Sunday, August 24, 2014

Chicken casserole discussed

"And as for the chicken, that was a little beauty. It was that young and tender, I says to Hannah at the time as it seemed a shame to casserole it, for it would 'ave roasted beautiful. But Mr. Urquhart is very partial to a casseroled chicken; he says as there's more flavour to 'em that way, and I dunno but what he's right."

"If done with a good beef stock," pronounced Mr. Bunter, judicially, "the vegetables well packed in layers, on a foundation of bacon, not too fat, and the whole well seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika, there are few dishes to beat a casseroled chicken. For my own part, I would recommend a soupçon of garlic, but I am aware that such is not agreeable to all tastes."

"I can't a-bear the smell or sight of the stuff," said Mrs. Pettican, frankly, "but as for the rest I'm with you, always allowing that the giblets is added to the stock, and I would personally favour mushrooms when in season, but not them tinned or bottled sorts as looks pretty but has no more taste to 'em than boot buttons if so much. But the secret is in the cooking, as you know well, Mr. Bunter, the lid being kep' well sealed down to 'old the flavour and the cookin' being' slow to make the juices perambulate through and through each other as you might say. I'm not denyin' as sech is very 'ighly enjoyable, and so Hannah and me found it, though fond of a good roast fowl also, when well-basted with a good rich stuffing to rejuice the dryness. But as to roasting it, Mr. Urquhart wouldn't hear of it, and being 'as it's him that pays the bills, he has the right to give his orders."

From Strong Poison, by Dorothy L. Sayers.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


I came across this grousing article about picnics and thought I'd share it.

To add my two cents, I will say that Iceland has even more notoriously fickle weather than Britain and I have still managed to have some perfectly lovely picnics here.

Simple picnics with sandwiches and cakes and tea are lovely when the food is done right and the weather behaves, but the picnic meals where we cooked the food on the spot were always my favourite, especially the ones combined with a day at the beach: wading in the sea, collecting shells and semi-precious stones (jasper and chalcedony), and gathering driftwood, dry seaweed and garbage that had accumulated on the beach since last year's outing and piling it up to make a bonfire.
This would be followed by charcoal-grilled sausages in charred buns or lamb cutlets and baked potatoes with salad, and drinks cooled in the river, followed by a lazy hour or two in the sun, digesting the food and talking, and then, when it began to get dark, lighting the bonfire, listening to the driftwood crackle and watching the flames leap. Then home, slather on after-sun cream and to bed and a deep, restful sleep.

These picnics were always spontaneous because we could never rely on the weather forecast, but it only added to the fun and I don't ever remember one getting disrupted by bad weather. Nor do I remember wasps in the food, but there must have been the occasional midge.