Sunday 11 November 2018

Warwickshire Avon – Faggots and Fool Finders

Could I track down any caul membrane in time, fat chance, most people haven’t even heard of it. Now caul fat is the netting that surrounds an animal’s internal organs and what encases those faggots and sausages we all know and love. Well you say that, apart from local butchers who are keeping up with traditions, why has the humble faggot loved by us Midlanders and others been removed from the supermarket shelves I wonder?

Even the well-known mass produced Brains with its poorly executed brown mush impersonation which was one of the staple foods of many my age, is difficult to find these days. You’d be hard pushed to find any down the freezer aisle, let alone any fresh faggots made on the deli counter.

Luckily a pub the Kings Head in Aston Cantlow just down the road from me make their own on the premises where they serve it the traditional way with mash, onion gravy and peas so if I need to get the fix, which I do occasionally, I’ve got an option to quell ones pangs. They also do a proper freshly cooked and piping hot scotch egg which to be fair is hard to beat, it’s can be a difficult decision I tell thee, as is what ale to have.

Now the ones I make I ditch the heart and other offal and I use pork shoulder, liver, bacon and belly with mace, allspice, sage, parsley and a gnats nadger of chilli as seasoning. Streaky bacon makes a pretty good caul substitute and to be fair makes it look a little more appetising than its simpler washed out anaemic looking neighbour.

For this plate full of heaven to accompany the homemade faggots, peas and onion gravy I’d a side of skinny chips, I prefer some crunch for texture you see, rather than sat on some potato mash.

Balls Mick !!!!, BALLS, err yes I know tinned meatballs are available, but hardly a substitute for a proper faggot and at least making them myself I’ve got an idea what goes in to making it, yeap I’m assume you’ve not got a clue what maltodextrin is either, apparently it’s to add texture, really, oh ok, I’ll take your word for it. To be fair you have to do your research on tinned mushy peas these days, some contain a right load of unthathamables.

Now with the colder weather kicking in, sometimes comfort food and a proper blow out is nice once in a while, not only to get the body temperature back functioning properly again, but to also kick ones mood up the jacksie.

These cold blooded fish haven’t really that option, they have to deal with the temperature changes and fluctuations and adapt and to the ever changing environment. The weather had been quite fair during the week and with some warmer rain might give some much needed colour. So what and where to fish for was the question ?

Barbel obviously I suppose sprang to mind but I fancied trying for a Chub or decent Perch, so the session was down to my favourite part of the Avon to try and winkle out something to put a bend in one’s rod.

I wanted to try a new lure, a Salmo tiny wobbler, the beauty of this lure is that it floats on the surface so you get let it drift down the river like you would a piece of bread, but then you can retrieve it and the paddle nose means it will also dive under the water.

It was quite a tough session, lots of roving and different swims but a few Perch were caught and a couple of chublets but then, eventually a 3lb 7oz Chub turned up to put a decent bend in the rod.The river despite being up a little was still pretty clear which I don't think help things, but the lure worked quite well, the fish were getting used to floating bread I'm sure of it.


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