All the windows and doors for the new house have been installed. The fitter arrived for the last time yesterday with his frisky young bloodhound in tow and every time I looked out, the dog was gambolling past with some essential fixing in its mouth, closely followed by a screeching fitter guy waving a big stick. All this hollering and barking fairly set my cats a dither, who all remained inside observing the antics from the safety of the kitchen windowsill, leaving a line of tiny smudges across the window at cat nose level.
Later in the afternoon I went out to play fetch with the dog. Now, I used to have a pretty good throwing arm. In fact, I was the champion discus, javelin and shot put thrower of my year for three years at secondary school and I could throw a lamb chop past a hungry wolf. But these days it needs some work because when I tried to chuck an empty mastic cartridge into the garden it spun 90 degrees towards the house. It reminded me of the time I went bowling with some lawyer friends and one of them, a mighty fine lawyer but a rubbish bowler, forgot to let go of the ball which went whizzing right over his head, wheeeee, and landed on someone's foot behind him. How we laughed!
But no-one was laughing this time because the mastic tube hit the newly-installed window with a loud thoink and I held my breath as angry fitter guy checked it for damage.
Thankfully there was none - but the dog and I were banished to the truck and the house respectively.
I made these vegetarian Scotch eggs on Sunday. Homemade Scotch eggs are nothing like shop-bought ones which look as though they've been coated in orange sand. The egg is always over-cooked, the white rubbery and grey and the yolk anaemic and dry. This version, which looks as round and plump as a partridge, is a bit like all-in-one egg soldiers (one of my favourite things to eat) - a runny yolk encased in crispy fried fresh breadcrumbs with the addition of some fresh chopped herbs. Delicious for breakfast or brunch.
Vegetarian Scotch eggs
5 medium eggs
Flour for dusting
Fresh breadcrumbs - about 4 handfuls - enough to coat 4 eggs
1 dessert spoon of finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 dessert spoon of finely chopped fresh chives
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
Preheat the oven to 325°F/170°C. Place 4 of the eggs in a pan and cover completely with cold water. Heat over a high heat until boiling then reduce the heat and simmer for 4 minutes. Cool in cold water before peeling.
Whisk the remaining egg. Combine the chopped herbs with the breadcrumbs and season. Gently roll each boiled egg in flour, then the egg mixture then the breadcrumbs.
Put the oil in a pan to a depth of 2 inches/5 cm and heat. Fry the eggs until golden, turning so as not to burn - for about 2-3 minutes. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and place in the oven in an ovenproof dish to heat through for about 3-4 minutes.