Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The Fear of God

With choir on Sunday evening to a distant village to sing a concert. Village deserted, rain lashing down, bar closed, more choristers than public. Usual story. The evening brightened up considerably however when I saw this painting dominating the east end, behind the altar. I presume it's St. Bartholomew. You can say what you like about the Church of Rome, but they do good death.
They also would appear to have a pretty decent sense of humour too. Having been flayed to death, he was made the patron saint of tanners.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

A Bad Choice

One of my favourite local-ish wines is Bonarda, from the Oltrepo Pavese district, in the western part of Lombardy, not that far from Comboland. Bonarda is perfect red wine for glugging in quantity, with about 12ยบ of alcohol, nicely acidic and just so slightly fizzy. It'll never win any prizes of course as it's for people with peasant tastes (me) but it's great fun. Doing some idle browsing in a supermarket the other day I chanced upon this Sangue di Giuda (Judas's Blood!) from the same district so I thought, whoopee, I'll have some of that bleeder. Error. It's sweet and foul. Live and learn. Excuse rubbish photo, I was so disappointed with Judas's wine I necked a bottle of decent Barbera as recompense.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

A load of old...

The trip to London wrought its revenge with a decent bout of laryngitis which meant three days in bed, no wine and lots of simple, nourishing food.
The Combo Mother-in-Law rustled up one of her staple dishes for me. Tripe with Spanish beans, potatoes and tomatoes.
I can just about remember my father tucking in to a huge steaming bowl of tripa alla inglese, that being great leathery sheets of the stuff boiled for about nine weeks in milk and onions. Intending visitors could be seen running away from the house with a handkerchief pressed over their faces, dry heaving at the foul stink. Then there was my time in the abattoir where I got to know cows' (and pigs' and sheep's) stomachs rather too well, but that's for another day.
This very Italian dish is a lot more delicate (not difficult), but I still have a problem, oops sorry, issue with the texture of tripe. It's not meat but it's not fat either its....hmm, offal in its purest form I suppose.
WH, this sounds like a dish for you. Do you ever cook tripe? Can one still buy it in Blighty?