Saturday, April 14, 2012

M is for Mutton, George, Mt. Etna, Celery or Lovage, Bowling Award.

I saw a report on GMA about George, the world’s largest dog. He is a Blue Great Dane and here are a few statistics: Weighing in at over 245 pounds and standing 43 inches tall, MEET GEORGE, the Guinness World Record Holder for Tallest Living Dog & Tallest Dog Ever.

6 years old, born NoGeorgevember 17, 2005

  • Great Dane
  • AKC Registered
  • Sleeps on a Queen Size Bed ... alone
  • Consumes 110 pounds of food every month
  • Has to bend over to drink out of the kitchen faucet  
  • Sits on a chair like a human

There are all kinds of videos on You Tube showing George if you are interested. Apparently when his owners bought him, he was the runt of the litter!!! Now he holds the Guinness Record. My first husband once said he would like to own a Great Dane because you don’t have to bend down to pet them, George would have to bend down to pet you.

Another news story, Mount Etna is erupting again and spewing ash and lava all Etnaover Sicily – there is some incredible footage here. Sam on Good Morning America said that the red as shown in the video was most unusual. This eruption is the 24th in a series which began January 2011. I wonder how many have moved away and how many are stubborn and have stayed where they live. You wouldn’t catch me living near a volcano thank you very much although 25% of Sicily’s population live on Etna’s slopes. The eruptions are currently caused because the African tectonic plate is sliding beneath the Eurasian plate. The Eurasian plate is melting and forcing hot magma to rise to the surface. Question: if the Eurasian plate is melting, will it be completely destroyed and what will happen to the earth’s surface up above? Can’t find a good answer, but it does appear that the opposite is happening to the Eurasian plate elsewhere so maybe what melts in one place is built up in another. This kind of activity is what creates rifts and mountain ranges such as pictured in this article.

Thursday morning, as I mentioned, I made Broccoli Soup and it included some celery. I just had the heart left, enough for the soup, but now I have run out. When I celerywas preparing it I followed my usual practice and chopped off the small piece of root which I chomped on. It then occurred to me, which it hasn’t done since we first arrived here 35 years ago, why in the UK do we have a large piece of root on celery and over here it is cut off flat at the base. Maybe its because the root is sold separately. Of course I don’t know they still include a piece of root on celery in the UK any more. I just wrote a message on Facebook to my UK friends about this. I got a reply from a friend in Oz who tells me she prefers to use Lovage, which she grows, as it is tangier. Never used Lovage, not a very common pant but according to Wikipedia the leaves can be used in salads – I’m not sure about cooking though, I mostly use celery in soups and stews. Gotta find out more. It turns out that they do chop the root off in England, but in Colorado you can get a choice. I’m moving to Colorado LOL.

Had a good game again at bowling yesterday. Bowled some 20 or so pins above M & Mmy average each game. Think I was beaten for the Friday League Bowler of the Year though which was bowled at the same time. Came pretty close though. A week or two back, Matt bowled a game with more than 100 pins over average. He informed them that he did not want another Bowling Association mug, we have 4 of the things, and much to our surprise he was awarded a $20 gift certificate to M & M Meats which is a local store where they specialise in a range of 350 specialty frozen foods. We buy things there quite a bit, so we will have no trouble using the card. They do a very good carrot cake, but then its not my award!!!!

This is an updated version of a meal I cooked several times in England. Once for a top graded Italian chef from the Turin area who was very impressed. Big feather in my cap I can tell you. Sadly, mutton is not something I have ever seen for sale over here. There is a story that the reason so many Canadians do not like lamb is because when they were in England during WWII they were served mutton cooked as lamb. Unfortunately mutton is way too tough to do that andDouble Devon would put anyone off. Mutton must be boiled, baked or stewed and then it is delicious. When I used to make it, using a recipe from Mrs. Beeton, my old English cookbook, I actually made a Béchamel sauce to which capers were added. This recipe calls for cream and I’m afraid the cream generally available here probably wouldn’t do the job. You can, of course, buy pots of Double Devon Cream and maybe that would be best. By the way, where it says 1 pint, this is a British recipe, so that would be 20 fl. oz. in Canada.

Boiled leg of mutton with caper sauce

Source: Matt Tebbutt 

Taste a forgotten British classic, with rich meaty flavours and a silky cream sauce that is overdue for a revival.


For the mutton Mutton
For the caper sauce

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2.

  2. For the mutton, season the leg all over with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Rub the inside of an ovenproof casserole dish with the butter. Place the mutton leg into the dish and scatter the sliced onions on top.

  3. Wrap the rosemary, bay leaves and peppercorns in a small piece of muslin cloth and tie with a piece of kitchen string into a little parcel. Place into the casserole dish.

  4. Pour in white wine and lamb stock. Butter a cartouche of greaseproof paper large enough to cover the casserole and place over the mutton, tucking in the edges.

  5. Place into the oven for 3 hours, or until the mutton is meltingly tender.

  6. Meanwhile, for the caper sauce, simmer the chicken stock in a small pan until reduced in volume by half. Stir in the cream and the capers and simmer for 2-3 minutes, then season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.

  7. Remove the mutton from the oven. Spoon the cooked onions onto a large serving plate with a slotted spoon. Thickly slice the mutton and lay the slices over the onions. Spoon over the warm caper sauce and serve immediately.

Have a great weekend



  1. After just cleaning up my dog's droppings in the yard, I tip my hat to that young man.

  2. What a great big dog that is.
    great post too

    do check my letters at GAC a-z

  3. Really is a huge dog isn't it. Thanks for visiting everyone. I will check back with y'all in the morning. Just off to bed right now.

  4. Wow what a dog!
    Look forward to the rest of your challenge run…can’t believe we’ve had 15 days already!
    --Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

    1. Really 15 days, I hadn't figured it.

      You could go for a ride on the dog.

  5. o.m.g. and i thought my friend's mastif (not sure of spelling) was huge!...

  6. Oh my goodness, George is huge. He reminds me of Clifford the big Red Dog.
    Rhia from Five Minute Piece for Inspiration (around #777 on the A to Z list

  7. Can you imagine trying to walk George if he decided he wanted to head off somewhere!!!!!

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  9. A friend of mine just got her second great dane. She's smaller than her male, but still big to me. Can't imagine George! Scary about the volcano, but I'm betting those images are definitely stunning. I live in Colorado Springs and still get the flat roots, but that's one city out of many, so don't lose hope!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

    1. Thanks for visiting again Shannon. Seems the roots problem is wide spread, some places have 'em and some don't. A blogging friend breeds Danes, but I don't know if she has seen this blog yet.

  10. Is that dog for real? He should be in the movies. I think I'd have to hire someone to clean up the bombs he leaves on the lawn.

  11. And thanks for downloading my book!

    1. Your'e welcome Stephen. I think hiring someone for any kind of dog clean up is a good idea. I always hated doing it, especially after the winter.