Cottage Pie with Haggis

My Cottage Pie
aka Carol's concoction
“You're never too old to learn” and today I learned that Cottage Pie and Shepherds Pie are actually not exactly the same thing. It may be a case of splitting hairs here, but a Cottage Pie is a Shepherds Pie made with beef or pork and a Shepherd's Pie is made with lamb. Voila. You live and learn. I know, your life will never be the same again. (UPDATE: Please read the comments for the real difference between the two - thank you Frances!)

Lamb Shank Redemption

Today's recipe: Lamb shanks with olives & preserved lemon
The lamb shanks after the meal
Sigh, it ain't easy being me. Just this week I had to (1) get help opening the boot/trunk of my rental car – would you have known to press the VW logo at the top down to get the bottom up? And (2) did you know that you have to press the central lock button to get the petrol/gas tank to open? And (3) did you know that if your ticket says South Terminal, your flight probably isn't leaving from North Terminal? Groan.

Rabbit Terrine with Prunes

Rabbit terrine with chicory apple salad
I am finally posting a recipe in February with just a few minutes in hand before March kicks in. I impress myself! Today's recipe is for bunny and although I too don't like to think of the cute cuddly pet in relation to what is on my plate, when I see what “cutey” is currently doing to my cabbages, I become less sentimental.

Warm Red Cabbage Salad with Blood Sausage / Black Pudding / Blutwurst

Warm red cabbage with apples and no blood sausage
I clearly remember the first time my Granny said she was having black pudding for supper. I asked her what it was and she said it was made from blood. Well, I just about threw up and seriously questioned her mental health for a long time. What does pudding have to do with blood, I still ask, but even Wikipedia didn't go into the origin of the name. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_pudding . Do you perhaps know why it's called a pudding?

Pork chops baked with chutney

The pork baked to perfection
My mate Jane has asked for recipes using chutney as she keeps getting bottles of the stuff as gifts (sorry about that!) and doesn’t know what to do with it. I’ve come up with loads of recipes as I make soooooo much chutney and (short of giving it to Jane) I had to come up with uses for it. Should you be doing nothing this festive season, you will find me at various Christmas markets around the Gers with piles of Barbie dolls clothes (don’t ask) and yes, you guessed, chutney…

Sophie's choice - Potato mince (ground beef) casserole

Potato mince dish
This is going to become one of my firm favorites as I love potatoes and minced / ground meat. Oma Sophie is the creator of this dish and is not only a fantastic cook but also a fantastic human being. Her 3 year old grandson was listening as his mother explained to his older sister exactly what grandparents are. He then piped up and said: “When I grow up I want to be Oma Sophie.” What a compliment and a well-deserved one too.

Szegediner Gulasch (Pork sauerkraut goulasch)

Szegediner Gulasch (Pork sauerkraut goulasch)
This is generally a recipe that we eat in the winter time, but the weather has been so awful and so unusually cold that we have (thankfully) been forced to enjoy this in the summertime. I am less strict about summer and winter food than my hubby and am quite capable of eating a vindaloo curry at the absolute height of summer (that we would be so lucky). We do try to eat seasonal fruit and veg, but sauerkraut in a tin doesn’t seem to follow any season…

Catherine The Divine

Today's recipe: MINCE / GROUND BEEF FOR CURRY BUNNY OR CURRY AND RICE
Catherine, Anna, Maya, Lars & Table Mountain
The next part of our South African adventure took place in Cape Town with Lars and another divine member of my extended family whom you have as yet not met, namely my wonderful sister-in-law, Catherine. She may no longer be married to my husband’s brother, and she may try running and hiding from me, but she will always be a part of the family along with our two beautiful nieces, Anna and Maya. That’s them in the photo with Table Mountain and its tablecloth in the background.

Braai time (not Brie time!)

Today’s recipe: Marinade for meat or chicken.
Springbok kebabs.

A braai is similar to a barbeque in that bit involves cooking meat over flames outside. But that is where the similarity ends. A PROPER South African braai involves real wood, no charcoal or (heaven forbid) (gasp) gas. We want flames and carcinogenic black bits on our meat. The word can be difficult for foreigners to pronounce and it has been referred to as a Brie, which is just plain wrong!!! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braai

Family and other wild animals

Today’s recipe: Elephant stew
A photo of sea and rocks in Port Elizabeth.
In light of all the miserable weather in the northern hemisphere, I am almost ashamed to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the summer sunshine in the southern hemisphere. If it makes you feel any better, I have had a spot of bother with sunburn, food poisoning and hate mail from freezing Europeans