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I was reminiscing with Jamie the other night, upon us working in the same building. He worked in a music studio downstairs, and I worked upstairs for a music publisher. He always forgot to stop for lunch (unlike me, who seemingly has to eat every three hours or I turn into, actually, I don’t know what I’d turn into, as I’d never risk finding out), so I’d quite often pop down to the butcher and grab him a scotch egg (60p!), which he’d gobble up gratefully. So, we made scotch eggs the other night, and he asked if I felt all proud and wifely now that I make my own, and sad though it may seem, I do. Simple pleasures.

We’ve had a glut of eggs of late (hence the Scotching), as all three chickens are now laying. They’re constantly ravenous, they love Molly’s leftovers, and they in turn provide us with eggs. It’s a lovely circle, and I really do hope these hens stick around for longer than the last, as they’re all getting on very well (bar the occasional squabble over a frog or a worm)…

We thought we’d have quite a simple supper of the eggs, and maybe some salad and cheese. I also thought chutney would go well with it, so had a quick look on the net and what we had in the cupboards and came up with the recipe below. First time I’ve made chutney, but it worked out well – in fact deliciously well. The eggs were amazing and enormous compared to the ones you get in the shops. We only managed to eat three between us, so the fourth made an excellent lunch (for me) the next day…

Tomato Chutney

4 shallots, thinly sliced

3 cloves of garlic

15 cherry tomatoes, quartered

2 tblsp light brown sugar

6 tblsp red wine vinegar

Thumb of ginger

2 dried chillis, crushed

Seeds from one cardomen pod

This takes longer than the eggs, so get going with this first. Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer, covered for an hour, take lid off for quarter of an hour, or until the chutney is at the desired consistency. This can then be eaten hot, or refrigerated (we ate ours cold) and then kept in a jar in the fridge for about six weeks.

Scotch Eggs – Makes 4

6 normal pork sausages (or 500g sausagemeat)

100g breadcrumbs, spread out on a plate

Couple of pinches of nutmeg

Couple of pinches of cayenne pepper

A few chopped sage leaves

Seasoning

3 tblsp plain flour, spread out on a plate

5 eggs (one beaten for the breadrumbing process)

Pinch mustard powder

Bottle of sunflower oil, for deep frying

Firstly make the breadcrumbs, from slightly stale bread, and sprinkle a bit of cayenne and mustard powder in with them. . Then start boiling some water for the eggs. Next mix the sausage meat in with a pinch of nutmeg and cayenne, the sage and generous seasoning, and then divide the meat mixture into eight balls, and then slightly flatten them (they will be used to encase the eggs, so two per egg).

Next lower the eggs into the boiling water and cook for five minutes (we wanted our yolks runny). Remove and run under cool tap until cool enough to remove the shells (gently bash and roll then peel away the shell). Then encase the eggs with the sausagemeat, and pinching the sides together to join the seams. Heat the oil to 170c (or until a breadcrumb bubbles away, but not fiercely), then dust the sausagey eggs in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Lastly, deep fry the eggs, two at a time for 8 to 10 minutes (we cooked ours for 9). Leave on kitchen paper whilst cooking the remaining two, but they shouldn’t be overly greasy.

To Serve:

Some nice mature cheddar

Some gherkins

Salad

Couple of slices of sourdough

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