Friday, December 21, 2007

Rest Day - Still in parjies - Chicken Casserole

A complete Rest Day apart from me cooking a chicken-casserole (sorry to be a copy-cat Jill) and Y going down to the river with loads of washing. I'm still in my 'pahjies' but Y less slovenly.

My casserole was also made with chicken thighs because thighs seem have some slight flavour, with onions and tarragon and the inevitable garlic. As the oven was on, I also did a tray of winter-veg, celeriac, parsnip, sweet potato, carrot, courgette, chunks of red-pepper, some left over mooli (sliced - it retains a rather attractive crunch). It didn't seem worth using our Prestige steamer for a few florets of broccoli so I boiled them.

Picture 1 is another entry in the 'Naffest Xmas Card' competition. This ghastly thing was from the Joint Central Committee of The Police Federation. I have photographed it in the Windsor chair to give scale. It is enormous and awful. Without stopping it from being a conversation piece we have put it where we, at least, don't have to see it.

Picture 2 is a second effort at the Winter Flowering Jasmine and still the photograph doesn't do it justice. The almost defunct rose is the one that featured on the RadioGandy Xmas Card.

Comments........Bungus. I am certainly not anti progressive taxation. My gripe with the taxman is that he/she used to send me contradictory and confusing letters and demands and in the end we have employed an accountant who now deals with our affairs and prevents me from becoming distraught and angry. I enjoyed your bit about Catallus but isn't 'buggar' a variety of wheat ? As to whether or not an ode must necessarily rhyme? My feeling is that it needn't. But my Concise says:- a poem addressed to a person or thing or celebrating an event. Which would certainly be OK for your 'ospital sagas. Merriam-Webster says:- a lyric poem usually marked by exaltation of feeling and style, varying length of line, and complexity of stanza forms. I admit that to fit those criteria would be difficult. Anyway your prose is fine!

Jill. Glad you like sepia photographs. There is definitely a place etc.......... I am sure that you are both right about the Annesley Hall buildings. Such a shame they are just being left. Next time I go I'll get a better shot (in sepia) and try to avoid the same tripod holes which Bungus suspects I use all the time. Catullus does sound good fun doesn't he. Well worth trawling the charity shops for. At university I did half a year about "
"The Early Roman Empire and the Rise of Christianity" hence my love for the period. But it was mainly about Art, Philosophy. Buildings, Statuary, Politics, Wars and Religion. Nowhere near enough about the poetry.

Y also is ambivalent about Oliver Twist. She finds praise for the 'atmosphere' though.

I know exactly what you mean about your 15.....touching 35 yr old granddaughter. But her ambition to be a 'lady that lunches' is admirable, much more laudable than 'brain surgery'.

You will all be relieved to know that AnonymousRob, while still not fully recovered has been absent from these pages due to being busy erecting flat pack furniture, moving people into flats etc., all of which take time and energy particularly when you are less
100% well. He hopes to be at the EPS post Xmas walk at Rufford and it will be great for him and Bungus to meet.

We watched the last "It takes two" show and tomorrow is the Strictly come Dancing final. Should be good. And the results show is the same night, not on Sunday. Just to don my Miserable Old Git hat for a moment, it does annoy me when someone refers to a group of people, male and female, as "You guys". I suppose I grew up with "Guys and Dolls" and can't shake it off. I mention it because Claudia said it when addressing a panel of experts.

.....Santa is very busy right now but he wants you to know that everything is in hand. Catch you tomorrow.....



bungus said...

I avoid chicken except for free range which is far too expensive. Last night I casseroled a couple of Lincolnshire sausages from our local butcher – scorched them then put them in the slow cooker with half a pint of instant Bisto Onion Gravy, livened up with a glass of red wine and some made English mustard, plus fried onion and carrot. Let it cook for a couple of hours and did some surprisingly good King Edward mash. Delicious.
I do not think courgette and red peppers can be classed as winter veg but that is no reason for not roasting them.

My excellent ‘Longman Dictionary of the English Language’ (which I ‘won’ for participating in Tom O’Connors ‘Crosswits’ assisted by Kim Hartman, aka Helga from ‘Allo, Allo’) says:
Mews; 1a; stables, usually with living quarters; built round an open courtyard. 1b; living quarters adapted from such stables. 2 archaic a a cage for hawks especially when moulting.
Note: the change of meaning from ‘cage for hawks’ to ‘stables’ can be traced to a specific historical event. A building for housing the king’s hawks was erected in 1377 at Charing Cross in London (on the site now occupied by Trafalgar Square) and became known simply as ‘The Mews’. In 1537 this building was demolished and the Royal stables were built on the site but the name ‘The Mews’ was still applied to the new building and, by the 17th century, the word ‘mews’ was generally used for stables built round a courtyard. In the early 19th century it acquired its usual modern meaning of a dwelling converted from stables.

I’m afraid the Winter Jasmine does not work. Perhaps a macro image from 2”?

I am pleased to have given you the opportunity to explain your position re taxation. I would not wish anyone to think you have deserted the angels.

‘Bulgar', as you well know, is the wheat (which isn’t really wheat, I think?). ‘Bugger’ is what Catallus wrote (in Latin).
I am still uncomfortable with a non-rhyming ode. Try the following for size:
A bit of phlebitis I’ve been struck by.
Where? Why just below my thigh;
By which I mean (please bear with me)
On the inside of my left knee.
It does not hurt so very much it
Is only painful when I touch it.
(‘Phlebitis’ always sounds, to me,
Like an attack from an insect wee)
Perhaps it will be gone tomorrow
Well, that will be no cause for sorrow.
Otherwise I’m feeling well.
That’s good, so what the bloody hell!

Oliver Twist:
I think Timothy Spall is miscast but does his very capable best as Fagin. I reckon the Bill Sykes is better than any other I’ve seen (even Robert Newton). If only they had opted to spent less time showing all the cast at the beginning of each episode and shortened the shots of people walking down streets and alleys (good though the sets are) there would have been more time to show essentials like Oliver learning his trades (undertaker’s mute, pickpocket) and other essentials of the plot. Having missed most of last night’s episode through falling asleep, but knowing the story perhaps too well, I thought tonight’s better with Sykes, Monk and Bumble stealing it. I agree with Y about the atmosphere as I think I may already have indicated.

Jill’s granddaughter made me think of Jessica. Perhaps we all have at least one?

I cannot comment upon your remarks about AnonRob’s erection problems without sounding coarse. But I too hope that we will both be fit enough to meet!

I agree with you about ‘guys and dolls’ but think it would now be a hanging offence to refer to a bird as a doll. It’s the Americans you know. Son Matt’s American wife addresses us as ‘you guys’.

Jill said...

I'm with you on the 'guys and dolls' bit.

Our chicken casserole was fine again, just carrots leeks and pearly barley, served with mash and fresh runner beans. Were your carrots cooked after two hours in slow cooker, Bungus, or are you one of those who likes them rock-hard?

Lunch was great - we both had a lovely time, some great conversation with Annie, I learned a lot, she is doing Latin up to O level (instead of French) and knows of Virgil, Horace and Catullus! Her real love is art, though. Then M & S and I bought all the heavy veg and fruit and some champagne, and she carried it home on the bus for me.

We seemed to have a lot of cards with robins on this year? Some nicer than others, I don't like my robins with glittery red breasts or standing on glittery snow....

I watched Jamie Oliver doing Christmas Lunch, really quite sensible, time saving, and I shall definitely carve the way he did, and I liked his mince pies, except that he added sour dried cranberries to the mince, I add orange zest, brandy and fresh grated apple...

bungus said...

Well spotted Jill. I precooked the carrots.

I had thought O level to be much the same standard as School Cert; but we never did anything about the famous poets. We had a book called Septimus (a young boy who was with Caesar's army in Gaul, as I recall. I did not get pleasure from reading it but one fellow class member learned the whole book of by heart in both Latin and English and did very well in the exam. My possibly faulty memory tells me that prior to Fifth Form this dentist's son had always been 20th to 24th in the class (of 24) in every subject except Art and PT but then, whether because of threats or bribes he suddenly moved up 17 to 20 places to join the likes of myself!
I think I like art better than M&S too.

Our cards have been significantly robin free this year. perhaps it is a regional thing?

Sandra enjoyed Jamie Oliver too; especially the falling about drunk bit at the end. She will not be using anything from his methods this year though as we are entering new territory with venison and oxtail. I like the sourness of cranberries. So many deserts nowadays are far too sweet for my taste.