Am I a foodie? Not sure. I am still partial to a Balti from a jar rather than spending three hours making it.
But I am interested in technique and skill.
I was handed a voucher for Meat School at Christmas, from my wife. She just laughed as she handed it me, I carefully unwrapped the voucher scrolled around what was to be a large Chorizo sausage.
I entered the offices of Cannon & Cannon of Bough Market, there greeting me was my quarry. The pigs head gazing to the ceiling. I was late and had missed the opening anecdotes and kept my mouth shut as not to repeat any.
After opening health and safety statements - there's the door, this knife is sharp etc... I stare down at my poor pig. It's a she I learn - a rare breed.
Our tutor takes us through what we are going to be doing and what we should end up with. He demonstrates our first cuts so that we can remove the meat and skin from the skull.
As we all diligently follow our master butcher, learning different knife skills and strokes, we pass the cheek with a scooping movement. Then comes the eye. "Where is the eye" someone exclaims. I do not look up engrossed in the task in front of me.
"Ears on or off?" I'm asked. "Off," I say, "yes they can be chewy".
The group relaxes and tales are told, but no mention of Ex-prime ministers, but I do suggest it may make a good hat.
With a final slash and tug the snout comes away and success, yes the skin and head are separated.
We rub with herbs and Cure One, begin to roll up the head and weave what seems to be a basket, tightening as we go. Our job now complete.
Simmer for 3hrs, then fry in slices or cut like a ham.
I seem to have lost my appetite.