Sausage Tails

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 3 November 2007

The time as come to make this blog more interactive, so here goes.

I took some of my family out to eat. Lunch in a pub. We all had different versions of sausage and mash.

This morning on Radio 4's 'Start the Week, with Fi Glover - who by the way is a terrific broadcaster and I choose my words carefully - Daisy Goodwin was flogging her new book and talking about poetry. Daisy has people send in poems to her website, at the end of the week she chooses the best one. Well I don't know anything about poems but I know a good sausage when I see it so this week I'm announcing:


All you have to do is send me your fave sausage recipe/ maker/ supplier and I will talk about it on LBC on the following Sunday.

If it doesn't work it's nobodies fault. If it does work you can take the credit. So don't be shy give it try.

As I write the lights are twinkling on the River. Today, however, I drove through London, listening to Radio 2 on my outward journey and Radio 3's World Music programme on the way back.

My new handsfree is extremely successful. I attach it to my visor then talk at the window. I had just enough calls to keep me company but enough gaps for the music. I confess to a voyeuristic thrill when the bass kicks in I open my windows and show off. Having said that when cars pass me with very loud music on I think they are all, without exception, complete idiots! Pots calling etc. etc.

I drove over the Albert Bridge. It was empty. Turned left into Royal Hospital Road, it was empty. Drove left into Pimlico Road and all of a sudden it was dead French. There was a market in the midddle of the square, breads and cheese, herbs and fruit. I nearly crashed the car sniffing the produce through my open window, the locals didn't mind my noisy CD. I was playing B's music at the time - by that I mean the stuff she has written and recorded - it's always nice to have her singing at me in my car.

I swung round Marble Arch, the sun shining, the sky blue. then second left off Oxford Street and a straight ride all the way to Borehamwood, Hertfordshire.

I saw THE SAVAGES film and its changed my relationship to my 85 year old ma. The reality of aging, the reality of death after life. The short time I have left with her. So I'm trying now, to clip my life, make room for her, and take some responsibilty.

Which leads me onto a big thank you to all of you for your emails, comments about Food Poker and my telly career. I truly dont know when, or indeed if, I will ever work on the box again. It's in the lap of the Gods. TV is going through a shake up. People are frightened of taking chances at the moment, apart from the fact that there's not a lot of money to take chances with. I've been around long enough not to compromise so it needs somebody with courage who is brave enough to employ me again. I am not blonde, 28, with a partner who has a property portfolio, neither do I Network nearly as much as I should, and I certainly won't lie down - or about who I am. If what I serve up is too rich, too bold, too last century, then I will come up with some other way to survive. In answer to many of you, of course I miss being on the box. I've done it for so long in stead of blood running through my veins I have camera cables. But 6 months, in the life of a telly presenter is nothing, it is only 24 weeks since I stopped GFL, although, I know, it really does feel like a life time. I'm flying up to Glasgow on the 19th to talk to a man about a show I want to do. Rest assured I have no intention of going quietly, and with your support it does give me the confidence to go on. Blimey I sound like Celine Dion.

Nuff already.

On the way home I drove past 221 Baker Street. There was a man in a cape and an old Bobbies helmet. It was dark and the door was open it was gas lit and very Sherlock Holmes. When art becomes life eh? People visiting a fictional character, paying for the privilage to visit a notional person whilst a man with a fake,felt coppers hat takes your ticket at the door and shows you in. If Conan Doyle could see it he would turn in his grave. or would he? He probably can see it as he was into all the mystical stuff wasn't he?

Are you?

I think I am!

That really is enough now I'm going to watch 'Strictly Come Dancing' and make some supper for the old man who's been filming in the Elephant and Castle - well somebody has to.

Have a great night and send me your sausage tails.


Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes


1. At November 4, 2007 2:32 AM SiamSuzie wrote:

I remember when Simply Sausages which was in Berwick Street. Just standing looking through the window at all the wonderful flavours, there were too many to choose from.

The best for me was the smoked salmon sausages. They were wonderful just on their own, with an unhealthy mountain of mash.


2. At November 4, 2007 10:18 AM Glenn wrote:

Hi Jeni!
Living in Germany, I have noticed the Germans take their sausages or wurst very seriously. Mind you, by wurst they can mean any kind on meat made into a sausage shape including salami or cabana type creations, or even pate.
I'm not a big sausage eater, but my favourite here is to have a so called curry wurst at one of the many outdoor sausage stands on the street. It's great street food - a 30cm thick sausage put through a chopper that cuts the crispy, cooked sausage into big chunks, that is then smothered in a tangy, sweet and salty sause and then sprinkled in curry powder. It seems to be at it's best very late at night on the way home after a long night - but I guess that's true of all great street food.
luv from Hamburg,


3. At November 4, 2007 11:43 AM Chrissie Carcassonne wrote:

Hi Jeni,

Don't you ever give up. Look on this time as giving you a chance to do other things that have just as much value as TV...and also remember that there are a lot of people who use your blog to get them through the day.

As to sausages. Well, now you are talking!
I have two thoughts about sausages:
The Recipe - cut up your favourite sausage into bite-sized chunks and brown. Open a cheap jar of tomato sauce (not ketchup). Fry an onion. Combine all the above and cook till you can't wait any longer. Eat over a pile of mash and relax.
The story:
I lived on the above while recovering from a nasty divorce. I was left with a huge mortgage with an interest rate of about 12% and so I had to work from 7.30am till 5pm then from 7pm till 10pm for 6 days a week. I was determined to keep my home but money and time were short so I needed to make quick, cheap meals. Relaxing with those steaming sausages gave me some quality time.
The girl done good and after a few years of work the house was mine and I therefore have a positive attitude about those worrying times and fond memories of great comfort food.
As to the mystical stuff:
You know I am Spiritualist but I think that Conan Doyle was a bit easily fooled by some daft acting, a bit of smoke and a few yards of cheese cloth. The real thing is rather ordinary and isn't about fortune telling but just giving proof that things don't end here.
Glad you are thinking about your mum. My dad would have been her age and I miss him lots.
Nuff of the deep stuff!
Chrissie x

4. At November 4, 2007 12:32 PM Prestwich Sue wrote:

Hi Jeni
So pleased that you are thinking positively about your situation right now. You are far too good for us to lose you off the screen so we, your fans, will keep the faith and hope something comes along soon. Am looking forward to your show this afternoon. As for sausages, Cowman's Sausage Shop in Clitheroe, Lancs has over 70 types of fresh sausage made with local meat by the 5th generation of Cowman butchers. I love all the ones I have tried but their pork with garlic is a favourite.
Take care, Sue

5. At November 4, 2007 2:19 PM Steph wrote:

People visiting a fictional character, paying for the privilage to visit a notional person whilst a man with a fake,felt coppers hat takes your ticket at the door and shows you in. If Conan Doyle could see it he would turn in his grave. or would he?

Heh, don't suppose you catch 'Old Harry's Game' on R4? It's set in Hell, and one recent episode had ACD and Agatha Christie trying to solve a murder - ACD was venting his spleen about how people thought Mr Holmes was a real person and he was really sick of the fans second-guessing things he did. Very funny, well worth a listen.

Favourite sossies - as the token veggie, it's got to be Quorn ones. The plain ones, not the new spangly ones with Branston pickle.

6. At November 4, 2007 3:03 PM Pool Potato wrote:

Dear Jeni

As old Will said "To thine own self be true", at least you know you haven't got anywhere because of your surname or who your husband is (God bless 'im). I could write a thesis on today's obsession with celebrity, it drives me insane. Talent counts for nothing these days (as we can so painfully see on so many programmes) and increasingly if you're over 40 you're deemed too old. (Well if female anyway). I was delighted when the telly wallahs were amazed at how popular Caroline Quentin was and brought her back for a second series of her program, but why are they surprised? Aren't the majority of TV viewers over 40?

Food Poker, mmm, I don't like the presenter - he just puts me off. It's nice hearing your voice but it would be better to see you upfront as it were. But having said that it's better than the unmentionable that replaced GFL - I find that so cringemaking I just can't watch it.

As for sausages, you can't beat a sausage sandwich, white bread it has to be, butter, warm sausages sliced lengthwise down the middle, a bit mustard on one side, slap em together and consume. Especially effective as a hangover cure!

Keep on keepin on JB

Love XoX Fee

7. At November 4, 2007 7:59 PM janeyb wrote:

Had sausages last night, quick easy, jacket potato, cheese, baked beans and bangers! Had the rest of the packet for brunch this morning, olive oil toast, fresh toms and baked beans. Great. Back to real cooking, my 'Hunter Gatherer' is due back from Scotland tonight so I've had to prepare the old Sunday roast thing. Not that I mind, it's just that by the time you've got it all ready you're a bit fed up with it. Anyway the very best sausages I've ever ever had were made by my Dad (Master Butcher). He was famous for his sausages in our town! Had he still been with us he would have been 96 this month as he was born on 11.11.11. Isn't that good! Ok I reminisce. Actually sat down and listend to quite a bit of your radio programme today, it was very good. Just can't get used to listening to someone talking about food I WANT TO SEE IT!!!!!!
Anyway back to the dinner.
By the way my sausages were from the Co-op but I do like Duchy and Asda, what a selection. I do like the sound of the recipe that Chrissie has written and I'm going to try it.
Bye..........Be good!
Oh eck he's back, action stations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

8. At November 4, 2007 8:25 PM judi4 wrote:

Dear Jeni,
Glad you are thinking positively, and don't ypou ever change. I'm with Sue about Cowmans in Clitheroe, my husbands favourite. I like Sainsburys Glamorgan (veggie) sausages,mmmmm delish. Look after your Mum, my mum too would have been 85, I'm an only child so it was me and my mum against the world!!! I miss her terribly. Enough already. Lots a luv xx

9. At November 4, 2007 9:45 PM Dawn wrote:

I cooked sausages this morning for the family... Everyone got up, "who wants full english" , i say, only one...So the cold cooked sausages looked at me everytime I open the fridge today...So...yes, thats right I have just eaten them...Hmmmm.. now feeling quite sick...miss you jeni..

10. At November 5, 2007 8:47 AM carol fenton brown wrote:

I admit to struggling with sausages. I have wanted to like them for years as I feel I am missing out!! I have tried so many from farmers market, local butchers and supermarket own brands. I can't stand the taste or smell of white pepper which puts me off many sausages,
along with biting on something unexpected!!!!. I have now found the only one I enjoy.. Porkinsons. I still don't eat them often but they are the one I do when I do! Either as part of a big breakfast,Toad in the hole or with lashings of favourite.

Always read your blog. Never watch Market Kitchen and miss GFL sooooo much!!

11. At November 5, 2007 9:31 AM David wrote:

Brown 6 Beef sauasages in a pan and transfer into an oven proof dish along with par boiled potatoes cut into wedges, Enough for 2 or 3 people. Chop a large onion up into 1/2 inch wedges, place in dish and cover with a jar of honey and mustard cook in sauce. bake in oven on 180 or gas mark 4 for 30 to 40 minutes. Serve with vegetables or buttery mash,you could also stir some single cream in. Glass or two of red wine!! Delicuous.

12. At November 5, 2007 11:09 AM Aussie Cass wrote:

Poach white Toulouse sausages in white wine until they're done, add some pouring cream and leave over heat until the cream changes colour, giving a delicious gravy.
We love those with boiled potatoes with a little olive oil over the top and some French mustard on the side. Yumm and so easy.

13. At November 5, 2007 11:51 AM kerri wrote:

Hi Jeni, its not really a sausage but my favourite is Hogs Pudding, i'm from Plymouth originally and the best i,ve had come from Plymouths indoor market, which is near an Ivor Dewney Pasty shop which is also the best pasties you will ever eat! Please enjoy your time left with your mum, mine died 3 years ago, i was 35 and felt too young to have lost her, miss her every day. Take care xx

14. At November 5, 2007 1:14 PM Ali wrote:

Dear Jeni
Now the thing is if you had been replaced by something fantastic you would have cause to be really downhearted. However, you have been replaced by something so dull that I can honestly say I have probably watched no more than 3 hours of it. In fact, I no longer watch UKTV Food. It's a bit like replacing Ant and Dec with the chuckle brothers. Get a grip!!!
As for sausages, I'm a veggie and I love those cheesy ones, I think they are called Glamorgan. Yummy.

15. At November 5, 2007 2:06 PM Janeyb wrote:

A month before my Mum died I asked her if she wanted to go out somewhere for a ride. Yes she said, I'd like to go to IKEA..............well my better half calls it a shed full of s..t and I was a bit surprised my 93 year old Ma wanted to go but hey ho off we went. Ma in wheelchair, basket on lap, we had to stop off at every room setting as there were TV's on with Tim Henman playing (yes it was Wimbledon time). Anyway Mum fell out with Henman as he didn't do very well but she enjoyed her trip to Ikea, it was a new experience for her as daft it was. So yes I too know what you mean by that quality time no matter how small or trivial it may seem. My Mum died in August and I know it sounds daft but very suddenly (aged 93 it's still a surpirse to you). It's the little things they like.
It's time that's the expensive commodity!

16. At November 5, 2007 3:12 PM TANYA wrote:

Oh Jeni - we are putting the pressure on you to get back on the screen, and I aplogise for that BBUUTTT I do so miss your banter!!! this summer which really seems to be in April we had a barbie and for a change i brought some Best Of sausages from Morrisons (I know it's a supermarket) but I'm not apologising for that as well (young family on a budget) I brought lamb and apple and simply chucked them on the BBQ they were gorgeous and even all 6 kids loved them and came back for seconds (not all 6 kids are mine) they even went down better then Nigellas feta and melon salad!!!!!
make the most of your mum (I lost mine when I was 13) the time it takes just to make a phone call - you'll never get back
Good luck in Glasgow we'll keep um crossed for you
Hugs xxxx

17. At November 5, 2007 4:26 PM Isabel wrote:

Hi Jeni,

Love reading your blog.

Here is a sausage recipe from Bavaria: 1kg good sausages, 5floz white wine, 5 floz white wine vinegar 5-10oz veg stock, 1 lge onion sliced and a mixture of 1-2tblsp bay leaf, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, juniper berries, cloves. Add all to a cassarole
and cook on hob at a simmer or in oven 150C for about an hour. Serve with a variety of bread rolls to mop up the juice. Lovely.

18. At November 5, 2007 5:50 PM David wrote:

Just watched Food Poker from Sky Plus. The only 3 things that were good were your voice, the talent of the chefs and the credits. Why put Mathew Allbright in charge of a food programme I have NO IDEA!!! British TV producers need to be sectioned under the mental health act. Honestly Jeni, All your loyal fans are 'fed up' with never being entertained anymore. Thank goodness for your daily thoughts to us all. Sausages for supper, forget the mash and just pour the red wine. xx

19. At November 5, 2007 11:48 PM Auntie Lynne wrote:

Hi Jeni, 24 weeks it seems like an eternity. I am still sure that something else good will come out of you finishing GFL. I just love sausages, any kind any time. Try not to eat too many as have to watch the calories. With creamy mash and onion gravy is my absolute favorite.
My Mom died 5 years ago yesterday. She was 90 years and 3 weeks old at the time. I still feel I was robbed as she died suddenly in hospital from a broken hip!!! I miss the times I spent with her. Cherish every moment (sounds like a cue for a song). Take care Jeni. Love xx

20. At November 6, 2007 1:59 AM maggie wrote:

Hi Jeni, love the subject of sausages! At home we eat bangers imported from the UK. Defrosted,fried with onions,plopped onto a pile of mash-lumpy mash if the husband is doing the cooking. At the restaurant, Angelini Osteria, we have an interesting looking, reddish, 7 inch, blood sausage with mash. Sweet, sweet, sweet. Sending you lots of good thoughts from LA.

21. At November 7, 2007 6:01 PM Sara wrote:

Hi Jeni,

My favourite sausage recipe is from the River Cafe Cook Book (blue). It is quite rich but really delicious.

2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 red onions chopped
packet of italian spiced sausages (I use Toulouse)skins removed and meat crumbled
1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
2 bay leaves
dried chillies
tin of plum tomatoes
150ml double cream
Oh, and don't forget the red wine ( third of a bottle)
serve with pasta penne

I live in Southville, Bristol and we get our sausages from Bob Wherlock on North St. He makes them on the premises using local meat from Gloucester and the Mendips. He has a lovely banger called the "Southville Sizzler".

Copyright 2007, Jeni Barnett. Website produced by Chopstix.