March 24th, 2008


Easter feast

Anne had got a massive chunk of lamb for dinner yesterday, which was just about enough for seven adults (including my mother, liberaliser and the future Mrs liberaliser, and the future Mrs liberaliser's parents, who mainly speak Hungarian). I found a really good recipe for it, as follows:

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Along with it I did yer standard boiled potatoes, the braised celery and walnuts which had been successful in January (this time over-catered rather than under-catered) and two more vegetable recipes, both of which I had to adapt slightly to fit my resources.

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There were no complaints, which is a good sign.

March Books 36) Pass the Port

36) Pass the Port: The Best After-Dinner Stories of the Famous

A collection of humorous anecdotes in aid of Oxfam assembled in the mid-1970s, and very much of its time (21 index entries for "Irish stories" but only 8 for "Jewish stories"). The "famous" assembled here are a peculiar bunch and say something very odd about who Oxfam thought would appeal to the connoisseur of after-dinner humour (also, this being a later edition, a number of the original contributors had died). Here, for instance, are the entries for a couple of random pages:
  • The Late Lord Inman, P.C., J.P., President of Charing Cross Hospital; Liveryman of London; Author; Former Cabinet Minister and Chairman of the B.B.C.
  • Fergus Munro Innes, C.I.E., C.B.E, Chairman, India General Navigation and Railway Company, 1973-78.
  • The Late Air Chief Marshal Sir Ronald Ivelaw-Chapman, G.C.B., K.B.E., D.F.C., A.F.C., Vice-Chief of the Air Staff, 1953-57 (Prisoner of War, 1944-45).
I'm relieved to report that one or two of the jokes were actually funny. Here's one I rather liked, though I think the delivery could be sharpened up a bit, though possibly Keith S. Showering (Chairman and Chief Executive, Allied Breweries Ltd.) was able to make it sing:
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Sure, it plays to national stereotypes, and it would be difficult to get away with a joke about two men going into a public lavatory these days; but I travel enough on Belgian trains that it struck a chord.