Posts Tagged ‘chicken’

The Chat book

Something amazing happened. A book arrived through the door the other day. A book of Chat! I didn’t even know they had a book!
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Doesn’t it look amazing?! I opened it, super excited, and found the contents page, which hinted at the brilliance to follow – The Hands That Caress, Our Furry Friends Have Some Spooky Senses, Autistic Love, Did Rape Save My Life, Bloater, Fatgirl Slim, Our Ghost Turns The Coke Flat…. And that’s just a brief overview!

So in I went, in to world of Chat and hilarity and found this, in paragraph 3 of the first story.
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Have you found the bit I mean? About the nipples? And there we are. We’re straight into the nonsense. It gets steadily more mental as you get further into it.

For example, one story was called I Feel Like Chicken Tonight. I’d like you to guess first what this was about. I thought it was a foodie story, maybe someone gets food poisoning. Maybe they thought it was chicken but it was disease-ridden mountain goat or something.

Want me to tell you what it actually is? Brace yourselves.

It starts with a couple. The guy is a cross dresser but she doesn’t approve, he’s trying to get help, etc. They get married.
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As soon as you read stuff like this, you suddenly remember Chat’s main audience. The “I’ll-just-get-married-in-my-tracksuit” type of person. You know.

This story is also fabulous because ‘Clive’ is also referred to as ‘Ian’ 30% of the time. Good editing and proofreading skills, Chat. Hats off to you. Here’s a fine example of it.
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So yeh, that’s also what the story’s about. Not really chicken at all. More cross dressing and bestiality. Is it bestiality if the chicken’s frozen?

Anyway, that was a direction I hadn’t seen Chat go in before. I was on a bus so bursting out laughing at the above part of the story was quite awkward.

Another story I read, called Bloater, was about a fat guy who met a girl, had a family, got skinny, loved it, then got fat again, his wife left and now he’s trying to diet. Interesting.

There’s SO much to get stuck into with this book. I will undoubtedly be reporting back again.

Laughing dormice and sock monkeys

Chat magazine was amazing this week. It really excelled itself. I hardly know where to start.

The first page has a picture of a dormouse…

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And says ‘Perhaps someone just told him the joke about the chicken crossing the road!’ I mean, really now. That’s clutching at straws a bit, isn’t it? What would a chicken have to do with a dormouse?

I imagine this was written late at night and the editor was like, “Guys, what does this mean? Why would a dormouse laugh at a chicken joke?” And the others just went, “O, just let it go. We’re all knackered and dying to go home. Just put it in. Stop going on about it. Who cares if it makes no sense?” The editor, convinced by this persuasive argument, shrugged and let it pass, but not before adding “If you like our laughing dormouse, check out this video of a llama who also can’t stop chuckling…” and a website address. O, stop fussing. No, not of it makes sense. We know that. But it’s all animally so just, shh, just let it go.

Next up, the photos page and this…

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Yeh. A ‘sock monkey.’ Who doesn’t love a good sock monkey, I ask you. Despite, the fact that none of this makes sense (maybe I should have read the issue they’re talking about), it’s just stuffed in there, amongst the other photos. Someone made someone else a sock monkey and they love it. Here’s a photo of it. Well, thank you Chat. Thank you indeed. Where would we be with these little essential titbits of information, hey?

Next up, a dog pulling tongues….

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That’s it. It’s a dog. It’s pulling tongues. Fab.

I’m not going to dwell to much on the next story, suffice to say, it’s a couple who met on, wait for it, the Ian Beale Facebook page. For non-UK residents, Ian Beale is a character on a soap called Eastenders. Mandy knew Kieron was her soulmate, she says, because she could see he “was as obsessed by the Eastenders star as I was!”

It turns out he has gender dysphoria and is a virgin while she is a 30 year old living at home with her parents. When they decide to meet, her parents drive her to meet him.

Draw your own conclusions.

And then check out this photo.

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I’ll say no more.

Finally, I’ll leave you with this advert for a Tweety necklace.

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Let me know if you want one and I’ll send you the details. They’re only £90. Bargain.

Things I learned at Waltham Place (Part 2)

1. The way to cut an onion without all the tears is to first half it, then peel each half, then slice it, leaving you with the two ends. The chemicals that make you cry are released when you cut the end off which has the roots so if you cut that off first, all the chemicals will be released, hence all the sobbing while chopping.

2. Sorrel is way tasty!

3. Nettle soup is surprisingly bright green.

4. Cows will let you know if they like you or not. If you put your hand out low, they will come over and smell it, rather like a dog. If they lick, then you’re in there. If they lick your face, then you’ve really pulled. If, however, they shake their horns at you, it means they definitely do not like you.

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5. Chickens have a self programmed ‘bedtime’. Without any prompting, at the bedtime, all the chickens, on cue, will run to the coop together and go inside to bed.
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6. Commercially produced bread is full of additives, one of which is put in to delay the arrival of mould when it is getting old. Yet it will start to grow mould after just a few days. Homemade bread, however, has no additives and, so far, I have had it for five days and there isn’t even a suggestion of mould.

7. Adrian, the chef at Waltham Place, spent six months working at the Savoy. There were 65 chefs working in the kitchen there and all the cooking terms were in French. You either picked up French very quickly or you got bollocked for doing everything wrong!

P.S. Part 1 can be found here.

How to prepare a 17th century feast

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I have been doing lots of research about 17th century cooking and ingredients, for my volunteer work at Ham House and I have come up with some real gems. A recipe book from 1664 called The Accomplisht Cookor by Thomas May contains the following fantastic recipe for bisque. It’s so brilliant, it doesn’t even need comment. Just check it out.

To make a Bisk divers ways.

Take a wrack of Mutton and a Knuckle of Veal, put them a boiling in a Pipkin of a Gallon, with some fair water, and when it boils, scum it, and put to it some salt, two or three blades of large Mace, and a Clove or two; boil it to three pints, and strain the meat, save the broth for your use and take off the fat clean.

Then boil twelve Pigeon-Peepers, and eight Chicken Peepers, in a Pipkin with fair water, salt, and a piece of interlarded Bacon, scum them clean, and boil them fine, white and quick.

Then have a rost Capon minced, and put to it some Gravy, Nutmegs, and Salt, and stew it together; then put to it the juyce of two or three Oranges, and beaten Butter, &c.

Then have ten sweet breads, and ten pallets fried, and the same number of lips and noses being first tender boil’d and blanched, cut them like lard, and fry them, put away the butter, and put to them gravy, a little anchove, nutmeg, and a little garlick, or none, the juyce of two or three Oranges, and Marrow fried in Butter with Sage-leaves, and some beaten Butter.

Then again have some boil’d Marrow and twelve Artichocks, Suckers, and Peeches finely boil’d and put into beaten Butter, some Pistaches boiled also in some wine and Gravy, eight Sheeps tongues larded and boiled, and one hundred Sparagus boiled, and put into beaten Butter, or Skirrets.

Then have Lemons carved, and some cut like little dice.

Again fry some Spinage and Parsley, &c.

These forefaid materials being ready, have some French bread in the bottom of your dish.

Then dish on it your Chickens, and Pidgeons, broth it; next your Quaile, then Sweet breads, then your Pullets, then your Artichocks or Sparagus, and Pistaches, then your Lemon, Poungarnet, or Grapes, Spinage, and fryed Marrow; and if yellow Saffron or fried Sage, then round the center of your boiled meat put your minced Capon, then run all over with beaten butter, &c.

1. For variety, Clary fryed with yolks of Eggs.
2. Knots of Eggs.
3. Cocks Stones.
4. Cocks Combs.
5. If white, strained Almonds, with some of the broth.
6. Goosberries or Barberries.
7. Minced meat in Balls.
8. If green, Juyce of Spinage stamped with manchet, and strained with some of the broth, and give it a warm.
9. Garnish with boiled Spinage.
10. If yellow, yolks of hard Eggs strained with some Broth and Saffron.”

Ok, now off you go to the kitchen and get going on your bisque! I think I’m going to try my lips and noses with cocks stones… Mmmm…

A little catch up

Do not fear, readers, I have not forgotten about my Trying To Be Useful project. It’s just that sometimes the things I am instructed to do are not enough to carry a whole post. So after I was asked in one book to go and de-litter my local park, my other book instructed me to pick up one peice of litter every day so I have been doing that for the past week. I then deposit the litter into a recycling bin, if it is recyclable.

Simon Gear, in Going Greener, also told me to “Support my bald-headed hungry friend” and to be generous when people I know are doing crazy stuff to raise money for a worthy cause. As luck would have it, my friend, Peter, is running the London Marathon in April for the Stroke Association. Easy peasy. I logged on, donated some money and had another day’s good deeds done.

Other things I have been advised to do are more long term goals as they require more money and a trip to get them. I’m aiming to get either an owl box or a bat box for the garden, or both. I’m pretty sure I can get them in the Kew Gardens gift shop and I’ve been meaning to join the National Trust for ages, cause I love the idea of being able to swan into lovely places by just showing a card, like I live there, almost, kind of. So when the weather is nice enough, I will join the National Trust, spend my days off in lovely parks and buy a good owl or bat box, or both.

An instruction I received on another day was to take 5 minutes at the beginning of each day to drink my morning tea in the garden and appreciate the plants and animals there. I did it two days in a row. It was chilly but I donned a big jumper, hugged my mug of tea and admired the lavender lining the lawn. This morning, however, it is snowing. We haven’t got it very badly, compared to other places, but I still didn’t fancy standing in it shivering. So I stood in the kitchen and looked out of the window at the garden.

So all in all, it’s going quite well. I’m still taking my own shopping bags with me to get groceries. I don’t put my vegetables in plastic bags before I weigh them. I buy Ecover products. I’m getting there, little by little.

I had a total brainwave the other day and was like. “Danda! Let’s get a chicken! It would be so amazing. We’d have eggs whenever we want them!”

A withering look from Danda answered that one. I’m still working on it….

P.S. Happy birthday Dad!

Omygoodness, you HAVE to see this

Readers, prepare yourselves. Prepare yourselves for a post filled with horror and awfulness. For we are going to take journey into the world of….

1970S COOKBOOKS!

I came across this in a box of old cookbooks a friend was giving away and boy, was I glad I picked this one up! It is called Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook. And let me tell you this, it is all colour. It is proud and gregarious in it’s all-colour horror. It would have done better to leave the photographs off, for I shall show you the pictures of what the 1970s considered haute cuisine. Are you ready?!

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Mmm, I just love a mysterious lumpy white mass for my dinner.

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Wowzers. More lumpy white nonsense, this time surrounded by green leafy stuff. Can we have that for dinner today, Mum? Can we?!

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Ah, some white nonsense on top of salmon steaks, again the obligatory green leafy nonsense. This is actually a jellified mayonnaise layer, in case you were wondering.

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And again, jellified mayonnaise, this time on top of chicken. LOVING the decorative anchovies… Kind of.

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Talking of things being jellied, check out this turkey-slices-set-in-jelly type of thing.

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Next up, a small roasted chicken, sitting on a bed of jelly stuff squares. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH US? Why, Britain, why did we do this to ourselves? Mary Berry has a lot to answer for.

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More chicken related nonsense. A cake type thing, made of chicken. Vomit. And the asparagus on the top. That’s quite fresh and lovely, you think, at least that bit’s ok. Well, no, no it isn’t. Because it is FROM A CAN! In fact, I am instructed to use many things from cans.

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This ‘peach tart’ requires 1 can of creamed rice for the filling. Ridiculous. On another recipe I am actually told to get frozen chips! Honestly now, frozen chips. If I have frozen chips at home and I choose to eat them, that is different. But to actually include it as an ingredient for a meal in a cookbook?! Has the world gone crazy?! I think probably the worst sentence I have ever seen written down in a book anywhere is the line, ‘Fry the frozen chips in the lard.’ What. On. Earth.

Fry.

The frozen chips.

In the lard.

Honestly. I’m not making it up. Look.

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This book has a continental section though. We’re aware of the fine cuisine offered in other countries. Let’s get fancy in our kitchens. Ok, check out the next recipe. I’m sure it will be delicious. Mmm, continental food. Italian pasta… French fancies… There’s bound to be something good here.

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Frankfurter salad. I have no words.

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This one’s good. It’s cheesy buttered noodles. The ingredients? Cheese, butter and noodles. Brilliant.

Last up, some lovely desserts. Don’t let me down here. The British have contributed some well-loved cakes to the world of food. Come on. What will it be? A Christmas pudding? An eccles cake? An apple crumble? A rhubarb crumble? Something cakey and warm. A hearty cake to heat one up on a cold winter’s evening.

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That’s right. We’ve gone with a dish of pasta shells in chocolate sauce with lines of cream for ‘decoration.’

And now, the award for the most attractive sounding dish in the history of the world ever, goes to….

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Woop woop! Can I get a round of applause for the LARDY CAKE! Mm mm. Don’t you think? Yes, a peice of lardy cake for me please! Am I allowed seconds? Oo, hold me back, hold me back! I can’t get enough of good lardy cake, me.

Well, after that romp through the annals of British food history, I feel thoroughly disheartened and can only apologise in earnest to the world for our below-par cuisine ramblings. We have failed ourselves as a nation.

I understand if you would like to un-follow me, fellow bloggers.

Danda and the Masterchef challenge

Danda has been ill lately. It’s this cold that has been going around which is accompanied by persistent all-consuming coughing fits. The doctor says you just have to stick it out and it should be gone in about a week.

I had started buying a few Christmas presents but when he was all sad and ill, yep, you guessed it, I gave him the presents to cheer him up. One was a balloon powered helicopter which I played with for hours.

So anyway, we were watching my favourite yesterday, Masterchef. Danda was watching too but was very distracted by his constant coughing. He was also quite tired from not sleeping that well because of his cold. He had opted for a small nap on the sofa before Masterchef started. I think he was perhaps still a little sleepy.

So there was a challenge on Masterchef where they were given seven ingredients and had to create a dish in an hour. The ingredients were chicken thighs, bacon, tarragon, brandy, chocolate, grapes and something else, I’ve forgotten now. My mind got working. What would I make? Chocolate mousse? Some kind of roasted chicken thing? Most of the chefs started making chicken ballotines with tarragon mousse etc. They created some lovely food out of such limited ingredients. As I marvelled at their skill and tried to pick up tips from them, I asked Danda who was still coughing and spluttering at regular intervals, what he would have done for that challenge.

His answer?

“I’d drink the brandy, eat the chocolate and throw the chicken at the other chefs.”