A toad-in-the-hole, a sleepy cat and gamboling lambs

It is Sunday, and a very lazy day.  Misse Moj has spent several hours here, this morning and this evening, sleeping.  The humans too have been rather lazy, reading, dozing and listening to the radio.

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Misse Moj sleeping

Dinner today was comfort food, necessary in this mixed spring weather of storms, rain and moments of sunshine.  I decided to make toad-in-the-hole, a first for the boys, and a first for me in fact, which is quite a confession, given it is a classic of traditional British cooking.  For those of you who don’t know what it is, it is basically sausages and a batter like that used to make Yorkshire pudding.  There are so many recipes out there for this, that I decided to opt for a beer batter with pork and herb sausages.  A big thank you to The Guardian for doing all the research for me into the best recipe.   I used Sprig and Fern Scotch Ale for the beer.

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Beer and onions

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The finished product

Yes, I know, it doesn’t look exciting, but believe me, the crisp outside of the batter, the soft inside and the sausages work so well together.  I was so pleased that it worked out ‘just right’.  I made an onion gravy to go with it.  Again, there are hundreds of variations out there, but I opted to fry two onions, slowly, in a little oil, covered, until soft.  This takes about 10 to 15 minutes. Take off the lid, turn up the heat, and when the onions become golden brown, add about 40ml balsamic vinegar.  Boil until this almost disappears, add a knob of butter, 250ml beef stock (cubes, fresh, whatever) and stir well.  This makes a really oniony, thin gravy.  If I was to do this again, I would add flour to make a roux before adding the vinegar.

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Onion gravy

And the gamboling lambs? Yesterday I was at Battle Hill Farm Forest Park before a clothes swap event and saw loads of cute wee lambs.

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Spring lambs

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Sheep and mountain mist

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A paddock

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