Friday, November 21, 2008

Polish Goose - Y off to Tosca

Just a bit of Rhenish architecture and I thought it looked better on the right side of the page, for balance.

This is Koblenz, at the beginning of the holiday and the light was generally this flat. Still 'record shots' have to be taken.

It is interesting to compare with the pictures, lower down on the left, which I took in 1953 when I was stationed in Germany.

Although different buildings and a different town the feel of the place was the same. Walking about I just once caught a whiff of german tobacco which was nostalgic and conjured up images immediately a la Proust's madeleine biscuit. Click if you are interested.

For main meal today I cooked 1lb crown of a goose (country of origin Poland) which I had bought in Lidl. Although thoroughly defrosted, the estimated oven-time on the pack was woefully short and after an hour at 200C still spurted red, which meant that my roast potatoes and yorkshires were done way too early, ditto my carrots and brussels. I made some white-sauce to accompany and, to be fair, when I did get it altogether the meal was delicious. A much chewier texture than normal British poultry but certainly not tough, and very flavoursome.

This evening Y has gone with Tracy to the Theatre Royal for a performance of Tosca please click and she has been much looking forward to it. The opera is one of her favourites and contains so many well known arias and things. It wouldn't suit me, if for no other reason than the excruciating lack of leg room. Tracy is ringing her Mum back and may stay over - I shall probably have opted out by then.

The John Sergeant issue rumbles on and I decided to give the Claudia show a miss tonight because I feel that I have heard quite enough about it, thank you. I shall watch the main show tomorrow evening and, depending how it is all dealt with, decide whether or not to continue watching future editions of the competition.


bungus ..... I'm pleased the car's MOT thing sorted itself out so satisfactorily. It becomes increasingly easy to forget the due date of these things. Our local garage has an efficient computer which generates letters to tell you when services, and MOT's etc., are due, otherwise we'd never remember.

Re the Police and Political Parties. The rule is that, as an Officer of the Crown one is forbidden to "take an active part in politics". It always seemed a moot point whether or not the passive membership of a political party offended this regulation. I never knew of anyone being disciplined for it anyway. I don't think it would be possible to permit one party and ban another.

Jill ...... Our childhood reading lists seem almost identical. To mine was added Arthur Ransome of Pigeon Post, Swallows and Amazons etc. fame, and we must not forget Just William. I suppose that, being a girl, Wizard would be denied to you, likewise Hotspur.

Good for you - making your own mincemeat. I never did try that.

Quotation corner ........

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it"

"Sleep tight - catch you tomorrow - all being well"

Temperature 39F and falling



bungus said...

The German national style of architecture does appear to have continued.
On emotive smells, the two I shall never forget are the disinfectant used in the Paris Metro (1946/7) and the overpowering scent of sun scorched eucalyptus which was the first thing (apart from the heat itself) which hit the senses on descending the plane steps in Tripoli (1957).

Crown of goose sounds a good idea. We shall be having a whole goose (about 12 lb, presently frozen) for Xmas dinner and I love it. But as there will be more than 4 of us, we shall need to supplement it, probably with a duck.
I did my best ever cauliflower cheese sauce today (it always varies). Just for myself, I sweated a whole sliced small onion in oil and butter, stirred in about a dessertspoonful of seasoned flour (salt, pepper, dry mustard, chilli powder), slowly added a ¼ pint of milk, allowed it to thicken, removed from the heat and stirred in plenty of grated strong cheddar, poured that over the remains of a precooked cauli and some calabrese., sprinkled with more cheese, poured on some double cream, powdered it with nutmeg and cooked at the bottom of a Mk 7 oven for half an hour. Excellent with a jacket spud (to follow a soup made by Sandra from vegetable odds & sods out of the fridge salad drawers).

Apart from Carmen, only la Boheme.has much appeal for me (I tried watching Tosca on the telly once but didn’t get far). I find that opera sung in English sounds largely ludicrous. Only the Latin languages seem suited to the form except for Wagner where it seems to me that German matches the style of the music. But I don’t really know enough about it to have a respectable opinion.

I have been told that John Sergeant is to do a Swan Dance tomorrow. Isn’t everyone taking it all rather too seriously?
Standing in for a sick Merton, Frank Skinner made some rather unkindly pointed comments about the marching man’s sexuality on ‘Have I Got News for You’ this evening but was otherwise witty.

I understand the policeman ‘outed’ as a member of the BNP has been suspended from duty.
Someone on 5Live last night said that the 3 main parties method of stopping the BNP getting a greater grip on public opinion should be to ‘capture hearts and minds’. I remember that highly respected President of the NUM, Joe Gormley, reportedly saying, “Grab them by the balls and the hearts and minds will follow.”

My early reading went from the Mumfy books and Rupert to Dr Doolittle to Just William to Arthur Ransome to The Greyfriars Holiday Annuals to Edgar Wallace to Sapper and Leslie Charteris. I also managed to pull in Treasure Island and The Coral Island. In my experience it was EITHER The Dandy or the Beano followed by The Wizard or the Hotspur (I was a Dandy/Wizard man - Wilson, etc).

I was at Grammar School through most of the war and, even when Belsen and Buchenwald were discovered, was completely unaware of ANYONE, anywhere, being Jewish until very very late when it transpired that a ginger-haired classmates named Silver never came into morning assembly. But no one seemed to think it strange or significant (another member of the class was RC and he too missed assembly without attracting any attention or comment).

I always enjoy 'This Week' on the odd occasions that I chance to see it. It always seems so sophisticated and free of sniping party politics (except for the odd witticism). I am sure that Diane Abbot and Michael Portillo are lovers. Or, if they aren’t, they should be. Your observation that ‘they think no-one is watching’ captures it very nicely.

Sandra used to make mincemeat too. And Xmas puds. Nobody likes Xmas cake but she still makes them. This year Jessica said she wanted it to be ‘a chimney’ but could not explain what she meant. I drew a roof with a chimney and Santa going into it but “No,” that wasn’t it. It turned out to be a fireplace (or chimney breast) with a mantelpiece and stockings on either side with presents in.
As a start S made, at great expense, 2 No 10” square, 4” deep cakes, full of liquor and everything, which now have to be cut up and cemented together to create the basic structure for starters. I don’t think the carpal tunnel op will help although it is going very well and the stitches are due to come out next Wednesday. The second course of antibiotics seems to have worked on the pleurisy too although there is a lingering ennui and lassitude which is unlike the patient who is becoming frustrated and resorting to emptying biscuit tins and things.
You have heard before of Jess’s entrepeneurmanship (renting out her caravan at a fiver a night to her cousin Alex). Like so many others she carries a plastic bottle of water everywhere she goes (why did we not all die of dehydration?). Today, she told us, she emptied the bottle and a classmate said, “I’m dying for a drink; can I have your bottle; I’ll give you 30 pence for it.”.
Sandra said, “You didn’t take it did you?”.
“I did,” says Jess, “You would have done.”
“I wouldn’t.” says Sandra.
“She wouldn’t,” I agree, “your Gran would have given her the bottle and 30 pence as well.”
“I’m a business woman.” says Jessica.

Reg said...

4icks is upset She typed a great tome for the blog and it disappeared into the ether never to be seen again.Will be repaeted when she has time.
Comics, those where the days, Rover.Wizard,Adventure,and Hotspur.
Wilson with his slow heart beat, Alf Tupper training on Fish And Chips and Braddock shooting down the entire Luftwaffe on his own.
Biggles didn't have to help him. What about Worrols and Gimlet? Then came the Eagle with Pictures! Dan Dare and the Mekon. I read all Arthur Ransome's books and have even been to the Devils Chair near Whitegates Farm in Shropshire.
Thats about as far as my English lit. goes and as holder of the world record for failing GCE English exams it probably shows.
The first GCE English exam. I took essay Subject was 'My Caravan Holiday', In 1954 I did not know what a caravan was never mind have a holiday in one,holiday what was that? A day trip to Skeggy was about the limit or a visit to see a posh Uncle (Music Teacher ARCO)in Tulse Hill very up market in those days.
We must have had the wrong jobs during National Service I was talking to a friend recently who run the Sergents Mess during his time in Germany, no duties, no parades, just look after the mess. He was always a bit carefull with his money and came home with £500 saved from his tips, quite a sum of money in those days.

Jill said...

Your Jessica - we could do with her as Chancellor of the Exchequer - she couldn't do worse than the present one. She seems to understand money - I think budgeting and financial management of one's assets should be taught at schools....

No, I didn't see Wizard or Hotspur or Dandy. My comic was Sunny Stoies by Enid Blyton, then I went onto the Children's Newspaper. I also read Treasure and Coral Island, all the Swallows and Amazons, Swiss Family Robinson, the Saint, Enid Blyton when I was young, and for some reason quite a lot of Dickens. I also loved Anne of Green Gables books, set in Prince Edward Island, Canada. When I finally got there it was ruined, hordes of Japanese tourists (it is very big in Japan - can't think why) and 'Anne' cafes, book-shops, toy shops, etc.etc. I re-read one of the books - it was total rubbish, and badly written at that! But I did love it around the age of 11/12, longed to be Anne.

I hope Y enjoyed Tosca, I am not an opera or ballet fan.

Have never seen a crown of goose, I would have tried it if I did. I cooked a goose one Xmas, I was the only one who really enjoyed it. I like it well-cooked though.

I did like the sound of your cauliflower cheese, Bungus. This blog always makes me hungry...think I shall have to have a snackette before going out to a book launch - I was waiting to see what the weather was like before committing myself, but it is bright and sunny, frost all gone, trains are running on time. Just a bit nippy!

Reg said...

Was Coral Island The same author as The Gorilla Hunters R.M.Balantyne?Not P.C. now a days.

Jill said...

Yes, it was RM Ballantyne.

Another author I liked was John Buchan - he's not PC now either, another one said to be anti-semitic.