Tales From The Cook: The Illiterate Farmer

home-cured-corned-beef

A farmer was plowing his field when he saw in a furrow, a small chest had turned up. He opened the chest, it brimmed with gold coin, and a carefully sealed parchment. Not being able to read the farmer tossed the parchment aside, and used the coins to purchase a nearby house, which he converted into a pub.
He named it, “Black Dog” after a phantom hound who plagued the land in the days of his father.
On a stormy afternoon a barbarian came to patronize the pub.
Now, Barbarians have a number of natural abilities; they are fierce warriors who are born and raised in the wild, they are single minded, stubborn, and love to drink ale and eat cabbage. Yet outside of the wild, they are often bewildered, unable to deal with the complexities of civilization.
“Bar keep!” growled the barbarian. “Ale! I have a job to do!”
Served he drank cask after cask, soon all the ale was consumed and the barbarian demanded more.
The farmer, turned pub keeper meekly told that barbarian that all the ale was gone.
The barbarian tossed a scroll on the table and asked, “How can I destroy this evil magic scroll unless I am half crocked?”
“Evil?” gasped the farmer recognizing the scroll as the one from the chest.
Then with a clap of thunder and a flash of lightning, the phantom hound appeared, and bit the farmer’s head off. The barbarian turned, and raised his ax. The phantom hound snarled, “No more Ale for you barbarian!”
Steadfast the barbarian stood. “How about that, a talking phantom hound.”
Corned Beef
A Barbarians Meat Pickle
Ingredients:
8 to 10 pounds of beef brisket
½ tsp. saltpeter
2 tsp. paprika
¼ cup warm water
2 heads worth of peeled and smashed garlic
2 tbs. sugar
2 tbs. mixed pickling spices
1 cup salt
1 gallon water

Mix all the wet and dry ingredients, dissolving the saltpeter and sugar. Let cool to room temperature and put it in a bucket with the brisket. Cover the brisket with a plate to hold it down much like a mafia hit man giving you cement galoshes. Brine the brisket for 2 weeks turning the meat over every third day to make sure it’s thoroughly pickled. Soak the now corned beef in clean water overnight to remove the excess salt, changing the water every 4 hours while you are awake. Boil the corned beef until it is tender and delicious.

TALES FROM THE COOK
WHERE FOLKLORE AND THE CULINARY ARTS MEET

If you enjoyed this story, here’s the direct link to my book page, where you can sample or purchase the book: http://www.amazon.com/author/authorericjohnson

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