The Turtle is a bit of a whizz in the kitchen, you know. I’ve always found food preparation and presentation child’s play. And yet, although I spend many jolly hours putting the finishing touches to Barry’s evening banquets of poached salmon and quail eggs, my own diet remains the kind that reflects my contemplative and mysterious lifestyle.
But there is one small indulgence in my austere regime, and that is a well-prepared mud pie, or ‘Tarte à la boue’ as our continental cousins like to call this peculiarly rural delicacy.
To make Tarte à la boue for two people, you will require the following:
1 large metal bowl
1 large wooden spoon
1 greased cake tin
1 large garden (nb, this doesn’t have to be your garden, and indeed I prefer to prepare my earthy snacks next door under a little old lady’s apple tree)
1. Take a large handful of mud and sling it into the bowl (You will need quite squelchy mud, so if you are reading this later in the year, you may need to moisten the ground with a hose. Ensure that you observe local regulations on hosepipe use during the summer months). Lashings of the stuff should go slopping all over your clothes, but we’re all adults here, aren’t we?
2. Bash the mud with your spoon. It is important to shout ‘Dah!’ a lot as you do this, as this helps beat some air into the stodgy mud. Again, large quantities ‘de la boue’ should be airborne. If you are allergic to mud, you MUST use protective eyewear.
3. When the mud has turned into something that looks truly appetising, according to your tastes, or as soon as you get bored, empty it into the cake tin. From here you can either bake it in a pre-heated oven at 220 degrees for twenty minutes, or you can eat it raw. I prefer mine fairly lightly baked. After all, there’s not much point in having a mud pie made out of dried earth, now is there?!
5. That’s it.
Once you have mastered this simple recipe, the agile chef will quickly devise variations. I’ve used common garden mud here, but any variety of damp soil can be employed. I personally shun the area that local cats wee on, but some of my more refined friends tell me that a certain tartness to the pie can turn it into a meal fit for a God.
Alternatively, serve slightly chilled with a sprinkling of icing sugar and lashings of cream. You can even use dried coconut if you find that ‘Tarte à la boue’ flavour a little bland!
The Mysterious Mr Turtlewind.
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