So, I’m cooking again… or maybe that should read: Writing about cooking again! Since obviously not a day goes by without me cooking something… well, recently that has not been strictly true: I have gone out to eat in restaurants, I have had meals cooked for me by my lover, I have had at least one take-away (yes, I do that sometimes!)

I have however, been feeling quite blissed out… no need for mood altering drugs: the dopamine in my brain seems to be in constant, steady supply, leaving me a bit unfocussed: that, my dear reader, is what being in love, and being thorougly loved, feels like: a kind of madness I guess… (I read once that doing therapy with someone in love is futile: it’s like attempting therapy when someone is high.. which, I can tell you, does not work!: and I am a therapist in my day-job so I should know!)

Whether this blog-entry signifies a drop in my dopamine levels I’m not sure, but it does signify some big food related event, I guess, which I will shortly tell you about.

Preceding all of this, another Big Event: I have gotten engaged: yes, To Be Married: the official thing with a ring, and French champagne in a good restaurant…. we have had a succession of little and somewhat larger dinner parties to celebrate, and show off the ring(s): he wears a ring too: made from gold which once was in an engagement ring of my mother’s mother…

In the restaurant, that night, we had a perfect meal: I had for a starter, pork belly cooked to utter perfection with Chinese five spice mixture rubbed on: an elegant two inch square piece of pork, presented in a fragrant jus tinged with what I thought was star anise… He had a seafood risotto to absolutely die for: I SO do not say that lightly! He does not do risotto you see, but this was so great…

I’m sitting here thinking: “Now what did I have for mains?” I cannot quite remember? Aha, he had oxtail, and I had lamb shank.. that is it! Wonderfully cooked both.

So suffice it to say(as they say!), we had a very special evening… and I have not really gotten used to seeing a ring on this left hand ring-finger. I designed it myself: white gold, black enamel, four diamonds in total about one carat right around the band…. I took it off this morning almost for the first time(except when I take it off when I put face cream on every day, but that kindof does not count)

I took off this new ring because I had to dismember, or process or whatever one would call it, a Springbuck carcass, for the first time in my life all by myself:The Big Event!!! my ex husband,  brought this back, pre-ordered and prepaid I hasten to add, from a hunting trip: I had a fantasy that he would cut it all up for me in neat Woolworths-like packets, but no: this morning I fetched it from his house which used to be my house, in black plastic bags: I had a sudden sense of lugging a human corpse out of my car when I got home.

I had not seen my ex stepson in about 8 years or so: so this morning, when he lugged the carcass of the buck which he very well may have shot, to my car, I could not help feeling deeply moved: the little blondish boy who used to sit in my lap and call his dad “Dada” is now a dark haired man, with dark brown eyes, tentatively hugging me in the presence of his father this morning, and his father’s new love…

I carried the little buck, at least it was skinned and cleaned, to my dining room table, covered with plastic, improvised from bin bags, and stood there looking at it, feeling a bit overwhelmed at the task ahead. But I am my mother’s daughter, and soon had the legs and the shoulders cut relatively neatly from the carcass, and then I rather expertly I thought for someone who has never done this on a buck, cut away the tenderloin and the tiny fillet(the other one was damaged by the gunshot).Before I left for work, all was done, and labelled and frozen. Except for one packet, with the neck and bits and other chunks of meat, destined to be cooked this evening.

And that is what I have been doing this evening: caramelising onions, and carrots, and celery, and browning chunks of venison including the neck in olive oil, and now I have a pot of bits and pieces of wild meat slowly cooking in the kitchen… Tomorrow I will make a venison pie in some wild and wonderful tribute to a mother who used to use every shred of meat when my dad came home triumphantly with his kill during the hunting season….

I did earlier on, in my own wild moment, slice the undamaged fillet of Springbuck into thinnest possible slivers and slathered the deep red slices with good olive oil and ancient balsamico, and had that, in tribute to wild meat and wild men in my life….and my own wild nature……

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