Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Star Dog (and good food)

"As I walked out"  (title of a fine book by English Author Laurie Lee) in Sarasota's Arlington Park yesterday I met a very pleasant man who was walking his very small dog.

He warned me that the dog could be growly, but in the event his dog and my Zion did well together.

I asked him the name of his dog.  With a touch of embarrassment he allowed that the dog is called Luke Sky Barker.

I love it!


My good SRQ and St. Boniface friend Rick P. invited me and two others for dinner at his home on Tuesday 3/20.

He cooked the most delicious Osso Bucco.

Stock photo' (not Rick's wonderful version)

... and served it with his home-made Polenta and a wonderful home made gravy/sauce (sauce or gravy depending on the region of Italy where it is served).

The meal was very good -  thanks Rick.

When I accepted Rick's invitation I told him that I had never before eaten Osso Bucco.

That was somewhat true save that after enjoying his dinner, I remembered have often eaten braised Lamb in England. It's more or less the same thing.

Braised Lamb.

What's in a name.  Is it Osso Bucco or Braised Lamb?

It matters little, save to say that Rick's Osso Bucco was made from scratch with his love and prayers.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Brought joy to my heart, and lifted my spirits.

My good neighbour Barbara B and I meet every ten days or so for an early morning coffee at our nearest Starbucks.

We did so this morning.  On my drive home I tuned into NPR news, but wearied by the chatter I switched over to our local Classical Music Station, WSMR.

I was enchanted by the choral music I heard. Maybe I'd heard it before, but I can't remember having done so.

It was the Sanctus from the Requiem
by Maurice DuruflĂ©  (1902-1986).

This morning my heart was filled with joy and my spirits were lifted.

Such bliss in the car.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Bubble and Squeak

The Bangers and Mash were as good to eat as they looked in the picture.

Another British "ethnic food" is Bubble and Squeak.

If you want to be fancy you can look at Nigel Slater's upscale recipe.

But it won't be the real thing.

Bubble and Squeak  was/is? a Monday evening meal using leftovers,

Before the advent of washing machines and dryers Monday was Washing Day for British Housewives.  (Americans do the laundry, Brits do the washing).

It was a long day, full of hard work. We had no hot running water; whites  (sheets and towels) were washed in a copper boiler, rinsed, mangled, blued, and mangled again, then hung out to dry, (if it wasn't raining).

My oldest sister and I have memories of our Mum being so very tired for most of the time.  Who wouldn't be with nine children and no modern appliances.

Monday was the most labour intensive and  tiring day.   That's why our evening meal was sometimes  Bubble and Squeak, made from Sunday dinner leftovers.

If there were such leftovers then roasted potatoes, cabbage or peas, or Brussels sprouts etc would be cut up, mashed a bit, and fried in a large skillet, (using beef or pork drippings or maybe lard), until it was crispy on both sides.

If we were lucky there might be a slice of leftover Sunday meat, or a fried egg alongside the bubble and squeak, (it bubbled and squeaked as it was being fried).

Nigel Slater be darned!   We ate the poor peoples food.

 I never truly liked Bubble and Squeak! I still do my washing/laundry on Mondays.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Bangers and Mash at home tonight (Sunday 18th March '18) SO DARN GOOD!

About a week ago my American friend Cindy W. said that she and her husband Wesley W. like Bangers and Mash but that they found bratwurst to be an only tolerable substitute for bangers.

Then, through  one of St. Patrick's unrecorded miracles, I saw that Trader Joe's was selling Irish Bangers.

I bought some for Cindy and Wes, and some for me.

Tonight was my Bangers (so called because unless the skin is scored with a fork they pop [or bang] when being cooked) and Mash dinner.

I made mashed potatoes from scratch ( no ready made Supermarket mashed spuds a.k.a. Wallpaper Paste), fried the bangers until they were well browned, and served them with garden peas and mushroom and onion brown gravy.

So very good!

There is a canard spread by the French (minor joke!) that Irish and British foodstuffs are inferior.

I beg to differ!  I think that travel writers could well describe Bangers and Mash as an Irish/British peasant dish, much to be desired.

The same is true of "Bubble and Squeak" of which I will   
write in the future ( N.B.  you cannot make it in the U.S.A.).

The French be damned!  My Bangers and Mash today was utterly delicious.  Ethnic food at its best.

(Listen to Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren)