What Have The Americans Ever Done For Us? Hot Dogs, Buddy, Fully Loaded.

There’s a scene in ‘Monty Python’s Life of Brian’ where a squad of Israelite rebels, led by John Cleese & Co, are discussing ‘what have the Romans done for us?’ The debate centres around whether they should pursue a terrorist course of action, and everyone gets a bit stressed as they start to realise the Roman’s have actually done quite a lot….

‘…All right… all right… but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order… what have the Romans done for us?’

Now fast forward a few thousand years.

Here we are, in the glorious 21st century. For Rome, read Amercia. Now I haven’t spent too much time or effort considering the socio-economic influence of America on the planet. And I’m not going to start now. What I will do is consider the culinary influence of America.

And they have done some seriously important things for us. Fully Loaded Hot Dogs are a case in point.

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Rough Puff Pastry

Finally! I found a pastry I can make. And of course its rough. Another extract from my new ‘Perfect’ book of recipes.

But I feel a need to digress. The summer holiday season is upon us. Children off school, which is good because the daily commute instantly becomes a joyous Utopia of empty roads. Weather improving, with the heady heights of 30 plus centigrade promised this week (into the 90’s for you fahrenheit stalwarts). Those are the good points.

The bad points. Where the hell to go on holiday? By my reckoning about 90% of the globe is now a no-go. Anywhere east of India is too far (unless you can take three weeks off). India? Its experiencing a heatwave so bad people are dying in the streets. The Mediterranean. Refugees are literally swimming up to the beaches. Its real chaos. Greece? Greece is in a seriously dire mess. Egypt, Tunisia? Not likely. With the expansion of the people’s paradise of ISIS most of North Africa and the Middle East is off the table.

Maybe a Stay-cation. Who on God’s green Earth thought that one up? I mean who in their right mind can sit at home watching daytime TV with a bottle of Pino Grigio and say to themselves ‘This is fun I should do this more often’?

Although that option would give me options. Drinking wine. Cooking….And its not like I would need to worry about getting beach-body ready. Always an issue. Actually whilst rambling on, a daytime TV ad just came up – the ‘tonetee’. The ad has a middle aged man walking down a path wearing a fat-hiding T-shirt, and two women turn to stare. I think the implication was he looked super-fit. But I think they were wondering why he was walking like he had just crapped himself.

Anyway back to the pastry. Rough Puff Pastry. I made it and then I made some quiches. They don’t look all that but tasted amaze-balls…

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Meatloaf and a Social Media Meltdown

Before I commence I would like to bitch and moan. I have been blogging for something like 3 1/2 years. WordPress is easy and straightforward. You write some blurb. Then you open the file of photos you have to hand and just drag them into the media loader.

When I got a Mac last year it got even easier. It let you drag a photo straight into the text. Couldn’t be easier. Then last month Apple buggered about with the photo app and now I can’t drag anything into anything. I feel like throwing the whole lot in the bin. But I am sucked in. I’m paying WordPress $99 a year for some reason. I’m paying Apple £3 a month for iCloud and I don’t even know what the hell for. I just paid Microsoft £108 to use Word on a Mac which I don’t need but feel compelled to have ‘just in case’.

So I can’t really throw anything in the bin. And if anyone can throw me a bone here, so to speak, explain how to make everything work nice and easy like it used to (in the good old days) then please do let me know…

Anywhoooooo. Meatloaf. Never made one but they look so damned tasty I had to give it a go…

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Bacon Wrapped Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Fondant Potatoes

Over the past few months I’ve built up a vast bank of food posts. Hundreds of photos. The problem is, I can’t really remember the recipes for many of them. And I mean this is a serious food blog. Very serious. Lots of serious cooking, stern photography and in-depth analysis. So, on that basis, I have opted for posting Bacon Wrapped Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Fondant Potatoes.

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Wild Pig, Black Pudding and Breakfasts that ‘set in’

Previously on Happiness Stan…

I went to the butchers and they were slightly annoying.

So a month or so ago we set off shopping, but decided to explore the more rural parts, south of where we live, looking for somewhere different to acquire some bacon and eggs.

We ended up in deepest darkest Surrey (about 5 miles from home).

Here the locals speak in strange dialects, and wild pigs forage for truffles (this may or may not be true, the shop staff we spoke to didn’t have strange dialects, although that might have been because they weren’t local – they could have been bused in from Northern France – and I didn’t spot any pigs, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t there, hiding their truffles).

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Deepest, darkest Surrey…

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