Thursday, January 29, 2009

Leeky Pot, Parsnips and Parkin - or how to get the 60s, 70s and 80s into one posting

This is what the chicken stuffed with haggis (see last posting) looked like (1), and we all enjoyed it immensely, even though the boys had been sceptical beforehand: one communicating this with facial expressions hovering between disbelief and disgust, the other one declaring it 'bizarre'. And if I say 'all', I have to exclude my MIL, who could not make it, and the Crown Prince's girl-friend No3 (2). Not having learnt from last Sunday when he left a garbled voice message on the house-phone that girl-friend No1 has turned Vegan, he had again omitted to tell me that this girl is Vegetarian. Had I known beforehand, I could have tried out McSween's Vegetarian Haggis and made her a Savoy Cabbage Roll. As it was, she had to make do with the vegetables and mash. She really enjoyed the Whisky sauce though, which was rather delicious, even if I say so myself.

In wise anticipation, I had decided to turn the traditional cock-a-leeky soup into a Vegetarian pot-a-leeky, or 'Leeky Pot' (3), just in case, which was very well received, as was the Parsnip & Parmesan Bread (adapted from Delia Smith, recipe to follow shortly for Bread Baking Daily#16).

For the chicken, I used my Römertopf (4) for the first time in decades; my oldest recited the few lines of Burns he knew (which weren't from the ode to a haggis), and my BH played Alex Harvey (5), which was the best he could come up with in place of bagpipes.

We rounded the festivities off with the tipsy laird trifle. It was very nice, though I wouldn't use Parkin again instead of trifle sponge. I wanted something oaty, but the Parkin is too gingery, something with less of a taste of its own would have been better (Dundee cake maybe, to stick with the Scottish theme?)

(1) In case you have noticed the tartan tablecloth: that’s actually just a piece of material, which I bought to make myself a Western style blouse, back in the early 80s. Just one of the many unfinished (in this case, never started) projects of my life. Apparently, apart from ‘Camel Thompson’ (or Mackenzie), there aren’t any brown tartans; I checked them all! The Burns one has a red background, check it out here. It’s something to do with the Clan Campbell and applies to the names of Burns, Burness, Burnes, Barnes, Burner and Burnhouse. The word “burn” is an OE word for stream, still commonly used in Scotland.
(2) The numbering system is purely chronological. It is not very likely that girl-friend No2 is going to turn up again, mainly because girl-friend No1 has always featured, however infrequently. It’s a polyamorous thing, a bit like free love in the 60s (maybe more about this some other time..)
(3) A very basic soup: onions, 2 leeks, 2 potatoes, marigold vegetarian stock, garlic, nutmeg, seasoning; but the tip taken from Alex Jamieson's Great American Detox Diet, Rodale Press, 2005, to add the rosemary and thyme only just before the blending process, was a revelation. (She is a Vegan chef and the fiancee of the maker of the film, Supersize Me.)
(4) It's an earthenware casserole dish, which was very popular in Germany in the 70s. It has to be immersed in water for 15 minutes prior to use, it goes into a cold oven, and the desired temperature is reached in 3 stages. It cooked the chicken beautifully - mind you, they were M & S 'succulent' chicken breasts, so maybe not all the credit goes to the R
(5) Scottish rock and roll performer (1935 - 1982)


Anonymous said...

What is a wash-pig?

Hey, you should write a book. It is amusing to follow your stories..

Hugs, Tia

Zabeena said...

A wash-pig is someone who washes dishes in a restaurant.
Cheers, and as you probably know, I am writing/have been writing forever and a day but I am just so 'endless'...