Thursday, October 19, 2017
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Email from Charlie Z, an expat seppo living in Oz and currently visiting the US:
Otto - if anybody knows it would be you, about these questions that came to mind over Brekkie in Ashland Oregon this morning .....
1. Why is there CANADIAN bacon? Is the backside of a pig from Canada different from that in Australia, or anywhere else in the world, and if so, why?
2. Eggs BENEDICT ... was this a favorite brekkie of a former Pope? Or an American revolutionary war traitor?
3. POACHED eggs .... were these oeuvres pilfered from a coop, or a Ned Kelley gang treasure trove?
Best wishes from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the best theatre in the world. John Bell would love this place!
I should point out that the name Charlie Z is not an attempt by me to disguise local colleague and friend Charles X.
I don’t post last names in case the person mentioned may have wanted to keep their name private.
All I need now is a Charlie Y to complete the triumvirate.
I wonder if Charles Windsor would be interested in being a subscriber”
Bacon!! Just the thought of the smell and taste gets me looking and sounding like Homer when he thinks of doughnuts. Donuts if you’re from the US, I believe.
We part company with the Americans and Canadians in respect of bacon terminology as well . . .
- American bacon comes from the belly of the pig, not its stomach but the fat-streaked padding on the side of the animal. This cut is also called pork belly.
- Canadian bacon, which is a name the Americans use, comes not from the belly, but from the loin of the pig. This makes it a very lean cut reminiscent of slices of ham. It is generally trimmed of fat.
- British bacon is a bit like a combination of American and Canadian. It comes from the loin but has lots of fat left on it. Bacon in England and Ireland is also usually back bacon, although it often is cut in a way that leaves more fat around the meat.
Left: Canadian bacon
Top right: American bacon
Bottom right: British (and Australian) bacon
Eggs Benedict is a traditional American brunch or breakfast dish that consists of two halves of an English muffin each of which is topped with Canadian bacon, ham or sometimes bacon, a poached egg, and hollandaise sauce.
There are conflicting accounts as to the origin of Eggs Benedict.
Delmonico's in lower Manhattan says on its menu that "Eggs Benedict was first created in our ovens in 1860." One of its former chefs, Charles Ranhofer, also published the recipe for Eggs à la Benedick in 1894.
In an interview recorded in the "Talk of the Town" column of The New Yorker in 1942, the year before his death, Lemuel Benedict, a retired Wall Street stock broker, said that he had wandered into the Waldorf Hotel in 1894 and, hoping to find a cure for his morning hangover, ordered "buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon, and a hooker of hollandaise". Oscar Tschirky, the maître d'hôtel, was so impressed with the dish that he put it on the breakfast and luncheon menus but substituted ham for the bacon and a toasted English muffin for the toast.
Another, later claim to the creation of Eggs Benedict was circuitously made by Edward P. Montgomery on behalf of Commodore E. C. Benedict. In 1967 Montgomery wrote a letter to then The New York Times food columnist Craig Claiborne which included a recipe he said he had received through his uncle, a friend of the commodore. Commodore Benedict's recipe—by way of Montgomery—varies greatly from Ranhofer's version, particularly in the hollandaise sauce preparation—calling for the addition of a "hot, hard-cooked egg and ham mixture".
So there you go, Charlie, nothing to do with Pope Benedict or Benedict Arnold.
A poached egg is an egg that has been cooked by poaching, as opposed to simmering or boiling liquid. This method of preparation is favoured for delicate foods that could be damaged by cooking at higher temperatures such as the boiling point of water.
Poaching is a type of moist-heat cooking technique that involves cooking by submerging food in a liquid, such as water, milk, stock or wine.
This is also my opportunity to post some pics of the lovely Nigella Lawson, here pictured poaching . . .
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
From Leo M, in response to the post on remembering typewriters, old public phones and old mobile phones . . .
I relate to all these things below Otto.
My mother meet my father when she worked as a telephonist at the Kandos telephone exchange, and I remember staying with a mate in the mid 1980’s at Gunning when his mother still operated the telephone exchange.
My first mobile phone I still have, was a Bosch that cost me $7500 in about 1990. I used to carry it around at night in case anybody attacked me. It was as long as a house brick and about one third as wide.
In 1985 I bought three Canon screen typewriter add-ons that allowed you to type 500 words on the screen at a time and then transfer it to your typewriter to print out. Each of those was I believe $5500 plus.
The best use of a typewriter I can recall is in 1971 when I typed out an essay in my European history course. It was about the influence of Queen Christina of Sweden on European history. To impress my lecturer, I asked my sister to lend me her typewriter so I could type out my essay. All I can say is, there were so many mistakes in it including Queen Christina being referred to as “Queen Christmas” which drew the comment "This is too much." At the end I received a pass mark with the comment: "A very good essay spoilt by typing." I never typed another essay again.
Some thoughts and funnies about mobile telephones (cellphones if yopu are in the US):