I took the dogs for an earlier walk this afternoon because of the pork and the cakes.
The pork was a roast pork that I had agreed to cook for my husband even though the thought of a dead pig makes me hugely upset, as does the thought of any dead animal. When I do roasts, I tend to try and cook them quite slowly because my understanding is that this makes the meat more tender. I have no idea if this works. My husband, not wishing to risk this occasional service that I perform for him on a Sunday, always declares any roast dinner I produce as delicious and as I have never really fast cooked any roast he has little to compare it to.
The problem is the vegetables, which need a higher temperature so today, wanting also to get some weighing of flour and sugar out of the way in anticipation of the pile of cakes I am cooking on Monday night (it is a work thing) I decided to cook the pork at normal speed but also roast off the vegetables before I started and then just reheat them.
In the end, this did not end up saving me a whole load of time in the cooking. Apparently you have to cook the roast in a really hot oven to start with to get the crackling and then drop the temperature, but the fact that the hour preceding that had been spent on the veggies just drew the whole thing out to the normal length of time. My time management on this was so bad that I am almost certain that I will not be announced as the new Dr Who today.
Because of the whole pork thing, I took the dogs for a walk earlier that usual at the football oval. These two ovals nestled together are usually frequented by owners of larger dogs because of the greater space, but I figured there would not be many out at this earlier time. There is one mad man who has a white station wagon which is packed full-o-dogs who is always there on the weekend.
I am sure his is very nice, but I always feel like I need to avoid him. He has four large dogs and that means he does not have dogs, he has a pack. The other thing is that no matter how cold the weather, he is always dressed in shorts and I find that deeply suspicious. Who the hell wears shorts in 10 degree weather? He does, that’s who: Packman.
His car was not parked when I pulled up so I figured I had beaten him to the oval which meant an easier circuit with Archie, who likes to attract the attention of danger by barking at it. When I got to the start of the second oval, however, I noticed a familiar white station wagon parked on the kerb. Its boot was jam packed with barking dogs. It was Packman.
I started to walk briskly to get Lucy out of temptation’s way (in her eyes, to see one dog to run over and greet may look like fortune, but to see four is like a lotto win) and Archie out of barking range and I watched Packman stand by the boot of his car watching me mildly as he prepared to release his baying hounds. He looked not unlike Jeremy Corbyn, if Jeremy Corbyn had four large dogs and insisted on wearing shorts even in sub zero temperatures. I just about got my dogs out of range when the four leapt out, two tan dogs and a couple of black ones. I am sure they are lovely dogs, just excitable.
As I rounded the oval about fifteen minutes later, I passed his dogs, busy sniffing stuff and minding their own business. He smiled at me and nodded towards Archie, attached as he always is to a lunge lead.
‘Just started his training?’ he asked, amicably.
‘He will never finish, unfortunately,’ I replied.
He seemed very pleasant for a madman and his dogs seemed OK. Perhaps I have been too hasty in my judgement, but I did not have time to find out. I had a roast to cook, cake icing to make and flour to weigh.
Those shorts, though.