Saturday, December 30, 2006

Proper shopping blankedIn response to MQ's dual gross perversions of cloves and a packet.

The poor fool knows not how to make bread sauce.

So one largeish onion, chopped (roughly chopped if you're finicky, finely chopped if you're my father, or hacked until you can't be bothered anymore if you're me). Bung in the microwave with a bit of water (if you remember to add it) until soft-ish. Add just under two pints/1 litre of milk (using special won't-upset-the-Norwegian-genes goats' milk if you must, but remember soya milk is an insult to anything it is used with. And this is why you're using that big jug that you guessed you should be using). Heat until reasonably warm (boiling it is supposed to be bad, but I can't remember why). Take whichever stale bread the local supermarket were selling cheap (although I'm not sure what the results will be like if you use rosemary and sun dried tomato focaccia) and tear [or if very elderly, break] off chunks and throw into the jug. I add the crust because you can't tell in the final result, so there's no point wasting it. Do try to remember that Christmas lunch is imminent and so eating too much stale bread might be a bit foolish. Push the bread down into the milk (beware of cafetière-ing) and nuke until it goes soggy. Add more bread and repeat until it's about the right consistency (although the gloppiness is a matter of personal preference; add the remaining milk if necessary). Somewhere along the line stirring it with a whisk (breaks the bread up quicker - don't attempt to actually whisk it, as you'll break the whisk, your wrist or some nearby light fitting) is supposed to happen but you probably figured that out by now. Mix until homogenous i.e. the lumps are evenly distributed. Then ask for the nutmeg grater over the screech of the pressure cooker (yes, I was doing it a bit early). Ask again, then mime. Try not to look too confused when your mother hands you a rotary whisk. Try again, have blazing row while helping impale the turkey to move it. Suddenly discover I'm doing the rest of Christmas lunch. Find the new nutmeg grater behind the salt (new in this context means the pepper mill design one, not the grater-style one older than I am). Enlist brother to panic over the pressure cooker (he took the par- in parboil as referring to parsnips; it is just about possible to roast parsnip soup), while you serenely inhale a lethal dose of nutmeg. Keep going, occasionally mixing it in. Keep going and going; there is no such thing as too much nutmeg. Nuke for bit, mix, leave to stand, and then cycle through stir-nuke-stir-stand while various abortive attempts are made to finish cooking and serve (don't forget to take the dead spider out of the last used last Christmas sauce boat before decanting).

This recipe serves God knows how many. Enough for four, with seconds, plus a large amount leftover for use in additional meals and the traditional turkey, ham, stuffing and bread sauce sandwiches (yes, I know bread in bread has a BSE-inducing oddness to it, but it works, and anyway there are some people who think tinned spaghetti on toast is a meal, rather than carbohydrate accompanied by carbohydrate).

You will notice that no temperatures, wattages or timings are given, but that's because the microwave used came from Bejam while they still existed (my mother still hasn't forgiven the bank for querying her card - she'd been scouting for months, worked out how much she could afford, so bought a lot in one day - in Bejam while her food defrosted onto her new microwave), is a bit Skoda-like (unpowered) and everything comes with a suck-it-and-see (or squeeze-it-and-see) ishness to it. You can also reputedly make bread sauce in a saucepan but I imagine that involves lot of burning, sticking, swearing and generally having hot turkey fat sloshed down your arm.

Anyway, I'll properblog at some point, but I've been co-opted into a ghastly do this afternoon (I think the hosts are working on the assumption that the guests know one another; I expect to spend much of the time saying the same things while trying rather hard not to say very much more).


"a ghastly do"
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