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28 December 2020

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English Outsider

Off topic, Colonel, but thank you for that further background a while back. I look forward very much to reading more in your memoirs.

Also thank you for permission to copy the ‘Alid Christmas. I did so as a Christmas greeting to some hardy souls spending Christmas day worrying about politics on an English blog. I was sort of one of them, in between taking charge of the Turkey timing and simultaneously simmering giblets in order to confect some disastrous gravy. But that was OK. I always do that. It’s become so traditional on Christmas day that father’s screwed up on the gravy again they’d all be disappointed if I didn’t.

It looked very lonely, that lovely evocative fragment of yours with politics all around it but then an Irishman came along and put in a fine James Joyce quote to go with it, capping it with superb pictures of the Irish West coast. So the ‘Alid Christmas wasn’t too lonely.

And then the very next day a brisk American popped up on the same site and I was able to commiserate with him about the election fraud. Enjoyable that, meeting a fellow Trumpist in the wastes of Brexitland and a high note to leave the subject on.

Returning to the topic here, I put my money on that picture being of pork. Grilled, by any chance? Never works for me but then, not a lot does in the culinary line.

Degringolade

I am hoping those are capers. That would be awesome with fish. Not so much peas. Never developed a taste for those.

turcopolier

Degringolade

No. Le Sueur peas. Sorry.

JohninMK

Colonel, can you remind us of the title of your memoirs and the best way to you of us acquiring same?

turcopolier

johninMK

"Tattoo." It will be available at B&N and Amazon. January maybe?

Mark Gaughan

EO,
What problems do you have with the gravy? Maybe I can help.
Mark Gaughan

turcopolier

All

When cooking indoors or on the side burner of my grill, I like to make pan sauces with the crusty bits off the bottom of the pan, wine, arrowroot, cream, salt and pepper. maybe a know of butter if the pan seems dry. Maybe a little garlic, etc. Turn this down to simmer and put in some sort of vessel.

JohninMK

Thanks Colonel, I had thought it was up there already. Ever the optimist.

turcopolier

JohninMK

January

English Outsider


Well, Mr Gaughan, what problems don't I have? We're talking consistency, taste, and tactfully concealed lack of customer satisfaction. Methods would be most welcome - I suspect sequencing is all - and I note our host has given some leading hints. Certainly the mention of arrowroot might indicate that using the wholemeal spelt I use for baking might not be the stroke of genius I had always assumed it to be.

Deap

Splash your gravy with just a touch of balsamic vinegar, the good stuff. You will just know when it is the right amount to use for a little mysterious zing. Gravy basically being fat and thickener along with stock sometimes tastes a little flat on its own, unless the stock is super savory.

Bubbling up the 100% moisture-free fat and thickener for a few minutes is key too, to take the raw starchiness away before adding the liquid. Some thickeners respond badly to too much heat, other can tough it out. Know your ingredients.

Julia Child always claimed one needs to learn how to make a very good white sauce first, and then apply the techniques to everything else in the same family.

One does admire anyone still BBQ-ing at 57 degrees Farenheit. With awind chill factor?

Mark Gaughgan

EO,
I'm trying to help you with your disastrous gravy. I don't know what problems you don't have. (They're not problems then, are they?) I don't know what you mean by sequencing. If your gravy is lacking in taste, I suggest some bouillon cubes, maybe more salt (easy), and pepper. If you have flour lumps, I suggest roux. You can search how to make it and use it.
Mark

Mark Gaughan

EO,
celery, onions, carrots
Mark Gaughan

The Twisted Genius

English Outsider,

I think you may be pleasantly surprised by switching from wholemeal spelt to arrowroot in your sauces. Arrowroot thickens a liquid through some "magical process" rather than by just adding solid to a liquid. Its like adding a little hardener to an epoxy rather than by adding wood flour to make a thickened epoxy paste. Add sparingly as it begins its magical process. Here's a decent article on arrowroot.

https://www.jessicagavin.com/arrowroot-powder/

I'm glad to hear you're still getting pleasure out of your hatchet. I, just today, finished removing the stump of three foot diameter blue spruce which I had to remove this year. Some kind of beetle got to it. The stump was reduced with an electric chainsaw, wedges, a sledgehammer and some thoughtful study of this particular stump's root structure. Learned a lot about keeping the chain sharp and properly tensioned. For all my bladed implements, I now use sandpaper for sharpening. I gradually move from 400-500 grit up to 1000 grit or more glued or taped to my table saw. Works well on chisels, hatchets, knives and swords.

Australian Lady

I especially like the "willow pattern" plates in your dinnertime still-life.
They are rather coveted in Australia. I imagine their origin is England, the design plagiarised from China.
Or are they from an American pottery?
I always enjoy S.S.T. Thanks for your efforts Colonel, and a Happy New Year to you and family.

turcopolier

Australian Lady

My wife has a lot of of china, collected over the years, Rosenthal Elegance pattern, "Tangier" by Royal Dalton. Royal Copenhagen, more blue stuff. etc. She particularly likes Blue Willow for everyday as did her mother. The pattern could best be described as "chinoiserie." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willow_pattern
The pieces she has were made by Johnson Brothers and Churchill in England. The pattern was created around 1790 by Thomas Minton.

BillWade

On Youtube you can get expert instructions on how to make any gravy or sauce your heart's desire.

Here's a very delicious/rewarding what came first the chicken or the egg recipe:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFNi8QIwUm0

I adjusted the first baking time by an extra 5 minutes, American chicken needs more cooking.

The Porkchop Express

Off topic--and maybe this has been brought up before--but Google searching "sic temper tyrannis" used to bring this blog up as somewhere in the top 10 searches on the first results page, if not the top five. It is not even listed in the first 10 pages of Google results now.

English Outsider

Thank you all for those enlightening hints on sauces. It appears my basic approach was fundamentally flawed. Not that I hadn't had a hint of this over the years from the manner in which SHMBO averted her eyes when I got going on it.

I shall put these hints into immediate effect. Unlike the recipes for Boston Baked Beans that I came away with from the Colonel's site a while back the ingredients are to hand or easily available.

TTG - I haul stumps out with the tractor, though I very much doubt it would cope with anything as large as that. Nor would I try. I reckon the tree would haul the tractor and me on it if a big one decided to go its own way. I'm doing a fair bit of such work at the moment since a fell disease from across the Channel has infected my ash trees and I'm losing some of them.

The axe is a little beauty and I have followed your recommendations for sharpening it. I do use a stone, though, very fine.

blue peacock

The Porkchop Express,

Use DuckDuckGo instead. This blog still comes up in the top 10 results. Google "shapes" the search results for their monetization and other goals. The consequence of the benefits of monopoly that have been allowed under the "dogma" of the past 40+ years. Or as some like me argue the consequence of the symbiotic relationship between Big Business & Big Government actively promoted by the political, media and managerial elites across the partisan spectrum.

turcopolier

All

I refuse offers of business partnerships, advertising, and offers to purchase placement of material on SST ever day, every day. This is not about money. This is about US constitutional government. I do not owe the Left anything, and that is what they will get from me. NOTHING! If Google does not like that, tant pis pour eux.

Barbara Ann

Well said Sir. Google's near monopoly on internet search, together with its model of ad revenues in return for the promotion of one's site up the search rankings, is nigh on indistinguishable from the business model of the extortionist.

BP - good advice.

Australian lady

Thankyou for the reply Colonel.
Your wife and I share a similar taste in tableware crockery- alittle penchant for the blues. I wonder if your wife's mother told her- as my mother did, of the story depicted on the "blue willow"? (A star-crossed lovers theme, as I recall). I too have pieces made by Johnson bros. and Churchill.
I do not know much about American pottery, but very recently purchased, second hand, an old serving dish, oval shaped, and after some research found out that Homer Laughlin ("Empress") is/was an American pottery located in Virginia.
U.S. manufactured porcelain is quite rare here, and I like to think that this plate has a unique history to end up with me.

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