Our skis are in for a service otherwise we would have hit the slopes again today, being another perfect blue sky day, so we took ourselves off for a walk instead and who should we meet but our little homunculus friend, Mini-B, coming panting towards us through the meadow. He's reduced to running everywhere now since the ice-cream van broke down at the weekend, when the side door fell off in the middle of the road in spectacular cartoonish fashion and the engine spluttered to a very full stop in a cloud of black noxious smoke. He had to order a taxi yesterday - one of those minibus things with a roof rack for skis - to deliver hay to his animals!
He was in a bit of a state because one of his calves had got her leg stuck in a hole in the cow shed and he needed a hand lifting her out. There was a suggestion that she may have broken her leg, so I declined to go along. I can't bear to see animals suffering, it makes me too sad - as if someone's dropped a bag of marbles in my heart - but BB reported back that they had successfully lifted her out and put a cast on her leg and she was happily laying back in the hay watching repeats of Emmerdale.
It's quite hard to sex up pulverized soft tissue of mackerel for the camera - but what it lacks in the Top Modèl stakes, this pâté makes up for in robustness. A quick, no-nonsense, Hattie Jacques kind of pâté - and another one from Homes and Gardens.
5-6 smoked, peppered mackerel fillets
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 tbsp horseradish sauce
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
handful of fresh parsley, scissor-snipped
Bend the mackerel fillets in half lengthways, skin sides in, bringing the ends together so that the flesh (on the outside) comes away easily from the skin. Discard all skin and pull the fish into chunks. Combine the fish, lemon juice, sauces and snipped parsley in a bowl. Mix, mash and blend roughly, using a fork. Smooth into a 600ml serving dish or 6 individual 100ml dishes. Smooth the top flat and chill for at least 2 hours or up to 4 days. Serve with buttered baguette slices or toasts.