Sunday, December 15, 2013

Update from Newmachar, Scotland: Mince and Tatties

Reports of the existence of survivors (and surviving cities and towns) all over the world have finally begun to reach the United States. Although losses have been devastating throughout Europe; from all unconfirmed accounts, large remnants of survivors in ancient communities have weathered the worst of the outbreaks and are beginning to rebuild.

We have received word from survivor Mark Stalker, that the village of Newmachar in the north-east of Scotland, within Aberdeenshire local authority, has not only survived the outbreak; but managed to create a stronghold that is welcoming to strangers.

The Kingdom of Scotland became united in the 9th century; bringing an end to the long-held hostilities that had plagued them. The modern-day Scots; descendants of those having done battle with marauding Vikings and Anglo-Norman barons, were not to be crushed by any mere Zombie Outbreak. They regained control quickly and have been able to maintain a safe haven despite the continuing threat to the human race.

In honor of the fascinating history of the Scottish people (and the industrious village of Newmachar), we present Mince and Tatties. Mince and Tatties is a favorite dish in Scotland. Traditionally prepared with minced steak, you may substitute venison. If you don't have a hunter in your group, we've used TVP with excellent results. Likewise, fresh potatoes will be superior over canned; but you certainly won't be disappointed in the canned version either.

While simple to prepare, this dish is anything but plain. The comforting flavors and hearty texture will remind you that wherever you are; you have friends in Scotland and indeed, all over the world.

Make the effort to prepare this Scottish national favorite. Eat it with those you love and raise a glass to the future; to 2014 and remember that the best is yet to come.

Dico tibi verum libertas optima rerum nunquam servili sub nexu vivito fili.

Mince and Tatties

1 1/2 cups water
1 medium onion, very finely chopped or 2 Tbsp. Minced, Dried Onion
1 cup TVP
1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
1 tsp. Dried Thyme
1/2 tsp. Dried Rosemary
1 Tbsp. Dried Oregano
1 envelope Brown Gravy Mix
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
Kosher Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Combine the water and chopped onion (or minced dried onion) in heavy saucepan over high heat or very hot campfire coals. Bring to a boil and stir in the TVP all at once and mix well. 

Warm gently until TVP swells and softens, stirring frequently to avoid scorching. Allow to cook for 5 to 10 minutes until the TVP is the consistency of ground beef. The mixture will be very wet. Stir in the garlic, all of the spices, Brown Gravy mix and Worcestershire sauce. Stir well and continue to simmer until the mixture thickens. Taste for seasonings and add sea salt and pepper if desired.

Serve with "Tatties" (mashed potatoes), Glazed Carrots and "Buttered" Peas.

1 large can potatoes, drained well and patted dry
2 fresh Russet (or yellow) potatoes, peeled and boiled until tender
2 tsp Butter Flavored Sprinkles
2-4 Tbsp. Almond, Soy or Dairy Milk
Kosher Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste

In a small, heavy saucepan, combine potatoes, butter flavored sprinkles and soy, almond or dairy milk. Warm gently over medium heat or medium-hot coals and mash with a potato masher. Add more milk as needed until all lumps are gone and tatties are the desired texture. Taste for seasonings and add sea salt and pepper if desired.

Glazed Carrots:
1 can carrots, drained well and patted dry
1-2 Tbsp. Sugar or Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Butter-flavored sprinkles
1 Tbsp. Almond, Soy or Dairy Milk
Kosher Sea Salt to taste

In a small, heavy saucepan, combine carrots, sugar, butter flavored sprinkles and soy, almond or dairy milk. Warm gently over medium heat or medium-hot coals and stir until sugar is dissolved, adding more milk if needed. Taste for seasonings and add sea salt if desired.

"Buttered" Peas:
1 can Sweet Peas, drained well and patted dry
2 tsp. Butter-flavored sprinkles
2 tsp olive oil

In a small, heavy saucepan, combine peas, butter flavored sprinkles and oil. Warm gently over medium heat or medium-hot coals and stir until butter-flavored sprinkles are dissolved. Taste for seasonings and add sea salt if desired.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Update from the Field: Toll House Pie

Survivors in Georgia have at last confirmed the existence of a violent walled community in Coweta County. Although it appeared to have been a stable and fortified community at one time, the outer walls had been breached and the only buildings that remained standing had been burned by marauders.

Despite reports of a self-proclaimed "governor" in command of the community; no sign of any survivors, nor evidence of an "army" could be found.

As a reminder, all survivors in the United States should be aware that any locally formed militias are not acting on the authority of the Federal government or the President of the United States. 

Almost a year ago, a local group of Survivors in Charleston, South Carolina reached out to reveal their location to us. We confirmed recently that they are still alive and well and not only surviving…but thriving.

They kindly shared their recipe for Toll House pie; a classic Nestle recipe that appeared in the TV Guide. Although TV as we knew it may be no more; the sweet moments we each shared together while watching with those we loved won't ever end.

Share this pie with the ones you love and recall friends long past; moments good and bad; and always remember that the love you take is equal to the love you make.

SuperKerri…May your 2014 be as super as you are!

Toll House Pie

1/2 cup Flour
1 cup Brown Sugar, packed
1 cup Butter-flavored shortening
Powdered Eggs, reconstituted with water to equal 2 Fresh Eggs
6 ounces chocolate chips

1 1/3 cup plus 3 Tablespoons Flour
3 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Butter-flavored shortening, melted
6 Tbsp. Water

This recipe really must be made in a traditional oven or campfire style oven, as the filling has a tendency to be very moist and needs to be baked at a constant temperature. Preheat oven to 325° while preparing the crust and filling.

For the Crust:
In a glass or metal pie pan, combine the flour, sugar, melted shortening and water. Blend together with clean fingers until combined. Pat carefully into pie pan, forming into a crust. It will not be attractive but make the effort to pat as evenly as possible to ensure even baking.

Bake in preheated oven or campfire oven for 20 minutes. Let rest while you prepare the filling.

For the Filling:
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, shortening, powdered eggs. Stir well until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips until well blended. Pour filling into pre-baked crust and bake for 1 hour. 

Allow to cool for 15 minutes for easier cutting and serving. Wrap up the leftovers well in a sealed container or aluminum foil.