Friday, October 20, 2017
I was pondering the matter of books: paper v electronic, online v bookshops. I like books and do not read e books, just as I keep a paper diary rather than an electronic one. That contemplation provides the theme for today’s Funny Friday: Books, Libraries and Reading.
The rewrite of a classic Divinyls song . . .
“I took a speed-reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia.”
- Woody Allen
A man went into a library and asked for a book on how to commit suicide.
The librarian said: "Fuck off, you won't bring it back."
After she woke up, a woman told her husband, "I just dreamed that you gave me a pearl necklace for our anniversary. What do you think it means?"
"You'll know tonight," he said.
That evening, the man came home with a small package and gave it to his wife.
Delighted, she opened it to find a book entitled "The Meaning of Dreams."
Remember this oldie? . . .
A librarian was working late one night at a small-town library. She had the door open for a breeze, and a chicken walked in, hopped up on the desk, and said, "Book, book, book!"
The librarian was a bit startled, but she quickly handed the chicken three books. The chicken put one under each wing, one in its beak, and walked out.
A few minutes later, the chicken returned, dropped those three books on the floor, hopped up on the counter, and said, "Book, book, book!"
Once again, the librarian gave the chicken three books, the chicken tucked one under each wing, took the third in its beak, and walked out.
It must be a full moon tonight, thought the librarian, getting back to her work. Of course, since everything in jokes comes in threes, the chicken came back. It dropped the books on the floor, hopped up, and said, "Book, book, book!"
This time, the librarian decided to get to the bottom of this. She gave three books to the chicken, and when it walked away, she followed it. They went across the parking lot, down into a ditch, and through a damp culvert. Good thing I wore my sensible shoes, she thought. They emerged into a little moonlit pool. There, the chicken stopped in front of the largest bullfrog the librarian had ever seen. He took one look at the books the chicken was carrying and croaked, "Read it, read it, read it!"
A patron asked the librarian why Tales of Robin Hood had been withdrawn from the collection. The librarian replied, "Too much Saxon violence."
The following couple of Sean Connery phonetic jokes are too good to pass up, even if not related to books . . .
More book humour . . .
My father gave me a really cheap dictionary for my birthday.
I couldn't find the words to thank him.
Why did the Rumanian stop reading for the night?
To give his Bucharest.
What book is about a rodent pioneer?
“Little Mouse on the Prairie.”
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 . . .