Don't Play with your Food!
Sunday 26/12/2004 - Boxing Day
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Diary and Notes
Until the UK signed up to the European human rights act, certain crimes still carried a maximum penalty of hanging. Most notorious amongst these were high treason and piracy on the high seas. Lesser known of these crimes was something the British folk find particularly disagreeable, the crime of 'Playing with your food!'
I can hear the screams of fear from my British readers from here. "Yes." they say, "That's a fair punishment for these foreign devils."
Playing with your food is actually the name given to two completely different offences. They are defined in law as:
1) Any act committed by a minor, whereby, in order to delay, refuse, or to instigate negotiations as to cessation of meals earlier than the parent/guardian would so desire, food is moved around the plate in a disdainful or casual manner. This incorperates; arranging smiley faces using sausages and eggs, making mountains from mashed potato, writing rude words using alphabetti spaghetti or any other act whereby the food is manipulated in a manner not conducive to speedy eating. The maximum penalty for this offence shall be either a custodial period of early to bed for one night, or the removal of ice cream/jelly privalages for the aforementioned meal.
2) The second and more heinous crime of; Playing with one's food in a manner likely to cause distress, comprises the willful overdressing or excessive flavouring of any meal prepared in the UK (not including the Channel Islands), or serving to one of her brittanic majesty's subjects currently residing in any of the previously pink parts of the globe formerly known as 'The Empire' a meal not prepared in a bland and uninteresting manner so as to overexcite the expatriate and promote the secondary offence of 'Going Native'. Playing with one's food in a manner likely to cause distress, includes; the use of garlic on or in anything, too much pepper in soup, the mixing of different things during the cooking process, serving meat with any trace of pink remaining, serving vegetables with any crunch or texture other than that of slime, the use of any spice apart from mixed spice in cakes and fruit loaves (see amendment 13.2.12.a sub 3b para 4), using 'curry powder', using strange vegetables such as peppers, aubergines, courgettes and artichokes, preparing potatoes using any ingredient other than salt, water or oil, serving pasta, using rice for anything other than rice pudding (see 13.43.4 sec 15 sub 13.2 para 3 as amended 17/03/1944 and as amended 23/09/1967) or generally introducing foreign cooking methods such as stir frying, barbecueing or marinading. The maximum penalty for any such an offence shall not exceed: Death by hanging, banishment to one of the colonies or forfeiture of all goods/chattels and properties.
This is no joke!
Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb
Mixed Peas and Carrots
Steamed Sprouts with Almonds
Fried Cabbage and Bacon
Reduction of Red Wine, Port and Redcurrants
Lamb: Lamb, garlic, lemon, olive oil, rosemary, black pepper, bay leaves.
Dauphinoise Potatoes: Potatoes, onion, garlic, milk, cream, nutmeg, black pepper, salt
Sauce: Red wine, port, redcurrant jelly, lamb gravy, cornflour.
Cranachan: Oats, fresh raspberries, raspberry jam, double cream, scotch wiskey.
Lamb: Make cuts into the leg of lamb to a depth of about 5mm all over. Make a paste from minced garlic, some lemon juice and olive oil and rub all over the lamb. Place some bay leaves in the slits and some slices of lemon over the meat as well. Grind on loads of black pepper, wrap in foil and bake slowly for about 4 hours.
Potatoes: Peel and slice the potatoes into rounds. Boil in salted water for about 5 minutes. Layer the potatoes and onions in an ovenproof dish. Mix the milk with the cream, some minced garlic and a little nutmeg and black pepper. Pour the cream over the potatoes. Bake in an oven for about 35 mins.
Sauce: Mix the wine, port and redcurrant jelly and reduce over a low heat until about 75% has evaporated. When the lamb is cooked, stir the reduction into the lamb gravy and thicken with a little cornflour.
Cranachan: Toast some oats in a frying pan. Heat the raspberry jam in a saucepan until runny. Layer oats, a sprinkling of whisky, fresh raspberries, some jam, and thick cream in glasses. Three layers of each should look good. Sprinkle some more fruit on top. Chill.