Cold Roast Beef, Chips and Salad

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Anthony Sargeant cooked small joint of beautifully marbled beef earlier in the week. Quickly sealed in a hot pan then into a fan oven at 60 degrees Celsius for an hour and a half. What was left after the first meal was very thinly sliced and served cold with chips (french fries to Americans) a salad and a few spicy stuffed red peppers.

Scottish ‘Independence’

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As a sympathetic Englishman I understood the emotional and sentimental appeal of Scottish independence in the referendum of 2014. Indeed if I had been a Scot I might have voted in favour of independence given the economic and political circumstances at that time. But times have changed.

Notwithstanding that original sympathy I am perplexed by the action of the SNP in seeking a new referendum on leaving the Union. If they won a majority for ‘independence’ from the historic Union where would that leave Scotland? Ultimately, with Scotland having a population a little larger than Lithuania, perhaps as a minor province of a federal European Superstate dominated and controlled by Germany. This would hardly amount to ‘independence’ and seems a far worse option in terms of having control over the economic, political and social fabric of Scottish society compared with remaining part of the United Kingdom. Furthermore the time to negotiate and achieve that subordinate role in a European Empire would be measured in many years not months as is obvious from previous EU trading and membership negotiations  (not to mention the vehement opposition of Spain to any deal). During that time Scotland would be adrift on its own without any trading agreements, without access to the single market, and without the economic support which EU membership might possibly confer.

As oil prices collapse once again and thus with reduced income and necessarily a new interim Scottish currency until the possible adoption of the Euro as a precondition for EU membership, what would that mean for Scottish Society, for schools, social care, health services and all the rest? The resultant massive deterioration in social infrastructure would surely not be compensated for by eventually becoming a minor ‘subject’ nation within the European Empire, riven as it is with its own internal schisms and problems especially within the Eurozone.

It is clear that there is a sense of ‘now or never’ for the nationalists but the consequences of leaving the United Kingdom seem dire and the exact opposite of what the nationalists are calling for, that is “independence”, because the end result would be subjugation and loss of independence and national identity within a European Superstate.

 

Omelette Arnold Bennett on the plate

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The omelette cooked by Anthony Sargeant and shown in the cooking pan in the previous post is big enough for four large portions. Here the photograph shows one quarter served very simply with some peas, a spicy stuffed pepper and some pickled gherkin.

Omelette Arnold Bennett

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An old favourite of Anthony Sargeant which he cooked for supper last night – Omelette Arnold Bennett. Essentially a big deep  omelette (5 big eggs) cooked in a 12 inch pan – then smoked Haddock which had been lightly poached in milk is flaked into the top of the omelette while it is still liquid, followed by double cream and finely grated Parmesan cheese. Then put under the hottest possible grill to finish. The important points are to poach the haddock very lightly otherwise it loses its flavour into the milk and also not to overcook the omelette but keep it very loose and almost liquid so that only the top browns when put under the very hot grill and the middle is still very soft. it is important to remove from the frying pan after cooking so that the omelette does not continue to cook in the hot pan. (This is based on a recipe from the excellent book by Rick Stein – The Seafood Lovers Guide). Oh, and by the way any unused portions keep well in the fridge for a day or so – delicious cold or reheated in microwave.

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Andy was a rescue dog – a great big irrepresible blond dollop of a dog. Anthony Sargeant took this photograph of him – he was an Alsatian cross of some kind. The rescue kennels had tried to rehouse him on 3 or 4 occasions but he was returned each time because the families could not […]

via Andy our lovely dog who died a few years ago — anthonyjsargeanttony