Dearest pals, gather round, unfold your striped deck chairs and lend me your glorious ear flaps. Today is THE most auspicious of days! A day within which we celebrate the literal emergence into society of the long limbed, ruggedly bearded gentle fellow who rules Spindle Towers with a silken mitten. I do of course mean Hector and it is his Birthday!
Myself and Muvver are very excited about this, Hector…not so much. Like a runny Stinking Bishop or a new pair of Dr Marten boots, he is enhanced and enriched by antiquity.
He however dwells on age related gravity, bodily disarrangements and knee cap creaks when arising from his brocade chaise longue. Muvver believes that he is in fact becoming more outrageously handsome and debonair. Proof of this is the nightly finesse he displays whilst scampering around in his smoking jacket, pacing around with his single malt and waxing lyrical on the finer points of lawn mowers.
The day before the great day, Muvver told him that she would cook him anything he wanted for dinner on his birthday, and he was to think long and hard about it. Sadly he didn’t think long or hard and immediately demanded roast heart. Whilst I nodded in some approval, Muvver reeled back in alarm. She was truly horrified but tried to style it out by nonchalantly agreeing to make him his dream dinner from his childhood. She was somewhat irked as if Hector had to do this for her it would be a simple Vesta Curry and a cherry soda stream, which seemed far less repellant to her.
Nethertheless a challenge was issued and there was a Hector to cater for. After the morning prize giving ceremony and pastries in bed for the birthday boy, we made our excuses and he hopped into the shower to begin the beautification protocol. Hair like his doesn’t just happen you know. And he is worth it.
We had been surprised by a warm ish morning so whilst he was soaping and powdering himself, we arranged ourselves in the garden with our steaming tureens of earl grey, dippy eggs and toast soldier arrangement.
First things first, we realised he hadn’t specified what particular creature the heart had resided in and this was playing on our minds.
‘Why would he want heart of all things’ I exclaimed in mild perplexion, waving my buttery paws about, ‘Well he already has mine’ muttered Muvver dreamily. I eyed her warily as she could be unpredictable when she got all romantic. I wiped the crumbs from my whiskers, distracted her with a jaffa cake and considered the logistics of harvesting organs from a mouse.
Some time later we decided that a mouse would probably not be quite up to the task. We progressed upwards in size to a ferret then a chicken until we decided to investigate a cookery book from the Hector ‘rearing era’ for much needed help.
Fanny Craddock came galloping to our rescue (and not for the first time) as we blew dust from her faded cover to reveal what secrets should probably be forgotten. As if to prove our point we found a recipe to stuff and cook a lambs heart. We weren’t keen to be honest, but we persevered reading until we came to the bit that said we had to trim the heart of excess fat, tubes and gristle.
Muvver ran and hid in the bedroom with her head under a pillow humming Puff the Magic Dragon, our go to comfort tune. I then decided that I was going to have to take things in paw and offered to prepare and cook the heart. Fine.
I have always said it is amazing the things you can find in a butchers window, so off I toddled, bonnet firmly tied under my chin and wicker basket nestled in the crook of my arm. Our local purveyor of meat is very popular, and I had to queue, but I didn’t mind this as I ended up waiting behind Eric, a jaunty new Lurcher pal of mine.
He was in the business for some Barnsley chops as it was his turn to make dinner. He is fairly new to his home and wanted to make amends for some rather disgraceful behaviour when a bobble hat took him by surprise on a walk. After a general chat and having secured an evening for our dominoes match (league two) down the pub, I acquired the wobbly pink item and scuttled about town to get the rest of the ingredients before returning to Spindle Towers to coax Muvver out from under the Paddington pillow.
After I had unpacked my groceries I turned round to find both of them grinning at me in manner that foretold mischief and frolicsomeness. I always say that I do my best work when I am not distracted by unhelpful comments and suggestions so I sent them both out to play for a little while.
We had previously interrogated Hector with a torch and some bull dog clips to find out his preferred method of preparation/cooking, which turned out to be packing the heart full of stuffing (presumably to hide the flavour) and then stitching it up to form a parcel of lumpsome leavings . I popped on my housework headscarf and floral housecoat and I was ready to submit to the knowledge of Fanny.
Wielding the knife I began to swiftly deal with aforementioned tubes. They were…unpleasant. I am not a hound that likes waste, so I popped them to one side thinking they might make an interesting twist on a Cannelloni.
My next task was to generously stuff the glistening item, which I did whilst humming “Hungry Heart’, and then I blanket stitched the edges together with some string I found.
Finally it was ready for roasting. It sat on the tray, naked and afraid. I was exhausted!
Content that my contribution had been made, I kicked off my feathered mules and enjoyed a well earned Margarita.
Some time later, it was time for dinner and we piloted a jubilant Hector into the dining room, blindfolded. The feast was prepared, as was a vast selection of gin to allow for a thorough swilling if necessary.
I shall report back dear friends on the success of the evening!
Until next time though, do take care good pals.