Life at the end of the road

October 9, 2008

Peasant cooking!

Filed under: Uncategorized — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 5:38 am

I really shouldn’t be doing this tonight as it’s already late and I need to do this meal justice with lots of pics and an eloquent description. The pics are going to be a problem on my clockwork IBM 600x Thinkpad and with my grammer and spelling, eloquence is out of the question but I’ll try. As well as all the rushing around down in Glasgow visiting museums and the like I was under orders from Louis the ‘mad Frenchman’ to bring back 4 guinea fowl, flat parsley, celariac, pork and leek sausages, smoked bacon, shalots and of course wine. The wild mushrooms, butter olive oil and garlic we already had because he was going to cook us a good French peasants meal as he called it. Only 3 of the guinea fowl made it back to Raasay as I gave one to my mum figuring that 3 would be plenty and as it turned out 2 would have done. Anyway we arrived safely back on Raasay after our wee expedition south coming back via the Mallaig Armadale ferry MV Courisk

Loch Nevis and Courisk at Mallaig

Loch Nevis and Courisk at Mallaig

The Courisk being the one on the right and whilst not exactly being a pretty ship she is very comfortable and quiet, well she is compared to the Loch Striven!

Home at last

Fortunately for us the Raasay primary school was closed for the day due a power cut so there was no need to rush for the 8:30 ferry which was just as well because I was wrecked so we got the 10:30 instead and were home for 11:30. After a good 2nd breakfast I set about doing some work on the hydro turbine, it’s all up and working fine but I was fitting a voltmeter for the battery bank and a frequency meter for the AC side of the turbine which should tell me how fast the turbine is running. As it generates its full output at 1500rpm then it should read 50hz at that speed.

The top one is battery DC voltage, then frequency and the bottom is AC voltage and for some reason the frequency meter is reading double what it should be! I got these along with several others over the years from this dude

in Hong Kong, the quality is excellent, they’re a fraction of the cost of a UK supplier who will buy them from China anyway and the are often here in 7 days, 10 days max. I think he’s supplied me a 110v one by mistake but his English is only slightly better than my Mandarin so weather I get it replaced or not is open to debate! Which is fine if your buying an 8 pound meter but not so good if your shelling out several hundred pounds for a wind turbine, solar panels or inverter and I do know people who have found this out the hard way so beware! Anyway I was well pleased with the result despite the wonky gauge and got just finished before Louis arrived.

Guinea fowl rules

Now I’ve not known our resident Frenchman very long but ever since the first time I told him we had a croft he’s been trying to get me to keep some ” you will never look at chicken again ” says he and in his endevour to convert us he’d offered to buy and cook us some. Preparations began the week earlier when he cooked some wild mushrooms to extract the juices and froze it. I got the rest of the ingredients whilst down on the Clyde, apart from more Chanterelles, ceps, yellow legs and hedgehogs that were picked on the day.

Boning guinea fowl and slicing 'shrooms

Boning guinea fowl and slicing 'shrooms

Louis got busy boning the three guinea fowl which he did by just slicing down the back then following the bone with his serious knife whilst various family and friends set about slicing mushrooms and chopping shalots. The extra mushrooms being sliced thinly for drying over the wood stove on my purpose built drier.

The 'shroom drier

The 'shroom drier

I made this years ago by unpicking a whilk bag ( like an onion sack) and stapling it to wooden frame I made, it’s about 3′ square and just slide nicely under the towel rail above the wood burner. Mushrooms dried like this will keep for months and are great in stews, soups and curries. Whilst we were doing this Louis was putting all the bones, shalot skins and some mushrooms in a pan to make the sauce. More mushrooms were fried off with bacon.

Ceps, chanterelles, yellow legs, and hedgehogs

Ceps, chanterelles, yellow legs, and hedgehogs

These were then mixed with sausage meat, flat parsly, shalots and probably other things to make the stuffing.

A lesson in 'stuffing and stitching'

A lesson in stuffing and stitching

The 3 birds once stuffed and tied were then stuck in the oven along with the home grown spuds, carrots and parsnips plus some chopped celaric that I’d got from Lidl and cooked for around 1 box of wine after which the 7 of us tucked into what he described as ” simple French peasant cooking ” And all I can say is that I’m going to stuff the turkey this Christmas and get a couple of guinea fowl instead!

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: