Jan 26, 2010

Monday night

It is late on one of those quiet nights, where some things happen but still not quite enough. Elderflower with gin is the preferred beverage tonight. I went shopping today with a Thai meal in mind, also bought Middle Eastern things to pack as lunch. Flavours from places where there is more light.

Then my freezer excavations unearthed a packet of Cumberland sausages, and the whole menu changed to something Nigel Slater might approve of. It also led me to wonder whether people from Cumberland were especially cumbersome? Apparently not, as cumber (in the hinder sense) originates from the Latin cumulus, a heap/mass/mound. Cumberland however, can be traced to the Old Welsh Cymru, meaning compatriot. And in the old days Celtic (or Brythonic) was spoken all over. Coincidence then. There must surely be a word for this etymological convergence?

Supper is simple, yet satisfying. The sausages go into a roasting tin, accompanied by two smallish potatoes, cut into 1cm slices. An onion follows, quartered and spread out underneath everything. A handful of sage is tucked in between, some salt goes onto the potatoes. I really appreciate plants that can survive the snow. As I'm in a hurry, my potatoes and onions are precooked - if you're upset by that I suggest you roast your potatoes and onion for half an hour before adding the sausage, while repeatedly emptying and refilling the preferred beverage vessel. Then another 30 minutes - I started out at 180C, but turned it up to get more colour towards the end. I read an article I should have abandoned long ago, instead of constantly refilling.

Then it is ready - some lettuce leaves are added the plate. It is warm, comforting and cosy. It is what I need. The potatoes are slightly crisp on the outside, while creamy on the inside. The sausages have texture and a gentle peppery, herby flavour. The onion disappears into a sticky brownness, punctuated by the crisp of toasted sage. Next time I'll use more onion.