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Cooking with Nick Griffin

Yes, you heard it right. For my next trick I suspect it’ll have to be kite-surfing with the Dalai Lama.

Anyway, Nick Griffin, the now bankrupt leader of the BNP is presenting cookery shows on Youtube. I suppose it’s a bit like de-snagging LANs with Hitler. Or something. “Goering, you never told me this network was installed by a Herr Cohen!!!”. I digress and must move on because I have a 9am building a tokamak with Ant & Dec.

Anyway, here is the new Nigella in all his shambolic glory.

Well, there are things to note. I can cook and a beef casserole is one of my “signature dishes”. OK, I’m not exactly Michel Roux Jr (who is a perfidious frog, obviously – despite being a UK citizen – and my Mum fancies him!) and Mr Griffin cooked this veritable feast upon an Aga which is of course Swedish and we don’t want those Scandies coming over here with their affordable, but unfathomable furniture and their raping and pillaging of Lindisfarne (Northumberland folk-rock *shudder*) and all that. I once saw a doc about a plumber of Pakistani origin who fixed Agas. He was making a mint out of deranged cougars in Surrey who thought the path to enlightenment required the boiler from the Great Eastern chugging away in their kitchen. Anyway this guy who was doing well (and fair play) branded himself as “The Aga Khan”. It amused me.

Please watch the whole thing if you can. It is long but hilarious in parts. Some of it didn’t exactly amuse me though such as Nicky wearing a “Help for Heroes” shirt. I wonder what the Gurkhas or the many other Commonwealth troops in our armed forces think of that? Or what women make of it or how anyone who isn’t a total moron takes his advice on the need to remove the foil from a stock cube? Well the last one is funny. As are some similar “Top Tips”…

Kitten Nearly Dies

Now this, from Melbourne….

Kitten nearly dies from vegan diet

Lort Smith Vet Leanne Pinfold says cats should be fed a proper diet. She is pictured with Roger, who is well-fed and available for adoption. Source: News Limited

A KITTEN has almost died after its owners fed it a strict vegan diet.

The horrific case at a North Melbourne animal hospital has prompted a warning about the dangers of people “forcing ideologies” on their pets.

Lort Smith Animal Hospital veterinarian Leanne Pinfold said the kitten was brought in this month by its owners, who were believed to be vegan.

She said the kitten’s diet of potatoes, rice milk and pasta had caused it to become critically ill.

“It was extremely weak and collapsed when it came in. It was almost non-responsive,” Dr Pinfold said.

The kitten was given fluids via a drip, placed on a heat pad and fed meat.

It remained in hospital for three days after which the kitten’s owners were given meat to feed their pet at home, she said.
Dr Pinfold said as obligate or true carnivores, cats needed meat to survive.

She said people who wanted a pet that did not eat meat should consider other animals, such as rabbits.

“Concern for animal welfare has to include a biologically-appropriate diet,” she said. “You can’t force your ideology on the cat.

“Carnivores will seek out meat and your cat is possibly more likely to go hunting and kill local native fauna if you deprive it of meat.”

Dr Pinfold said she had not come across a similar case in her 11 years as a veterinarian.


How times change…

I have been re-organizing stuff round here (decorating) and found a slim volume aimed at gels from the typing pool in their first gaff. It’s called, “Cooking in a Bedsitter” by Katherine Whitehorn. First published in 1961 this “New and Fully Revised Edition” dates from 1982 [it was probs anachronistic then].

Here is a sample recipe, with preamble:


Curry finds itself in this section ["Cooking to Stay Alive" - the other section being "Cooking to Impress" - basically a potential boyfriend/suitor who is simply assumed to generally take you out to nice restaurants but now wants to see your diggings!] because it is useless to try to impress anyone with a curry nowadays unless you have spent several years out East and are prepared to talk about it, as well as cook, for hours on end. When it comes to really elaborate curries it is much better to be on the receiving end, and fortunately most people who live in bedsitters know at least one Indian or Pakistani who is delighted to make a curry for an admiring friend [!]. Moreover, they are apt to know their proportions only in terms of .01 grains of saffron per half a sheep, so that they will often make enough curry for you and everyone on the staircase to feed off for a week.

However, here is an unassuming straightforward curry that will work on meat, fish, or any odds and ends you happen to have over.

I have lived almost all of my adult life (and much before!) within easy reach of Indians, Pakistanis (and Bangladeshis – though obviously that country didn’t exist in 1961 when this book was first written and there are also of course Sri Lankans) who were delighted to cook for a paying customer (or maybe possibly an “admiring friend”) or indeed sell the ingredients so you can do it yourself*. I also “love” the racist assumption that you will have a curry wallah on the staircase and their mission is to feed. And also the similarly racist assumption that a native Brit (whatever that means) can’t cook top-notch sub-continental food without having tales to tell of tiger-hunts, malaria and meeting a guru who gives you the recipe upon a sacred scroll that once wrapped the Koh-i-Noor etc ad nauseum. Rather than a book by, say, Madhur Jaffrey (available from all good book-sellers).

Anyway, here is the recipe. Now note this well because I know of one (admittedly unlikely circumstance – guess – it shall be revealed) where it might prove useful…

Curry for Meat, Fish, Rabbit, or Leftovers.

2 onions
2 tomatoes (or squeeze of tomato paste)
1 teaspoon meat extract dissolved in one cup water
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4lb/100g meat or fish or mince
1 dessertspoon flour
fat for frying

Fry onions gently for 5 mins. Add tomatoes and flour; stir. Add meat extract and water; stir. Add curry powder and KEEP THE HEAT LOW AT THIS POINT (too much direct heat seems to burn off the taste of the curry and leave only the sting – if this happens, add more curry, if you can bear to [!] ). Add meat or rabbit and simmer 1hr. If fish, add after 1/2hr. (1 1/4hrs)

This is even better if you let it get cold and then heat it up.

I’d argue if you have got this far in producing this dish fit for the very Moghuls themselves it’s utterly superlative if you bin it and then phone Sayeed down at “The Last Days of the Raj” and order a lamb bhuna.

Unless of course via some peculiar spacetime conjunction between our Universe and Discworld you have Fred Colon and Nobby Nobbs round for tea**. Death wouldn’t like it mind – he’s into proper Klatchian.

* I used to live in Levenshulme, Manchester and they even had a hybrid Polish/Iranian grocer.
** Though Mrs Colon always added turnip for the wateriness and sultanas for a “taste of the exotic”.

Damn you for offering us food choice

A visit from SAoT’s matriarch meant that she and Mrs SAoT were watching the Beeboid last night.  After the usual ‘the Olympics is great’ type show tediously explaining the finer points of swimming and something about volcanoes, there was this utterly vile North Korean type thing called “the men who made us fat” or something.


There had apparently been two previous episodes of this junk, but since I don’t watch the Beeb I had happily missed them, but this was the sort of background noise that eats into your soul.


First, if you want to see who made you fat (assuming you are fat) don’t search conspiracy websites, don’t look to the government or Pravda or the medical community to explain it to you, and certainly don’t listen to a word that some paid advocacy group come up with.  No, just look in the mirror.


If someone cannot take personal responsibility for what they choose to ingest, instead blaming some third party against whom they are helpless, then they are more or less doomed.  Needless to say, said advocacy groups are all too keen to relieve them of the tiresome responsibilities of thinking, exercising self-discipline and restraint.  


So, to “the men who made us fat” So far as I saw it (I lasted about 25 minutes) UK obesity is all the fault of evil corporations and the men who work in them.  Please note, no women work for food companies in senior roles apparently and cannot therefore be evil.  It’s all men’s fault. 


The central thrusts seemed to be stuff which is marketed as healthy may not be.  This woman who was in some kind of regulatory role in the past had taken it upon herself to explain to hapless proles that ‘Sunny Delight’ may not have been that healthy.  Anyone not able to read the label with a list of the contents?  Then there was the staggering revelation that if a Donut is organic it doesn’t mean it’s healthy (sic).    


Almost quivering with excitement the program makers had seized upon a report by JP Morgan (boo hiss) to the food industry that government regulation may damage them and that if they were able to take action to prevent that it would be a good thing.  But guess what? Those evil swine in Cadburys did not shift from chocolate to lentil bars ~ oh no.  They continued to sell chocolate and offered some sport equipment if you collected wrappers.  Then they interviewed another woman in a regulatory capacity of some sort (therefore good and the source of all things holy and virtuous) who explained that you need to buy really rather a lot of chocolate to get the free equipment.


Well obviously.  The equipment is an additional cost to the company but the Beeb decided to suggest that ‘a person’ would need to eat about forty quids worth of chocolate to get a netball.  No-one thought to say that if a class of kids ate say one chocolate bar a week and simply kept the wrappers then handed them in to the teacher instead of littering, they would have plenty of additional sports stuff double quick.  They gave the regulatory type, an almost uninterrupted bit to camera with patsy type questions for about five minutes before printing two lines of Cadburys reply which was on screen for a few seconds. 


Well at this point I could stand no more, but if I may, the food industry, advertising, evil men (etc ad nauseum) do not make me or you fat.  We do by eating and drinking too much.  This is a free choice and it’s far better to have it than be a slim and healthy eastern European shivering in a queue for government bread or a starving North Korean slave.  I am given to understand thhose unfortunates are about five inches shorter on average than their South Korean neighbours due to malnutrition.  Now that is truly evil, not some guy freely selling chocolate bars.     


Ayn Rand said “The man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap” Sounds about right to me. 

“Darwin Award” Is Barely Adequate

Down below, Paul has written a post about the “fall of the Moron civilisation”, and a very good post it is too. It describes how a certain South American civilisation, facing the invasion of the Conquistadores, responded by, er, killing their own people and setting fire to their pyramids, which turned out not to be the optimal strategy. That however was a form of organised moronism. Our society increasingly specialises in the individual form, largely it appears because it has now so regulated everything that individuals have entirely lost the capacity to take the most simple care of themselves. Which brings us to 46 year old Diane Hill, who set herself on fire with petrol.

Now burning yourself isn’t automatically moronic. Petrol is flammable. Under certain circumstances it can spontaneously combust (if you soak a heap of rags in it, then something to do with latent heat that our Physics expert Nick can no doubt explain). Or, more likely you can have a stray spark if there is a sufficient concentration of vapour, or…

She was using her cooker at the same time as pouring petrol from one container to another using a jug after her daughter had asked for some petrol.


The woman was cooking dinner while decanting the fuel from an “appropriate petrol container” into a glass jug when the vapours ignited [...] that “created panic,” causing the woman to spill the petrol, which “resulted in spillage on the lady’s clothes which ignited as well”.


Lee Smith, one of the fire officers called to the scene, told BBC Radio 5 Live that firefighters did not need to extinguish any flames but had to deal with “a lot of smoke”.

I bet they did.

So here we have a woman so stupid that she decanted petrol into a jug next to a cooker (this was a gas cooker wasn’t it, Mrs Hill? The one with the naked flames?) and who gets the blame for this? The government.

Now come on. I’m no fan of the Coalition, but we can hardly blame the government for presiding over people so stupid that the advice to keep a bit of extra petrol in results in them pouring it from jug to jug while stir frying dinner, can we?

Labour peer Lord Harris called for Francis Maude to resign after the woman, named locally as Diane Hill, suffered 40 per cent burns when she tried to pour petrol into a jug in her kitchen after her daughter’s car needed refuelling.

Because Francis Maude didn’t take into account how close to the fall of the Moron civilisation we actually are. Presumably if he’d advised people to buy cutlery, he’d be responsible for some woman deliberately stabbing herself in the eyes with a fork, because he hadn’t actually specified she shouldn’t do that.

I think we may as well give up on this “libertarian” thing, guys. With raw material like this, hoping for a society of self-reliant individuals is really asking too much, isn’t it?

Domino theory lives

I am sure these people would be horrified, or at least, dismissive, at the suggestion that they might be the leading edge of a totalitarian campaign to shut down discussion and control what we are allowed to read or hear, or limit our ability to make an informed decision.

FOUR former Australians of the Year have signed a joint letter to federal MPs, urging them to support legislation to mandate plain packaging for cigarettes.

They are among 260 professors, from medical and health faculties throughout Australia, who say plain packaging of cigarettes would help reduce the appeal of smoking, particularly to children and young people.

Professors Sir Gus Nossal, Ian Frazer, Fiona Stanley and Fiona Wood have put their names to the letter, which was coordinated by the Cancer Council, the National Heart Foundation and the Public Health Association of Australia.

Professor Mike Daube from the Public Health Association says the scientists are backing plain packaging because of the compelling evidence and the potential for improved public health.

Anyway, here we are:

24 August, 2011

The Gillard Government’s world-leading plain packaging legislation has passed through the House of Representatives today, as Australia moves one step closer to implementing plain packaging of tobacco from 1 January 2012.

“Today Australia’s Parliament took the first courageous step towards legislating plain packaging of tobacco,” Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon said.

“Plain packaging will remove the last remaining form of tobacco advertising in Australia.

Now we all know the arguments; this isn’t a slippery slope, it won’t set any precedents, and once they have plain paper packaging for the nasty tobaccoey type products then everyone will be satisfied and this restriction on advertising and free expression will never be extended to any other products.


Tobacco is so eeviill that it stands on its own and principle will never be breached for anything else.


THE Coco Pops monkey and Paddle Pop lion would be scrapped under a Cancer Council proposal to ban cartoon characters and sports stars from spruiking unhealthy kids’ food.

Cancer Council NSW, backed by the Obesity Policy Coalition and The Parents’ Jury, are seeking a ban on promotional characters, movie tie-ins and the athletes who promote foods high in sugar, fat and salt.

Although stopping short of calling for plain packaging, Cancer Council nutritionist Kathy Chapman said regulations around the marketing of foods to children were urgently needed.

Well, that’s Tony the Tiger, Snap, Crackle and Pop, and Ronald McDonald sent to the camps then. What about the image of the Colonel? Is that still used? Would it still be legal?

What’s a your average control freak gunna do? Follow their profession? Or become a professional campaigner? Because parents are simply not fit to make these decisions themselves, are they? But then, here, I’m preaching to the converted.

Research by Cancer Council NSW and the University of Sydney’s Prevention Research Collaboration found that nearly 74 per cent of promotional characters on Australian food packets promote products to children that would fail healthy nutritional standards.

What are healthy nutritional standards? I love a pile of boiled potatoes, sprinkled with salt and dripping with butter. Mmmm, fresh potatoes, a big pile of fresh potatoes. Is that better than a bag of crisps? What about a bag of carrots? Carrots are good for you aren’t they? Would a carrot by itself meet healthy nutritional standards? Eat a load of carrots and you go orange.

They gunna regulate the number of carrots I am allowed to eat?

This campaign doesn’t even have the fig leaf of the health downsides of tobacco. Only an idiot, or an activist with an agenda, judges a single food item by itself. Any food, taken by itself, won’t meet some arbitrary ‘healthy nutritional standard’.

My mother will shoot me for saying it, but there is no such thing as junk food, only junk diets.

Nothing wrong with giving the kids a feed of McDonalds – burger, shake and fries – just don’t do it every meal. Likewise, don’t give them liver and bacon with fresh potato, cauliflower, tomato and cabbage every night either, they won’t thank you.

Still food isn’t the point, is it? The point is – give the control freaks a single finger through the door and they will pour through in droves. They can’t acknowledge temperance, because admitting it destroys their raison d’être.

The Four Rules of TV Cooking.

I used to watch a lot of cookery shows.

Sophie Dahl’s (now defunct) show was a dismal attempt to use the toothsome Ms Dahl to rip off the schtick of Nigella. Now Dahl might be eye candy but she can’t make candy. Or Dal or pretty much anything. So first rule is to get someone who can cook. Nigella can actually cook but you’d be amazed how often this basic rule is ignored. The most appalling example was Tom Parker-Bowles. I remember him making an utter horlicks of roasting a chicken or something and boiling peas. Apparently he is food critic for Tattler or some such… Sometimes you have to pity the upper-classes. Anthony Worrell-Thompson falls into much the same category – now he probably can cook in a sort of chicken in a basket sort of manner but he’s usually too pissed. I also have severe doubts about Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

The second rule is to have some charisma. Delia Smith can cook but she don’t have it. She’s so ponderous and school ma’am-ish. Rick Stein is borderline but seems a nice guy and had a cute dog and that counts. H also didn’t violate the third rule.

The third rule is the most often violated. Don’t be annoying. Now the thing is some are annoying from the start. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall springs to mind and some become annoying. I assume it is because wht is annoying is their “trademark” which grates after a while. Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey spring to mind. Oliver’s cheerful mockneyism is unwatchable (“Take some of the old coriander” -cant the poor barrow-boy afford fresh ingredients?) and as for Ramsey – it’s like watching Reservoir Dogs with food and keep your shirt on Gordon. It may once have been the torso of an Adonis but it’s no more. The Hairy Bikers just piss me off. I can’t tell you why exactly but… I think it’s this… Remember Two Fat Ladies? That worked so some BBC-type thought, “Let’s do the same with working class blokes from up North!” It’s the shallowness of the commissioning more than anything. At the other extreme is Heston “Beaker” Blumenthal who prepares things that require a moderately sized university chemistry facility – sorry Heston me old china I can’t do that because Tesco is fresh out of liquid nitrogen. Oh, and Ainsley Harriott – do I have to explain? The absolutely most annoying of them all though is Gary Rhodes. He looks like a stick-insect that has stolen fiddler Nigel Kennedy’s barnet. There is something really weird about him and that catchphrase, “Now, build the dish”… that’s like the phrase “theatre workshops”. I’m with Alexei Sayle on them, “Anyone who uses the word workshop who isn’t involved in light engineering is a twat”.

Which brings me to rule four. Just because you’re on telly and know bain-marie is doesn’t mean we want you launching “crusades”. Now there’s a lot of them at it these days but the king of the meddlesome ratbags is Jamie “Turkey Twizzlers” Oliver.

There are chefs on TV that don’t break the rules but off the top of my head I can’t quite name them off the top of my head right now.


The latest mouth watering offering from WordPress……


America has given us many great inventions.

But this is something else…

The beer is placed inside a pocket of salty, pretzel-like dough and then dunked in oil at 375 degrees for about 20 seconds, a short enough time for the confection to remain alcoholic.

When diners take a bite the hot beer mixes with the dough in what is claimed to be a delicious taste sensation.

Inventor Mark Zable said it had taken him three years to come up with the cooking method and a patent for the process is pending. He declined to say whether any special ingredients were involved.

His deep-fried beer will be officially unveiled in a fried food competition at the Texas state fair later this month.
Five ravioli-like pieces will sell for $5 (£3) and the Texas Alcoholic Commission has already ruled that people must be aged over 21 to try it.

Mr Zable has so far been deep frying Guinness but said he may switch to a pale ale in future.

He said: “Nobody has been able to fry a liquid before. It tastes like you took a bite of hot pretzel dough and then took a drink of beer.” Mr Zable previously invented dishes including chocolate-covered strawberry waffle balls and jalapeño corndog shrimps.

Last year’s winner of the Texas state fair fried food competition was a recipe for deep-fried butter.

Mr Zable, we salute you!

And it just had to be Texas. Had to be. Right, I’m sure Manchester Airport does scheduled flights to Dallas and Houston… Catch y’all later folks!

Pointless Scare Of The Day

Everyone likes a nice steak. Well, my wife doesn’t because she’s a vegetarian but other than that everyone else does. And everyone who has cooked anything knows that a gas hob is much better than an electric one.

I mean you got control with gas. You get it up to speed with olive oil, salt and pepper on the meat, not the pan, whack your nice bit of sirloin in and turn it right down after you have seared the outside. Two minutes each side (or two and a half if you are some form of homosexualist) with a bit of butter put in half-way through and job done. You will, of course, have the veggies done to coincide with the steak having rested a bit and some finely shredded iceburg lettuce left in the fridge for the previous half an hour to really crisp it up.

Alas, it would appear this fine repast (and the birth right of every true Englishman*) will give you cancer. Some Norwegians have said so and therefore it must be true. Just read this. That shouldn’t be in the the BMJ. That really ought to be in the Proceedings of The Royal Society For Wild Speculation. I’m not even going to fisk it.

Apparently the Researchers of the Meaningless concluded this epic finding in the name of of public health on the basis of frying steaks in margarine and soya oil! It would therefore appear that the Norwegians are still the barbarians they were when they raided Lindisfarne over a thousand years ago.

As a scientifically trained individual** I am gob-smacked that this drivel is taken seriously. Just read the whole thing. It makes Al Gore look like a deserving recipient of the Nobel.

*Freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom from meddlesome ratbags, just freedom really and a steak dinner. That’s the Nick Party manifesto. Vote Nick. You know you want to.
**The first year physics labs of Nottingham University had the preserved blackboards from when Einstein delivered a lecture on General Relativity (in German) to the bemused aldermen of that fine city in the 1920s. You don’t fake it when you have Albert looking down on you. He was on a visit to see a pal at Nottingham Uni and to take in Woolsthorpe.

Slow news day

Who cares?

First step in making spag bol illegal unless it comes from Bologna?

And I really don’t give a dead stoats winkie what the Bolognese Chamber of Commerce has to say on the matter.

Go the Swiss.


The “War on Cutlery” continues apace…

I have little to add to what the good Bishop and his commentators have to say on the matter.

Yes, there is a reason kitchen knives have points and these are inferior. Yes they will try and make them compulsory and no it will not do a damn thing for the “epidemic of knife crime”*.

The only thing I’d add is that I suspect they might try a scrappage scheme.

*You know whenever they have an “amnesty” on kinves the police always display a sample of what is handed-in and it’s always the most recherche and vicious looking stuff: claymores, katanas, battleaxes, morning-stars, holy-water sprinklers, Boehemian earspoons… I swear they just borrow a job lot from the Royal Armouries for the show…


According to Cracked these are the 8 most terrifying places to eat on the planet.

They are mainly in Japan but then you knew that already.

I is speechless but one day I might give #2 a go. I do like Italian and having seen Goodfellas I did pick up a number of cooking tips.

Link to a link via JuliaM.

Toronto street food

I guess caveat emptor is just too complex a concept for some people:

Would-be vendors were required to submit their food plans, with samples. All submissions were graded on a long list of criteria, including food safety, nutrition, use of local food, business plan, ethnic diversity and home-cooked taste (even though all the food must be produced in commercial kitchens). A taste test was conducted by a four-chef judging panel. Hot dogs and sausages were strictly forbidden, because the city is only interested in “healthy options.”

H/T to Kathy

The Chocolate Ration Is Going Up From 30g To 25g

I saw some git on the BBC this morning suggesting we need a tax on chocolate to save us from getting fat. He called it a “dangerous addiction for some”.

Then I found this via Mark Wadsworth.

Celebrity chefs including Nigella Lawson and Rick Stein are encouraging unhealthy eating, according to doctors and nutritionists.

Their glossy cookbooks contain recipes loaded with “bad” saturated fats linked to heart disease, strokes and obesity.

A report unveiled today by The Fat Panel – an independent group of experts – shows that just one serving of some of their dishes contains more than the recommended daily limit of the fats.

Click on Ms Lawson or Mr Stein’s websites above and answer me a question. Does either look morbidly obese or unhealthy? In fact “food criminal” in chief Ms Lawson looks positively um… er… radiant. If there is a problem with tubbies it’s due to “Mums going to Iceland” and buying cheap junk food all the time for the kiddies. And not folks buying cook books written by the likes of Stein, Lawson or Ramsey. And if there is a problem it is caused by poverty because it costs to eat well. And poverty is solved by a good economy and a good economy is generated by freeing those who create wealth but this is not the time or the place for the usual libertarian diatribe on taxes and regulations…

A further question I would like to pose is what’s the odds “The Fat Panel” are a fake charity? I tried the charities commisiion but got nowhere but I shall owe you a deep-fried lard pie if you can show me they are genuine. And if they are fake (and they stink of it) then should gubbermint show an example and send the likes of Gordon and Jacqui to fat-camp or better yet the bacon-slicer?

I was going to suggest a visit from “Dr” Gillian McKeith
but the idea of watching Brown get colonic irrigation on Channel 4 is too hideous to contemplate.

Hope you enjoy lunch!

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