Saturday, 24 March 2012

Thomasina Miers Chorizo, Potato and Thyme Quesadillas

I saved a life today.  Okay so not a human life, but the life of a sheep that had become stuck in a lake.  I just hope the sheep has gotten over the trauma.  Do sheep become traumatised?  I'm not sure.  She didn't look too stressed, and just spent most of the time bleating pitifully but I hope she's now back grazing happily with her fellow sheep.  I will think of her while I try to fall asleep tonight.

So how did I find myself in this situation?  Well every time it's sunny, this is how the day will go in our house.  I get up early.  I always do.  Despite moaning that I never get a lie in any more, I used to really have to battle with myself to stay in bed past 7am pre-child.  So this scenario has played out many a time over the past seven years, just with slightly different variants.  Anyhow, I got up.  The child got up.  We went to Sainsburys to buy almond essence (Ocado no longer sell this which is REALLY annoying).  We get home.  The husband is still in bed.

At 11.23am, he finally surfaces, forages and slopes back upstairs to surf the interweb.  Miss A has her lunch served on the dot of midday.  The husband appears at 12:02 and demands to know what we're doing for the rest of the day.  A discussion ensues about how it's now too late to go on a long distance trip to the coast; we couldn't do it anyway as we can neither leave the dogs or take them with us (two high octane dogs and a toddler outside of the house is just plain stressful); and a reminder from me to him that no matter what I suggest, he won't want to do it anyway.

He slopes back upstairs.  I email a list of suggestions.  He appears thirty minutes later and announces that we'll be doing none of the above and that we'll go to our usual pub for lunch and then to the local lake for a walk.  An hour later, we finally get out of the door, lunch and then go for a walk.

Sheep don't they?
Getting to the edge of the lake, we notice a sheep wading about three feet from the bank.  She's bleating pitifully and you can quite clearly see where she's tried to get out but failed as the bank is just to steep for a sheep in a sodden fleece.  Passersby stop and tell us she's been here for a while.  I ask what anyone's done about it.  Nothing comes the reply.  They all stand around staring whilst I try to keep Miss A from jumping in because she has a new obsession about wanting to kiss sheep.  This is bad enough with the sheep in the field, but she is particularly hung up on this wet sheep.

Still nobody volunteers to dive in and help her out (the sheep, not Miss A!).  She won't come close enough to the bank for anyone to try pulling her out now she has an audience.  People start to drift away muttering that she'll get out in her own time.  I wasn't convinced.  So being a good citizen, I whipped out my phone, found the number of the stately home the lake belongs too and put in a call to the Lord of the Manor who promptly dispatched the shepherds to rescue her.

What bothered me about this was that most people have internet enabled phones these days and nobody else cared enough to hasten the sheep's rescue.  Years ago, on an early morning drive through the New Forest with a friend, we happened across a foal racing around in the road as it had become separated from its mother (she was stuck behind a fence) and it didn't know how to get back to her.  My phone was a primitive Nokia.  Yet a couple of calls and we managed to get in touch with some Forest Rangers who came and helped us to capture the foal.

Hasty picture of tasty quesadilla
It may only be just a sheep and people may think 'Oh well someone else will do it' but seriously, in a world of instant communication, it takes just a few minutes to help these hapless animals.  At least I can go to bed with a clear conscience and not worry that if we go back tomorrow, there will be a carcass in the lake having its eyes pecked out by crows (this was the husband's suggestion - he has a thing about crows).

Anyway, all this drama meant that my plan for Melanzana all Parmiagana went south so I needed a quick storecupboard recipe to knock up for tea.  I made the aforementioned quesadillas which I've been meaning to make for ages but have never gotten round to doing so.  They were pleasant enough and would make a great snack.  You definitely need to use old potatoes for this.  I had new ones to hand, but they were more greasy rather than crisp.  I served the quesadilla with some tomato sauce that was left over from last night's pizza with some chilli thrown in to give it the necessary kick to go with the Mexican theme.

Really quick, really easy and a great way to get through a pack of flour tortillas.  I always end up throwing some away (I know, I should always make my own!).  Before my toaster blew up the other day, I'd often stick folded wraps in my toaster and stuff them with salad and cheese or hummous but I'd never thought of dry frying them with the filling inside.  Opened up lots of potential.

The recipe is on the Guardian website and comes from Mexican Food Made Easy.

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