This is not NASCAR


“A kitchen knife cannot carve its own handle.” – Korean Proverb

For those of you who watch anyone of the cooking channels either on your television or stream link through your computer, pay close attention to this post.

There are few things y’all that bother Tilly and I.

One, is how fast the Chef, y’all know the ones, those that went to li’l chefs school, decides to chop an onion, or anything else.  Folks, this is not NASCAR where the fastest one wins. It is a cooking show, got it? It is not a time to impress the boys in your hood, nor your momma and daddy who might have paid for the li’l cooking course.  It is for the average man or woman who by chance is bored with whatever else was on the tube and happen to have found your show while surfing the channels.

Tilly: some are so deft and fast, they need to a ‘Do Not Try This At Home’ warning … I’ve seen fingers slashed in attempts to copy the demonstrations.

Two, we realize that you are going to taste what you just cooked. However, for once we would love to see one of you spit it out and say, “Damn forgot to add…” Just once I would love to see that

Tilly: Or given how much salt they all seem to add, see them gasp because their tongues are burning!

Three, arugula aka rocket salad spicy, peppery, flavour, if I hear that one more time I will scream at the T.V. again. Either change writers, or just drop it altogether.  Now, let me ask the average home cook this one question: what would your family do if you plopped arugula in the centre of the plate and stacked everything else on top?  Folks you’re serving dinner, not building the leaning tower of Pisa!

Tilly: Hmm… Depends on the finished ‘picture’. Some look appetising, others intimidate – how does one tackle the stack! And rocket is delicious. Love the stuff.

One more note on these damn shows, no matter what they tell or show you if you are making a salad out of bagged salad greens. PLEASE WASH THEM.  If they tell you that they are pre-washed, they are right.  That explains why Doctors and others in the health field recommend us to re-wash them again?

Tilly: 100% – it is alarming how many bits, pieces and tiny beasties float out from ‘washed’ salads, spinach, chard, etc.

To end these current rants check out the recipe below. It is for Sangria, get away from the television, make a pitcher of Sangria, sit out on the front porch, invite the neighbours over and enjoy the night.

Tilly: Nice idea. But can you come up with a long drink like this that isn’t sweet? I love Campari and soda with a slice of orange, but something else for a change would be welcome.



1 Bottle of red wine

2 Lemons one cut into wedges and one sliced thinly

2 Oranges one cut into wedges and one sliced thinly

2 Tbsp. sugar

1 Shot brandy

2 Cups / 473.17 ml ginger ale or club soda or 7up


Pour wine in the pitcher and squeeze the juice wedges from the lemon and orange into the wine. Toss in the fruit wedges making sure there are no seeds of course.  Add sugar and brandy. Chill overnight.  Before serving add the sliced lemon and oranges slices add the ginger ale, club soda or 7up. If you want to kick things up you might want to use two shots of gin, brandy or even your favourite rum.

Tilly: Why add the sugar when ginger ale, 7Up, lemonade are added? I wouldn’t add the sugar with soda either. Plenty of ice!

Of course Tilly being British has insisted on the recipe below. – Olive

John Nott, Cook’s Dictionary. 1726

Take a pint of sherry, or a pint and a half of red port, four ounces

and a half of chocolate, six ounces of fine sugar, and half an ounce

of white starch, or fine flour; mix, dissolve, and boil all these as before.

But, if your chocolate be with sugar, take double the quantity of

chocolate, and half the quantity of sugar; and so in all.

Adapting the recipe for modern use

To make 4 small cups:

  • 128g (4½ oz) dark chocolate, at least 80% cocoa solids
  • 600ml (1pt) ruby port (or 500ml of sherry)
  • 30/40g (2/3tbsp) caster sugar
  • ½ oz rice or plain flour

Pour all of the port into a saucepan.

Break up the chocolate into small chunks and add to the saucepan.

Add the sugar to the saucepan. Alcohol goes bitter when you heat

it so you may need more to taste.

Whisk in the flour.

Cook over a low heat for 10 minutes, until small bubbles form around

the edge. Do not let it boil!

Whisk the chocolatey mix together.

Pour into cups or a chocolate pot of choice, and enjoy warm.

Tilly: Sounds just the job for Christmas morning, especially if the Out-Laws are resident … two or three of these and no one will feel any pain be or disagreeable. But I’s probably adjust the quantity of sugar…port is quite sweet. Be a bit better with chocolate, though.


For a copy of the recipes see below



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