Ok, so I haven't started carving it yet, but if you saw it in the flesh and realised how bloody huge it is, you would know that I have gone to tremendous effort so far, just to get it into the workshop. It weighs 5.2 cwt (that's 583 lbs for you Americans) and is 75.5 inches wide. I'm glad I am not installing it. Dolly the Collie can just be seen in the right hand corner.
I've picked the wrong time to begin my old age - if there ever is a right time. I got a text message from my mobile provider telling me that they are going to raise my fixed tariff by 4. something percent, which - despite the fact that this will be peanuts by almost anyone's standards - was enough to send me into such a state of impotent anger that I stormed out of the pub on thursday, as if it were the bar staff's fault. It's just another few pence being squeezed out of the nation by a bunch of unscrupulous shysters - a small part of a large, concerted and daily financial attack which will not let up until I am too old to work to pay for their failing businesses. It's a good thing that I am in the fortunate position to be able to charge considerably more than the £6.50 per hour that some people are locked into.
Anyway, enough of this - I don't like the way this side-track is going. I have just got back in from shopping in town, and town is heaving with thousands of people spending money they have not got - or at least might not have for too much longer. Well, some of them anyway. I saw two Bentleys, one Aston Martin, a Ferrari, and more big Mercs than I could count. It's still out there.
I went into our butcher and game-dealer and bought a large, skinned rabbit which I got him to quarter for me. Cost - £3.21. It will feed us for two days, and if I ever become completely destitute, I have a gun, several hundred cartridges and access to land where bunnies roam free and cheekily close to where that photo above was taken. I need not even leave the workshop to take a pot at them. One every two days would keep us going for ever at the rate they breed. The only trouble is that Dolly is absolutely terrified of gunshots - even if they are a mile away. God knows how she would react if I let one off right over her head.
Here's the recipe:
Fry up the quartered rabbit until it turns colour with a dusting of plain flour, some shallots and seasoning.
Put the bits into a lidded casserole dish with some stock and a dash of wine to cover, along with some coarsely chopped vegetables which must include carrot.
Here's the magic ingredient:
Add a couple of small squares of good, dark chocolate to the mix before slowly cooking for a couple of hours. Traditionally served with chunks of coarse, white bread.