First, the good news. Essy is back from Zimbabwe and her mother is much better. They never did give a diagnosis but treated her mainly with some sort of high power penicillin. It was reassuring to hear that the lumber puncture hadn’t indicated a problem. She came out of hospital two days before Essy flew back. I had 3 days off as soon as she was back which is why things have been a little quiet on the blog. On Saturday we went for a drive in the New Forest and we could hardly believe how wet it was, there was standing water everywhere and the forest streams were overflowing. Saturday was a blustery and showery day so we didn’t do much walking preferring to have lunch at the Montagu Arms Hotel in Beaulieu.
During the afternoon we had a little wander around Brockenhurst and I spotted a nice traditional looking butcher’s shop. Before Christmas I’d bought an ox tongue on our local farmers’ market and had to pickle it in brine for 10 days before cooking. Brine will last forever and I wanted to keep using it so had been looking for pork hocks (from the hind leg) to make jamboneau. I’ve got a book dedicated to making French charcuterie and jamboneau are listed in there. I’d not been able to find the hocks anywhere so tried this butcher. I explained what I wanted and why and a big smile came over is face, he then talked for about 20 minutes telling me how much meat they used to pickle themselves, how before Christmas it would take up half the display etc. He was a great enthusiast for pickled meats and promised to have the hocks for me tomorrow when I shall go and collect them! I’m also collecting half a pig’s head so that I can make some brawn as well – trying finding that in Sainsbury’s!