Ride a pig

Norwegian apparently; having tried this as a kid, I know how hard it is to stay on (more than once ending up face down in faeces). All credit to her for holding on long enough for this photo to be taken in 1879.

If you INSIST on celebrating Christmas…

Then the very least you can do is buy me this piece of cold steel as an early gift…

santoku

It’s a Santoku blade, available from this rather handsome (and scarily talented) trio at Blenheim Forge in Hackney.

trio

There’s whole lifetimes that could be spent on and with knives. And I will be writing some more about them, but not here today. Suffice to say for this post, that this particular blade is forged from folded iron with a blue paper steel core (in Japan, that’s Aogami), the same composition as is frequently used in Japanese katana (“swords”) all safely wrapped into a handle made of walnut burr with a solid copper ferrule. Beautiful. Long lasting. Sharp as all fuck. And can be kept that way.

There’s fascinating (PDF) couple of pages from Foodism covering their history and some well photographed illustrations on their production process.

grinding

Féted by Tim Hayward in his book, “Knife” that I mentioned here, they’ll no doubt be even more popular now that’s been on the shelves for a year. So, what are you waiting for? Off you go and order me one of those beauties at the top of the page. Stat! I’ll even save you the money on the postage and will go and pick it up from the boys in their workshop under their Hackney railway arch. Can’t say fairer than that now, can I?

Oh, and can you make sure that my blade comes from the box on the right? OK. Thanks. Bye.

unnamed-1

 

Gimme A Pig’s Foot (And A Bottle of Beer)

Check all your razors and your guns
We gonna be arrested when the wagon comes
I wanna pig’s foot and a bottle of beer
Send me cause I don’t care
Blame me cause I don’t care
Gimme a pig’s foot and a bottle of beer – Bessie Smith (1933)

The very wonderful “Empress Of The Blues“.

Man, she was sooooooo good. Finest kind.

 

Comfort me with offal?

via @RuthBourdain, an exhortation to the chef; one that brings tears of joy to my little heart, if employed correctly. And, without a doubt, the pinnacle, the very apex of said devotion, is the oft-mentioned Fergus Henderson, whose exquisite work is seen here being consumed by Eater’s Nick Solares.

But as well as a suitable life motto, it’s also the title of a great book, that, at the princely cost of $0.99c. ranks as a huge (recycled) bargain as well as a fascinating read. Some of her first words…

“What the fuck is ‘air-dried chicken’ anyway? And what’s up with Padma Lakshi? Is she stoned on Top Chef?”

give you a flavour of what follows.

Her book dedication? “For Pork”. Finest kind. Highly recommended.

A shout out for the Brussel sprout

It’s close to that particular time of the year when these lovely brassica family vegetables get rolled out across the land. There are those of you who — like the Marmite and liver haters — won’t touch them, thinking them the work of Beelzebub and his many minions. You’re insane of course. They’re gorgeous — and when done well (i.e. not like your Mum used to do, boiling them to within an inch of their life, lank, dulled, limp, tasteless), are a truly great flavour. There’s some good recipes suggested here in a Guardian piece that further enhance these beauties.

© Tamin Jones Guardian

Best way to buy them if you can, is as a stick: that way they stay fresh and ready to go for longer. And in addition you can use the remaining stick to make a handle for a new knife. Just like Nick Johnson, blacksmith and artist does. What are you waiting for? Off you go, buy a stick of sprouts, enjoy the resultant meal and then use the remnants to finish off the knife…

sprouthandle