Oom Harold op leeftijd

Uncle Harold

Uncle Harold was a character. Had he been human, he would have been a proud general in a uniform with his chest full of medals for bravery before an entire army that existed only for him. But alas, he was a male pheasant whose life consisted of marching stately and picking seeds from the ground. Without an army.

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Plumstead Pie

Once upon a time

Once upon a time when I was young I lived in England for a couple of years and learned to cook lovely dishes from the cook in the kitchen of Little Plumstead Hospital.

One of the things he taught me was how to make a proper pie, usually his own inventions which he regularly changed over the course of time.

So what is Plumstead Pie exactly?

Plumstead Pie is an oven dish and not difficult to make but it will take you quite some time to prepare it so take your time in the kitchen.

Over the years I have adjusted the recipe a little bit myself too as my children didn’t like one or two of the ingredients, parsnip and I added mushrooms, but it’s still authentic and in large lines his idea. I just use just the winter carrot instead and leave the parsnip out or add green peas when I feel like it.

In this case I used broccoli and sweet potatoes as the Mrs doesn’t like them and we want to keep her happy don’t we. I have written down the recipe to the best of my recollection of the original (it’s been over thirty years since he showed me).

And now, without further delay here it is: Plumstead Pie, my tribute to the Cook of Little Plumstead Hospital, Anzio Cabrini.

Original ingredients:

  • Parsnip
  • Winter carrot
  • Green peas
  • Minced meat
  • Bisto
  • Potatoes
  • Milk
  • One egg
  • Cheddar
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Flour
  • Butter

Variation

Use sweet potato instead of winter carrot and parsnip and broccoli or broken green beans instead of green peas.

Preparations

 

Making the dough

Put 10.5 ounces (300 grams) of flour and 5 ounces (150 grams) butter in a bowl or a kitchen machine and add a pinch of salt. Mix it until it’s a solid ball that doesn’t stick to the bowl.

Grease a cake tin with some butter and spread the dough using your knuckles and thumbs or spread it out on a large wooden board using a rolling pin. Roll out some dough to a long stretch to put on the sides to the brim of the cake tin and make it stick to the bottom pressing it with your thumbs. If you choose to use a rolling pin you can cut out a circle and stretched rectangle with a knife. Make two circles as one has to go on top of the pie later.

Making the fillings

Peel the winter carrot and parsnip and dice it into small bits. Measure one cup of frozen green peas. Let the winter carrot boil (they can go together in one pan) for just 10 minutes tops and put them in a sieve.

Cook the minced meat and stir so it’s loose and add the cut up mushrooms if you want them in the pie. Boil water and make gravy, make it nice and rich and add that to the minced meat, mix it thoroughly.

Putting it all together

Boil the potatoes and mash them adding grated cheddar to it and stir. It’s now time to add it to the cake tin with the dough, first you put the vegetables in and spread them out. Put the minced meat on top of the vegetables and spread it out equally. Spread the mashed potato all over it so the pie is full. Put some Nutmeg powder on top of it and cover it with the circle of dough you made earlier.

Split an egg and put the yoke away. Use the egg white to glaze the top and put it in a preheated oven (around 180 Celsius/350F) for about 30-45 minutes until it’s nice and brown and everyone in the house can smell it. Bon appetit!

 

Download this recipe in PDF: plumstead_pie.pdf

 

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The World Lock Down of 2020

250 Years later …

My great great grandfather was a poet and writer in The Netherlands during the World Lock Down of 2020 when the Corona pandemic took place. He wrote poetry in Dutch and English and stories about his life when he was a bit older, here’s a picture of him in his fourties.

The entire world wrote history too in those days of The World Lock Down of 2020 when they were ordered to stay indoors for over a year and stay well clear of each other in public places in every country in the world and face masks were compulsory. In those days the global Corona crisis took more than a million and people all over the world were mourning their beloved family members that died because of this highly contagious virus that originated from China. More than 55 million people became ill from the Covid-19 virus.

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Fear

In my own words.

It is very difficult to explain the feeling of intense fear of death to others when you are right in the middle of this Corona crisis and left with virtually no protection against the virus.

Having no functioning immune system has been manageable over the last 10 years until now but even the regular infusions of Nanogam will not protect me against the powerful pathogene that is slowly creeping towards me according to the numbers and locations in the news.

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Tell them that it matters

Let’s destroy the statues
Of all those heroes of times gone by
And rename the streets with tainted names
What if Satan has a diabolic plan
To start all over again
Without us stopping him
If we are going to erase history
Will the next generation learn from our mistakes
So please for people’s sake
Tell them where it once went wrong

Pub

Where shall we go for a drink tonight?

Shall we go for a few in The White Horse in Crostwick
Or have one in The Fur and Feather in Woodbastwick quick
It was then when the idea started to nestle in Netty’s head
That we should get a pint in The White Horse Inn in Neatishead
But did you just say this evening it is my turn
For a few more rounds in The Lion in Thurne
Maybe it is the right time for one with a frothy head
In The Brick Kilns, that pretty pink pub in Little Plumstead
But if you can’t decide please let it then be
The Never Turn Back in (or from) Caister-On-Sea
Should we have a lovely pint this evening instead
In the Irstead Staithe in the center of, surprise … in Irstead
Or we might as well stay and drink with friends for good
Til the end of times in The King’s Head in Lingwood

Chaos

I love living in this large city in The Netherlands called Amersfoort. I have no regrets whatsoever that we moved here a little over two years ago. But traffic in this place is frightening, especially when you drive a mopedcar. Only just recently I got used to going round the outer ring road and I am no longer nervous up to a point that it’s disturbing and I can cope with rush hour too now.

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Breaker! Breaker!

Never thought I would do this again but I just ordered the second CB in my life.

The first CB I owned was a solid Midland Alan 48 which I used to order food from the 17th floor in a flat building I lived in before I got married or talk for a few minutes to the occasional trucker on a highway nearby when the reception was good.

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