Saturday, August 27, 2011

Statues, Irene. Apron.

One of the things I enjoy doing is jigsaw puzzles on Old Menline. I like them because you don’t have to turn all the pieces the right side up (I’m a tad lazy) although there aren’t, generally, as many pieces as you would get in a normal puzzle. Yesterday there was a picture of some statuary portraying a couple of sitting old men. Usually once you have done the puzzle it tells something about the picture, but in this case it didn’t. I decided to Google and discovered the picture was of a park, Vigeland, in Oslo, Norway which is famous for its sculpture by one man. It seemed such an unusual subject for a sculpture. Not sure why. I have been to Norway, but was never in Oslo. We mostly stuck to the west coast and went to places like Bergen. A lot of my memory of Norway was of rain. Maybe it was just the wrong time of the year.

ApronI nearly forgot to say that the apron which I won from Mushroom’s Canada arrived yesterday. I got Matt to take a picture – I do have rather a silly grin on my face - just to show you I received it. One thing I especially like, it has pockets which so many aprons don’t have any more. I also received a care and use book with a couple of recipes and a mushroom storage bag. I will share some of the recipes later, they look good. Thanks Mushroom’s Canada.

Today is the day Irene is supposed to make landfall, I wish all my friends in North Carolina the very  best. This time, I am not sure ‘riding it out’ is such a good idea although the point of impact is supposed to be Cape Hatteras, it is such a very big storm that a lot of places in its path will get pretty badly damaged. To everyone in the path of this storm I wish you the best and hope you will get through it safely. New York City will be shut down by midday today, they think lower Manhattan could well be flooded not to mention the tunnels of the subway system.

Yesterday I finished making some Pickled Red Red cabbage UKCabbage, English style. Much as I love the sweeter pickled red cabbage made around here, I do love the sour kind we use as a condiment when making hot pot. It cuts the fat of the recipe. I love it as a condiment anyway although its not on Matt’s favourite list. Actually, I would just eat it on its own, delicious. It is very simple to make. You shred a red cabbage and put it in a big bowl then salt it liberally. Leave it for 24 hours. Meanwhile boil 1 quart (UK) 100 ml. vinegar (I used white wine vinegar) with half an ounce of whole allspice and half an ounce of peppercorns. Let that cool thoroughly. The next day drain the cabbage in a plastic colander and when it is well drained, feed it into jars and pour the vinegar over top. It takes about 3 days for it to be mature enough to use. This recipe came from my mother’s copy of Mrs. Beeton’s household management which was printed in 1936. It is falling to bits, but you can still get wonderful recipes from the book.

One recipe, of course, is for and old English dish called Hot Pot (she also calls it Hodge Podge, new one on me) which I give you below. As you will see the wording is a little old fashioned, the book is, after all, over 70 years old, but I leave it to you to interpret it. For mutton read lamb; who can get hold of mutton these days? In fact we used to use scrag end of lamb – these days I have to pay a fortune for the type of lamb I want to use. Maybe lamb chops would actually be cheaper.

Hot Pot or Hodge Podge
Mrs. Beeton’s CookeryHot Pot
1 1/2 lb. neck or loin of mutton
1 lb. potatoes
1 good sized onion
1 oz. dripping
1/2 pt. good stock
chopped parsley
dried savoury herbs
salt and pepper

Wash, peel, and slice the potatoes, peel and cut into slices the onion, par-fry both potatoes and onion separately. Trim the mutton and cut into conveniently sized pieces, lightly fry them in a pan containing the dripping. Line a jot-pot jar with alternate layers of potatoes, meat and onion. Season each layer with salt and pepper and a pinch of dried savoury herbs. Moisten with the stock, cover the jar and place it to cook in a fairly hot oven for about 1 1/2 hours. The stew must cook slowly, and the fat must be carefully removed before the dish is sent to the table. When ready for serving, sprinkle a little chopped parsley on top.
Serves 4.

Have a great weekend

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