My food blog has had an unintended side effect since I started work as a teacher. It wasn’t all that suprising that my year 12s found their way to my blog from the maths pages I wrote for them but, how the year 9s discovered this place so quickly, I’ll never know.
I guess that’s the power of Google for you!
My newly acquired year 13 class have also become aware of the site and on occasion will use it as an excuse for avoiding practising statistics questions. The following conversation happened three quarters of the way into a practice lesson at the end of last term.
“So this food site of yours, what’s that about?”
This comment came from a student I’ll refer to as J. He is a confident lad who, on occasion, has succesfully confused me by switching places with his identical twin brother and who isn’t easily persuaded to get down to work. However, the Highgate maths department handbook had taught me the exact phrase to use in this situation. Pity it never works.
“I don’t think my blog has anything to do with Binomial Hypothesis Testing.”
As expected, J ignored my attempt to redirect him back to his work. “Are we ever going to try your cooking?”
“No, the school hasn’t got a kitchen. Otherwise I’d be running ‘Cooking at Univeristy’ courses for you lot.”
“You could bring us a cake?”
” I don’t do cake!”
“Or a casserole?”
“Get on with the worksheet, J!”
“But I can do all these questions, Miss.”
“J, you’re in Set 6*. The only reason you aren’t in Set 7 is beause we don’t have enough staff free to teach seven year 13 groups now. You need all the practice you can get.” At this, J started writing again. Around 30 seconds later, he’d given up.
“What’s your favourite restaurant?”
As I considered reaching for my book of detention slips, another student piped up.
“Is it Claridges?”
“Pah, Claridges!” said J. ”It’s OK, but I’ve been to better places.”
I couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow to this. With my political ideologies quite firmly rooted in the right, I’d never believed in the term ‘overpriveledged’ before. However, as someone whose most distinguished treat as a child was a trip to the local Harvester, some of the boys at school were making me wonder.
“What’s your cooking speciality, Miss?”
This question came from the hard working member of this small group. At this point I conceded that no more work was going to get done that lesson and gave in. But what to answer?
“Well…. I suppose…. game …probably. ”
” Game, what’s that?”
Poor boy. What a thing to ask. When I was 18 in my own maths class, this would have been a perfectly reasonable question. However it seems that at Highgate, if you haven’t eaten game, you haven’t lived. The young lad was subject to a short torrent of abuse and a projectile pen.
Oddy enough though, the other five in the class couldn’t quite define game themselves other than to say “It’s like pheasant and stuff.” I would have said game is any wild animal that is eaten as food, but the definition is slightly wider.
“Game is any animal hunted for food or not normally domesticated (such as venison). Game animals are also hunted for sport.” (Wikipedia, the source of all knowledge)
So, for the young man in question, this is some game.
Here is some game that I’m going to cook.
Here it is after preparation for cooking.
here is what you can make with it….
and here is how you do it.
Rabbit Braised with Red Wine, Tomatoes and Olives
- 1 wild rabbit, cleaned and jointed
- 400g chopped tomatoes
- half a bottle good quality red wine
- 20 black pitted olives, chopped in half
- 1 large onon, ffinely diced
- a handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 level tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat your oven to gas mark 2-3.
- Brown the rabbit pieces on all sides. Place in a casserole dish that fits them snugly.
- Sweat the onions and garlic with the oregano in the olive oil until soft.
- Add the tomatoes, red wine, puree and olives. Stir well and bring to a gentle boil.
- One the mixture has reduced to a thick sauce, stir in half the basil.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the sauce over the rabbit pieces and place in the oven.
- After three hours the rabbit should be tender. Pour the sauce off into a wide saucepan and bring it to a bubble to reduce it. At this stage you can adjust the ingredients to taste as much a you like.
- Stir in the remaining basil.
- Taste, adjust seasoning and serve the rabbit with the sauce poured over it with some soft polenta with parmesan or, if you’d run out like me, with some penne tossed in parmesan and parsley.
* We set by ability with 1 being the highest.