This freaky looking monster, much as it might look like it, is not a poop. It’s not a killer insect in its pupa stage. Nor, as my mother suggested, a severed knob. It is a lovingly home-crafted mutton black pudding, received as a present from Jackie the sheep man. I’m not going to lie to you – I was pretty unsettled when I saw it. Just sitting on the deck, having appeared seemingly from nowhere and looking disturbingly ready to hatch. But I was assured by Neil that it was a) safe and b) perfectly normal to expect someone you don’t really know to waltz into your house when you’re not there and leave, as a gift, a hefty deposit on the kitchen surface. So that’s all good.
Not being an expert in the black pudding department I consulted Neily-boy who said you just slice it and grill it like you would with a normal black pudding. So we did that and had it with mashed sweet potato and greens and a little homemade beetroot relish that goes so well with the pork black pudding. Honestly, we tried but it was just so sheepy. Mine was so smothered in onion relish and mustard that I didn’t initially experience a distinct flavour so I ploughed on but by the end of the second slice, I was flagging, with the more noticeable, cloyingly sweet, slightly offally flavour going on. It was just a bit bodily – a bit too… well, once you’ve done a season of lambing, that inside of a sheep smell isn’t really welcome on your plate. Neil didn’t even last the first slice, but then he does really hate sheep. Alive even more than dead. Still, we gave it a go and decided we should try and make our own when Avril get’s the chop (poor Avril, we really shouldn’t talk about him like this. And yes, Avril is a boy). Sorry Jackie – we really appreciated the thought and Robin really appreciated the rest of it, but I think we’ll stick with just the cup of tea next time.