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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Day 2 of Large Queens and a Recipe for Chicken and Lentils

This is my second day listing Large Queens. Yesterday I managed to finally learn to distinguish the characteristics of the ten Duckworth paper types used for this issue, and to identify them on all my half-cent blacks (about 20 in all). Finally, I managed to revise all my existing lots to incorporate this information, repriced them and listed the new stamps. I had a better showing of the varieties than I thought I did, although I still do not have most of the plate varieties on that value. Sales yesterday were non-existent, which is not that unexpected given that people are at work and it is the beginning of the week.

So today's goal is to get through the next value, the one cent. This stamp came in two major colours: brown-red and yellow-orange. I have 15 stamps in total, so it shouldn't be too difficult. Only one of these is currently listed. I also have this groove going where I scan the next stamps that I am planning to work on while I am working on the current listings. This works well because the scanner takes a long time to render the images, and it is efficient to fill the time. I also draft my blog posts, while I am working on the stamps so that I don't have to go back over the information. With that in mind, I prepared a post on the various Duckworth paper types. It is about 25% done, and I can complete it as I work on the issue.

This morning I decided to make dinner early, since I am going out to meet a colleague that I have not seen in over 10 years. Maxime and I worked for Gary Lyon back in 2004. Maxime was his partner, and I his employee. After that ended we kind of lost touch, but we connected over Facebook a few months back. She works for Ron Brigham now, who is Canada's leading collector, who has managed to form the most complete collection of Canada ever formed. He decided to form his own auction house to sell it, and has been holding sales for the last two years. Anyway, we are meeting for dinner tonight after having not seen each other since 2004, which is kind of exciting. But I had been planning to make a lentil recipe and decided to go ahead with it anyhow so that Steph would have dinner ready when she gets home tonight.

I never gave lentils much thought. They were always an item in the supermarket that I never saw anyone buy unless they were hippies or dirt poor. However, I was at a cooking class two or three years ago when the instructor had us prepare lentils and they were delicious. The secret to them seems to be to cook them in a very flavourful liquid, or to add very strongly flavoured ingredients to them after they are cooked, as they are in themselves very bland. But they are a very absorbent legume and they provide a nice counterbalance to strong flavours such as chopped olives.

So this recipe calls for turkey drumsticks, though I substituted chicken legs as I couldn't find turkey at my local store. You will need:

3-4 chicken legs or turkey drumsticks
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1.5-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups of dry white wine
3 cups of coarsely chopped fresh spinach
1 medium leek, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1 celery stalk diced
1 cup chopped green stuffed olives cured in brine

Preheat the oven to 350F.

You take the chicken or turkey and lightly season with salt. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large ovenproof skillet. Brown the pountry on one side over medium-high heat for 10 min, and then turn it over and brown for another 5 min. When done, remove the poultry to a plate and spoon off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan. Then add the chopped onion and saute until tender, about 3 min. Then return the poultry to the pan and add the wine, 1/2 cup water and the chopped thyme. Bring to a boil and then take off the heat, cover, and place in the oven. If you are using turkey, it will take about an hour and a half, but if you use chicken, 45 min should be fine.

While you are waiting for the poultry to cook, you prepare the lentils. Take the diced vegetables, and saute them in 1 tablespoon of melted butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. The saucepan has to be able to accomodate at least 15 cups, preferably 20 (so a 5 quart saucepan or larger is good). You saute until the carrot, leek and celery are soft, which will be about 5 min. Then you add 3 cups of green or brown lentils and 10 cups of water. Bring to the boil over high heat and then redice the heat, partially covering the pot, and simmer for 30 min until the lentils are tender.

When the lentils are done, drain the liquid. Take the skillet out of the oven and remove the poultry to a platter which you keep warm. Over medim heat, bring the pan juice in the skillet to a simmer and add chopped olives, lemon juice and spinach. Cook until the spinach is just wilted, about 5-6 min. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The mixture should be very salty and have a kick. This is critical because it will be added to the cooked lentils. So if you can palatably eat the sauce on its own, it is probably not strong enough. In this case consider adding more olives, lemon juice or seasonings until it is good, but too strongly flavoured to eat on its own. Add the lentils and then spoon them out onto the plates and add either a chicken leg or turkey drumstick on top and enjoy.

If you are interested to see the half-cent Large Queen stamps that I listed yesterday, click on the follwing link:


  1. So cooking lentils is similar to cooking rice. Could you cook them like you would cook Arborio rice dishes?

  2. I guess so. I don't know how Arborio rice dishes are cooked, so I can't comment.