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  Issue #157

Adriaen van Utrecht's 1647 Still Life with still hare

Mike's Pith & Wind - Where from hare?
Stifado. That’s the way you spell it (in the non-cyrillic alphabet* anyway) and ‘stifado’ is the way you pronounce it, according to the trying-to-be-helpful Google YouTube pronunciation clip, but Maria says it should be actually pronounced ‘stifatho’. Maria’s made stifado for me in the past with lamb and Osso Bucco cuts, but on our latest trip to Canberra over another stonkering multi-coursed home-cooked meal, her father said that the next night he was going to make stifado the way they do it in Greece - with hare, in this case a wild hare shot somewhere in the hills around the nation’s capital.
I’ve never eaten hare, as far as I know anyway, so it seemed a bit of a challenge, especially after the rest of Maria’s family warned me that hare is pretty gamey and not to everybody’s liking.
The next evening arrived and Arthur even brought out his second-last 2006 bottle of Petaluma Cab/Merlot to mark the occasion, which of course made it even more incumbent on me to eat my portion of harey stifado with pronounced relish and maybe even be persuaded to go for seconds. I can tell you that, unlike its cousin Peter Rabbit, Mr Hare is quite rich and indeed a little gamey, but after a slow start I warmed to it and yes, even agreed to a second helping.
From the general level of satisfaction I suppose I passed the initiation. Syncharitíria!
Whenever asked what I consider to be the most valuable inventions or discoveries essential to modern civilisation I usually include things like..read more

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Dick's Toolbox - Final 2016
I have realised that the last time I wrote about wine was in March 2013 when I waxed lyrical about the usefulness of the sommelier, that suave and erudite gentleman who sells you wine that you have never heard of at a price greater than you can afford. He leaves you feeling grateful that your horizons have been widened but somehow slightly humiliated at the same time, because (if you are a man) you don’t know everything that could ever be know about everything. In this they may have something in common with business consultants - that group of modern day pirates who borrow your watch to tell you the time and then sell it back to you.
At the time I wrote that, even having consumed a large number of wines in my life, something in the way that I drank seemed to destroy the ability to remember, with any exactitude or detail, the taste or name of what I had consumed. Perhaps it’s not the style but the quantity. I have vague memories of some sort of vinous taste, but I generally have a better recollection of the label. read more

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