There has been a certain rhythm to my evenings since the New Year which has involved me disappearing down to the basement about 10.00 to bring out the ham. The knife was sharpened and ten minutes or so would be spent taking off sufficient slices for the following days lunch.
The ham was finally done on Sunday and I am now back on cheese sandwiches.
However the finishing of the ham did involve a near catastrophic stomach meltdown.
I had decided that once there were no more slices to be had I would cut off whatever lumps of meat could be had and the bones would be cooked down for stock.
As I took away the last final pieces of meat I should have realised that the high smell from where the bones were pulling apart was less to of with the fact that this was a high end piece of Spanish cuisine but more do with the bones being a year or so past their use by date.
The bones duly went into a pot to be made into stock and soon the house was filled with the kind of smell that would have been done proud in a Spanish farmhouse sometime in the mid 17th century.
In the meantime a couple of varieties of sausage were cooked in oil along with chopped onions and garlic. A potato was added along with two ladles of the stock. As it all came together a jar of good beans was stirred in.
Once it was done it had the look and smell of something that Sancho Panza would have attacked with gusto.
I suspect that Sancho Panza’s stomach would have been more robust than mine.
I woke up at 3.00 in the morning with the sound of every possible gurgle in my stomach having a go at making as much noise as it could. I lay there for a while convinced that the remains of the ham were going to make every effort to repeat themselves as best they could. It eventually got so bad that I had to go down to the basement to find an orange bucket to put by the bed just in case the remains got their way.
In the event I fell back to sleep although the sour taste of the ham was still on the back of my tongue next morning.
Since then I have been back on cheese and dried bread for my lunch.