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Saturday, January 2, 2016

Happy New Year!, 2015 Ends With a Large Sale, Wildings Are A Success, Recipes And Direction in January 2016

Happy New Year to all my readers! I am optimistic that 2016 will be an awesome year for humanity as each year keeps getting better and better. I say this in direct opposition to the constant doom and gloom that our culture has become so addicted to.

I ended 2015 after a month of apprehension with just over $1,800 in sales, selling one stamp for $315 USD at 5:02 pm on December 31!!. It just goes to show that anything can happen at any time. I was certain that my sales were over for the year even when I started working that morning. My notification of the sale came as I was enjoying a craft beer while cooking dinner, which brings me to the recipes that I want to share with you.

The first is a recipe from Mr. Gordon Ramesay for the most amazing pork chops I think I have ever had. The second is a fantastic recipe for red curry with chicken and pineapple, which comes from my one-pot cookbook. I have varied both slightly to omit ingredients that I think would be too difficult to find, or to omit steps that I think are not necessary.

Pork Chops With Onions and Peppers

To serve 4 you will need:

4 pork chops - can be any type. However cooking time will vary as described.
1 large red onion sliced into thin rings
2 red peppers, seeded and  thinly sliced
2 teaspoons dried thyme
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon white sugar
2 teaspoons salt and pepper mixture
4 cloves of garlic, skinned and crushed

Start by preparing the onions and peppers. Heat some oil in a skillet and saute the onions and peppers until soft (4-5 min). Make sure you hear sizzling. If you don't, remove the mixture and let the pan get hotter before adding it in. Add the sugar and salt and pepper at the start of the sauteeing. After the 4-5 min, add the vinegar and cook for another 2 min,or until the vinegar has evaporated. when this is done, take the mixture out of the pan and put it into a bowl for the flavours to infuse while you make the chops.

Take the pan without wiping it out (why would you want to waste all that flavour?) and add a small amount of oil over high heat. When the pan is hot, place the chops in the pan and sprinkle them with 1 teaspoon of the thyme. Add the garlic cloves to the pan in between the chops. Now cook them without moving them for 2 min if the chops are 1/2 inch thick and 3 min if they are 3/4 inch thick and 4 min if they are a full inch thick. After those times, turn them over, sprinkle with the other teaspoon of thyme and repeat the cooking times. In the last minute or so, melt 3 small chunks of butter and use the butter to baste the chops. You want to be really careful not to overcook the pork. As long as it has reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, it is safe to eat. It may still be light pink at this temperature! If you cook pork until it is white, it will usually be tough and overcooked I find. A meat thermometer can be used if you aren't sure.

Take the chops out, put them on a plate with all the pan juices, cover them with tin foil to prevent heat loss and let them rest for 5-10 min, depending on how long you cooked them - 5 min for the thinner chops and 10 min for the thicker chops. This will allow them to reabsorb the juices.

Then place some of the onion pepper mixture on a plate and place a chop on top. It is a fantastic looking mean and tastes just wonderful! The sweet and sour of the onions and peppers contrasts nicely with the flavour of the pork.

Chicken Curry With Pineapple

This will serve at least 4. You will need:

1 red pepper thinly sliced
1 chopped onion
2 garlic cloves finely minced
1 teaspoon minced ginger
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 can of coconut milk
1 can of red curry cooking sauce, or t tablespoons red curry paste and additional can of coconut milk
1/2 cup of cashews
2 tablespoons of pineapple juice
1 can of crushed pineapple
1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
4 boneless chicken breasts sliced into thin strips (across the grain)
10 cherry tomatoes cut in half.

Heat some oil in a pan over high heat and saute the onion and pepper with the cashews, paprika and turmeric until aromatic (about 2 min). Take off the heat and add the pineapple juice. mix well and place back on the heat and add the garlic and ginger and saute for another 2-3 min. Add the soy sauce and brown sugar and cook for another 2 min. Now add the curry paste (or curry sauce) and additional coconut milk and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and reduce the total volume by one-third.

Then add the chicken right to the sauce and simmer for about 15 min to cook the chicken. After this time, add the cherry tomatoes, crushed pineapple and cilantro. Check for taste and add a little salt and pepper to balance the flavours. Serve hot with your favourite rice. I like to serve it with coconut rice, which is simply Jasmine rice made with coconut milk instead of water.

Now that we are into a new year, apprehension is beginning to be replaced by excitement. Steph is joining me full time in less than 2 weeks and Fabio is joining me in a week on a part time basis. Rather than continue with Queen Elizabeth II Issues, I am going to go back to 1903 and resume listing the Edward VII issues of Canada through to the 1911-1928 Admiral Issue of Canada. I expect this to occupy all of January with the additional manpower that I will have. After this, I was thinking of tackling the next two Elizabethan Issues. Then I think it will be time to revive my Nigeria blog and start listing the Queen Victoria material from this fascinating British colony.


  1. I am not nearly as upbeat as you regarding prospects for 2016 but, to each his own.

    So what is the final tally on sales for the 1st 6 months?

    I assume that the expectation for 2016 has to be significantly higher with 2.5 people working at listings etc.

  2. Just over $15,300 - roughly 10% of the value of what I listed, which is right on target with my business plan projections. Actually, its about 4% higher than projected.

    Yes, my expectation is that sales will increase in proportion to what I have listed, so even though I'm having to pay for the labour upfront, I get the material up faster, which speeds cash flow so that I can start buying again. I just finished organizing all my pre 1953 material and there is a lot to list still.

    The collectors are out there - I've already obtained 180 new customers in the last 6 months. While only a handful are regulars, everyone has the potential to be a repeat customer. So, I think that is pretty good progress and it shows that they are hungry for good service.