Monday, October 12, 2009

A fine ewer & a catch-up on earlier posts ...

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Dr Ferris sends me an e-mail entitled 'Cool Hand Luke' and seems mildly dissatisfied with my 'Catering tip of the week': "Having now tried out Crickley Hill Man's tip for pre-cooking poached eggs, I can verify that it works a treat. However, I would not recommend any of his readers to eat 34 reheated poached eggs in one sitting as I just did. I now know how Cool Hand Luke felt. Maybe the next catering tip could be geared towards the domestic kitchen rather than the restaurant kitchen. Hopefully I'll be well enough by then to give it a try."

C-H-M needed some extra kitchen equipment in order to make sure that he can test whether or not his catering tips work so this afternoon involved a trip to Divertimenti in Brompton Road. Whilst engaged on that mission, C-H-M found a moment to nip into the V&A and found this rather engaging 18th century Mughal dark green nephrite jade ewer with enamelled gold poppies. Stylish way to add liquids to brews on the stove, I feel.

Arwel Barrett writes: "Perhaps you could provide hotel chefs with a tip on how to scramble eggs? I have had rock hard lumps, granulated sitting in a thin whey or barely coagulated looking more like congealed phlegm." Thank you Arwel: when I've recovered from your description I'll post a note on how to scramble eggs ...

Max Glaskin observes of
this post:

"Your memory for jokes is clearly phenomenal. Wibble I remember clearly although I have no recollection of one you have attributed to me about Moshe Dayan and a parrot and I'm not at all certain that I want to be reminded. [It's a very funny joke indeed, Max, but ultimately visual, which means it will have to wait until I see you. My skills do not extend to telling the joke on a webcam and posting on You Tube. Ed]

BTW, that formal dinner in 1977 was, I believe, a meeting of the heads of state who were engaged in a game of Diplomacy which was being held over several evenings. It led to all kinds of subterfuge and mistrust.

There was a boy who offered to spy on my rivals' plans for me, in return for Mars Bars. Bars and information were duly exchanged but, after I started losing territories unexpectedly, I learned that the boy had subsequently been "turned" by one of the other players who had access to a more toothsome selection of confectionery.

Jane (aka Wibble) may have come from the Wirral originally but I believe that her parents ran 'The Happy Return' in Chard."

Dr Phillpotts writes:

"Dear Chef Jules,

I hope you are enjoying your return to student life. In regard to a couple of recent posts of my photographs on the Crickley blog, Joe Stone's tool, on which Ros is laying a gently restraining hand, is actually an axe. She was trying to dissuade him from cutting down a tree in the middle of her cutting. The tree was removed later by Joe and Mike Webb; I think the picture of this has already appeared. If you look closely at the picture of Gail, you will see that she is wielding not a catbasher but a lump hammer; being a determined young woman she selected this to trim back the plates of limestone projecting from the baulk.

I saw Dr Dixon a few days ago at a conference on Dover Castle at which we were both speaking. He seemed on good form, although very busy with work projects, as am I.

Now get down in the kitchen and start rattling them pots and pans."

Further observations from J Arwel Barrett MD (Master of the Dosimeter):

"With the datum string and tape set up over the top, this looks as if Julie is following the "dig a bit and draw it" school of posthole excavation."


"Is that Paul Noakes on his knees in the background of the top picture?"

And lastly:

"On coincidences ... I was trying to deliver a Christmas present (probably in 2004) to a friend in London who worked for a legal Headhunter but she had the day off. She arranged that I should deliver it to her boss at the office, one Cleo. I met her and handed over the present when she asked if I was the Arwel Barrett who had been at Crickley Hill in the mid-80s! She had dug with Dave Hollos on the Long Mound for a couple of seasons while a student. After my (boring!) meeting with the electricity industry I had lunch in a pub with them all and was recounting what a small world it was to a couple of the chaps. One, a Nick Trowell who worked for DTI at the time, remarked that it was indeed a small world as he had also dug at CH on Terry's Iron Age rampart cutting down in the National Trust part. Twice in one day."

That's enough coincidences. Ed.

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