The Smell of Branston

This smell has been with me now since four o’clock this afternoon. I googled for ‘Branston Pickle recipe’ and found one that said it was as close as I would find! Okay, I read the ingredients on the side of my Branston Pickle jar in the fridge and yes, this recipe seemed close enough. Of course I tweaked it, as I always do. Things were made simpler as we only buy ‘small chunk’ in this house, with the little ones only liking the less chunky consistency. So chopping all of the vegetables in the food processor made light work of it. I decided that I would make my own, partly due to the fact that our nanny, Sindy isn’t a big jam consumer, so there will be a new chutney to add to ‘Dadda’s Jams and Pickles’ range, so she can also enjoy something, lovingly hand crafted, along side her main gift! The other reason why I made ‘Branston Pickle’ was the fact that Thor absolutely loves cheese and pickle sandwiches. His all time favourite ‘combo sammy’. That is, until yesterday lunchtime when he screamed that he hated cheese and pickle sandwiches. I know that children just love to rub you up the wrong way, but Thor was adamant and ended up spending time on the ‘Thinking Chair’ before returning to the table and asking to eat his sandwiches. A similar thing happened with Aaliyah’s lunchtime today. Pate on toast – she loves it, but the tantrums were paramount to world war three. Enough of this and back to the heady aroma of pickle. I’m not going to list the ingredients, just look at the side of your jar at home, in the fridge. But there was over two and a half hours of actual cooking time. So I was marooned I the kitchen for a while, as you have to stir, every now and then. Being out of jam jars, I froze two thirds of the mixture in two one kilogram freezer bags and bottled three 12oz (318g) jam jars.

We had a very simple dinner of thin French fries and burgers in seeded baps. Some of Dadda’s tomato chutney beneath the burger and salad with mayonnaise on top. The girls enjoyed a whole, mega burger and I cut one in half to accommodate Aaliyah and Caleb. I asked Thor if half would be okay with half, as I was looking forward to munching on the surplus half myself. They were very large burgers. No he screamed, M’Want a whole one. I asked again if he was sure and yes – a whole one was the reply. He got a whole one and then proceeded to eat only the French Fries. He picked at the burger, I helped him take a number of bites, but it was clear that it would end up in the bin. Thank you, I exclaimed. I would have really enjoyed half of the burger. He laughed uncaringly, so I fed the burger to the dogs, he screamed and was sent to ‘The Thinking Chair’. He didn’t care, but finally said ‘Sorry Dadda’. As hungry as he may be the next time we do mega burgers, he will only be offered a half portion, as are the other little ones. I’m about to serve up homemade pork mini meatballs (in tomato sauce) and spaghetti for John, but all I can think about is cheese and pickle sandwiches… I wonder why!

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andiwebb

A Gay Dad reflecting on life in the Shires of England with my not so famous five and two rapscallion Dalmatian hounds

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