Saturday: Hili Dialogue

December 20, 2014 • 5:06 am

Good morning, and Happy Saturday to you.

If you still have gifts to buy, now is probably the time to get out there and do it, (oh, the horror!) but right now you can make yourself a cup of tea or a pot of coffee and consider the plaint of Hili, who is less philosophical today and has assumed the role of food critic.


Hili: I could drink some milk but I think that something is lacking on this table.
A: Sausage or ham?


In Polish:

Hili: Mleka mogę się napić, ale mam wrażenie, że czegoś brakuje na tym stole.
Ja: Kiełbasa czy szynka?

16 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili Dialogue

  1. I’ve just increased my Polish vocabulary by about 1/3. I’m still cheating and considering it as “Russian with different characters” though.

    1. I think of Russian as Greek with different characters. I’m sure that will only get me so far if I formally study it, which I’d like to do.

      1. The number of times I’ve had the wife explain something to me from Russian, for me to retort “that’s been stolen from Greek!”
        (I only spent a few weeks formally trying to study Russian. Not a lot of use when the other half is a translator/ teacher. Of English to Russians.)

  2. Sausage or ham? Why not both!?

    …indeed, breakfast this morning was ham hash cooked in the drippings from the couple slices of bacon on the side….

    And a cup of coffee. I finally found a local roaster I like: Cortez.


    1. What is your ham hash recipe? Hash is not a thing we have in Australia, and I think I’m missing out on something!

      1. Oh, very simple, and well suited to improvisation.

        Sautee some chopped onions and garlic with the fat of your choice in an open skillet. When tender, add cooked cubed / diced potatoes and cooked (leftover) meat (ham, corned beef, etc. — lamb should work well) and whatever herbs and / or spices catch your fancy and cook until browned. Herbs and spices…salt and pepper are a given, usually added at the beginning with the onions. Scarborough Fair (parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme) is always a good starting point. And I’ll often toss with a sprinkling of paprika after removing from the heat and before serving — paprika can get bitter if you cook it.

        Hash is not to be confused with hash browns. Those’re even simpler…heat some fat (a generous amount is required) in a skillet over moderately high heat. While it’s heating, shred some potatoes on a grater. When the fat is hot, dump the potatoes in a pile in the skillet and leave it be until it’s browned on the bottom — a couple / few minutes. Turn the patty with a spatula like it’s a large pancake, brown the other side, and serve. A variation is to add only half the shredded potatoes to the skillet, immediately add some chopped onions, and immediately top with the rest of the potatoes. Generally, no herbs nor spices get added to hash browns.


        1. That sounds pretty straightforward so long as the potatoes don’t catch on the pan. I will give it a try with some left-overs. Cheers!

          Hash browns we have courtesy of McDonald’s but they haven’t really caught on outside that.

          1. Yes — you need a well-seasoned cast iron skillet and plenty of fat to do it right. And a judicious amount of stirring, though you don’t have to stand over it. I’m sure there’s some other technique that involves teflon-coated cookware, but I don’t own any of that stuff so can’t comment.

            And, also, yes, this is primarily a dish for leftovers. The meat certainly. Traditionally the potatoes…but I generally cut the potatoes, put them in a bowl with a spoonful of water, lightly cover them, and then use my microwave’s “simmer” feature for a couple minutes…it uses its sensor to bring whatever’s in there to a boil and then hold it there for a set amount of time. By the time the potatoes are done cooking, the onions are tender and I’ve got a pile of meat cut and ready to go, so it all comes together pretty quickly.

            …and I’ve not consumed anything from McDonald’s except a couple cups of coffee for at least a quarter century, if not more, so I’ve no clue what their hash browns may or may not be like. On the one hand, it’s just shredded potatoes fried in a skillet; what’s there to fuck up? On the other hand, it’s McDonald’s….


            1. Oooh, so you precook the potatoes. That makes it all a bit easier, making sure the potatoes are not still hard in the middle would offer the opportunity for disaster if you failed.

              McDonald’s in Australia is considerably better than in the States I am told, (I haven’t eaten the US version), due to our food regulations being much more stringent. Their hash browns are okay, but I don’t often feel I need to eat so much deep fried potato, and with them not being an Australian thing, I wasn’t raised on them. Note; they also comply with our minimum wage laws and still manage to make huge profits.

              1. Oh, yes — the potatoes and meat both must be cooked. And, on the subject, gold potatoes and the like generally work better than russets…you want the potato to retain its shape rather than crumble into mush. And, also, the meat must also be cooked…mostly, it’s a way to re-heat leftover meat and potatoes.

                I’m not at all surprised that McDonald’s is still hugely profitable despite paying its employees more than we do here. After all, here in the States we generally hugely subsidize the payroll budgets of such employers by paying for the medical care and often housing and even food for those people through various government aid programs. All Australia is doing is lowering the tax burden by making companies responsible for their employees — and even American Republicans will tell you that it’s good for business and the economy to cut taxes and government spending on social welfare.


  3. She could always lick the butter. I have a really cool hand-thrown cow-shaped pottery butter dish that certain critters have licked right off the counter…

          1. and has been relegated to the back of a cupboard for a number of years…I could probably bring it out now because Freddie’s not as much a butter kitty as some of his predecessors.

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