Archive | food RSS feed for this section

Revamped Seaweed, Spinach and Nigerian Trotter Stew – Nose to Tail Fortnight Day 3

2 May

We were meant to have testicles today, but I mis read the delivery date and they are in fact coming tomorrow. The funniest part of this was me waking up on one of very few lie-in days at 7am waiting nervously for a bang on the door and the balls to arrive. Didn’t happen. Too eager.

So what to have today? Despite being on holiday, the day turned quite full. Errands and lunch out and SNOOKER. We walked through the market, but didn’t have time to do any offal inspection. Luckily there was some of our Nigerian Trotter Stew left over from yesterday. One thing to note is that feet really do have gelatine in them. The sauce had turned to a jelly. That was odd looking, but something good to remember.

So night, to revamp them!

I started with the sauce, I wanted to have depth, rather than punch, so added quarter tsp tamarind paste, half tsp ground ginger, quarter teaspoon of ground nutmeg. Stirred in and set it to simmer for ten minutes while my seaweed rehydrated.

Yes. I bloody love seaweed. It’s taken me a while to start having it at home, but now I am devoted. There are several reasons – one is that it keeps in its packet it the cupboard for ages, another is that its amazing for you health-wise, a third is that it is really easy to prepare (just soak in cold water for ten mins and its ready). I have some Clearspring, but there’s lots of others. I then added the rest of a bag of spinach (about 200g). And did a little simmer for five minutes. DONE!

It’s pretty delicious! If you want the original recipe have a look at my previous post! I’m sorry I didn’t deliver testicles like I promised, but I hope you’ll be with in me in thinking that eating the leftovers and re-vamping them is all part of the sustainable eating I’m trying to promote.

One thing I would be tempted to do in the future, would be to buy a load of trotters, make a load of the basic sauce and then have portions ready to be vamped up!

As an update, here’s where we are on the carcass:

The Versatile Blogger Award

22 Apr

See Carol Anne, I’ve not forgotten …

Quite some time ago my friend Carol Anne nominated me for this award because she is very kind. It gave me a very big boost early on in blogging year. Carol Anne runs RockSalt which is a very good foodie blog and you should go and check her out while you’re in the vanguard of fashion because I feel sure she’s going to hit the big-time i.e. Guardian Food Page. So you have been prodded in her direction.

So, with blog awards come rules. For this award, those are:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them in your post
  • Share 7 things about yourself
  • Pass the award on to 15 bloggers

Thank you very much for my award Carol Anne. It is very kind of you. You’re the shiz!

Now, to share seven things about myself? If you’re reading this, you probably know me quite well already, but I’ll and dredge up some HILARIOUS TRUTHS.

  1. When I was a young girl, my ambitions when I grew up were to be either a hairdresser, an airline pilot or a virgin. Now this is amusing because I regularly get old off by the hairdresser for doing my own, I’m pertrified of flying and I’m still not sure what the last one means …
  2. I worked for many years in a Fish and Chip Shop. My induction to that particular trade involved having my hand grabbed by Mick the Fryer, dipped in batter and plunged into the hot fat. The time in the fat seemed like an eternity, but was in fact milliseconds. Still I can say, to sound well tough, that I deep-fried my own hand. Grr. Look at me guns.
  3. Both my little toes have dual-toenails. There is a normal one and then to the side are little baby toe-nails growing from the same root. So like hooves?
  4. I was convinced for many years that the song ‘Bandages’ by Hot Hot heat was in fact called ‘Play that Jazz’ Not as silly as it sounds now is it. I had such utter conviction in my interpretation of the title that I would regularly request ‘play that Jazz’ at indie nights and often wondered why the DJ didn’t listen to my request. Because, Lucy, you were not in a speak-easy.
  5. I am incredibly clumsy. despite the fact I was born on a Tuesday I am not full of physical grace. Violent, sudden and jerky movements, lack of fine motor control and a general lack of realisation of my own strength mean that both me and the Daz are covered in bruises. He regularly goes OW when I hug him. I spill a lot of things. Even my cat is clumsy – he recently fell out of bed.
  6. To combat this, I have excellent peripheral vision. I can spot a heron at fifty paces behind my head. I can always watch what I’ve knocked over and predict the parabola of its trajectory quite accurately.
  7. I carry at least seven bag-for-lifes around with me at all times. Last night to go out for my friend’s birthday I was minimal and had my hand-bag (large size, purple with gold elephants) and then two extra bags – canvas (Hereford Cathedral) had stuff in I’ve been kleptomania’ing the last few days, the second (Diamond Jubilee, Queen wearing yellow) had tripe, celery, shoes, half a tub of hummous in it. Sometimes my boyfriend refers to me as The Bag Lady (not in a Mulberry way), and says I look like this: (please stop before 58 secs, ignore the orange commentary, and he doesn’t mean Jennifer Connolly, but the other one)

So there you go, if you’ve never met me, you will be forgiven in thinking that I am a confused, battered, be-hoofed, deaf, clumsy, lasar-eyed tramp. Maybe Louis Theroux will make a documentary about me?

The fifteen bloggers I am passing this award onto are listed below. They are all people I like, people I think are trying to better the world or people who I nick ideas off all the time.

  • Dog Snooks is a really funny blog about snooker. It’s full of funny jokes even if you don’t like snooker. I do like snooker and I do like this. Daz has a theory he expounds at great length, that you can make comedy out of anything and this is his arena for proving that.
  • Diary of my Body is a GOOD THING. It’s a blog collective of women writing about their experiences in learning to love their bodies and who they are. If you are a person with an ounce of soul you should have a look and listen to the stories these ladies have to tell.
  • Plate Britain is a new blogger like me. They are eating only British produce for a year to try and eat more sustainably in terms of food miles and where our snacks come from. I wish I’d thought of the idea. Good luck!
  • You have to cook it right is an American blog all about respecting your ingredients and letting them shine in the dish. I found some great advice on venison here. Do check the archives!
  • MotherEagle is my friend Katie’s blog. She is a needlewoman extraordinaire and I can’t wait for her new etsy collection to come out featuring her bad-ass embroiderings. I’ve got my eye on snapping up her anatomical heart when it comes on sale – ‘heart is a wet organ’ come have come straight from here!
  • Miss Pybis is beautiful artist I know. Her art and drawing stands apart from anyone else I’ve seen and I can’t wait to make my fortune so she can cover my house in beautiful murals.
  • Life in Harmony and Balance belong to my life-coach friend Steph. A lot of wisdom is contained within these pages, so be prepared for even a casual read to reveal things you almost thought about yourself but couldn’t quite get the words. If you want life-coaching get in touch with her.
  • Renegades of Junk and Pound for Pound are both written by Daisy. RoJ is about her charity shopping adventures – thrift chic! PfP is about her charity weght-loss odyssey. Do give her a sponsor as she’s raising money for the British Heart Foundation.
  • Debbie Osborne ArtDebbie’s Homemade Home and Mailmaker are great artistic blogs run by Norfolk-based Debbie. I’ve seen her studio. It’s inspirational.
  • Jennieishappy is the blog of my foodie penpal giver for last month. She’s got fingers in many pies and takes some lovely photos. Don’t know what foodie penpals is? Have a gander back to Rocksalt above!
  • Something Missing – Julia had the fortune (?) to receive my foodie penpal parcel last month. Her blog tackles the questions raised when you ned to make something sugar-free, wheat-free, dairy-free and so on. Have a gander.
  • Monique writes a lifestyle blog What I am up to – she got my foodie penpal package for this month. We’ll see what she thinks on the 30th!
  • Trunch Lane features forgotten corners of Lincolnshire. It’s brilliant. It shows you there’s more to the Shire than just pork products.

And lastly, my favourite blog of all: Being Dad Today – if you don’t shed a little tear, then you’re not a human. it’s a brilliant and very touching blog about parenting. My dad was absent, so I love reading about Bob and his daughters!

Offal loves you! x

Greek Chicken Soup

1 Apr

I’ve not eaten this in Greece, nor actually asked any of my Greek friends whether it is at all Greek, but it was taught to me by a Greek Cypriot who was my boss in the chip shop, and since then has been called Greek Chicken Soup.

It cures all ills, whether they are emotional (I was in a mega grump a few days ago) or physical (D Dizzle got a bad flu virus), and is super delicious. It makes a nice summer soup – I’ve never really got my head around cold soups – but some of this kind of warm is very refreshing.

Part soup, part risotto, it does take some time to prepare as the goodness is all in the stock that you make. If you’ve just thought “oh I’ll just use cubes”, then you’ll miss out on a lot of Getting Better Power. Just saying. But the beauty of this is in the holistic power of the chicken meat, skin, cartilage and bone. A whole chicken carcass, post-Sunday lunch works well. I learnt to cook it with chicken wings. Chicken thighs work nicely too, especially if you’re a lover of the dark meat. But my favourite way to make the stock is with these bad boys:

As an aside at this point, I did run a competition on twitter if you could guess correctly what this was. Twitter fail! I don’t think I have enough twitterlings yet, so if you’d like to, feel free to add me – look to the right. If you’re pon the case of twitter, then feel equally free not to, but bear in mind you might be missing out! But Facebook win, and MotherEagle a prize will wing it’s way to you soon!

By the way, that is a chicken neck. Not a penis, or tripe, or tapioca. Neck. From the African butcher in the market. Chicken neck is a dark meat too.

Here is not a recipe, but more a guideline to making your own Greek Chicken Soup. Adjust times and ingredients accordingly. It is a very forgiving dish.

  1. Take 1 lb of chicken – necks, legs, wings, thighs, a carcass – a cocktail of the above. What is important is the bones in it. So breast is no good. Place in a pan and cover with water and bring to the boil. This is going to simmer for a few hours (at least two) until the meat falls off the bone when gently teased with an utensil.If you feel the water is getting low, top it up as it definitely does not want to burn dry.
  2. When you think you’ve got to that stage, place a colander over an empty mixing bowl or pan and strain the chickeny broth through. What you need to do now is separate the meat from the bones. I use my (clean) fingers. With necks, you won’t get every single tiny scrap off, but that’s ok. Reserve only the meat, the boiled skin doesn’t taste that nice in the soup and anyway it’s already given a lot of its fat and nutrient to the stock.
  3. Now you should have a bowl of stock and a bowl of meat.
  4. Take a heavy-bottomed pan and put a slug on oil in the bottom. Finely chop an onion and fry it until it’s translucent. You might want to add a little garlic, you might not.
  5. Add two fistfuls of PUDDING RICE. Yes that’s right, the rice used for the making of the rice pudding from scratch. If you can’t get it or don’t have it, you can use risotto or paella rice. I imagine you could use barley. But nothing long grain nor indeed basmati. They are not appropriate here. If you feel like carb-loading, put three handfuls in. Stir it all together.
  6. Add the meat, stirring.
  7. Now, you need to ask the question, how lemony do I want this? If the answer is pretty lemony, then zest one lemon now (you’ll need the juice of two in total) and add that to the pan.
  8. But what of my delicious stock? Now is its moment of glory. Add it back to the pan. The top it up (if you need to) with water so that it’s all covered.
  9. Add the juice of two lemons.
  10. Simmer and stir for about twenty minutes.
  11. Decide how liquid you would like it – if it’s a bit too risotto-y, add a bit more water.

It should, according to my taste, be melting and have enough stock left for you to have some soupy spoons and some foody spoons, maybe a bit porridgey in consistency?

It tastes even better the next day.

Foodie Penpals!

30 Mar

My friend Rocksalt is hosting the European part of Foodie Penpals. Foodie Penpals is where you get matched up with two people – one gives you a box and you give the other one a box – in a big circle of food love. That’s nice isn’t it?

The box I received came from Jennie who is a co-host of the Sharing Supper Club and you can follow her twitterings @jen_dub.

I really enjoyed making mine and putting together some tasty (?) treats. Fingers crossed I got mine right – my own preview of it is here on my other blog.

Anyway, Jennie sent me a lovely box full of Nigerian treats as she had recently been on holiday there.

It is pretty timely as I’ve just fallen in love with the African butcher in the market in Leeds – I can thoroughly recommend their chicken and thyme sausages (not sure how African they are though!). And some recipes were included, which Jen had kindly made offal-appropriate!

You can see that I was a very lucky recipient!

Clockwise from top: lemongrass, Cameroon pepper, pepper soup spice, BBQ peanuts, Chin Chin (sweet goodnes), green tomato chutney, Suya spice (hot), Hot chilli pepper, Suya spice, my lovely card!

Some things are for the experimentation with, some were specified to eat now, so since it was a lovely Spring day, my boyfriend and I took a picnic! The barbecue peanuts and the chin chin are snack for now, so we made some cheese and tomato chutney rolls and took them all off for a jolly. A jolly that would end in being gobbled up. Nom.

Here is Kirkstall Abbey grounds where we took our picnic to. By walking along the canal. Oh, the Romance!

And here is my Romantic Cheese and Green Tomato Chutney Roll. You can’t get better than that.

The following day I used the lemongrass to make some herbal tea to drink while I was working on job applications and suchlike. Literally I put three stalks in the teapot and poured over water that was just off boiling. What a lovely treat. I’m a massive herbal tea fan, and have used fresh lemongrass before, but this dried stuff was the bees knees. I was surprised that it gave the tea so much colour too. Aside, I love lemongrass essential oil and use it a lot when I’m making potions for friends and myself, so it was lovely to handle the real thing.

One of the nicest things Jennie did was put a couple of recipes in with the stuff so I’ve got a starting point to work from. One of which was for Pepper Soup.

Me being me, and this blog being what it is, I did end end up asking for “a pound of mixed offal please” at the butcher in the market. In the same transaction I’d asked for chicken necks (watch this space), but they’d SOLD OUT. So whoever bought all the chicken necks in Leeds a) what were you making and b) that’s very greedy of you. The butchers, who seem to do a fairly brisk offal trade, were confused and asked me if necks and other offal had been on television, because there’d been a run on it. Clearly signs of Spring mean we want our meat to be extra-perishable!

The following recipe is pretty much the one Jennie sent, but I changed some things because I was trying to do about fifty million things at once, but none of those fifty million things were to read the recipe properly. Ooopses …

1 lb mixed offal cut into chunks, some oil, 2 onions finely chopped, 2 medium potatoes peeled and chopped in bite size chunks, 3 peeled and chopped carrots, 2 tbsp pepper soup spice, 1 tsp chilli, 1 heaped tsp mixed herbs, handful fresh mint leaves.

  1. Tackle the tongue first. Boil it for about twenty minutes and then remove the outer skin. Cut into chunks.
  2. Boil chunks of meat in water to cover them for a couple of hours. Put the heart and tongue in first, then liver, then kidneys. When cooked through, drain, reserve water (offal stock?), and finely chop the meat.
  3. Add oil and onions to pan, cook til soft, add offal, carrots, potatoes, herbs and spices. Fry all together about twenty minutes.
  4. Add offal stock and any extra water you might need so all ingredients are covered with liquid. Simmer another twenty minutes. 
  5. Add chopped mint just before serving!

The soup was very delicious, but very spicy. Possibly heavy-handed with the chilli and the pepper soup spice? I’m not sure. However it definitely blew away the beginnings of a cold that I had. The mint is an amazing addition by the way. It seems to at the same time cool your mouth, but also make the spices seem hotter. (I guess that’s to do with the way mint essential oil works on the skin, so it cools down hot skin and warms up cold skin.) It was beautiful!

Even though I’m an offaltarian, I had been a bit sceptical of a soup with chunks of offal in – but it was great. I’m not sure it would be to the taste of a first time offal-eater, but at the medium to advanced level I would say it was pretty good. I enjoyed the mix of species in the offal mix too. I don’t think people should be afraid to mix species with their cooking.

All in all I really enjoyed my first foodie penpal. Jennie was very generous with what she sent, considerate and I’m sure whoever gets her next box will be very lucky. I’ve definitely enjoyed learning a little more about African cookery, and am going to invest in an African cookery book at the first oppurtunity! Any suggestions?

Happiness Soup

25 Mar

Obviously, I’ve been eating a lot of offal. And writing about it. Behind the scenes, however, there is a large vegetable component to being an Offalsaurus.

This is an invented recipe, inspired by feeling a bit glum and having got a copy of Readers Digest ‘Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal’. Not a lot of offal heals apazza. However, foods that heal, and specifically boost mood, are many and various. Inspired by the blog, written by Neals Yard, about how to boost your mood, I made a Happiness Soup.

There are five key ingredients: butternut squash, sweet potato, dates, walnut, turkey. They help boost serotonin in particular and include vitamins A, B3, B6, C and E, fibre, iron, omega-3 fatty acids and lots of other good shiz n ting.

(The turkey leg I purchased satiated an early chicken craving. Probably cheating, I imagine, it was excused as I would never have thought to buy a whole turkey leg prior to the offalicity of my current diet. The meat is brown? Asda is balls for offal? I hadn’t got my boundaries right? Whatever, the soup is lovely.)


1 medium onion, 3 finely chopped garlic cloves, 1 medium sweet potato, half a smallish butternut squash, 50g chopped walnuts, 50g dried and pitted dates that are roughly chopped, 2 pints turkey stock plus any of the meat you have

  1. Put the walnuts and dates in a bowl and cover with boiling water. It’s best if you chop them first then cover them. They will soften down a bit while everything else does its thing.
  2. Finely chop your onion and fry it gently in some oil. Add the garlic. Stir.
  3. Add the roughly chopped sweet potato and butternut squash. Stir. Keep them cooking on a medium heat for about twenty minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Now add any turkey meat you may or may not have. Stir.
  5. Add the date and walnuts. Stir. (Do you get the gist?) Fry for about five minutes, stirring all the time. The date-flesh will sort of melt into the other ingredients and it all might seem a bit sticky.
  6. Add your stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for about twenty minutes.
  7. Depending on how you like your soup, either whizz with a hand blender, or leave it chunky. (I whizzed, but the texture had a few chunks still.)

There you have it. You could easily leave out the turkey component and have a delicious vegan soup. It’s quite thick when it’s made, but you can always water it down a little. I like a nice thick soup, particularly in February, which was when I concocted this idea.

I felt very well while I was eating the soup, but whether that was due to my own smugness at having homemade soup for lunch everyday, or the ingredients, I’m not sure. However the more I read about eating in relation to specific requests you put on your body, the more sense it seems to make. I’d recommend an explore of the Neals Yard Natural News site – I’m forever writing down recipes and tips from there. My friend Daisy also discusses eating healthily (and how tricky it can be) on her blog.

What I am discovering is that my offal diet, is perhaps not the most healthy of diets for me. In that overnight I went from *almost* vegetarian (by price, rather than ethical choice) to a Meatatarian (as my friend Gus put it). I’m toying with the idea of putting the offal aside for a week to be a vegemetarian- what do you think I should do?

Do you have a happy soup?

Lime and Ginger Chicken Hearts

1 Mar

My new favorite place is the African butcher in the market at Leeds. It’s amazing, but not if you’re squemaish. But they do do chicken sausages – they sound very middle of the road carnivore friendly don’t they? More importantly they have delicious offals! (More on that in another post.) I also like the fact whenever I got there, both butchers are eating sandwiches. Today they were also smoking some meat (I didn’t catch what it was) in the smoker in their shop. I’m working on my Afrikaans accent, so that perhaps one day they’ll ask me if I’m a Saffer*. The man behind me got asked “Saffer?” and he nodded. Then said “Jo-burg”. I concluded that if you’re from South Africa, you’re perhaps not very garrulous.

The best thing I’ve bought so far is some chicken hearts. (At this point I should say, I’ve not blogged yet about every single offal I’ve eaten … suffice to say that we had one go heart, but on a much larger scale.) They look a bit like large smooth blobs. They taste just like lean chicken thigh would taste. This is good for me because I’ve been well having the chicken craves.

Prompted by a letter from Cambodia, which agreed that Cambodians did indeed really like sour flavours, I wanted to sour up my chicken hearts. I also had some random veg in my fridge. Hence: Lime and Ginger Chicken Hearts with Cocina Squash, Fennel and Apple.


  • splash olive oil
  • half a squash
  • 1 onion
  • zest 1 lime
  • 1 thumb of ginger
  • juice 2 and a half limes
  • 8oz chicken hearts
  • half a fennel
  • 1 cooking apple
  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan on a medium heat. Chop onion finely, add to pan. Chop squash into 1cm cubes (roughly), add to pan. Add zest of one lime to pan. Grate half thumb of ginger into pan. SWOOSH AROUND.
  2. In a bowl, grate the other half of the ginger piece. Add lime juice. Add chicken hearts. This will marinade while you cook the other bits.
  3. Now chop apple into slices, add to pan. Use peeler or similar to shave half a bulb of fennel into the pan. MIX IT UP TOGETHER.
  4. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove mixture from pan and turn the heat to high.
  6. Add chicken hearts and juice to pan. Cook five minutes on high.
  7. Return the veg mix to the pan and combine them both together.


Bob’s you uncle! I had my portion with brown rice, but as it’s not that liquid I think next time it would be a really good filling for tortillas! Then you could add sour cream. And all Cambodians love sour cream?

This dish was so delicious that I did something I never ever ever normally do. That was to eat the chicken hearts (the best bits) first! I know, send me to Broadmoor for that sort of maverick behaviour. I learnt that it’s best to save the nicest bits for last when I’m eating. It was a survival tactic born through the certain knowledge that I would have to eat what was on my plate and I could motivate myself through it if I knew there was Yorkshire Pudding at the end (for example). But that I guess is another story …


*Slang for South African according to Wikipedia


Quick Chicken Liver and Tamarind Curry

22 Feb

If you’ve ever lived with me, you’ll know that I have a penchant for suddenly making “curries” out of pretty much whatever is in the fridge. Kipper and swede curry, surprisingly good; curried bechamel parsnip lasagna, quite the disgusting disaster. Tonight however, with some defrosted chicken livers winking at me, I’m game for a new curry.

Chicken livers are fast to cook and well delicious. I first had them a few years ago fried with balsamic vinegar and wilted spinach salad, or something along those lines, balsamic was definitely involved. However, even though I know I like them, I really don’t ever cook with them. Time to rectify this!

At the start of January (the same day I bought my kidneys) I bought a packet of Sainsburys chicken livers in a fit of enthusiasm. I then realised I didn’t have time to eat them, so froze them. With the old offal, especially the organs you can only freeze things for a month, so the other night I combined unorthodox currying with my defrosted livers.

A while ago I made a tamarind stew which was super delicious (it may or may not have involved oxtail) and I thought the tamarind’s sour notes would be a good foil for the chicken liver richness. There is also an amazing chicken liver curry that you can get from Shabab’s that is spicy and delicious. With chicken livers, you can, I believe cook them until they’re slightly pink, but because these ones had been frozen I gave them a good cooking. This didn’t mean they were tough though. It’s all to do with cooking times. Like so much of cooking.

What I wanted was to get loads of flavour going in those livers, so I marinated them for half an hour or so, basically while I cooked the vegetable part of the curry.

I have a rice cooker, so before I did any of the following I put the rice cooker on with some brown rice in!

What you need is:

1 packet chicken livers;

1 onion chopped; 1 medium sweet potato roughly chopped; squirt garlic puree; 1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 tsp tamarind paste; 1/2 tsp ground ginger; 1 teaspoon madras curry powder; 1 tsp chillies chopped in oil; 1 tsp cumin seeds.

First of all mix together all the spices. It will go to a dark loose paste. A teacup and a teaspoon are good tools.

Secondly, take half of the mixture and put in a bowl with the chicken livers. Mix this well. It is now marinading.

Thirdly, start to fry the onion, then add garlic, then the sweet potato. Cook this for a few minutes on a medium heat, then add the other half of the spice mix. Keep stirring. Add the tinned tomatoes. Keep it moving. The chicken livers take very little time to cook, so you want the sweet potato to be cooked through. This seemed to take about twenty minutes.I added the blood from the liver carton to the sauce too.

Fourthly, put the curried veg mix to one side in a bowl, and using the same pan add some oil and fry the chicken livers, along with their accompanying marinade. They need a couple of minutes each side on a higher heat than the vegetables did.

Don’t worry if they start to look a bit breadcrumby because the liver is full of blood and bits come off and make it all look a bit scruffy. You can see that below. Don’t worry.

I cooked them so there was still a tiny bit of pink in the middle, mostly because I knew there would be residual heat that cooked them further whilst I plated up rice, made drinks and faffed around. Also, you want to avoid cooking-the-shit-out-of-it-itis. By the time you eat it, the pink is pretty much gone.

Fifthly, add the vegetables back into the pan and combine them and the livers together. The crumby bits of liver will now combine in the sauce.

Get a plate, put some carbs on it, then add your curry. DELICIOUS!

Blood Pancakes … Are you Goth enough?

21 Feb

It’s Pancake Day! It’s time to use up all those terrible delicious things to get ready for the FAST to make ourselves EVEN HOLIER. This year I am taking up drinking appropriate amounts of liquid, rather than giving things up. It will be good for my diet, make me look like a supermodel and possibly I’ll be given some cetacean rights!

Back to the pancakes however. I found a recipe for Norwegian pancakes on the Guardian website today, and because I love Roalds Amundsen and Dahl so much I thought I’d give them a go. The recipe is here and it’s the top one. I enjoyed using the spelt flour, and really only intended to make some nice sweet ones with some stewed rhubarb.

However, I am not one to miss a oppurtunity and since I recently bought a large amount of dried blood for no real reason – other than I found it on the internet after having that boudin noir at Kendalls. I got it from a website called Tongmaster who specialise in selling all the things you need to make sausages and burgers as well as blood. My blood arrived two days after I bought it and POSTAGE IS INCLUDED. I’d definitely give their website a peruse if you’re thinking of doing things sausage related.

Yet, Hi HO, I thought, I bet blood is delicious when mixed with pancake batter. Well, my thinking wasn’t certain as that. More I reckon blood will be nice mixed with this, should I try it? As well as wondering what German for ‘blood pancakes’ was so I could sing it in a Rammstein manner whilst cooking.


So decided to re-hydrate some of the pig’s blood. Having never used it before, there was some trepidation, as to what the right thing to do was. I added 2 teaspoons of the powder to about 75ml of water and whisked. This seemed to give a thin blood, but not knowing how thick pig’s blood naturally is, nor about coagulation when something’s been dried, or indeed anything apart from what is on the packet above, I erred to the side of haemophilia. Do use a whisk, so you don’t get little dried blood pockets.

I added about 100ml of batter to the rehydrated blood and whisked. It looked like this:

I thought I had better build up to the making of the BLUTPFANNKUCHEN, so had a normal Norwegian one with orange and sugar. Then I thought, what if it’s disgusting? Best make a small one to test (forgetting of course, that there are things like bins, to put waste in).

Cleverly it took on an approximate geography of Wales. In you were wondering … GWAED CREMPOG!

Adding all the extra liquid does make the batter thinner. Luckily the spelt batter is pretty thick, but if you’re using a normal pancake day recipe it might be too thin, so make sure your batter is extra thick.

I hope you can see the slight nerves in my face …

The BLUTPFANNKUCHEN was actually so nice that I made another, full size one:

The blood doesn’t really taste like blood when it’s in the pancake. The best way to describe it would be to add depth and warmth and a more savoury note. The colour, I think is actually quite good, very Halloween. Both my housemate Liz (who was Goth enough to try it with me) and I agreed it tasted buttery, which is good because that’s what you want a good pancake to taste like. I think to make them again, I would see if I could hydrate the blood in the milk that goes in the original recipe, so they were quite thick and make like drop scones. Liz suggested a poached egg on top, which would be very breakfasty.

For tonight though, I ate it with some stewed rhubarb and some maple syrup. Rhubarb because I think the blood could be a bit rich, so the cuts through it. Maple syrup because it goes well with bacon. And blood is just like bacon.

Though perhaps now I look properly at the camera phone photos, it doesn’t look as delicious as it tasted. Maybe when i have a family we’ll always have Blood Pancakes and it will become some sort of tradition. Yellowbeestonbelly hybrid if you will …

I’m quite happy having dipped my toe in the dried pig’s blood bag that I would be able to do a lot more things with it. I’m not sure whether after the Haggis Making, I’d attempt things that involve stuffing slippery things into other slippery things, so black pudding might be out, but I bet it would make good casserole juice. And i think you could hydrate it in egg for omelets. Maybe even a blood rice pudding?