Monday, 19 February 2018

It's all about where you stand....

Portrait of Charles Brasch by Evelyn Page

I think this painting is mesmerising.  It reminds me a bit of some early pictures of my father.  It was done in 1937 and this chap is so clearly of that era.

The artist Evelyn Page painted for over 7 decades – that is just amazing. She was born in 1899 in Christchurch (NZ), the youngest in a family of 7.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Good advice from Ralphie!

Slow Cooker Corned Beef

Carole's Chatter: Slow Cooker Corned Beef

I have not been using my slow cooker much.  So I decided it was time to give it a whirl.


Corned beef (or silverside)
Bay Leaf
Mustard seed
1 bottle of ginger beer
¼ cup vinegar
Water to top up


Rinse your corned beef.  The one I had was covered in a lot of fat so I cut a lot of that off.

I put a layer of vegetables on the bottom of the cooker and then popped the meat in and the rest of the veggies nestled around it.

I poured the ginger beer over and the vinegar.  The top of the meat was poking out quite a long way so I added some water along with the bay leaf and seasonings.  Note there is no need to add salt – the corning process is quite salty enough.

I cooked this on high for an hour and then on low for about 4 hours.  (Low on my slow cooker feels more like medium to me).  I checked the core temperature of the meat with a thermometer before deciding it was done.

The carrots ate well with it but I threw out the onion and celery which had lost flavour after such long cooking.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Hee hee ... good advice for some people I know

This Day In History

Births – Ed Sheeran (1991!), Ruth Rendell (author), Gene Pitney, Michael Jordan


Electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr broken by House of Representatives (1801) – how much could have changed?

First female Justice of the Peace appointed (1870)

Puccini's opera Madam Butterfly premieres (1904)

Prohibition ended (1933)

Beatles released Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields (1967)

Golda Meir sworn in as first female PM of Israel (1969)

British Parliament votes to join the EU (1972)

Kasparov beats the super computer at chess (1996)

Friday, 16 February 2018

Welcoming in the Year of the Dog...may it bring you only good things

Where Did That Come From?

I hope you're enjoying these little posts about unusual sayings or phrases.  Feel free to suggest ones I should do for future posts.

Pardon My French – I haven't heard this one much lately.  But it is used to apologise for using bad language.  Why French?  Apparently in days gone past the phrase was used when a French word was used in an English sentence.  But I suspect this has origins in Anglo/French rivalry of old.

Chew the fat – this means to have a chat with someone.  There is no agreement as  to the origins of this.  Equating having a nice chat  with chewing on a piece of animal fat doesn't seem that sensible!

Thick as thieves – thick here isn't meant in the sense of meaning stupid (like she's thick as a brick).  It means to be close to or being close allies – as in thieves conspiring together or sharing secrets.

Curiosity killed the cat – according to Wiki this is an Irish proverb.  It's meant to warn of the dangers of unnecessary experimentation. I was reminded of this by a TV ad for cat food where the tag line was 'feed their curiosity'.  In my experiences cats are both curious and good at staying alive.  It is possible that originally the saying was 'care killed the cat' – care, as in worry.