Hi Folks, welcome to the last Monday Spark! of 2021. Although today is a pubic holiday in the UK, I got dragged back in to work to deal with a switch failure. Spent an unexpected day in the office and completely forgot about the Spark!
Better late than never, they say, so I’m hoping that it’s true.
Today in History: 27th December
1831 – Charles Darwin departs on HMS Beagle on the voyage that led to his theory of evolution
1845 – US Doctor Crawford Long uses Ether as a childbirth anaesthetic for the first time
1922 – Japanese ship “Hosho” commissioned as the worlds first purpose built aircraft carrier
1932 – Radio City Music Hall opens in New York city
2007 – Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto assassinated in Pakistan
1571 – Johannes Kepler, German mathematician and astronomer
1822 – Louis Pasteur, French biologist
1901 – Marlene Dietrich, German actress
1931 – Scotty Moore, US guitarist and songwriter (played with Elvis Presley)
1944 – Mick Jones, British guitarist (Foreigner)
1923 – Gustave Eifel, French architect and engineer
1981 – Hoagy Carmichael, US singer songwriter
1982 – Jack Swigert, US astronaut and politician (Apollo 13)
2012 – Norman Schwarzkopf Jr, US General, coalition commander in Gulf War 1991
2016 – Carrie Fisher, US Actress and author
Recipe of the day: Leftover Turkey and Ham Pie
This recipe from BBC Food is a pie to use up leftover Christmas Turkey (If it’s leftover from Thanksgiving, it’s probably not worth eating).
IngredientsFor the quick rough puff pastry
· 400g/14oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
· pinch of salt
· 65g/2¼oz chilled butter
· 160g/5¾oz frozen butterFor the filling
· 45g/1½oz butter
· 2 large leeks, washed and roughly sliced
· 1 orange, juice and finely grated zest only
· 50ml/2fl oz medium sherry
· 3 tbsp plain flour
· 500ml/18fl oz chicken stock (or 250ml/9fl oz leftover gravy and 250ml/9fl oz stock)
· 1 heaped tsp wholegrain mustard
· 600g/1lb 5oz leftover turkey meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
· 250g/9oz cooked ham, cut into bite-sized pieces
· 2 tbsp roughly chopped tarragon
· 200ml/7fl oz single cream
· 1 free-range egg, beaten for egg wash
· salt and white pepper
1. For the pastry, mix the flour and salt together in a bowl. Rub in the chilled butter using your fingertips. Gradually add enough cold water to form a dough (about 150-180ml/5-6fl oz).
2. Lightly dust the work surface with flour and roll the dough into a rectangle. Grate 60g/2¼oz of the frozen butter over the bottom two thirds of the dough. Fold down the top third and fold up the top third as if folding a letter. Turn by 90 degrees and roll out again. Repeat, adding the remaining frozen butter and fold as before. Rest in the fridge for 30 minutes before using.
3. For the filling, melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the leeks to the pan with the orange juice, zest and sherry. Cover and cook gently for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally until the leeks are just tender. Remove the lid and increase the heat, reduce the volume of liquid until you are left with a few spoonfuls of buttery liquid. Sprinkle the flour over the leeks and stir to mix evenly. Gradually stir in the stock and simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly. Add the mustard, turkey and ham and stir. Finally add the tarragon and cream. Season to taste with a little white pepper and salt.
4. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
5. Pour the pie filling and sauce into a 1.2-1.5 litre/2-2½ pint pie dish dish and allow to cool. If you have a pie funnel, put it in the middle of the filling.
6. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface to about 5mm thick. Cut a 2cm/¾in strip of pastry. Brush the rim of the pie dish with egg wash, then place the pastry strip onto the rim and brush it with more egg wash.
7. To make the pie lid, cut the remaining pastry a little larger than the dish and lift it into place (use the rolling pin to help you). Make a steam hole to expose the funnel (if using). Press the edges to seal then trim away any excess. Re-roll any trimmings and use them to make decorations. Brush the pastry with egg wash, arrange any decorations on top of the pie and brush these with egg too.
8. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the pastry is risen and golden-brown. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Quote of the Day:
"Fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can.”
– Sir Terry Pratchett
Comic of the Day:
Mouseover: “You can find a perfect correlation if you just control for the residual.”
Image Credit: https://xkcd.com/2547/
Explain XKCD: https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
Inspirobot Always Controversial, Occasionally Inspirational Quote of the Day:
Read The @repairatrooper’s dual Spark! from Friday here :