Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Pie ‘n’ Mash

Pie ‘n’ Mash

Because pie and mash shops also serve stewed eels, the eel fat was traditionally part of their pie crust recipes while the liquor was made from stewed eel water.  Those traditions are by and large no more now but the dish still survives the test of time.

I make pie and mash at home sometimes but I’m by no means unique.  Indeed all recipes are the same but different and so I thought I would add mine here.  I make three pies at a time but the rough guide measurements here are for a single pie.


180g  Plain Flour                 30cl Cooking Oil                    40cl cold milk

½ tsp Salt                               40g Pastry block                      125g Chopped Beef

A pinch of sugar                  1 Egg                                     10g Beef Dripping.   

 Beef Stock Cube                


Slow cook the beef until tender, drain off excess water then add stock cube.

Mix flour, salt, sugar and cooking oil and half of the pastry block in a bowl.  Rub in all the lumps by hand.  Slowly add milk drop by drop until a firm dough is formed.  Knead the dough for six minutes and divide into two, one piece twice the size of the other.  Place the small piece in the refrigerator.

Thoroughly grease an individual pie dish with the beef dripping.

On a floured board, roll the large pastry piece evenly until it’s far bigger than the pie dish requires.  Lay this into the pie dish with dough overlapping all round.

Scramble the egg into a cup and use a pastry brush to coat the sides and bottom of the dough but do not coat the top edges of the dough.  This is done to prevent the pie gravy from seeping into the raw dough.  Do not discard the remaining egg

Spoon the beef and a little of the gravy into the pie dish and wet the top edge all round with the gravy.

Roll the small piece of dough from the refrigerator trying not to use excessive flour on the rolling  board surface.   Roll the dough bigger than required to cover the pie top and cube the remaining pastry block over half of the rolled dough.

Fold over the dough in half, press the ends together and fold in half again.

Set the oven to medium high.

Roll the folded dough out in excess of the pie dish and place it on top of the pie dish.
Use a fork to crimp the top and bottom dough pieces together, make four ventilation fork holes on the top and then trim off the surplus pastry.   (The discarded pastry can be kneaded together and baked into rusks for sausage making).

Add a drop of milk to the saved egg and coat the top of the pie.  Do not discard the remaining egg and milk mix.  (It goes into the potatoes with a knob of butter while they’re being mashed).

TIP:   Place pie dish on a pizza tray for easy access while still allowing heat to bake the bottom of the pie.  Bake on high shelf for 32 minutes


80g Fresh Chopped Parsley.       20g Corn Flour.

Slowly boil the parley in slightly salted water and when soft and aromatic, mix the Corn Flour with cold water, stir thoroughly until milky and add drop by drop into the boiling parsley while stirring constantly until the desired thickness is achieved.  Turn off heat and cover.   Check on the pie’s progress.

Monday, 21 July 2014


Ah well there you go.   Another day of LBC, who formally used the slogan,  ‘London’s Biggest Conversation’ in the days when, as a London based talk radio station, which they made available to the planet via the 3 Ws

Nowadays, LBC Radio is a National terrestrial station that is still available to the planet via the 3 Ws, whether your broadband contract has a fair use policy clause or otherwise.  However, their revised aerial coverage meant a revised slogan to go with it after the change though.    So they now actually transmit the boast,  ‘Leading Britain’s Conversation’ and even out alone in their car the station seems to be pre-tuned to annoy me although I leave it on Classic FM after locking up...

I don’t like the station myself because the constant nattering tends to jar me.   Indeed, I used to make use of the off switches quite a lot but to no avail because, ‘Her Indoors’ is a fan of the constant nagging and goes around the house behind me switching all the radio sets back on again.   I did try to bury our kitchen radio in the garden once, but she was on to me and soon replanted it back on the kitchen window sill again...

I can’t say that the station bothers me in he Evenings though because the family watch television then and the telly is much easier for me to ignore.

My problem with the station during the mornings though is actually the Losing of Britain’s conversation!

We’ve had days now of a presenter who to my mind, is a bigoted twerp who thinks he’s a gift to radio presentation while being the reason that listeners cannot get any opinions of what fellow listeners want to say because of his swollen egotistic rhetoric.

I would like to write here now, just one example of a listeners comment, but the presenter, James O'Brien, has once again today stifled anyone who tried to express one.  Although someone did call in to quietly explain that a blockade is not what it seems, but only to hear James, following the news and the ‘Leading Britain’s conversation’ boast, poorly imitating a demented Garden Gnome screeching., “There is no blockade.”  As a JIBE!!!

So much energy to make a point that your point don’t matter, is my only conclusion...

What became of entertainment I ask?

Saturday, 5 April 2014

♫ All I need is the air that I breathe and to love view♫

The two pics of cups that my son keeps winning are a mere sample of the cups and medals he has in his own room from representing our county in pool.    I actually wish he’d lose sometimes so that we don’t have to keep finding room for his marble based fodder.     However, I have firstly also used a pic here on my toaster and kettle because all these and the kitchen sink have one thing in common.

Everything metallic or near metallic around us is perfectly capable of receiving a coloured television broadcast signal and it’s quite beside the point that we cannot watch a re run of Colombo on anything like that on them as we have to passively on the telly when the wife is enjoying  how the guest murderer get caught..    

My broken oven must have received that prog called, “can’t cook, won’t cook.”   But I digress and so I must get back to the point I haven’t made yet.  (Toenails cut while you wait).

Tony Hall, the current BBC DG as I write this,  is telling us that to share the TV licence fee with Channel 4, would be damaging to the TV industry because he is of an opinion that the BBC should keep the money and re-run.  

And yet?  Well his latest plan is the need to change things and probably for change sake.!

“To what?”   would be a viewers question, edited out from the question time recording before  transmission…

Well in his mind we should all pay a licence fee whether we watch the telly or not.  After all we are ALL capable of receiving him loud and dear; see above.

An idea to tax the one very last person in the UK for the use of a telly that is not owned or rented by the loner,  will do as much for the TV industry as would it help my blu-ray player by replacing the laser beam with a songster loud tone gramophone needle.

What I would like to suggest here would be my alternate plan on telly licensing.

I suggest that the fee should decrease by fifteen pounds per year until the BBC disappear up it’s own channels.    (As I’ve said on the steam radio in the past)  

I like “Room 101”  from the Hat Trick indie though.   A way to go BBC?!!!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Anti Social Housing

And so it will come to pass in April 2013, that the superstitious who walk among us will have a year of fear because there is a Thirteen mentioned in the year 2013.

No doom and or gloom merchant will be disappointed then because the politicians, who only think they walk among us, will be implementing their ill thought out changes to rented housing laws.   

So who will be affected?   Not to worry that was a rhetorical question.  Only those that cannot find the means to be affected will actually be affected when 
Councils and housing associations will be able to charge between 40% and 80% of market value on their stocks…    

To market to market to buy a fat pig, home again home again?   Jiggery jig!
So bacon does seem to go up every time we go food shopping but pigs will need wings for anyone to benefit from these ideas.   Pigs getting their wings?  Now THAT rings a bell…

However, I must admit that I do not actually own a crystal ball but I DO own a calculator.  So armed with reading glasses coffee and calculator, I thought I would look into what these unprovoked meddlings could mean?
 Well the first thing to disregard would be the size of the rooms in typical social housing properties which are typically smaller than the grandiose mansion.  This is because such tenants are thought to have same size master bedrooms as those who can stretch out at night…

Right..  So if a 90 year old three bed roomed terraced house with a ground floor bathroom, complete with antisocial neighbours each side or not, councils could ask around £145 per week  for your right to live in it..  Now although my coffee went cold, I am reliably informed by my calculator that this means at least £630 per calendar month.  

Try getting THAT from an estate agent!   Room sizes problems?  Never! Size is unimportant in such master bedrooms…  That will be £1620 pcm with references; BUT NO DOGS.  

What does this mean in real, estate, terms then?  An imposed rent increase of between £252 and £504 per month. =  £756  minus  £1 for every year of the properties age?   £666…   The devil take it…   666 coincidentally, is part of my wife’s National Insurance number…

Another thing that the law meddlers will see as a good idea though; is this…   If you have a non dependant under your roof who decides to move out and leave you under occupied, a 14% cut will be levied against your housing benefit claim.  Does this mean that local councils will make about £20 per move?  NO!  They could lose double that when the non dep moves out and stops paying his/her share to them…

A non dependant by the way, is the one who is always out in your car with mates or laying in bed all day with an X Box…

Yet there is more…   New tenants now will be subject to a five year review on their needs for remaining in social housing to add to the new regime…

Dear Council Officer, you remember little Billy the new born I moved into here with along with my spouse…   Well I am proud to say that little Billy is now a schoolboy.   Unfortunately he tells me a lot of lies.  Lies like for instance he ate all his cabbage I gave him when in fact he binned it behind my back.  I worry already that if he doesn’t soon start to be truthful, then he could go into politics?

My spouse?  She left me for another man a year or so ago…   I’m still annoyed at this because I think it only fair that she should have taken her Mother as well…

Anyway, since you ask, I have no income now apart from lone parent benefits. And if you evict me now, then where could you rehouse me as homeless lone parent?

Would, in all seriousness as much as you can see from this government, would a 14% cut be fair on a tenant who asks to be decanted into a smaller property as a result but has to wait on a list for a couple of years?

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

We wish you a merry ASBO and a happy new jeer …

The story of Christmas.
Once upon a time in a cabinet office not so far away, there lived a war mongering Prime Minister called Tony Blair…

Now Tony was very protective of his war mongering skills and would even claim that in other lands there lived some rulers who had weapons of mass destruction at their disposal so he could practice his skills, even though he had already made quite sure that those weapons were now disposed of anyway.  He still liked to pretend they were a real threat to his land because after all, weapons of mass destruction had the same initials as his inner cabinet; War Mongering Department…

However, one day, he noticed that the young and the not so young people of his land were getting into their own versions of war mongering…  They would drive cars too fast at night, frighten their neighbours cats and even swear at nice policemen; not to mention refusing to help dear old ladies across the road without carrying off their handbags for them in return…

“What shall we do with all these people who are anti social?”  Tony mused to his cabinet friends.

“I know,” said the home secretary, “Let’s make they’re behaviour against the law.”

“But it already is,” said the tea lady who was serving coffee instead.

“This means war.” Said Tony.  “We will tell all the judges to order them to behave or else!”

“Or else what?” they all murmured as well as “Here here.”

After awhile, it was agreed to issue an Anti social behaviour notice on such wrong doers in order to stop them in their tracks.

“We will call such measures, an ASBO,” Tony said making a note on the back of his hand.   It was best to call it that because to write Anti social behaviour order would have meant writing half way up his arm.

Again however, as time, crime and changing Prime Ministers went on, the ASBO was a thing to have.   You wouldn’t be considered worthy of even watching television without a licence if you had no ASBO to your name…

Well today, in recognition of the value of ASBO, they are now to be called CRIMBO; or Christmas to use the proper terminology.

ASBOs will now become Christmas orders announced the new Prime Ministers cabinet.as they sang "Jingle bells, prison cells all full up they say, so slap a Christmas stamp on them and send them on their way...

Monday, 30 April 2012

Going for Gold

The Olympics this year will probably have a much better Javelin contest than ever before…

I elude to the surface (ground) to air missiles that are planned to be mounted on the top of residential blocks in East and South London…   Albeit that the Javelin missile was primarily designed to destroy a tank and the Javelin spear was designed to get as close to the Olympic officials as possible without actually killing them, residents who will have the capability of thwarting an air strike during the friendly games can hopefully be sure that no television aerials will be knocked out while dealing with such incoming threats.

After all, any personnel trained in such weaponry must have surely been tested for performance enhancement drug usage if intending to hurl things around at the behest of the Olympic village?

How many can be taken up to the roof at once though?   Supposing the lift limit is ten people at any one time?   Can a young Mum get her shopping and her buggy in the lift with just two missiles?    Going up?

However, so much for culture, though what about all those senior citizens who will be living under such rooftop technology?  Well unfortunately, due to budgetary restraints these older residents will only be given broom handles or pitchforks to defend Stratford with.  All will not be lost though because these devices can also prove to be very effective deterrents as the enemy don’t like it up ‘em…

Given the nature of such extreme measures to keep the games within budget though, I don’t think it will be wise to go hot air ballooning over Stratford in a golden coloured balloon because these missiles will certainly be going for gold…

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Wrong name, Wright idea...

This morning I answered the door to a middle aged man with a clipboard.  He was obviously doing his best to look efficient and so I thought I’d enjoy the visitation as opposed to my normal greeting of, “No thank you,” while closing the door.

“Mr. Wright?”  He asked.

“I never knew you cared?”  I joked.

“Pardon Sir?”

“Why what have you done?”

“I’m looking for a Mr. Wright Sir.   Are you Mr. Wright?”

So now I’m finding it difficult to keep a straight face…   “Well some years back my Wife thought as much, Yes   So you could have a point there.”

“What is your Surname Sir?”  He tried.

“Not the one you’re obviously looking for.   And another thing….”


“I haven’t been knighted yet.   It’s not right I know but sadly it’s true.”

“Are you Mr. Wright Sir?”

“Please go away, I’m still a married man…   And beside that, my wife, Mrs. Burrows, would hardly agree with you these days anyway.”

 “I’m looking for a Will Wright.”

Struggling to talk through a fit of laughter I blurted, “That’s not a name it’s a job.”

Just then my next door neighbour came around to the door.   “Are you Mrs. Wright?”

“No sorry,” she spoiled my fun.   They live over at number Thirteen, but their van’s not there so they’ve probably gone out.”

“Thank you Madam,” he said.   “I couldn’t seem to get this Man to understand what I was asking.”

“Many have tried,” she explained while rolling her eyes upwards.