Vereinigungsparteitag 2014
Godwin's Law
Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands

Christ, the front page of the Torygraph on-line this morning is like (forgive me!) reading the manifesto for the German Socialist Unity Party.
Our glorious Prime Minister pledges future legislation to prevent workers from organising strikes to defend their interests. The two largest parliamentary parties and a third, enabling, opportunist rump, have secretly colluded to fast-track a law permitting the secret services to continue their illegal mass surveillance of the British people. Our Government announces its consideration of a law to prosecute those citizens who insufficiently inform on their friends, relatives and neighbours when they are suspected of criminal behaviour.

These are not the laws of a democratic, liberal, free society. These are the laws of totalitarianism, the diktats of a parliament which is at war with its own people. They are the statutes of a political class which is afraid of its own electorate.
Afraid that they might organise to oppose government dogma.
Afraid of what they might communicate, unwatched, to each other. That they might hold or express opinions of which the political elite does not approve.
Afraid of them forming unauthorised, independent relationships outside of state control.

These are the laws which totalitarian regimes use to monitor their cowed citizens, to disrupt opposition to the will of their ruling class, to round up the family and friends of suspected dissidents better to intimidate the populace.
A pox on your parliamentary house.

Here, have a sardine.

Fisherman's Eggs
Tinned sardines baked with eggs
fish breakfast snack
Scrabbling around the back of my pantry (the cupboard where we keep the fridge) having run out of anything immediately edible except for a single shallot and two eggs, I came across a tin of sardines which expired in 1996.
Despite the few small, leaking, rusty holes the tin seemed otherwise intact and most importantly had not bloated as if swollen with botulism spores.
So I decided to have it for dinner.
Very delicious it was too.

Serves 2

Heat the oven to 500°F/260°C/Gas Mark 10 and preheat an ovenproof serving dish for five minutes. Place a can of sardines, a small sliced shallot, a few sprigs of chopped parsley, and two cloves of finely chopped garlic if you have them in the warm dish. Add some black pepper and put the dish back in the oven for six minutes.
Remove the dish from the oven, break four eggs into a bowl, use a spoon to make four small depressions in the sardine mixture and pour the eggs gently on top. Season with salt and pepper and put the dish back in the oven for seven minutes, until the egg whites are cooked but still jiggly. Remove the dish and let it sit for five minutes (the eggs keep on cooking even out of the oven).
Serve with hot sauce and toast or a salad.
Surprisingly for Fisherman's Eggs it contains no fish eggs.

Peppers stuffed with Cod Roe and Dried Apricot
fish starter
Yet another way to use up your leftover cod roe - this idea comes from Nigel Slater but I perked it up with some dried apricots (well, those moist, vacuum-packed dried kind) I had in the fridge. And they complement the fish eggs gorgeously!
I also used up some parsley and red onions in the mixture too. Nigel tucks a whole basil leaf into his peppers, but I think you'd be better chopping them into the cod roe mixture.

Serves 8 as an antipasti

Slice the top from each pepper and scrape out any seeds or cores. Tuck a large whole basil leaf into each pepper.
That's what Nigel says but his accompanying photo definitely shows the basil chopped through the mixture as I did with my parsley
Peel the skin from the cod's roe, then crumble the flesh into a mixing bowl.
Put the bread into the bowl of a food processor with the onion and herbs or mince separately and add after and blitz until you have coarse crumbs, then add the olive oil and process again briefly. You will need neither salt nor pepper.
You should have about the same volume of roe and crumbs.
Mince the apricots. Add the breadcrumbs and apricot to the cod's roe and mix well.

Stuff the cod's roe and crumbs into the little peppers and lay them in a single layer in a baking dish, then trickle lightly with olive oil. Set the oven at 180C/gas mark 4 and bake for about 45 minutes, until the peppers are cooked and the stuffing begins to swell.
Very tasty, though my stuffing did end up rather dense. Perhaps I packed them a little too tightly, and perhaps I over-processed the bread?
Don't over-process the bread!

Spaghettini Aglio e Olio
Spaghetti with garlic and oil
veg vegan pasta
I think this is my first truly disappointing Nigel Slater dish. Though to be fair - it's not really his dish; he even refers to it as a classic. It's greasy, bland and dull and needs an extraordinary amount of salt to make it even palatable. I've tried being less timid with the chilli and garlic and parsley, so perhaps I'm just not Roman enough to be able to enjoy it without some grated cheese?

Serves 2

Cook 200g spaghetti or the finer spaghettini in deep, salted boiling water until al dente. Drain lightly. Put a fat pinch of crushed, dried chillies, 2 cloves of garlic chopped very finely, 3 tbsp of freshly, coarsely, chopped flat-leaf parsley and 4 tbsp olive oil into a pan. Place over a low heat and cook until the garlic is pale gold. Salt generously
Don't allow the colour to darken or it will turn bitter.
Toss the drained pasta with the warm oil and serve immediately. Make sure to leave a little water still on the pasta to moisten the sauce.
Nigel recommends elaborating with the addition of sliced, marinated artichokes, chopped olives, sun-dried tomatoes, chopped anchovies, toasted breadcrumbs, lemon zest, shavings of Parmesan or shredded basil leaves.
I would concur :)

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