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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

October 16, 2003

It's the time of day, stupid

Actually, that Chicken Slick recipe was a bit posh. Ours was more like this: "I did not know there were any other kind until I came to Pennsylvania. In the South we always had 'slicks'. They are made from any good biscuit dough, rolled thin, cut into strips approx 1' wide and about five to six inches long. They are dropped slowly into boiling broth, chicken, turkey, squirrel etc. They can not be dumped in too fast or they will stick together and not be 'slick'"

It fits, because my mum lived in North Carolina for a while, her first marriage, which is where a lot of her recipes came from. And we had the poverty chicken slick, none of this stuff with chicken joints and breasts.

Chicken Slick was for Sunday tea, after we'd had a roast chicken for lunch. Picked clean, it was boiled for stock, and the resulting thin broth was what she put the slick dumplings in. So I associate that very much with Sunday tea times, in the dark half of the year, the nights drawing in and the Sunday night serial on the telly.

Saturday tea times, I associate with Dr Who and pizza. But again, the pizza was slightly different, because she used to make it with a scone crust rather than a dough crust. It was deep pan, with a kind of bolognaise filling and topped with cheddar, not mozzarella. As more kids left home and we became a better off family, pizza morphed into bread dough and mozzarella type, and although this is pizza as she is eaten around the world, you lose something for everything you gain.

I once made scone based pizza in a school cooking project. You had to invite your favourite teacher for a meal and cook it, and I chose that. He was impressed, but thought I'd made the decision to make the scone base was culinary and original as opposed to coming from my background. People give you more and less credit than you deserve.

So that was Saturday night, and how we miss it. After a full afternoon's sport on Grandstand, you got final score and then Dr Who, as you were sitting down to tea. Moving Dr Who to a weekday night was the beginning of the end of civilisation, and I really believe that. These muppets who make this kind of decision must wonder at the passions they evoke, but they don't care what they're doing to the fabric of our society. You remove that whole-family-gathered-round-the-TV event, and people start to find other things to do, and you can't go back. Families stop gathering, things fall apart, the centre cannot hold, and Sylvester McCoy personifies the collapse.


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