Java and I were out on a little jaunt this weekend when Java found a dead wood pigeon. To be honest, I’m surprised she even saw it because I don’t think that her eyesight is quite what it might be; she often mistakes objects and also does this funny cross-eyed thing. Being a perfect gentledog, I offered to carry it home for her, but she was quite stubborn in her desire to hang on to it, even though she had to stop every few metres because it was almost as big as her. When we finally got back home, which took a while because Java has neither my staying power nor my common sense when it comes to carrying things, Bossy took one look and shrieked. What is with Bossy and her shrill screams when we give her presents? And no, there won’t be a recipe for wood pigeon to follow because Bossy and her delicate constitution insisted that we give it to the neighbour, saying she wanted nothing to do with plucking pigeons. As for Java, she was spitting out feathers all evening in a most unladylike way. I think next time she’ll let me take care of the transport.
I don’t like mussels much, except obviously my own masculine dog ones. Java seems quite keen to chew the shells though – maybe she’s teething.
Mussels are surprisingly good for you. Not only are they a high quality complete protein, they are also a rich source of vitamin B12, manganese, iron, iodine and vitamin C.
Ingredients (serves 4)
2 kg fresh mussels
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
150ml dry white wine (Muscadet is excellent)
Wash the mussels in cold running water making sure to remove any grit or sand. Discard any that float or any that are already open. Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan over a low heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for a few minutes until softened. Add the mussels and coat well with the melted butter, oil and shallots. Add the herbs and seasoning and then the wine. Bring to a simmer and cook for about five minutes until the mussels have opened. Eat immediately, preferably with French fries cooked in duck fat.