...and I'm planning to use that fat for my roast potatoes. Yes, it's that time of year again. Food shopping for Christmas.
I had a day off college today. For once I didn't have to get up at 6 a.m. and I had the opportunity for a good lie-in.
But Christmas is coming, so what did I do? I got up at 7 a.m. and drove down with my dad to the incomparable Steve Hatt in Essex Road to place my festive order for fish and game. It may have still been dark outside, but inside Islington's Xmas grotto the lights were shining brightly. And the produce, as always, was London's finest.
This may be the last Xmas that we spend together as a family for some time. Next year we will probably be scattered.
I'll be in Portugal, dad will be in Lancashire, mum will be here in London and bro Joel will be in Southampton. So I plan to cook a really special meal this year.
I plaiced my order (sorry about that) - scallops to start, swordfish steaks for the fish eaters and loin of venison for the carnivores amongst us. I'll publish recipes and pics after the holiday, of course.
So, the question was what to do with the rest of my day off? This is where Izzy comes into the picture. Izzy has been on my mind ever since she quite rightly rebuked me for living just 2 miles from one of London's best street markets and not using it. Well, Izzy, you were right. Wow! Simply amazing. My dad and I went down this afternoon. We took a camera each and behaved like Japanese tourists on a naughty weekend in Soho. We took dozens of photographs, as well as returning with as many carrier bags as two chaps can decently carry without causing embarassment on the 149 bus.
I'll be putting up a photo display soon, after I get to grips with flickr or some similar technology. The piccies above are just a couple to whet your appetite for now.
Not only great produce to buy and photograph, but fantastic afternoon snacks. I ate domlas and vanilla pie, washed down with mulled wine.
Somehow the remainder of the visit seemed even better than the first part. I was seduced by fragrant focaccia, Italian alpine cheese and a mushroom pâté to die for. Dad paid for it all.
And then... I saw it! Yes, you were right again, Izzy. They sell ostrich - just like you said they did - and I died and went to heaven! We stayed and chatted for ages to the woman from Gamston Wood Farm about rearing ostriches, products made from ostrich meat and healthy eating issues.
I'm cooking for some friends tonight, so I bought ostrich steak which I plan to tell them is a special type of beef. I can't wait to see the reaction after they've finished when I tell them what they just ate.
Dad bought half a dozen ostrich burgers, two of which he cooked as soon as he got home and ate on a bed of potato and crispy green salad.
I can't wait to post the rest of my photos, larger size, to show you just how amazing Borough Market is. But you'll excuse me right now, while I go off to my friend’s house to cook some succulent steaks sliced from the fastest thing in the world on two legs. And don't worry. It's not Asafa Powell.