The Eleventh Best Email We Wrote This Past Weekend
The Eleventh Best Email We Wrote This Past Weekend: HMM WEEKLY PREMIUM
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LAST WEEK ON HMM DAILY
BUTTER AND EGGS
Last week’s final adventure in our Culinarily Vicarious exploration of the Strictly Gustatory Adventures of world-renowned super-spy James Bond, as recorded in the novels of Commander Ian Fleming, included a recipe for Scrambled Eggs “James Bond,” which of course means Scrambled Eggs “Ian Fleming,” who left the planet at age 56.
I decided to execute a half-portion of the eggs recipe so I’d have something to use as an image to accompany the post, but also it’s a method I’ve never used to prepare scrambled eggs, and I was curious about how it would turn out, but really-also, I pretty much can always eat, especially after working up an appetite making food.
This recipe is all about cooking on low heat and whisking. Whisking constantly. Whisking, whisking, and more whisking, at low heat. I have no understanding of low heat, same way I have no concept of “simmering,” so on my first attempt, I set my electric cooker on “LO 2,” and I whisked for a good long time, 15 minutes, I think, before I decided to push the heat up to “LO 3,” and then I got results, to wit, the eggs, as you whisk and whisk and whisk, will inside of about five minutes, give off steam, in the manner of a nice hot cuppa coffee. It’s a lot of whisking, though, my hand got tired. I work on a computer all day, OK?
This recipe is also about butter. Again, I did half the original serves-four recipe, six eggs instead of 12, so I was using 2 1/2 oz. of melted butter, adding six well-beaten eggs, and then finishing the recipe with another half-ounce of melted butter, yow!
It’s nice that the makers of butter still print the measurements on the wax paper. Four ounces of butter is a whole stick of butter!
Make sure you try and get some nice chives for this, not some old dried-out ones, it really adds a nice aroma to the dish.
Keeping in mind that Mr. Fleming was a heavy drinker and smoker who died at age 56, and furthermore was a heavy drinker and smoker who ate stuff like three eggs cooked in almost two ounces of butter, I thought I’d modify this simple and delicious recipe, so I did one-third the recipe, four eggs, and used a little less than two ounces of olive oil. I salted it slightly more to make up for whatever would be lost by omitting the butter, and other than a slightly different color for the finished product, I’m happy to report that the modified version of Scrambled Eggs “James Bond,” which I will dub Scrambled Eggs “Not Bond,” was delightful, and I did put butter on my toast. Next time maybe even a bit less olive oil.
SCRAMBLED EGGS “NOT BOND”
For four individualists who shouldn't smoke and shouldn't drink (too much) and please plan to live longer than 56 years old:
12 fresh eggs
Salt and pepper
3 oz. of extra-virgin olive oil
Break the eggs into a bowl. Beat thoroughly with a fork and season well. In a small copper (or heavy-bottomed saucepan) warm around 2 1/2 oz. of the olive oil, then pour in the eggs and cook over a very low heat, whisking continuously with a small egg whisk. Whisking. Continuously. Do not stop whisking.
While the eggs are slightly more moist than you would wish for eating, remove pan from heat, add the rest of the olive oil and continue whisking for a half minute, adding finely chopped chives or fine herbs. Serve on, with, or near, hot buttered toast.
Kindle Fire Tablet, left in rental car
My wife and I had really low expectations when we realized we left our lucky Kindle in the car we rented for our weekend in sunny Sarasota, Florida. It's the Lucky Kindle because I won it as a door prize for sitting through an AFLAC sales pitch at one of my former places of employ. I didn't sign up for the AFLAC but I won the Kindle, which I think was probably annoying for everybody, including the AFLAC person.
The Lucky Kindle is also a black Kindle, which slipped out of a black bag into the black interior of our rented black Nissan Mid-sized Whatever, so we thought it might not even get noticed after we turned in the car, and the car was already out being rented again, and can you trust a Hertz customer? What kind of person rents a Hertzmobile, right?
Without Case / Kindle / - /
Not only did a Hertz-er find our Kindle, the giant Hertz engine of Lost & Found had a notation about out lost item waiting for us on their web site. The item is being shipped to us for about 30 bucks.
NINETEEN FOLKTALES: A SERIES
[Illustration by Jim Cooke]
11. The Great Turnip
A farmer tending his little plot of land noticed one day that one of his young turnips had sprouted to twice the height of the others. "This is a blessing," he declared. "I will raise this turnip to take to the fair, where it will be a marvel to all." From that day forward, he poured all his care and attention into the growing turnip: watering it abundantly and precisely, working extra manure and fish scraps into the soil all around it, keeping the tiniest sprouts of weeds from growing. He uprooted the other turnips nearby so they would not compete with it, and built a special fence around it. Eventually he let his other crops go entirely untended, to bolt or wither as they might, while the lone turnip flourished and flourished, its purple dome swelling out of the soil to an ever more astonishing height.
The turnip grew to the size of a man's head, then to the size of a watermelon. By summer's end, as the fair drew nigh, it was the size of a hay bale, and its greens stood up like a yew. The farmer dug it out carefully and laboriously, wrapped it with ropes and padding, and with the help of his donkey hauled it out of the pit in which it had grown.
When he tried to lever the turnip into his wheelbarrow to bring it to the fair, the frame twisted and snapped under the weight. Finally he rigged a sort of sledge under the remains of the wheelbarrow, with runners, and used the donkey to drag it down the road to the fair.
By the time the turnip reached the fair, the donkey was limping. The farmer rolled the turnip off the remains of the cart and stood it upright. All the other farmers and villagers gathered in amazement. No one had ever seen a turnip so large. When they were done looking at it, they went away and bought bags of turnips of ordinary size. "What pot could you even cook such a thing with?" they said. "You would need a bucksaw to cut it." The farmer was at a loss. He had no other crops to sell, and no money with which to buy a new wheelbarrow. As dusk fell he cut the great shock of greens off the turnip. "These will feed us, at least," he said to the donkey. He shouldered the bundle himself, because the donkey was lame, and they set off toward home, leaving the unwanted hulk of the root behind.
We present here for your continued delectation several more recipes for sandwiches selected from The Up-To-Date Sandwich Book: 400 Ways to Make a Sandwich, published in 1909 and now in the public domain:
Two cups of finely minced cold cooked chicken, a heaping tablespoonful of Parmesan cheese, a tablespoonful of tomato catsup, a dash of French mustard, salt and pepper, add a little thick cream, work all to a smooth paste. Place between thin slices of buttered white bread. Garnish with a stick of celery.
Pass two cupfuls of freshly popped corn through the meat chopper, place this in the chopping bowl, add a dash of salt and cayenne pepper, five boned sardines, a dash of Worcestershire, and enough tomato catsup to form a paste, Spread this on circles of hot buttered toast. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and crisp in a hot oven. Serve as soon as made
BUMMERS CUSTARD SANDWICH
Take a cake of Roquefort cheese and divide in thirds; moisten one third with brandy, another third with olive oil, and the other third with Worcestershire sauce. Mix all together and place between split water biscuits toasted. Good for a stag lunch.
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