Obelix and the Wild Boar Casserole

Many, many years ago, when I was a lad, I had an ear-ache. Nasty one too. My father, in a moment of altruistic generosity, arrived home that evening from work with a comic. It was called ‘Asterix the Legionary’.

It was a story about a little Gaulish warrior and his best buddy Obelix. They roamed ancient France, bashing Romans and eating wild boar. A lot of wild boar. Obelix liked to finish off three or four in one sitting, and they were always (well nearly always) eaten roasted.

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Obelix could eat as many wild boar you could throw at him…

Later, as I got older, I realised it wasn’t a moment of altruistic generosity that led my father to purchase the comic. He liked it too. In fact whenever he got me one for Christmas or a birthday, he’d read it first. The cheek.

But I always wondered what wild boar was like. I mean from what I have read and heard, wild boar is like pork.

So when I took a trip to my new best-place-to-buy-food (the Farm Shop down the road) I spotted some wild boar, vacuum-packed. I knew I had to try it.

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Coq au Vin with Croissant Cobbler

I just remembered that while I was stuck on that plane last week coming back from being an international businessman (shame I don’t get international businessman pay BTW) there was a salesman sitting behind me next to an English undergraduate.

I know this because the guy didn’t stop talking from the moment I sat down until the moment I got up, opened the rear door and threw myself out at 22,000ft.

Okay I didn’t do that but honestly I would have rather been stuck next to a 300lb screaming monster-baby. With a bad vomiting bug.

Now this guy couldn’t stop talking because a) he was a salesman and b) he was nervous (probably because of the dodgy engine; see the last post). But he was scaring the hell out of the student. She was laughing in that hysterical way you would do as someone explains to you that the reason they say get into the ‘brace’ position if you are unlucky enough to be in an airplane disaster scenario isn’t to try to save your life, it’s to try and keep your teeth in your face so they can identify your body from dental records. Nice.

That guy was an arsehole but his buddy was worse – some kind of Eastern European who was trying to chat this girl up by explaining that his girlfriend had left him and that he was looking for love because he had ‘biological needs’. Really? Keeping looking mate you’re going to be in it for the long haul.

Anyway, after a particularly stressy work week I decided to unwind with a serious dose of cooking. I decided to try Coq au Vin again. This time with croissant!

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Cheesy Fondue Bake – the Perfect Antidote to ‘Fuggy Friday’.

Oh happy days. The wind it doth blow and the rain it doth piss. Forsooth methinks I have a) had enough of crappy weather and b) swallowed an olde English dictionary.

I had the pleasure and the privilege of travelling to the Emerald Isle this week for a couple of meetings. To my great shame I had never visited Ireland before, even though I have an Aunt who is based in Dublin. Also, to my even greater shame, I saw little of that country – an airport, a motorway and an office.

But I did make a new best friend; Sean, the cab driver. Great bloke who shared the same cynical-ironic sense of humour. We ranted about driving, football, cars and finally our countries. Perfect antidote to 4 hours in a ‘discovery’ meeting.

(A ‘discovery’ meeting is a meeting where you spend the whole time hiding your intentions from the other party whilst trying not to come across like you’re hiding your intentions from the other party; I’m not that good at it because it gets a bit tedious).

Anyway, after getting back to Blighty (the plane nearly didn’t  make it; I’m sure it  clipped a wing as we hit the tarmac in the middle of a gale) I needed some stodge food.

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Essential Autumnal Fare – Beef Braised in Red Wine

This week we have seen snow storms in the Mid West United States. Seems as though they have hit Winter head on and not bothered with the Fall. One of my previous managers at work hailed from North Dakota and liked to explain how in those parts Spring and Fall could last about 5 minutes – it seemed to go from sweltering heat to freezing blizzards overnight.

Well over here in good ol’ Britain we like to make a major palava out of our weather. In fact this year we are still waiting for Autumn to arrive. It’s T-shirt weather still. But we are gearing up for a good hard blast of Mr Freezy. It’s the way it works. You have to pay the (weather) piper at some point.

So this creation doesn’t really feel right for an evening where it’s still 17 Centigrade. But who cares. Maybe I can package it up and ship it off to those poor folks in South Dakota…

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