‘eggs’ I made for a friend’s shop launch yesterday.

Nope. These will have to be catalogued by memory only. However, thankfully there are a few tasty morsels that have been snapped by others. Namely, for an article on some of my festive canapés, which is due to feature in the December edition of Shropshire Magazine (out in the shops tomorrow, I believe).

For those of you unable to get your hands of a copy of said magazine, it will be featuring the following (plus a few others too):

Damson Double Cheese

Pigeon Devils on Horseback

And Potted Pheasant with Pickled Parsnip & Toasted Cobnut

With any luck, the article should feature recipes to accompany all of my festive food pictures, but just in case it doesn’t – it’s quite likely that I made them a teensy bit too detailed and lengthy for publication – here’s how to go about making one of my favourites: Pigeon Devils on Horseback.

For the Marinated Pigeon

6 pigeon breasts

Approximately 2 tbsp olive oil

4 sprigs of marjoram or thyme

Black pepper

For the Canapés

12 rashers of smoked streaky bacon

12 stoned prunes

Approximately 12 tsp fruit chutney (pumpkin for preference, otherwise quince or apple)

24 cocktail sticks

Olive oil, for frying

The day before you want to make the canapés, slice each pigeon breast into 4 and combine with the remaining marinade ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

When you are ready to assemble the canapés, remove the rind from the bacon and, using a rolling pin, stretch and flatten each rasher with a rolling pin. Slice each rasher in half horizontally, so you are left with two long pieces. Slice each prune in half.

Take each rasher half and place a slice of pigeon breast one end. Place approximately ½ tsp of chutney on top of the pigeon and press half a prune on top of this. Season with black pepper. Roll each rasher around the pigeon and prune so that each slice is completely covered and secure the bundle with a cocktail stick.

Heat some oil in a frying pan over a medium to high heat. When hot, add the pigeon devil-on-horseback to the pan (but not so many that they crowd the pan) and fry for 2 or 3 minutes each side, until the bacon is brown and crisp.