V is for Up Yours Frenchy!
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Diary and Notes
I was chatting to my American housemates yesterday and at some point may have waved two fingers at one of them in a gesture not intended to arouse a smile (though done with humour of course) - but sadly they never got the message and wondered what I was doing gesticulating wildly in this odd manner. I explained the meaning of this gesture (similar to the American single fingered 'flipping someone the bird') and its great historical lineage and importance in British history, but then became depressed by the realisation that I am perhaps the only person who carries on sticking two fingers up at people when I feel the need.
I understand the British are not a people usually disposed to showy gestures and we generally leave that sort of nonsense to those crass folks across the Atlantic and the slightly over exciteable types on the dodgy side of the English Channel, but this ancient gesture used to be our one, universally accepted hand signal and is a symbol of British defiance which I would like to see brought back into more common useage.
The 'V' sign was an old standard of Carry On films and Two Ronnie's Sketches. Young children used to get slapped by their parents for doing it, as it was generally considered quite rude. Today children only raise one finger in a sad submission to American cultural hegemony. Have they forgotten Agincourt in history lessons. Don't these young tykes know of our brave attempts to halt the imperialist French menace that threatened Europe for hundreds of years. Has the British dream all been in vain? I say, bring back the two fingered salute and stand up for your country.
How overjoyed I would be to see young children waving two fingers and shouting "Up yours grandad." like British children should. I shall be filled with patriotic cheer and a tear will well in my eye - then of course I'll give them a clip round the ear and tell them not to be so rude.
Ah nostalgia - it ain't what it used to be.
Curried pork chops are a bit of a curiosity. The people of India don't generally eat pork, and those that do (the Christians of Goa) would use pork to make a vindaloo - which I had already done 14/1/2005. As such, it was either find an interesting pork chop recipe on the web or invent one of my own. I scoured the web for curried chop recipes and there were very few - one or two American style 'curries' Curried Pork Chops with Oranges for instance (which by my reckoning is not a curry at all) and a recipe on the BBC from Ready Steady Cook by James Martin which was almost as bad (he recommends a whole pinch of curry powder - this is like some bad 1970's recipe, see 11/2/2005)
Whilst thinking of what I should do, I remembered an interesting recipe for lamb chops with turnips in 50 Great Curries of India by Camellia Panjabi that I had seen in one of my cookbooks and this made me think of putting baby turnips in my curry. Camellia claims they are popular in Kashmir in the winter and this is born out by the fact that during 1947 there were demonstrations over the increasing price of carrots and turnips by the people of Kashmir during a visit by Muhammed Ali Jinnah. I'd never had turnips in a curry before and thought they might be a bit acrid - but after reading the recipe I realised they are salted for an hour first to draw out the acrid flavour (this is also done with those knobbly green Indian vegetables, kerela, which need a good salting overnight to make them edible) - apart from stealing her turnip idea I didn't actually adapt the lamb recipe as it wouldn't have worked with pork - this is just a simple curry with chops and turnips. All in all it was a real delight. I think I was lucky with my home made curry sauce and got the flavour just right. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose - today I hit the jackpot.
Cherry Scones: These are the best scones I've made so far, just scones with clacé cherries for flavouring. I have started to up production as the people in my house are beginning to get used to having fresh scones around. Recipe like all the other scones I've been cooking, just with cherries.
Pork Chop and Baby Turnip Curry
Rice (with a little bay leaf, cardamon, cinnamon, clove and pepper)
Cucumber and Onion Salad
Mixed Pickle and Mango chutney
|Pork Chop and Turnip Curry
1 Pork Chop
3 Baby Turnips
100ml Curry Sauce
1 tsp Mustard Oil
1 Tbsp Ghee
2 Green Cardamon Pods
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Dried Fenugreek Leaves (methi)
Pinch Fennel Seeds
Pinch Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp Ground Coriander
Salt and Pepper
3 Tbsp Greek Yoghurt
1/4 tsp Cumin
Turnips: Peel the turnips and cut into quarters. Prick all over with a cocktail stick and sprinkle with salt. Leave for an hour for the salt to draw the moutrue out of the turnips. Drain and fry gently in a little ghee until they are brown all over (about 20 minutes should guarantee they are thoroughly cooked). While the turnips are frying make the curry:
Curry: Fry (gently) the cardamon, clove, cinnamon, fennel and mustard seeds in a little mustard oil. Add the chop and brown on both sides. Pour over the home made Curry Sauce, add the methi leaves and season with salt and pepper. Simmer gently in the sauce while the turnips cook. When the turnips are ready, sprinkl the cumin and coriander into the sauce and add the turnips. Stir and serve.
Raita: Dice the tomato and onion (the onion wants to be very finely diced) Sprinkle over a little cumin and pepper, mix into the yoghurt and chill.
*All quantities are very approximate and for a single person