Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Doctor Beakers Kitchen

Brenda went out with the girls yesterday afternoon so I thought I’d give her a surprize and cook tea. The surprize was that normally when I’m left on my own the kitchen turns into a cross between Doctor Beakers Laboratory and an extension of my workshop, but with a sink ! The photo’s should be self explanatory

chucked this lot into the frying pan with some olive oil and seasoned it with black pepper, pink Himalayan sea salt, teaspoon Cayenne pepper, teaspoon of Nando’s and a couple of Oxo
Here's a tip open the Oxo cube foil ears then squeeze, then you can tear the top off and pour in 
 brown the meat onions and garlic with the spices in olive oil 
 then pour into a cast iron “podgy” pot
wash and thinly slice whatever veg. you have to hand, but I always try to have a Sweet Potatoe, here with Carrot, Parsnip, Cellery, and a Courgette
add them in layers starting with the longest to cook

I then made up some Beef stock with just enough boiling water to dissolve the cube then added half a bottle of Old Speckled Hen
poured it into the Podgy pot
and brought it up to boil then turned it down to simmer and put the pot onto a simmer ring with it's lid on, the idea being a long and slow cook, the wire hook is to lift the hot lid on and off

after abut one hour I sliced some mushrooms and added them as a top layer

lid back on and it had another hour and a half before Brenda landed back
made some, homemade bread, toast and butter
banged the triangle and shouted "Slop Up !"

I even did the washing up, just thought I'd share - cheers all Danny

Sunday, 27 January 2013


For over 60 years I've been collecting all sorts of stuff that's taken my eye from fossils to flints to clay pipe heads, and file them in old biscuit tins. There's canals and railways locally so allot of the 17 and 1800's pipe heads have an Irish theme from the Navies (mainly made in Manchester though) but about 20 years ago they were building an industrial estate down by the river at Kildwick, about 12 miles from where we live now and they’d just scraped the top soil off the fields so I went down with my metal detector and straight away found a pipe head then another and another. I gave up to the detector and gathered a pocket full of pipe heads – the next weekend when I went back the foundations were poured and the green field site lost forever. Crosshills used to be a small village with green fields and woods between it and the next villages Sutton, Glusburn, Eastburn it’s becoming one urban sprawl now. Here's a 1930's OS
Here's as they were building with pipe heads found in red oval
but it soon looked like this
If you have Google Earth the site is at
Linky if it works ?

 I don’t know what was going on in the early 1600’s for there to be so many pipe heads (Fair, Market, Horse race, it’s very near an old crossing over the river only 400 years and no one knows) but most of the heads were small Tobacco being a scarce and taxed ! (so nothing’s new) it was seen as a luxury item hence the very small bowls at the time. I think the next “idea” came while pruning the Bamboo in the front garden. 

 that being hollow it would make pipe stems to repair the heads, so using 1/8” brass tube as a tennon

the next pipe is from the early 1600's 
This is pre English civil war and with Tobacco being a scarce and taxed ! 
(so nothing’s new) it was seen as a luxury item hence the very small bowls at the time 

1572 Sir Francis Drake returns from the Americas and introduces pipe smoking to Britain.
1585 Sir Francis Drake introduces smoking to Sir Walter Raleigh.
1586 Some of the Virginia colonists return to England smoking pipes. The habit quickly spreads and tobacco takes root in English society.
1600 Sir Walter Raleigh persuades Queen Elizabeth to try smoking
1603 Physicians are upset that tobacco used by people without physician prescription. They complain to King James I.
1610 Sir Francis Bacon writes that tobacco use is increasing and that it is a custom hard to quit.
1614 First sale of native Virginia tobacco in England. Virginia colony enters world tobacco market under English protection.
1620 Trade agreement between the Crown and Virginia Company bans commercial tobacco growing in England, in return for a 1 shilling/lb. duty on Virginia tobacco.

 They smoke a treat and it's nice to use and hold something that's up to 400 years old. It's like shaking hands with Oldmortality 

 "Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything."

cheers all Danny

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Tobacconists are getting thin on the ground

At one time I could have walked down the village for a Tobacconist shop
now there isn’t one, even the Snowmen have been banned from smoking pipes.

even in the adjacent towns the large dedicated Tobacconists are no more. So it’s an half hour bus ride into Skipton (free with over 60's bus-pass)  passing Greenber Field canal locks, out the bus window,
then the train to Leeds £8.80 single £9 return. Looking down the Aire valley from the train just before Cononley
Arrive Leeds in just short of an hour and walk up Briggate to the Headrow to Greens
I do mail order from Green’s
and can put an order in late afternoon and it’s always here in the next mornings post, but it’s not the same as a visit, where I can break Paul off of his work, here he's coming out the Cigar humidifier room
and talk pipes, tobacco, beer, in fact the only thing missing is a bar !

 yesterdays visit they’d only sent him x6 Germain's Latakia Flake so I bought these and mentioned G H Louisiana Flake, down came the jar “have a fill - smoke, it in the shop” Very civilised, (the smoking ban in pubs should be enough for a civil war !) It’s a busy shop and a couple of customers commented “that smells nice/good” I’m not really into reviews as it’s all so subjective but the first few draws nothing much happened but then it got to be full of flavour. I bought two ounce, then back across the city for the next train back to Skipton where I put the no bar in the shop right with a pint at the Narrow Boat
The above is the Gawith Hoggarth Louisiana Flake in a Stainless-steel 50's Titan made in England pipe, Beers Ilkley Brewery's Joshua Jane 3.8% Bitter
just thought I'd share and add something for Oldmortality - cheers