If you have read my piece on hospital food, you should be interested in this post. In some of the comments (online and off) about my best efforts at recreating a 1970s recipe for chicken liver paté, there was an implied criticism. “More like a tureen.” or “Are they pieces of livers in there?” or “Have you ever done a smooth one?” left me with the impression that while you all loved my efforts, you might have had a different view if you had to eat the stuff.
I laughed at the word NOMINATE. I am destined to get your vote. Think about the appropriateness to a food blog; NOM in ATE. Get it? Of course you do. Now, if I expect you to nominate me in the Irish Blog Awards, I need to give you something. So I am giving you this fantastic recipe for Honey Mustard Chicken Drumsticks. I came across the recipe and modified it from The Barbecue Book by Eric Treuillé & Birgit Erath published by DK – The best barbecue book I have ever encountered.
Glen Frey did a great job with ‘The Heat Is On’. I find it hard to imagine that I could raise any enthusiasm for the opposite. Imagine a song called ‘The Heat Is Off’. I had received my instructions from Texas (more of that here) and I was going to cook a pretty tongue melting chili concoction for my invited family guests. They were going to enjoy one of the hottest dishes I have ever created. It was going to be hot and great. For sure, the heat was on! That was until I got an early morning call from my mother.
There’s an old story about a farmer from Texas visiting Ireland. When he got to his three storey hotel, he tipped back his ten gallon hat and remarked that in Texas they had hotels that reached the sky. He went on a bus tour of Connemara and when he saw the mountains, he said that the mountains in Texas were at least ten times bigger. Just outside Lisdoonvarna, the tour bus broke down and the Texan had to walk into town.
Do you guys think I’m doing this for my own amusement? I have to tell you I am not impressed. I spend the early part of the week cogitating “What would they like to see?” “What would be good enough to share with them?” “I’ll need to buy another couple of plates, they are probably bored with these ones…” The thought process goes on. The angst builds until I finally settle on cooking something that I am convinced will win you over. The latter part of the week is spent ensuring I have the best and the freshest ingredients. Saturday, I check my camera gear. Tension in the household mounts. On Saturday evening or possibly Sunday, I take control of the kitchen and cook and photograph for you. Then I process the pictures and try to think of something to say.
There is an old saying about poor cooking: “Tastes like hospital food.” I suspect that this really doesn’t have currency nowadays. Generally speaking, the food served in Irish hospitals appears to be a pretty good mix of carbs, proteins and other goodness designed to keep the patients in reasonable health until they depart the hospital or the world. This was not always the case.
My late father was, amongst many other things, a pathologist. For some years, he operated from a lab in the basement of the Richmond Hospital in Dublin city centre. In my 20th year, I got an attack of acute appendicitis. This was back in the 70s when this meant being rushed to the hospital and having a large incision in the gut to remove the offending and offensive organ.
I’ll admit it. There is a dumb-assed competitive streak in me that most men will, and no women can, understand. I leave my eldest daughter out of this as she is the only female I know who has a peppering of this lunacy. When she’s with me, every flight of stairs is an opportunity for a race, every doorway a chance to get through first and even getting groceries in the supermarket is a test of speed and endurance as tins of beans and fresh vegetables are thrown into the trolley as she runs by to finish her list before I do mine.
I’m not a big man. I stand about 5′ 8″ in my socks (not a sight you would want to see). When I married the Wife a good few years ago, I was smart enough to be sure that I married somebody smaller than me. That way, she would represent no physical danger. As I have matured over the years, I realise that there are more ways to be threatened by the Wife than with simple physical violence.
“Bllllpppppp.” (The sound of me blowing my nose). Not the best way for you to start reading this post. Not the most pleasant way for me to be writing it. The Wife and the Mother both need feeding this evening and I am completely under the weather. It could even be the dreaded Man Flu. “Bllllpppppp. Uggghhhh.” I need to get plenty of garlic, lemon and rosemary into me to beat off the devastation that this Man Flu is wreaking on my system.
There are plenty of topics on which I flip and I flop.
The cork v screwcap
On the one hand, the screwcap keeps the wine in perfect condition and allows you re-seal the bottle. On the other hand, you would have difficulty making a cool notice board from 500 screwcaps and I rarely find the need to re-seal a bottle.