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Watson Cam
Dr Watson reviews his tab at the Hound and Ferret

Dr Watson reviews his tab at the Hound and Ferret

Desperate Housekeepers

Mrs Hudson’s New Year Blessings

Happy New Year my darlings.  No resolutions from me this year, but instead I would like to offer you my handy hangover cure.
  1. Mix three lemons in a bowl.
  2. Add an egg white and stir until light and frothy.
  3. Add a double-measure of vodka.
  4. Repeat until you no longer notice your hangover and/or feel your legs.
Happy New Year everyone!
Four more happy punters who made it to Step 4.

Four more happy punters who made it to Step 4.

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Mrs Hudson offers an Analysis

Psychoanalysis appears to be all the rage these days (my butcher uses his cheese counter to double as a couch) so I thought I’d save the good doctor some pennies and offer my own analysis of his recurring nightmare.

 

Recently I have been having a recurrent dream where I am on the Centre Court of the All England Club at Wimbledon. 

This may be linked to the night that you went for a quiet drink with your nephew and ended up breaking into the Club to have a rally with some mutton pies.  Lestrade tells me that when you were apprehended you claimed that you were the President of the Association.  When that didn’t wash you decided to lie on the grass and pretend you were invisible.

 

 I look around at the spectators who appear to all be holding opera glasses until it dawns on me that they are all using periscopes and bear a passing resemblance to King Edward.

You once told Mr Holmes that you found opera oppressive although we always assumed that was because you were jilted by that awful woman playing Brunhilde.  [Actually I wasn’t jilted, I was assaulted, then married, then jilted – Watson]

 

Lost love - Brunhilde as played by Miss Connie Eckhart.  Miss Eckhart appears courtesy of a legal error.

Lost love – Brunhilde as played by Miss Connie Eckhart. Miss Eckhart appears courtesy of a legal oversight.

 

The periscopes reference may have something to do with the Bruce Partington plans affair – that web of international intrigue and espionage – or it may be connected to your being caught peeking through the side of the bathing machines. [I keep telling you – I thought I’d left my gloves]. You have such a man-crush on King Edward and are forever quoting him to the boys in buttons.  I even saw you pretend to knight one of them with the gas lighter.

 

All England Tennis Club circa 1888 - Mr R J Pinkerton (top left) had a terrific forearm while Miss A Abrams (bottom centre) had an amazing forehead

All England Tennis Club circa 1888 – Mr R J Pinkerton (top left) had a terrific forearm while Miss A Abrams (bottom centre) had an amazing forehead

 

 I look back to the court and over at my opponent.  He is a tall, lean man, athletic without being overburdened with muscle and I’d imagine quite handsome although it is hard to tell as he wears a large bee-keeper’s hood over his head.

I have no idea on this one except to say you are very fond of honey.  And equally fond of unusual head furniture.  Do you remember that you spent all of 1879 wearing a pith helmet?  [I was in Afghanistan!]

 

There is something in his stance that triggers a memory – a small nugget of recognition.  That walk, those arms, those hundreds of bees.  Of course it must be – Holmes! I am about to wave and shout ‘Aloa’ when my opponent smashes a perfect ace down the Centre Line and in to my face, fracturing my nose.  This is most shocking, especially as we had agreed to only serve underarm.

Hmmm I did once fracture your nose with a coal scuttle. Or was it a turnip?  Could it be related?

 

I wake instantly and reach for my bedside brandy.  What could this all mean?

It means you are an alcoholic. Love, Mrs H.

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Mrs Hudson’s Guide to Entertaining 2

Crackers are also an opportunity to surprise your guests with innovative gifts.   Last year I used evidence from Mr Holmes’ investigations into the Crusty Doorman Affair which was a wonderful surprise for Mrs Watson (IV) who took home a severed ear.
The cracker pull should be an event in itself.  To confidently avoid a damp squib I like to liven up the cracker with powder from some of the doctor’s bullet cartridges.  This will ensure your party will go with a bang although make sure you experiment to get the right proportion – the sitting-room was once two rooms before a particularly spectacular cracker-pull back in ’88.
Mrs Hudson's custom crackers are talk of the town

Mrs Hudson’s custom crackers are talk of the town

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Mrs Hudson’s Guide to Entertaining 1

A few notes torn from my home and kitchen bible…  Mrs H.

It is traditional for young ladies to find small favours at their place setting for dinner. The most expensive ones are made out of small muslin bags containing almonds however I prefer to save on the pennies and use up all those brazil nuts which are left over after Doctor Watson has sucked off all of the chocolate.

And mind you don’t spend out on expensive materials to wrap up your favours – instead I use some old socks or one of the Doctor’s monogrammed handkerchiefs which are a looking a bit raggy. I always like to think that our guests take a little piece of us with them when they leave.

Party games are also a big favourite – the good doctor was very fond of bringing Inspector Lestrade round to falsely accuse someone of murder – always went down a storm – although we are still to retrieve Lady Bassett from the Clink Vaults after an administrative error.

Lady Lansbury - never invited to 221B again after midget joke faux pas

Lady Lansbury – never invited to 221B again after midget joke faux pas

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Mrs Hudson’s Recipe Book – Olympic Pie (AKA The Athlete’s Foot)

Queenie Newall - archer and former pie-eater

Queenie Newall – Olympic archer and former pie-eater

To celebrate the end of the 1912 Olympics I would like to share the recipe for my Olympic Pie.  I have worked on it tirelessly since the London ’08 games and have made some minor improvements (although sadly too late for Major and Mrs Prendergast) and I hope many of you will take the plunge and try it for yourself.

I would like to dedicate this recipe to to our very own British archer, Miss Queenie Newall, who upon an invite from Dr Watson, declared that the eating of my pies was truly an Olympian feat.

 

1. Shred meat into strips – for quickness I use the doctor’s service revolver at point-blank range

2. Boil the meat until the house is barely habitable

3. Add in stock, thyme and a swig of half-and-half.  Some of you might want to add a quarter of half-and-half or even a half of half-and-half but there should definitely be a half in there somewhere.

4. Pour the slop into a large dish and pop in the oven until bored

5. Twenty minutes before serving roll out the pastry into the shape of the Olympic rings or other novelties – for this Olympics I created a discus motif but sadly we didn’t get to eat it as it was actually thrown in the men’s decathlon [shortest distance ever – Watson]

6. Take out of the oven and leave to cool in a dry place – Dorset is recommended.

7. Serve with vegetables or a pineapple stuffed with bread – whichever is more convenient.

More next time, Mrs H xx

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Mrs Hudson’s Recipe Book – Christmas Special Part 2

Measuring Scales - never used them4.  Place the chicken on top of the goose, then the pheasant on top of chicken, spreading the stuffing mix between the layers.  If you are working in a small space some of you may want to get on top here as well.

5.  Bring the edges of the goose together and secure with a shoelace or equivalent.  Last Christmas I used a garrotte which was left over from one of Mr Holmes’ old cases (The Curious Incident of the Brigadier in the Bathroom – Watson).

6. Lightly season the three bird roast, place in a roasting tray, cover with parchment – one of the doctor’s old diaries is the right size – and roast in the oven for four weeks.

7. Rest the roast for at least an hour before serving.  After four weeks no-one will care if you serve it ten minutes late.

8. Sorry – forgot the fourth bird.  Lightly boil a wood pigeon and garnish with holly. If a wood pigeon is outside your budget you might consider a wood louse or petty theft.

And there we are, my bird in a bird in a bird in a bird.  Do write in and let me know how you get on and have yourself a wonderful Christmas.  You too, Mr Holmes, wherever you may be…sobs…  (ditto sobs – Watson)

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Mrs Hudson’s Recipe Book – Christmas Special Part 1

Me again.  One of my favourite traditions at this time of year is for cooks all over the country to tell you how to prepare a good Christmas feast.  Naturally, any list would not be complete without my own unique (! – Watson) recipe – Mrs Hudson’s ‘Bird in a Bird in a Bird in a Bird’.  Sit back and enjoy…unless you are the person attempting this and in that case prepare for the worst couple of hours of your life.

For this recipe you’ll need a goose, a pheasant and a chicken.  Alternatively you can try mixing three of the same bird although the result has a tendency to look like pate – or a crime scene.

Protect your eyes from spitting gibletsOther things you will need:  Sausage Meat, Onion, Wood cleaner, Apple, Lead filings, Garlic, Salt, Pepper and some specially-adapted Pince-Nez to prevent hot fat and giblets spitting in your eye.

***

1. First, ask your butcher to tunnel bone the three birds removing all the bones which can then be used for stock or, as I like to do, wrap them in bows to make charming ornaments or wedding fancies.  At this point you may also like to ask your butcher to stop harassing you as you are a married woman.

2. In a large bowl mix together everything which isn’t a bird to form a stuffing mixture.  Don’t be too fussy – last year I accidentally included lamp oil which gave the dish a lovely kick.

3. Remove the skin from the chicken and pheasant and place in Dr Watson’s slippers (hilarious – Watson) but keep the skin on the goose.

More next time… don’t go away

 

 

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Mrs Hudson’s Recipe Book – No.329 ‘Marylebone Corset’

 

The good doctor has allowed me to include notes from my own very own casebook of curiosities, the Mrs Hudson Cookbook, which he says contain their own mysteries and fancies [and the odd murder or two – Dr W].   And what better way to begin than with an old favourite, my Marylebone Corset, for which you will need to send out a small lad to forage the ingredients.  You can find the full recipe here.

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