Saturday, October 29, 2016

Corned Beef

Or as I used to call it “Corn Beef.”

After my last post on custard and Bisto, I received an e-mail from our friend John, who is working in New Zealand. John is a doctor who took early retirement and went to the Antipodes to join a practice in Ashburton outside Christchurch. Here you see him signing the contract in our back yard, under Ernie’s eagle eye. He used  to live a few houses down from us and attended Wayne State where he took a couple of classes from Ernie. The siren song of Latin was not strong enough and John went off to Medical School.

Apparently John was discussing my post with friends in a watering hole called Spike and Nonnas, and they introduced him to two other products of Post War England. The first was corned beef (in a can.) I actually thought it was pretty tasty and it was a way that meat could be preserved and sent to rationed Britain. I seem to remember a lot of jellied fat in it, but I could be wrong. In the States we take a slab of corned beef (brisket) and boil the daylights out of it along with cabbage, potatoes and carrots to celebrate St. Patrick’s day. I am not really a fan.

John saved most of his enthusiasm for Spotted Dick. Of  course, he liked the name. I am not sure that specific pudding was in my mother’s repertoire, although I do remember lots of delicious steamed puddings, especially treacle. (Look that one up, John.) These would boil away on top of the stove, covered by waterproof (i.e. wax) paper and tied up with the “pudding cloth.” Sliced and covered with a blanket of Birds custard they went down a treat.

Such puddings were usually referred to collectively as “stodge.” John is coming home soon for a month’s leave. Perhaps I’ll treat him to some stodge.   Perhaps not.

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