Cellophane and farting cows

Not a great deal has been accomplished in the last two weeks. I still have not found any one who can cut up the gas bottles to make fireboxes despite numerous enquiries. I do however live in hope, the grill has not been cleaned on account of when the weather has been good I have been somewhere else like work and although the designs for the spit roaster are completed work has still not started on it yet. The spit roast was supposed to be up and running and in test mode by this coming Sunday, however it will be a few short weeks late but nevertheless it will still be built in time to enjoy the best of the coming summer.

Despite or perhaps in spite of the inclement weather and lack of opportunities I have spent some time watching various cookery programmes mainly hosted by so called celebrity chefs. There is such a glut of them although I do have some favourites. I particularly like Hugh Fernley Whittingstall and Rick Stein. These are such laid back characters that I reckon you could spend a quiet afternoon with and learn a lot. Then there is St Delia herself and the absolutely Gorgeus Nigella Lawson, The Domestic Goddess, who cares what she cooks! Along with Jamie and a few others though they all have one thing in common and that is a love of fresh ingredients. They all seem to spend hours at Farmers markets or butchers where you can buy pheasant with or without the feathers and speciality wild boar sausages. Its all a world apart from where I live. There are no farmers markets anymore and even the local market gardens have become trendy garden centres that no longer sell fresh produce.

Not only do I not have the time to search for the same ingredients they do, I am reliant on supermarkets that have dominated my shopping habits for the last 20 years or so. The butcher at the local Tesco looked horrified and then amazed when I asked him if he could get in a whole pig because I wanted to spit roast one. It goes beyond availability, for instance I have tried to be green and not buy things in packages that cannot either be recycled or are superfluous to requirements but its difficult to buy mushrooms that are not prepacked in plastic cartons any more. It almost the same with vegetables, the’re all prewrapped in cellophane. If the government really want us to be green why dont they ban the sale of anything that cannot be recycled? Its all very well saying that shopping revolutions are consumer led but if you can only buy what the shop sells then what choice do you have? I used to use a lot of charcoal years ago until I heard that a lot of forests are being cut down to supply the western appetite for cooking outdoors and so I moved onto a gas grill to stop trees being cut down from unsustainable forests. Some quarters accused me of using a “cheating barbecue” and for being lazy but that is not so. It was about the same time I read about the effects of methane on the ozone layer. Huge swathes of forest in South America are being cut down to provide grazing land for cattle so they can be turned into burgers for McDonalds. We lose the the lungs of the trees and gain the methane emitted by all those extra cattle which is truly staggering. ( Cows fart a lot and I mean a lot)

I suppose that is why the spit and the smoker are being made from recycled material and the fuel to power them will provided from sustainable woods and copses where the trees are managed. This is why I did not walked into a fabrication shop and asked for something custom built. I want to make it myself out of materials that I have acquired or would have otherwise gone into a landfill. I have only just begun to realise how serious about this I am becoming.

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