Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Fridge pie, hibernation, and buying nothing

Based on the meat version (mixi-beast pie) as invented in Londonia

Mark, inspired (or rather, anxious about wastage) by the trailing fridge remains created this wonderful pie. Sadly I forgot to take a before picture - old chunks of cabbage, parsnip, beetroot, pumpkin, radish, bits of neglected cheese, half tin of tomato paste and half a pack of tofu all chopped, mixed, cooked up with garlic and stuffed within and under his increasingly excellent pastry. It was delicious and there's enough for today - another grey and very cold day where pie is as important as keeping the fire in and knowing where one left the hot water bottles as night encroaches. 

I read somewhere recently that fossil experts have discovered evidence to suggest that people did in fact hibernate in certain frigid regions of the world, laying down body fat and lowering their metabolic rate. We're almost there as a species! Massive Christmas lunch, preferably a whole goose each, much pudding, custard, chocolates, etc, a few hours of gazing glassily at the TV and then bedding down in the cellar/shed amongst a ton of unwanted Christmas jumpers, festive tea towels and bubble wrap. Job done. Wake up blinking into the April sunshine with lots of loose skin and beyond lockdown-hair, ready to take on the no heating required portions of the year. 

My New Year's resolutions are holding up well so far (see last post) - only a bit of swearing yesterday, not much, and I'm adding a new one. Buy nothing - well, obviously not vital stuff like basic foodstuffs, but things that could be avoided. This was inspired by looking through my grandma's old housework/cookery ideas book. We forget that people used to make everything; no nipping to the supermarket to buy furniture polish, jam, socks, cup hooks, loo rolls, pillowcases or any of the million other things we seem to require. I was going to buy a mattress protector and above mentioned pillowcases today but we have ancient old linen sheets upstairs rescued from Vide Greniers (boot sales) sturdy and thick; one of those will protect a mattress from anything, and pillowcases . . . well, maybe matching linen is truly a thing of the past. 

Buy nothing, or at least buy it from charity shops/online second hand sites. Our fabulous old double lined curtains I got from Le Bon Coin are waiting to exclude drafts in the hallway, the pole, found at Emmaus,  ready to be put up, just need the rings which I hope I'll find at another charitable outfit near us called Aspire. At one time, especially in my styling days, odd curtain rings would have been unthinkable, now, if they hold up the curtains, fine.

Buy nothing was also inspired by the thought of the twenty euros I might earn doing an 'Upwork' writing article being spent on something that would give a five minute satisfaction and then a lasting regret at no longer having the twenty euros. The exception to no buy, certainly at this (Covid) time, to my mind is nourishing food; nothing fancy, just the good stuff. The stuff, if our governments had any long term ideas would be giving out to all families along with instructions on how to cook basic immune system-boosting food. I was talking to one of our local veg growers who does the nearby town market and he said people increasingly have little idea of what even the most ordinary vegetables look like - carry on through another generation and tomatoes, potatoes and broccoli will be mysterious raw things that transform through the cooking process - I recall early evidence of this ten years ago or so when dear Mr Oliver was doing his school dinner programs. 'What, chips come from that thing . . .'

Anyway, I ramble. Here's a little tour of my grandmother's recipe and household tips book, the fridge pie and Londonia's glossary containing the mixibeast pie.

Fridge pie with hopeful dog in background

The book

great headline from the Mirror! and advice on picking jam fruit in yr best 20s clothing...

camouflage pudding featuring soaked crusts, and Brown Curry

how to make ointment for chapped hands, without a trip to Tesco's

carefully guarded useful tips


Some words and terms for readers who might pick this book up in another time (or not Londonians)

A plus—see you later (French)
Abt—shortened from à bientôt (French)
Allez—let’s go (French)
Alors—so/right (French)
Babriana—mess (Polish)
Baden-poked—rape, (Londonian origin) 

Bedswerver—from Shakespeare, meaning unfaithful 

Branz—more value than silvers
Ça va?—is it going/you okay? / Ça va—it’s okay/I’m okay (French)

Chaudy—warm and cosy (French-ish, from chaude) 

Clashers—Londonia’s most feared gang Clockface—minute/hour
Coaka—brown drink of varying contents
Cycle—element of time, approximate to the old hour/year depending on the situation 

D’accord/D’ac—Okay/all right (French) 

Darking—anytime during and after dusk 

Death-cart—Large wooden horse or man-pulled cart (depending on collection) for bodies 

Dechet—(to take a) crap/poo 

Felty—cloak-like recycled woollen garment

Foiteling/Foitling—general Londonian swearword, origins not known

Fragter—one who creeps up on persons 

Freeforall—occasional and spontaneous giving away-events held by benevolent, richer members of Londonian society.

Froidly—cold (from Froid—French)

Genial—brilliant, wonderful, great, nice (French) 

Glorypye—fruit tart of anything available
Glorys—coins with an element of gold
Gosses—kids (French)
Great-hound—mixture breed (possibly London zoo input) but BIG with overriding greyhound genes 

Hepping-forrist—large area of woodland known for supplies of brilloak (best firewood) 

Homono—homosexual (also, gay-way/gayster) 

Hooch-stick—tobacco mixed with any sort of found drug 


Jubberknowls—oldy English for bastards, twats, idiots, etc...

Knapper—generic term for garment made of boiled down wool

L’enfer—Hell (French)
Mec/Gar—man, guy, bloke (French)
Merda—shit (Italian)
Mirror-Dame—Fortune teller 

Mixibeast—rabbit/squirrel/hedgehog pie with potato crumble top

Mutapigeon—result of the common pigeon feeding on streetpeeza for cycles

Nippering—to be pregnant (to be in nippering) 

Nosudor—no sweat
Orjordui/t-dui—today (French-ish)
Parler—to talk (French)

Pepedi—Italian-ish swear word

Psubraty—bastard (Polish)
Putainfuker—‘coagulation’ of French and English 

Rammaas—collect/pick up (French-ish)
Recule—to go back from something (French) but mainly used as ‘withdrawing’ in a male sexual context 

Saaffend—island off the south coast

Salut—Hi there/hello/bye (French) Sevday—week

Shouting-house—auction rooms
Silvers—ancient money system useful for very small trades: drinks, etc

Snash—rare and sought-after oblivion drug concocted from marsh weed and absinthe 


Streepeeza—dubious peddled food, often circular breads containing food and non-food 

Swagger—someone who combs the Thames mud for objects to trade

Toot-sweet—straight away (French-ish)
Troove—find (French-ish)
Truc—thing (French)
Tue—kill (French)
Tuffard—tough and hard
Va—go (from French)
Vrai—true (French) 


Zaraz—soon (Polish)
Zeitporn—any type of pornographic written/illustrated material causing more than a sharp intake of breath

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