We know a couple who have been together for longer than most of the legal spouses we know.

Not long ago they announced they were having a drinks party in London. The temptation was to make an excuse. Four hours on the motorway for a couple of hours of drinks somehow didn’t seem the right proportion of pain to pleasure.

But something made us think that we should go and so we went.

In the event we were  glad we did. It turned out that anxious and caring friends and family of this couple had started to become concerned about the practicalities of life…. or rather death, in the shape of the taxman. What would happen to their shared assets in the event that one of them died? The odd hint turned into concerted nagging.

So they had finally decided to announce to all that, in fact, they had been secretly married already for at least a decade. Whoops of joy and the whole room was awash with happy delight.

 

What chipolata sausages need to have served with them

The London club where the announcement was made served excellent chipolata sausages to go with the flowing bubbly. But there was one element which would have, in my view, made them even better.

The last time I’d fried up some chipolatas myself was when I’d included them in the picnic for an open-air performance of Mid-summer Night’s Dream the previous summer. In the end the heavens had opened and we ended up eating the picnic back at home, where the still hot chipolatas went down particularly well with a mustardy mayonnaise dip.

 

You can turn the chipolatas and the sauce into a hearty lunch

If you substitute the chipolatas for traditional sausages and serve them with this dip and, say, some cauliflower cheese it makes an excellent lunch, otherwise the chipolatas and accompanying dip are great with drinks before dinner…or for wet and windy picnics.

 

 

Recipe for a mustardy mayonnaise sauce to go with chipolata sausages

 

For about 12

 

  • 700g/1 lb 8 oz top quality chipolata sausage – don’t stint on the quality
  • Butter for frying
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 240 ml/1 cup good quality mayonnaise
  • 1 generous tbsp. thick Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tsp sundried tomato puree
  • Pinch of curry powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Few grinds of Indonesian long pepper

 

  1. Fry the chipolatas – if they are long, twist them in half to make them smaller
  2. Mix the other ingredients together and serve the two together with cocktail sticks and something to leave used cocktail sticks in

 

Want to go the whole hog [sic] and make the chipolatas also? Personally I think Life Is Too Short, but in the sixteenth century they had more leisure. Thomas Dawson, writing in his The Good Huswifes Jewell describes how:

“To make a sausedge. Take Martinmasse beefe*, or if you can not get it, take fresh beefe, or the lean of bacon if you will, and you must mince very small that kinde of flesh that you take, and cut Lard and put into the minced meate and whole pepper and the yolkes of seaven Egges, and mingle them altogether, and put the meate into a gut very salt, and hang him in the Chimney where he may dry, and there let him hang a moneth or twoo before you take him downe”

*On 11 November, the feast day of St Martin, cattle was slaughtered so that the flesh could be preserved for the winter by means of salting and drying. It became known as Martinmasse beefe.

 

This post is dedicated to Iain Reid and Sue Keane

 

What else to listen to but Mendelssohn’s Wedding March from A Midsummer Night’s Dream?

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