Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Paté Making 2014.

It comes around so quickly. Yup, it's Paté making time again.

I'm making about 2½ kilos this year, mostly in small 200gm jars; with the just two of us they're more useful than the bigger 350gm jars.

I took about 2 kilos of seasoned coarsely ground pork belly, liver, etc, and a 400gm Duck foie gras.

Nice big walnut sized lumps of the fresh foie gras were placed inside each jar of Paté mix, and the 'capsuled and lidded' jars were sterilised for the standard 3 hrs.

It's always interesting to discover if I've seasoned the mix correctly. Over the past few years I've somewhat underestimated the salt, but I suppose that's better than putting in too much.

Here's my final haul; ten 200gm jars, and four 350gm jars... That's all I'm making this year, I still have a few left over from 2013. The yellow of the fat comes from the foie gras (Maize fed Ducks).

I now have to wait about 3 months before tasting. 

Next on the list is Bacon, but more of that anon.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014



If we believed everything that we are fed about Africa by charity groups, it would not be a very savoury place to visit.

All children seem to be either starving or dying of nasty diseases, and have flies permanently attached to their eyes.

Water is only available to those who have had European/American do-gooders install wells and pumps.

Marauding gangs of lunatics slaughter everyone who hasn't learned The Koran by heart.

Ebola is rife, and will end-up killing most of Africa's population, unless they haven't already succumbed to Tsetse, snake bites, or Malaria.

Children can only attend school if sponsored by kindly Europeans/Americans.

Most of African wildlife will soon disappear if not 'adopted' by even more kindly Europeans/Americans.

Everyone above the rank of junior clerk has a Swiss bank account, stuffed with foreign aid money.

And all girls are married off by the age of 8 years old.

Over the past few years I have not seen a single charity ad' that does not represent Africa as being one huge open sewer, with the sick and dying littering the streets. Isn't it about time that the real face of Africa was presented a little more accurately?

A little more charity from the charities, and tourism might suddenly explode. It would probably be the financial saviour of many African countries.

Revolting Youf (repeat).

'Our youth loves luxury, has lack of manners, disregards authority, and has no respect whatsoever for older people. Today's children are tyrants, they contradict their parents, and tyrannise their teachers. They are just very bad'.

Sound familiar? Well, that was written by Socrates in 400 BC (BME). And an inscription on a Babylonian pot dating from a staggering 4,500 years earlier than that, states...

'The youth is rotten from the very bottom of their hearts. These young people are malicious and lazy, and they will never be as youth used to be before'.

So, nothing much has changed. Certain young people will always be a pain in the rectum, they always have been and always will be; we've had the wisdom of several millennia to get used to the idea. I just wish the current crop wouldn't spray silly squiggles all over all our walls.

Youf always gets bad press. I'm just waiting for them to adopt a new trend of helping old ladies across the road, and saying please and thank you! I may have to wait a while.

N.B. I'm repeating this posting from October 2011 simply because it amuses me, and needs to be noted.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Hardly changed.

I was recently struck by how little I've changed over the decades, from my cobweb-covered self-portrait of the late 60's, above, to the more recent portrait (© Charles Fenton-Savage) that I use for my blog, and facebook page.

OK, the beard is a bit whiter and soup stained, the wrinkles more prevalent and deeply etched, and the look more mean and menacing; but overall, exactly the same.

Even more amazing is that my finely-tuned brain should continue to think in much the way as it did nearly 50 years ago; irresponsible, self-centred, and reclusive.

Strangers might be forgiven for thinking that I am some angry old codger who shouts at children and ties fireworks to animal's tails, but in fact I'm a sweetheart to the core.

Of course I do have my critics; they are mostly those who've made less money than I have, or are far less good looking. I know at least 2 people of this ilk, and they are both about 102 years old, confused, locked-up and incontinent.

So there you have it..... a passage of nearly 50 years between two pictures. The real Cro (in Dorian Gray mode, top), and his portrait that should have been languishing in the loft (below).   

Quite remarkable.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

A chip off the old block (a Sunday special).

This detailed rear-view anatomical drawing was produced by my 8 year old grandson, G H G, in Oz.

The boy certainly has talent, and were the artwork 10ft tall by 8ft wide, he would no doubt be in line for the Turner Prize or another such worthy acclamation.

Keep it up G H G (and don't take that the wrong way; dirty boy). I wonder who he used as his model? I hope it wasn't his little brother.

© G H G Australia.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Only the Cake to make, and the Turkey to buy.

It's been Mincemeat Week chez the Magnons. Lady M has been stirring (clockwise), wishing, tasting, adding Armagnac, and bottling.

And here it is, Lady M's 2014 Mincemeat..... Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without Mince Pies, and Lady M's are some of the BEST (Well, I would say that, wouldn't I).

Teetotalers are advised to stay well clear. 

Friday, 21 November 2014

Black Peter.


I hear that there have been riots in the Netherlands as a number of the PC brigade have taken exception to the Christmas figure Black Peter, calling him 'racist'.

I'm getting pretty pissed off with all these claims of racism. Black Peter is no more racist than I am. He is simply a black faced traditional figure that, in certain countries, is associated with St Nicholas.

Personally I think it's 'racist' to claim that people who put black make-up on their faces are 'racists'.

It is common amongst black women to lighten their skin colour (rather like Michael Jackson) in order to make themselves look more like white folks; are they racist? Indian mystics who cover their faces in white ash; are they racist too?

Can't we all just live and let live, and accept that there are countless variations of skin colour. Simply because someone dresses-up with their face painted black, brown, or multi coloured, doesn't make them a bloody racist.

Nor is a panto dame 'sexist'; they're just having fun.

The loony PC brigade really make me puke.

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