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BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs

SPB-Cooperator 27 Oct 18 - 10:34 AM
Gallus Moll 27 Oct 18 - 10:49 AM
Little Hawk 27 Oct 18 - 10:54 AM
Doug Chadwick 27 Oct 18 - 11:24 AM
Jos 27 Oct 18 - 11:49 AM
Stilly River Sage 27 Oct 18 - 11:59 AM
David Carter (UK) 27 Oct 18 - 12:31 PM
Senoufou 27 Oct 18 - 12:54 PM
Newport Boy 27 Oct 18 - 01:49 PM
SPB-Cooperator 27 Oct 18 - 03:44 PM
Senoufou 27 Oct 18 - 03:50 PM
Tattie Bogle 28 Oct 18 - 06:44 PM
KarenH 28 Oct 18 - 07:29 PM
Steve Shaw 28 Oct 18 - 07:33 PM
Little Hawk 28 Oct 18 - 08:23 PM
Steve Shaw 28 Oct 18 - 08:38 PM
Joe Offer 29 Oct 18 - 02:39 AM
Gallus Moll 29 Oct 18 - 04:55 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Oct 18 - 05:01 AM
Senoufou 29 Oct 18 - 06:34 AM
Jos 29 Oct 18 - 08:00 AM
Donuel 29 Oct 18 - 08:31 AM
Senoufou 29 Oct 18 - 09:06 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Oct 18 - 10:58 AM
Senoufou 29 Oct 18 - 11:46 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Oct 18 - 12:02 PM
Bonzo3legs 29 Oct 18 - 12:09 PM
Senoufou 29 Oct 18 - 12:10 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 Oct 18 - 12:27 PM
Jos 29 Oct 18 - 12:29 PM
Jon Freeman 29 Oct 18 - 12:35 PM
Steve Shaw 29 Oct 18 - 12:44 PM
Senoufou 29 Oct 18 - 01:10 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 Oct 18 - 01:13 PM
keberoxu 29 Oct 18 - 01:19 PM
Senoufou 29 Oct 18 - 02:23 PM
Jos 29 Oct 18 - 03:57 PM
BobL 30 Oct 18 - 03:03 AM
Senoufou 30 Oct 18 - 03:42 AM
Big Al Whittle 30 Oct 18 - 05:29 AM
Steve Shaw 30 Oct 18 - 05:48 AM
Senoufou 30 Oct 18 - 08:18 AM
Senoufou 30 Oct 18 - 08:22 AM
Jon Freeman 30 Oct 18 - 08:33 AM
SPB-Cooperator 30 Oct 18 - 08:41 AM
Tattie Bogle 01 Nov 18 - 11:25 AM
Senoufou 01 Nov 18 - 11:37 AM
JHW 01 Nov 18 - 11:47 AM
MikeL2 02 Nov 18 - 02:43 PM
Senoufou 02 Nov 18 - 03:04 PM
Gallus Moll 02 Nov 18 - 04:34 PM
Steve Shaw 02 Nov 18 - 05:21 PM
Jos 02 Nov 18 - 06:08 PM
leeneia 03 Nov 18 - 11:51 AM
Senoufou 03 Nov 18 - 12:31 PM
Tattie Bogle 03 Nov 18 - 01:43 PM
Steve Shaw 03 Nov 18 - 03:06 PM
Mo the caller 04 Nov 18 - 07:38 AM
Jon Freeman 04 Nov 18 - 08:30 AM
Steve Shaw 04 Nov 18 - 01:37 PM
Big Al Whittle 04 Nov 18 - 01:46 PM
Senoufou 04 Nov 18 - 02:16 PM
Steve Shaw 04 Nov 18 - 03:22 PM
Senoufou 04 Nov 18 - 04:16 PM
Mo the caller 06 Nov 18 - 05:52 AM
Gallus Moll 06 Nov 18 - 06:22 AM
Senoufou 06 Nov 18 - 08:34 AM
Jos 06 Nov 18 - 09:12 AM
JHW 06 Nov 18 - 01:57 PM
Jon Freeman 06 Nov 18 - 02:08 PM
Senoufou 06 Nov 18 - 02:18 PM
Jon Freeman 06 Nov 18 - 02:27 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Nov 18 - 02:35 PM
Senoufou 06 Nov 18 - 02:42 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Nov 18 - 02:46 PM
Senoufou 06 Nov 18 - 02:53 PM
Jon Freeman 06 Nov 18 - 03:16 PM
Senoufou 06 Nov 18 - 03:27 PM
The Sandman 06 Nov 18 - 03:31 PM

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Subject: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 27 Oct 18 - 10:34 AM

My better half and I were going home the pretty way after a short break in in Warwickshire with a view to stopping late afternoon at a pub for jacket potatoes.

However this, which used to be a staple of the pub menu was not available at the more than a dozen pubs we stopped at.

Has anyone else noticed this appalling sign of the times where cheap nosh has been displaced by expensive gourmet cuisine, and is anyone else aware of pockets where this human need is still catered for.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 27 Oct 18 - 10:49 AM

microwaved jacket potatoes are not to my taste at all!
I like them to be smaller in size than the norm, scrubbed then dried, and rolled in oil seasoned with a little salt and a lot of ground black pepper.
Baked in a hot oven till outsides are crispy verging on burnt (but not quite!)
Split open and a daud of butter - with freshly pressed garlic, plus a little more seasoning esp black pepper through it - dropped into the gap.
Totally wonderful!! Possibly enhanced by a quantity of newly grated strong cheddar ....specially if you use it to fill the 'empty' crunchy skins to finish off the repast mmmmmmmm,,,,


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Oct 18 - 10:54 AM

WHAT??? No jacket potatoes? I am shocked! And appalled! When Olive Whatnoll finds about about this she is going to be very upset. What is the world coming to????? Let England BE England, I say!


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 27 Oct 18 - 11:24 AM

I much prefer baked potatoes cooked in the microwave to those done in a conventional oven where the skin has been turned to leather and is completely inedible.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Jos
Date: 27 Oct 18 - 11:49 AM

I start mine off in the microwave and then finish them off in the oven. Much quicker, and the skin is crisp but not leathery, so best of both worlds (though I haven't looked for one in a pub for ages so I don't know if they are available round here).


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Oct 18 - 11:59 AM

You have to bake them right - pierce the skin in a few places then run a skewer through the potato to help the inside bake quicker. 400o F for an hour will usually do it for a medium large Russet potato. The perfect potato jacket comes away easily, then you can butter and salt and pepper it and eat it separately from the fluffy rest of the baked potato. Or, do as some do and dice the whole thing up, jacket and all and get that nice nutty flavor of the baked skin in with the rest of the potato.

I don't eat many Russets now because McDonald's has had such influence on how the potatoes are farmed because they like those large, long potatoes for slicing into long French fries; there are toxic chemicals involved for insect control and the potatoes have to air in the field for a few days before the farmers will go near them, then rest in a warehouse for a few weeks until the rest of the toxin dissipates. I heard this on a public radio news program some months ago and have been meaning to do some research, see if they're all grown that way or just the ones for McDonalds.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 27 Oct 18 - 12:31 PM

Jacket potatoes are staple fare in kitchens and cafes operated by churches and cathedrals. Quite often you can't get a pint of beer with them there though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Senoufou
Date: 27 Oct 18 - 12:54 PM

Very very sad. Nothing like a baked spud, cooked exactly as Gallus Moll describes.

By the way Gallus, I was so happy to see your word 'daud'. Reminded me of my many years in Scotland. It's actually a Norwegian word, evolved from Old Norse. My old father (originally from Sutherland) always maintained he was from Norwegian stock.(a product of Viking marauders!)

I hate microwaved 'baked' potatoes.

As a child in the fifties we'd roam far and wide in the woods & fields beyond our W London suburb, carrying a large spud in our pockets. Someone always lit a small bonfire (usually one of the boys) and we baked our spuds in the hot embers. Completely delicious, even if a bit charred.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Newport Boy
Date: 27 Oct 18 - 01:49 PM

SPB - You need to move! We walk and cycle from South Glos and use about 30 pubs in a 30-mile radius. Almost all of them do jacket potatoes with various fillings - a popular lunch for our groups.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 27 Oct 18 - 03:44 PM

A footnote to my original post, I ought to make it clear that we onl;y stopped to asked if we could partake in our desired fare, - then after our disappointment, tried the next pjub en route - we did not stop for a drink..... Just need to make that clear in case anyone think we drank at more than a dozen pubs on our drive home.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Senoufou
Date: 27 Oct 18 - 03:50 PM

Phew SPB, that would have been some pub crawl!


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 28 Oct 18 - 06:44 PM

Have to say the last one I had "not in own home" was a big disappointment, probably been microwaved en masse with others earlier in the day then re-heated: mushy and horrible.
Agree with Gallus Moll and Jos: good scrub, a few piercings, 5 minutes in the microwave followed by 45 mins in the oven. Favourite filler, apart from cheese and butter is a mix of prawns and salmon trimmings in seafood sauce. Yum!


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: KarenH
Date: 28 Oct 18 - 07:29 PM

Demise of the pub, more like.

In "th'owd dees", you played darts, cribbage and skittles in the pub. I was reminded of this when they had an old skittles board on one of those daytime antiques shows, and the expert did not know you have to swing the ball round the outside and let it come back to hit the skittles from the back, not go at them from the front like he did.

The pool table was the start of the rot. Then space invader tables, then TVs.

Food was got from the chippy or the pie shop after, not from the pub.

You can now buy 'new' skittles sets but they seem to lack the studs on the table with dents in the skittles to fit over them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Oct 18 - 07:33 PM

Several things. First, no potato should ever go anywhere near a microwave in any guise. Second, no oil of any description should ever be applied to a potato about to be baked. Give the spud a good scrub and excise any bad bits. When almost dry, smother the skin with salt (no pepper - ugh), letting the excess drop off. Preheat the oven to about 200C (400F). Prick each spud several times with something pointy. If you don't, the spud may explode in your oven. Place the spuds on the oven shelf. Don't put them on a tray. SRS's notion of skewering the spuds to get them cooking faster is something I've tried, but I've never observed any advantage.

Finally, you don't get a decent jacket spud if you start with a bad spud. If you start with an organic potato you'll almost certainly get a good result. Most inorganic spuds are useless owing to their high water/low dry matter. Your baked spud will be mushy and soft, not at all whst you want to achieve. My favourite variety is Nicola, though Charlotte also gives good results.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Oct 18 - 08:23 PM

Can you get them in plaid jackets?


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Oct 18 - 08:38 PM

I forgot to say that an hour in the oven is about right.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Oct 18 - 02:39 AM

Damn, I'm hungry after reading this thread....


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 29 Oct 18 - 04:55 AM

Senofou, i think my method of indoor cooking of baked potatoes is an attempt to recapture exactly what you described ...baking them in the ashes of a bonfire, carrying a twist if paper with a little salt to season..and crunching the ash/ embers on the skin! In later years some people would wrap their totties in silver foil to bake in bonfire.. not the same at all!


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Oct 18 - 05:01 AM

Bonfire embers are likely to contain bits of burnt plastic and paint and several other man-made undesirables. Doing spuds that way is a romantic notion that should stay romantic unless the bonfire is wholly your doing and you know exactly what's gone into it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Senoufou
Date: 29 Oct 18 - 06:34 AM

We had no plastic in the fifties and no tin foil either. The boys in our 'gang' used old fallen branches and twigs to make the fire.

We girls did the baking and serving (on a leaf!) No Women's Lib in those days.

Sometimes someone had a glass bottle of Tizer,but mostly we drank water from the stream, which we regularly dammed for a bit of a swim/paddle.

The naughty boys loved to horrify us by weeing on the fire to put it out afterwards.

You're right though Steve. I read recently that we all now have bits of plastic in our bodies, ingested in various ways. Not a nice thought.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Jos
Date: 29 Oct 18 - 08:00 AM

No restrictions on girls making bonfires with fallen branches and twigs when I was a child, and no likelihood of burnt plastic, though sometimes we would melt bits of lead in a small saucepan and pour it into a mould made of sand. I doubt this got anywhere near the potatoes in the embers, though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Donuel
Date: 29 Oct 18 - 08:31 AM

Its very very sad the apalling demise of microwaved potato snacks is the most urgent pressing issue in the world today. But some lives go on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Senoufou
Date: 29 Oct 18 - 09:06 AM

You're right, 'First World problem' Donuel.

We went off into the woods and fields with this gang of children every day in the school holidays (and sometimes at weekends as well). It consisted of me, Susan, Julie and various other little girls, all about seven years old. And Susan's big brother Richard (who I thought was absolutely wonderful) and many of his friends, all about twelve years old.

The boys only tolerated us if we deferred to them and offered a few sweets (black Jacks, Trebor mints or some fruit gums etc) as a bribe.

I sometimes nicked a carrot or two from mother's vegetable rack, to offer to any horses in the fields. And always a large spud (King Edward variety) for baking.
Fires were always the lads' department. They also made bows-and-arrows from branches and bits of string, and chucked 'spears' at each other.

We girls made daisy chains and weedy stuff like that.
But I did try to ride the aforesaid horses bareback. And even the odd cow or pig. I wasn't a complete wet drip!


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Oct 18 - 10:58 AM

There was old painted wood in the fifties, and old paint contained lead. No thanks!


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Senoufou
Date: 29 Oct 18 - 11:46 AM

The tree branches hadn't been painted Steve.

But didn't 'brilliant white' paint contain lead? It was much whiter than today's white paint, which goes yellowish after a time.
Still, I too don't want lead in my environment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Oct 18 - 12:02 PM

Well I DID sort of say it's OK if it's your bonfire and you know what went into it! When I were a lad, bonfire night bonfires usually had old doors, bed frames, mattresses and various rubbery bits of stuff. My mum had the chippie round the corner and I much preferred the mugs of vinegary black peas she donated to the gathering to the flinty, burnt spuds, still raw in the middle, that came out of the embers. Still, whatever lights yer fire!


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 29 Oct 18 - 12:09 PM

"The naughty boys loved to horrify us by weeing on the fire to put it out afterwards."

I can remember after a Saturday night pub crawl, about 10 of us weeing into a container and then pouring the contents into the radiator of a souped up Ford Popular which had boiled up on the A1 near Hatfield when it was still single carriageway!! I think about 6 of that crowd had squashed into a Vauxhall something or other - it had a bench seat in the front - very useful in the back lanes of Potters Bar!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Senoufou
Date: 29 Oct 18 - 12:10 PM

Oooooh I'm so jealous! I wish my mum had had a chippie!

We (mum and I) always baked lots of mince pies for Bonfire Night, and served them piping hot from the oven wrapped in a couple of tea towels to take down the road to the family who always held the fireworks-and-bonfire on November 5th. (It was Susan's and Richard's house)
We took a small five shilling box of fireworks (just over 60p!) as did everyone else.
No baked spuds though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Oct 18 - 12:27 PM

What is a "chippie?" It's not polite, old slang here in the U.S.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Jos
Date: 29 Oct 18 - 12:29 PM

Five shillings became 25 pence - 60 pence would have been 12 shillings.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 29 Oct 18 - 12:35 PM

In this context, a Fish and Chip shop, srs. Only other meaning I can think of off hand is a carpenter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Oct 18 - 12:44 PM

Fish and chip shop!

"But I did try to ride the aforesaid horses bareback."

Gosh, hope your back didn't get sunburned!


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Senoufou
Date: 29 Oct 18 - 01:10 PM

Oh yes Jos, sorry, 25p is correct.
And Steve you really are a one! :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Oct 18 - 01:13 PM

It's an old term denoting prostitution in the U.S.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: keberoxu
Date: 29 Oct 18 - 01:19 PM

Where I was raised, near Lake Erie,
we didn't say "jackets".

We said "skins" or "coats."

Thoroughly content with baking potatoes in the oven,
greasing the skins well on the outside
so that they would be nice and soft to chew on
with more than enough butter and salt
after the potato innards had been hollowed out.

I know how Joe Offer felt, in the earlier post.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Senoufou
Date: 29 Oct 18 - 02:23 PM

Ah keberoxu, I've actually swum in Lake Erie. And in every one of the Great Lakes. (about fifty years ago though)


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Jos
Date: 29 Oct 18 - 03:57 PM

We just called them 'baked potatoes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: BobL
Date: 30 Oct 18 - 03:03 AM

I have the advantage of a combi oven - fan oven, grill and microwave, with various combined modes of operation. Maximum temperature, 250deg C, for 10-15 minutes to do the skin, plus microwave power setting to cook the inside over the same time, should be about right. Will experiment and report back.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Senoufou
Date: 30 Oct 18 - 03:42 AM

That sounds like a good all-round solution Bob.

In our last house we had an open log fire. We 'did' jacket potatoes, chestnuts, marshmallows, toast and...CRUMPETS!!! :)

I bought a lovely set of brass fire irons in a jumble sale, and the toasting fork was used almost every evening, as was a flat copper dish with a hinged lid (a bit like a miniature warming pan) in which went the chestnuts.

The spuds were wrapped in tinfoil, and put in the ashes below the grate, then exposed for the last fifteen minutes or so to crisp up the jackets.

One had to manoeuvre around five rather cross cats who were always stretched out on the rug before the fire. I'll swear they actually tutted when they saw me coming.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Oct 18 - 05:29 AM

What really pisses me off is when you're shopping as Sainsbury's, you decide to use the cafe.

They say, 'Sorry we've ron out of baking potatoes'

You say, 'you've got a shop full of them'

THey say, 'We can't use THEM.....'

WEird!


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Oct 18 - 05:48 AM

I can beat that. A few years ago we went to M&S caff in Bolton for a cup of tea. No chance. They'd run out of milk. But, I protested uselessly, the food dept. is next to the caff...


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Senoufou
Date: 30 Oct 18 - 08:18 AM

Ha, there's a café in Morrisons in Norwich which has a lady 'barista' (?). Their coffee walnut cake is to die for. But sometimes they haven't got any. I politely point out that it's for sale on their shelves.

The lady is very nice and knows us now. The last time this happened, she said, "Just go and buy one, and I'll cut a slice off and put it on a plate for you. You can take the rest home."

The poor lass was trying to serve customers, clear tables and wash up some cups in a bowl all at the same time. I was tempted to offer to help her by wielding a tea towel, but no doubt that's not allowed!


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Senoufou
Date: 30 Oct 18 - 08:22 AM

It's the same café where my husband asks for "Yorkshire tea bread please, ee by gum!" This joke is wearing very thin now, but he won't stop. Fortunately the lady always laughs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 30 Oct 18 - 08:33 AM

We had a combi oven. It seemed a good idea at the time but we found that we only used the microwave part and replaced it with a (cheaper) microwave when it broke down. I do like the idea of the "all in one, microwave/baked" potato but we never got that far with ours.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 30 Oct 18 - 08:41 AM

I remember my first backed potato in its jacket - as it was called then - my mother took me to the Ideal Home Exhibition when I was 11. They were being sold on the Potato Marketing Board stall - nothing fancy - just with a knob of butter. The pleasure of stopping during a long car journey for a jacket potato with cheese - nothing fancy, just a nourishing bit of nosh and a half-hour or so break, accompanied my a half-pint of foaming ale or a refreshing glass of shandy is harder to find, and often seems to be priced the same as more substantial meals (in pubs).

Also, with reference to breaks - is it my imagination or is it increasingly difficult to find somewhere to stop for a loo break unless I drive on motorways?


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 01 Nov 18 - 11:25 AM

Agreed that potatoes baked solely in the microwave are soggy lumps of nothingness, and don't have a nice crisp skin, but the 5 minute starter in the m'wave does cut down the overall cooking time, and you still get a scrumptious skin by finishing in a conventional oven.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Senoufou
Date: 01 Nov 18 - 11:37 AM

Just this morning we were in Tesco, and bought some spuds.

I was surprised and pleased to see the words 'Jacket Potatoes' actually printed on the sign above the loose spuds. Usually it says 'Baking Potatoes'.

This might be because of Halloween and Guy Fawkes, as 'Jacket' is more traditional.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: JHW
Date: 01 Nov 18 - 11:47 AM

Well agreeing with some I don't mind if 'jacket' potatoes disappear. Jacket was ever an admission that your spud wasn't baked and yes a real baked spud has an almost inedible shell but so tasty it is well worth the hard work. A cafe in Richmond (N.Yorks) used to do a cheese and leek version like eating a pair of slippers full of cheese, leek and mashed buttery spud. Crispy, crunchy, fiercely tough and so tasty.
(Can't do them at home, fan oven isn't hot enough.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: MikeL2
Date: 02 Nov 18 - 02:43 PM

Hi Sen.

We got some potatoes labled " Jacket Potatoes"

Just had a couple with our dinner and cooked in the oven they were very good.

Back to the thread last week was my 83rd birthday and one of my grandsons invited us out for lunch.   He took us to a local pub that has just been Re-opened after some refurbishment.
On the menu was a list of jacket potatoes. The new owners are from Liverpool and the potatoes were all named after Liverpool footballers eg Steven Gerard etc etc. All had different fillings. But you could ask for fillings that you prefer if you wanted.

Steve Shaw would have loved it.

Cheers

Mike


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Senoufou
Date: 02 Nov 18 - 03:04 PM

Many happy returns for your birthday Mike!

Steve would indeed have loved that! He'd have ordered one of each I expect.

I have to say, I'm never interested in 'fillings' for jacket potatoes.
The only thing I'll ever put on one is an enormous knob of butter!

When we visit 'SpudULike' in the Chapelfield shopping mall in Norwich, I always ask for four butter pats. I mash the potato up with all this butter and it's gorgeous.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 02 Nov 18 - 04:34 PM

For me it has to be garlic butter (made by me) plus ground black pepper!


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Nov 18 - 05:21 PM

Ah, the well-buttered jacket spud can be a thing of beauty. Choose your spud carefully. An organic Nicola is my go-to (I grow 'em). It goes beautifully with some home-grown salad and some cold meat left over from the Sunday roast. Some shop spuds go horribly watery. Know your spud.

For two people. Take four/five/six spuds (depending on size). Scrub well and smother with salt (NO BLOODY OIL!). Bake in oven, 200C/400F, for one hour. In the meantime, grate 200g of the strongest cheddar and fry 150g of chopped-up pancetta or streaky bacon until almost crisp. Smoked or not, it's up to you.

When the spuds have cooled enough to pick up, cut a sliver off the top of each one (the long side). Scoop out the flesh into a bowl, being careful not to break the skin. Mix the warm flesh with the bacon and cheese. Maybe some salt (easy, tiger) and definitely some freshly-ground black pepper. Stuff the mix back into the skins. Place on a tray and heat in a hot oven for 20 minutes.

By far the finest accompaniment to these stuffed spuds is tinned baked beans. I'm not kidding.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Jos
Date: 02 Nov 18 - 06:08 PM

I thought they were only jacket potatoes once they were cooked. Before that, they are just big potatoes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: leeneia
Date: 03 Nov 18 - 11:51 AM

Scrub. Oil. Bake at 400 for one hour, till tender in the middle when poked.
Let cool till safe to handle.
Slit open
Butter
Commercial sour cream
fresh-cracked pepper

Yum!

(The butter and sour cream supply salt.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Senoufou
Date: 03 Nov 18 - 12:31 PM

I think the name 'Jacket Potatoes' above the spuds in Tesco refers only to their size. Jos is right in that they're just 'potatoes' until one does something with them.

They do seem to be all the same size and shape.

Bags of 'any old spuds' have little ones, wonky ones and damaged ones.
They're very cheap, but we don't bother with those.

We used to grow all our own spuds in the last house (huge garden, we were younger and had more energy!) I did Earlies, Middles and Lates.
There's something very satisfying in forking up a potato plot and unearthing quantities of lovely home-grown spuds. Sigh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 03 Nov 18 - 01:43 PM

In the oven right now: guess what's for supper tonight?


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Nov 18 - 03:06 PM

No oil!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Mo the caller
Date: 04 Nov 18 - 07:38 AM

With grated cheese and sweetcorn


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 04 Nov 18 - 08:30 AM

Sen, possibly Tesco's are also selecting varieties that they think are good bakers under that label?

I'm not at all up on this (and I'm guessing it disagrees with Steve Shaw's personal favourite) but people may prefer a potoato with a floury texture. Off the top of my head, I'll suggest Maris Piper for a baker.

Where I certainly do agree though is that potatoes differ and some are better for some uses than others. Charlotte is the only one we usually grow a small sample of each year. To me that's a great boiler, excellent with a salad or a hot meal.

One of the worst seems to me to be when you get a bag of spuds with the intention of making mash and find what you've got just boils into the water.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Nov 18 - 01:37 PM

Spuds that do that make bad jackets too. Sloppy watery things. Kind Edwards are usual culprits. A big Charlotte bakes very nicely. Some spuds sold in shops are incredibly watery these days, a reflection on how they're grown. You're paying good money for water. Caveat emptor!


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 04 Nov 18 - 01:46 PM

Its odd how some people don't eat the jackets. I think they're the best bit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Senoufou
Date: 04 Nov 18 - 02:16 PM

Yes, I have to admit the different varieties do have differing qualities for cooking.
We grew Maris Piper too, but found Desirée to be the best all-rounder for our type of soil (very light and well-drained) and rainfall (usually sparse!)

Husband has just cooked a delicious-smelling snack for us both to eat in front of the TV. He's used his rice cooker, and above the rice has steamed potato wedges and lumps of some weirdly-shaped thing called a squash (!), drained them and added butter (of course) and salt-and-pepper.

I've just been served with a bowl of this, a fork and a paper napkin.
His portion is of course swamped in Fiery Horror sauce.
The cats are already theatrically coughing and sneezing.

He's growing two gigantic Scotch Bonnets plants in our utility room. They're about six feet tall and there's a sinister number of fruits on them already. Scotch bonnet chillies are so fiery they could provoke a heart attack. Hmmm...he knows I have Life Insurance.... :(


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Nov 18 - 03:22 PM

Eat enough Scotch Bonnets and they'll STAVE OFF heart attacks!

Roasted diced squash, carefully-handled, which means neither overdone nor underdone, baked in good olive oil, gently seasoned, no burnt bits but nicely caramelised, is a thing of beauty. It can be eaten as a side veg or made into a beautiful soup with gently sautéed onions and home-made stock.

Desiree is a modern variety, much-m!igned as a fast-grown bulk commercial spud. Grow it yourself and it's a thing transformed. I have found that you tend to get a few very huge spuds and a lot of tiddlers per plant, but they yield very well overall.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Senoufou
Date: 04 Nov 18 - 04:16 PM

When I had shingles a few years ago, followed by agonising post-herpetic neuralgia, the doc suggested rubbing my back with chilli paste as the capsicum would kill the pain. Husband fell about laughing. I had Amitriptyline instead, which did the trick in a couple of weeks.

His dad died of heart failure, and had eaten fiery, spicy food all his long life. But then, diagnosis is poor in W Africa, so he may well have had some other illness, not heart trouble at all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Mo the caller
Date: 06 Nov 18 - 05:52 AM

I never boil spuds now, because the tasty varieties (King Edwards, Sharp's Express) do tend to turn into soup. Cut them small and they steam quite quickly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 06 Nov 18 - 06:22 AM

I prefer waxy to fluffy potatoes- - tho for bakes potatoes it is not such an issue!


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Senoufou
Date: 06 Nov 18 - 08:34 AM

Since we got this fancy rice boiler, which has a steaming grid above the rice section, we've cooked our vegetables by steaming them, and the flavour is much better. It also conserves the vitamins and food value, instead of leaching them out into the water when boiling.

Spuds done this way (as Mo says, cut into fairly small pieces) are quite delicious. Also those strange 'squash' things, slices of aubergine and something called okra (green thingummies, don't ask!) which my husband goes in for.

Just after the War, everyone had a pressure cooker and also a three-tiered steamer. And an open fire (no central heating) on which to roast spuds and all sorts of other things. People actually 'cooked' in those days - no microwaves, electric toasters, fan-assisted ovens or ready-made meals.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Jos
Date: 06 Nov 18 - 09:12 AM

I used to use a pressure cooker in the 1970s to feed a large family. I haven't bothered with it for years now.

I tried okra but it was so slimy it made me feel quite ill. Somebody on a cookery programme a while back said the secret was to soak them in salt and vinegar to get rid of the slime, but I haven't tried it. There are so many other lovely things to eat that I am happy to forgo okra for the foreseeable future (who needs gumbo anyway).


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: JHW
Date: 06 Nov 18 - 01:57 PM

"Its odd how some people don't eat the jackets. I think they're the best bit."
Agree, alas my oven only goes up to 190. Dries and wrinkles big spuds but doesn't bake them.
Routinely I cut very small spuds in half. Toss in tiny amount of oil in prep bowl and bake? laid on their round backs, skin and all on baking tin in the oven. 25 mins. Time to get other vegs boiled while their doing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 06 Nov 18 - 02:08 PM

I love Okra (also known as ladies fingers), especially in the form of bhindi bhaji from an Indian restaurant/take away but I don't think my couple of attempts at cooking the fresh okra worked out too well.

Which squash, Sen? Butternut is the most likely one for us to use.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Senoufou
Date: 06 Nov 18 - 02:18 PM

I don't know its name Jon. It's a strange shape, fat at the bottom and thin at the top, a bit like a pear, but larger. Pale yellow with faint stripes. It was very nice, especially with the potato chunks.

I don't really know what he does with the okra or ladies' fingers!! :)
because they go in with his own vegetables, not our joint vegetables if you see what I mean.

He makes me smile sometimes, as he's getting more and more 'Europeanised'. He bought a microwaveable vindaloo from Morrisons at the weekend, and said it was delicious, so he went back and bought THREE more to have in the freezer for 'snacks'! He'll probably add Scotch bonnets to them, as they won't be nearly hot enough for him.

I'm a bit scared of pressure cookers to be honest, as when I was young, a neighbour's one exploded and caused a lot of damage to her kitchen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 06 Nov 18 - 02:27 PM

This is butternut squash, Sen.

I'd run a mile from your husband's cooking. I love spicy but don't have much tolerance for heat. Vindaloo would be far too much for me without adding extra heat!


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Nov 18 - 02:35 PM

Okra grows well here in North Texas, so I learned how to eat it. In particular, fried okra (sliced in about 1/2 inch pieces, rolled in seasoned cornmeal and sauteed in shallow corn oil). I've stir-fryed it with success, but never want it boiled (slimy). If you soak it in vinegar that will remove the slimy consistency, and I made a case and a half of pickled okra this year as gifts for friends who love it. There is a lot in the freezer and I have a recipe for broiled okra that is supposed to be very good.

I have grown potatoes and sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are in the ground right now, the red lasoda (the waxy ones with red skin) will be planted probably in December or January and harvested next spring.

Michael Pollan about how Russet potatoes are grown for McDonald's restaurants. My question, are all Russets subjected to this treatment, or just the ones destined to the fast food boxes?


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Senoufou
Date: 06 Nov 18 - 02:42 PM

Oh well done Jon, that's exactly what it was!! Weird-looking things aren't they?

I don't know how he eats these fiery foods. He actually laughed like a drain when I told him that vindaloo is considered almost too hot for many Brits. He thought it was tasty but rather feeble, however Scotch bonnets seem to make his food sufficiently fiery to his taste. He must have an asbestos mouth.

The cats and I evacuate the kitchen when it's all cooking. Bright orange steam comes out and it catches in one's throat. One tiny spot on the tongue would mean an ambulance for me I reckon!

I suppose I ought to give okra a try Stilly. It's nice to have something different now and then.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Nov 18 - 02:46 PM

Here is a response to the Pollan video that describes the ingredients and offers a different reading on the chemicals used in the field.

When I make friend okra and it's just me at home it usually never makes it to the table, I eat them off of the paper towel where they drain and cool on while the rest of them cook.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Senoufou
Date: 06 Nov 18 - 02:53 PM

Goodness Stilly, that's rather a lot of processing and additives just for some chips!
That's why I miss our home-grown spuds. They were completely organic and tasted gorgeous. :(


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 06 Nov 18 - 03:16 PM

Sounds a bit scary, SRS. I can't answer your question about growing Russets but I'm not sure it's a UK home growers usual variety? Maybe one of the keener gardeners here will advise from that perspective. Blight, early and late are probably the biggest worries with potato growing here.

We do use Phostrogen on the veg plot here so can't claim to be organic. I'm not sure we'd be that organic without. There's about 2-3 yds between the veg plot wire fence and where the farm plant stuff (sugar beet this year) and I'm not sure we are 100% clear from whatever stuff they might use.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: Senoufou
Date: 06 Nov 18 - 03:27 PM

As our garden was very big, we had a three-stage compost heap down at the bottom. The compost seemed to fertilise the soil quite well, so we didn't use fertiliser.

And I used to 'rotate' the crops on the vegetable plot, to minimise pests getting a hold. The main problem was watering, as the rainfall never seemed to be enough. I had three large plastic rainwater butts and a much-used watering can.

When I think of the energy I had in those days, I'm a bit sad to think I couldn't do all that now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Demise of the jacket potato in pubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Nov 18 - 03:31 PM

Demise of the jacket potato, micro wavecooking plus not using best varieties


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