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Friday, July 31, 2015

Listing Large Queens Continues with the 5c and 6c, Another Amazing Chicken Recipe and Joe Pyne

Yesterday was a good day lotting. I managed to get through all the 3c stamps, and most of the 5c stamps. Along the way I made some pleasant suprise discoveries:two of the 5c cent stamps were the rare perf. 12.1 printing, rather than the more common perf. 11.75 x 12. It goes to show that you really cannot classify these stamps accurately unless you work on a large group of them at once, and can compare and contrast them.

Today, I hope to get through the rest of the 5c and all the 6c stamps. I have 9 more 5c stamps and 11 6c stamps, so 20 lots in all. To give you an idea of what these stamps look like, here are some pictures:

If you look at the 6c stamps, you will notice quite a difference between the colours: one is a lighter brown than the others and of the two dark browns, one is a duller brown than the other. This is a point of considerable interest with this issue: there are a number of differnt shade varieties for all the denominations of stamps issued, especially the 15 cent value, which was the only stamp in the set which continued to be used well into 1900, almost 30 years after the rest of the set had been discontinued.

Well its time to share another recipe that I made last night. This time it is sauteed chicken breasts with tomatoes, capers and basil, served with barbecued corn and lime-pepper butter. The chicken uses the same basic method that I outlined in my second post:

You take your chicken breasts, and lightly sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides. Then coat the breasts in flour. Then you heat 1.5 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat until the butter is both fragrant and a nut-brown colour, i.e just before it burns. Then add 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil. This is critical because doing so will prevent the butter from burning by raising the smoking point.

Then add the breasts to the pan tenderloin side down and cook for 4 minutes exactly. Time it if you have to, but don't go over that. Trust me, it will cook thoroughly by the time you are done. Make sure that the oil and butter does not burn. You may have to reduce the heat slightly. I use a gas stove, so my medium-high was about a 5 out of 7 and I turned it down to 4.

When the four minutes is up turn them over and cook for another 4 minutes. Remove them to a plate.

To make the sauce, you will need:

1/3 cup of minced shallots or green onions.
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
1/4 cup of sweet sherry
2 tablespoons of capers
2 cups of seeded and chopped tomatoes (that is about 5-6 tomatoes)
1 tablespoon of finely shredded fresh basil
salt, pepper and sugar to taste.

When you take the chicken breasts out of the pan, spoon off any excess fat, so that you have about 2 tablespoons left in the pan. Then add the shallots or green onion and cook for about a minute over medium heat until soft. Then add the sherry to deglaze the pan and get all the brown bits off the bottom with a wooden spoon. Boil this until almost all the alcohol is gone. Then add the tomatoes, the capers, the garlic and a pinch of salt, pepper and sugar. Cook until all the juice is out of the tomatoes and boil until the sauce is thick. Taste for salt, and sugar balance as you go. The sauce should not taste acidic, but should be a delicate balance of garlic, sweet tomato and salty caper. Spoon this over the chicken.

To make the corn, take unwrapped ears and place them directly on the barbecue on high heat. Roast until the outside of the ear chars lightly and turn and repeat, until the outside is lightly charred all around. Remove them to a plate and leave them wrapped for now while you make the butter sauce. Take about 1/4 cup of salted butter, and melt in a small dish (I do it in the microwave) and then add about 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and squeeze in two cut up limes. Then carefully unwrap the corn and place on the serving plates (it will be steaming hot) and brush the lime-pepper butter on the cobs.


Tonight's recipe is sauteed cucumbers with herbs and sauteed shrimp, and that will bring me to the end of four weeks of experimental menus. Steph and I will then take stock and decide what we liked most, and the best dishes will form the basis for another 2 weeks of meals, and then we will gradually rotate in new recipes to try some new things.

Yesterday, I shared some clips of the comedian Paul Lynde, who was big in the 1970's. Today, I shift gears and instead of a comedian, I give you Joe Pyne, who was a talk show host in the 1960's. He was a one legged war veteran who had his own show in the 1960's where he pulls no punches whatsoever.  He smoked constantly as did almost everybody in the 1960's and used to call his cigarettes "coffin nails". He was right as he died of lung cancer in 1970. People today who are used to seeing toned down language and political correctness would be shocked to watch the following clips:

Watching this, you get a real sense of that pride in the "American Dream" that people still had back then. He is incensed that someone could suggest that Americans should have limits placed on how much wealth they can have, and a million dollars was a fortune in the 1960's. 

In this clip he mocks a 1960's musician who is protesting the slaughter of animals for food - something that would be considered today to be a legitimate thing to protest. But back in the 1960's if you thought that killing animals for food was wrong, people would look at you as if you were from another planet. The studio audience's reaction to Pyne's antics lets you know that a lot of people agreed with him.

As a student of history, I find these clips fascinating. Not because I agree with Mr. Pyne. On the contrary, I think he was awful to his guests. But it is interesting to see just how much we have progressed as a society in terms of how accepting we are now of individual beliefs and differences. It can be easy to forget this, and the today's generation has nothing to compare their circumstances to, which is why viewing clips like this - a TV show from 1966 is so informative.

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