I Blame Joe Slavko

I am sure that the overwhelming majority of my fellow cherished Charioteers remember Joe.

He came to the old MyT sbout the same time as myself. I still harbour the suspicion that he was paid by the DT  to pour out his regular blogs ‘pour encourager les autres’.  Mattered not one whit. He was pure dead brilliant. 

One strand was his ‘Evening Meal’ of which this link is one of his less sweirie-word exemplars.

Believe it or not, his nosh blogs were what set me off on the road to fine food preparation. Down which I am still travelling.

It’s Embran Festival time yet again and Mrs M and I are at fever pitch with her performing and me appreciating. Night off for me as she is appearing in Szymanowski’s Third Symphony for which I would not step off the pavement, let alone attempt to cross the road. 

So, she went off this morning at 8 am for a four hour rehearsal in the knowledge that she had to be back to perform by 6.30 pm tonight. I assured her that I would make the tea in good time. Googled and settled on warm smoked mackerel fillet with beetroot hash cakes, poached egg and spicy tomato chutney.

Picked up the ingredients during the lunch interval at Lords (still think ‘we’ can win) and started in to create at or about 4.30 pm. I reckoned without a young Cocker Spaniel who is convinced that any kitchen activity of any sort involves preparation of food for him which he needs to leap up and sample and, more importantly, duff cooking instructions.

‘Parboil the potatoes for nine minutes and allow them to cool’. Well, I’ve always been a libertarian but the plain fact is that potatoes take total advantage of our better nature and make absolutely no effort when it comes to cooling, in my opinion. By the time they got to the point where I could grate them without suffering second degree burns, Mrs M was pulling on the black togs for the dash back to the Usher Hall.

Tea time will, accordingly, be about 10.30 pm for us tonight. Thanks Joe.

18 thoughts on “I Blame Joe Slavko”

  1. Hello, Mr Mackie

    An enjoyable post. Joe Slavko was a pure delight and something of a genius, in my opinion.

    Always double the time for recipes. Enjoy your rather interesting late meal and the rest of the Festival (lucky you!). Hugs to Dougal.

  2. Bilby :

    I meant double up on preparation time, not cooking time, naturally.

    Just in time and thanks, Bils

    This could all have gone seriously pear-shaped and my labour of love could have ended up as so much mush, had I followed your #2. To be fair, I could probably have saved the day by deep-frying said mush, as we do in Jockland.

    You really should be up here just now. Embra is seriously buzzing with crowds five deep around Greyfriar Bobby as they queue to snap him.

    And Dougal sends his regards.

  3. Did he mean red chilli sauce or green chilli sauce? I make both myself so please tell me we’re not talking off-the-shelf stuff here.

    Or am I missing something?


  4. I’d just love to be there, John.

    What a splendid photo of the lad himself and such a nice clip. Just look at those little neat paws. 🙂

  5. Good looking hound, JM. if he’s your first you have to know that all spaniels are stomachs on legs and prepare yourself accordingly (like cooking for three 🙂 )


  6. I must add that I never consider grating anything except cheese. The word ‘mush’ in your #5 reminded me of the reason for my non-grating stance.

  7. Joe Slavko, much missed. I always find that when you screw something up in the kitchen, there isn’t much that can’t be fixed by bunging it in a frying pan with a couple of beaten eggs, plenty of garlic, a good shake of any other herbs and spice you have to hand and a good splurge of cheap plonk. 🙂

  8. Pseu :

    Nice post. I have just posted about food… maybe we should do a recipe slot on here?

    Hi Pseu. I would enjoy that.

    Literary deckchairs funded by the ‘Grauniad’, by the way. Not for sale at the moment but I think that it’s still possible. I know a couple of this year’s ‘authors ‘who might be up for a quick lob over the railings and a swift getaway.

    I’ll be in touch.

  9. Rosti, Bilby?


    No, OZ. I truly have the grating horrors. Won’t go there. Do you know how many ingredients are 99.9% water? 🙂

  10. Always pleased to be reminded of the talented and witty Mr Slavko, and I always admired his ability to just throw ingredients together with a glorious insouciance. It was indeed an inspiration.

    He liked dogs too, Mr Mackie, which is always a good sign.

    Dougal looks a treat, by the way, a beautiful photograph.

  11. Do not attempt to grate cooked stuff like that, grate raw and steam!
    It is advantageous to prepare such in the morning, especially new recipes, chill interleaved with wax paper and then fry off as and when needed.
    Nearly everything can be reheated or cooked later except soufflés!

    JS was very amusing.

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