At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


As you doubtlessly are aware, today is World Penguin Day. It is also the yearly festival celebrating the end of Fascism in Italy: Liberation Day ("Festa della Liberazione", "Anniversario della Resistenza").

A perfect day, in other words, for herring.

Unfortunately Italians make a pigs breakfast out of herring. Well, actually, everybody does except for the Dutch and Belgians, and herring pasta is unusual in most of the world except Haiti, where it is a breakfast dish.

Eating Haitian-style may, by default, be the best way there is to celebrate the confluence of penguinicity and anti-fascism. Smoked herring, chopped fresh tomatoes, tomato paste, ketchup, garlic, shallots, epise(*), minced parsley, and a Scotch Bonnet chili. Soak the herring overnight to remove some of the salt, then fry the fish gently for a few minutes before adding everything else in stages. Simmer for five or ten minutes.
Mix with cooked spaghetti.

I've never had this dish, which is why I describe it instead of providing a recipe, and I lament the absence of smoked herring from my larder. Other things Haitians eat for breakfast are plantains (boiled, fried, or puddinged), cornmeal mush of some sort, bread, and fruit. And sometimes Sauce Poule (Poule en Sauce; chicken and gravy, with rice or spaghetti). It is probably all very healthy. I am not a breakfast person, and the idea of solid food in the first two or three hours of the day does not appeal. Coffee is enough.
But smoked herring spaghetti sounds like a good idea.

*EPISE: Haitian spice base for almost everything. A green compound that includes plenty of parsley plus onion, green bell pepper, fresh thyme, a whole bunch of cilantro, garlic, lime juice, vinegar, cloves or allspice, hot chilies, and salty substances, pounded or osterized till fairly smooth. It goes into rice, beans, meat or fish stews or soups, and is used in marinades. Often a bouillon cube is included.

Refrigerate or freeze the excess for the future.

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All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


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