And I'm not talking about a hat.
Earlier this year - like around Septemberish - I became obsessed with pork pies. They were something I had come across in my obsessive food oriented readings before, but this time it was serious. I follow this blog called The Obscure Hollow - they do multi screen-grab posts of movies that are super atmospheric. I highly recommend it. Anywho, they did this here post on Great Expectations - the 1946 Charles Dickens adaptation - and it just looked so freaking cool. So I put it on hold at ye olde library and in a couple weeks I was watching it. What caught my eye was the kid - whatever his name is - snatching a big, round, pie thing from a cupboard and sharing it with some scruffy guy who called the big round thing a pork pie. My mind and fingers flew as I read as much as I could about these pies, and thus became obsessed. I finally decided to give it a go - and since I had plenty of ham left over from my sad sack/everyone including me was sick xmas feast - I used this recipe from a website that I freaking love, Historical Foods. It includes boiled eggs, which I did not use - mostly cause I didn't feel like it. It was very easy, just a bit time consuming - but totally mother freaking worth it.
So, as you can see here it is basically meat and pie. That's it. A big ole glob of meat...and greasy ass pie crust - and boy oh boy is that not a bad thing.
Oh, if there are any actual English people reading this you may want to skip over the next part - or you may start to cry.
One aspect of the pork pie that is a bit odd for the likes of an American is that it is served cold. It also has a bunch of gelatiny meat stock added to it so that when it is cold, in between the glob of meat and the crust, is a thick layer of gelatin. Hmmm. Not something that exactly makes me jump for joy. I mean, I've had my fair share of gelled up meaty stuffs - having graduated from a culinary institute many many moons ago - and I don't hate it, but it's never been something on my A#1 list. The recipe that I used from Historical Foods said that the gelatin action was optional - so I opted out. Plus, when I took the pie out of the oven all this juice was bubbling out the hole in the top crust and all I could think of was all the fat that had rendered off that pork and sausage, so I sort of tipped the whole thing over and let it drain off (did I just hear a scream with an English accent off in the distance?). THEN, I waited till the temp had dropped from 170 degrees to about 100 and I took it out of the baking dish and cut it open - and a whole bunch more juice ran out. Now before any of you start rolling on the floor all red faced and tear stained I am telling you now that I do plan on making it the proper way at some point - but all that grease and meat jell-o was a bit much for me to take all at once up front and all. So please refrain from leaving a comment that says something like "You barmy git!" or some such slanderous thing.
I really couldn't fathom my boyfriend eating a cold pork meatloaf inside of a pie crust - and that, my friends, is why I cut into it before bringing it down to the proper - refrigerated - temperature. I ate my portion at roomish temp - and he nuked his in the microwave (please stop crying - I told you not to read this part). But tonight - New Year's Eve - I have sliced it up cold and have it sitting on a snack platter for us to enjoy while we watch - well, at the moment it's the last disc of the third season of Tales from the Darkside.
So here is a close-up photo - so if you are English you can look back now, and if you are a non-meat eater you should probably avert your eyes. The flash kept going off so I lazed out and photoshopped it - and it looks a little freakier in the photo than it does in real life.
By the way - IT IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!
So...all of you all, my legions of loyal readers, by now I'm guessing in the hundreds of thousands, you all must be wondering why I have abandoned you for so very, very long. I don't even know when my last post was. Some time in November maybe? Who knows. I guess when the shinola hits the fanola the whole blogging thing moves lower and lower on my priority list. But actually - I truly did try to do a post a few weeks ago - but my photos wouldn't load - so I gave up. It was about these really really cute santa fingerless gloves I was knitting (and finished! while neglecting all my other gift projects and my blog - ha HA!).
Are they cute or are they cute! I actually used two separate sources. The Santa pattern I adapted from a sock pattern from this site - but for the life of me I can't find the pattern on the site now! Freaking freak. And the glove pattern came from this pattern - only instead of making the fingers I just knit straight up until I feel like stopping. I have used this exact same pattern to make about 5 pairs of fingerless gloves now - even one pair with the same plaid pattern of the original gloves. Some of them have the half fingers and some are just mitten-style. These Santa ones are super freaking warm too cause I used this mohair that I've had for years and never seem to be able to use up.
I thought I'd post some pics of the xmas presents I made too - just so you can see all the ways in which I whiled away my time whilst neglecting my blog.
First off I made this scarf for a friend of mine. It doesn't look so hot in the photo - but it's nice and soft and fluffy.
It's just a basic knit-forever-and-ever stitch - which is nice when you are watching TV.
These next two items are embroidery things I did for a friend of mine who also happens to have her birthday on xmas day. I did this cute little owl that is shopping on a shopping style bag for her b-day.
Once again, blogger is freaking out on me with the photos so I can't show you the whole bag - just the owl part - but that's cute enough all by itself.
I really like the way it turned out. Snazzy.
Then I made her this dish towel with Robert Blake from Lost Highway. She had commented on my This House Possessed dish towel that I had made for my sister a while back and I told her that I would make her a Robert Blake one - and I actually did it! I was amazed too. I didn't want her to be too scared when she went into her kitchen, so I gave him a santa hat with a jingle bell sewed on.
He looks a bit too happy - he's supposed to look a little more menacing. I guess I am just going to have to work at my menacing embroidery skillz.
I also made my sister another embroidered dish towel - with little xmas pictures on it - but I forgot to take a picture of it.
I still have many horror houses I want to share with you, and lots and lots of weird old magazine ads, and more crafty goings on and foodstuffs to ponder - so don't run away. Come back....come back....