'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Patella, Paella, Patina, and Possum

I recently bought a lovely new Spanish cooking pan.  I spotted it in the shop and could immediately see how useful and versatile it would be.  It has already replaced my wok as the cookware I reach for most of the time.  But it goes by various names, and so does the food inside.  It could all get very confusing but I remember it this way:

A PaTella is a pan-shaped limpet, a pan-shaped kneecap, and a pan.

A PaELLA is a traditional Catalan or Spanish pan, and also the traditional food cooked in the pan.

A PaTINA is a old Roman pan, the greenish old coating on bronze pans, and the traditional food cooked in the pans.

A POSSUM is just a possum, singular.



My other, newer, PATELLA, PAELLA, or PATINA

My seafood PAELLA or PATINA (before the addition of peas and rice)

PATINA  - a 2nd century Roman pan.

PAELLA:  Recipe for a Spanish Paella:  http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/20747/easy+spanish+paella

PATINA:  Recipe for a Patina:
Ancient Roman Patina of fresh anchovies.
Fresh Anchovies or other small oily fish
2 eggs
1/2 glass of wine
1/2 cup olive oil
pepper to taste
Wash and gut the fish.
Dip them in the beaten egg and fry at high heat in a pan in the olive oil, turning once they are brown on one side.
When both sides are brown pour off the excess oil add the wine and garum to the pan. Reduce this sauce by half.
Turn out into a serving platter and grind plenty of black pepper over and serve.
Do not over cook the fish or they will fall apart.


POSSUM.  The third in three weeks. 


  1. "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."

    "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

    "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master -- that's all."

    (from Chapter 6 of Through the Looking Glass by Lewiss Carroll)

  2. Indupitafically, Robert!

  3. Glad to see they call the recipe an "easy" paella - I still ain't managed the art, but luckily I know someone who has :)

    Couldn't find the link for the Possum Recipe , though, but it's Ok as I'm a vegetarian.

    Is your paella (the pan) one of the modern ones or does it need (olive) oiling after use - pretty much like yours truly .... ?

    Anyway, enough dithering, just to wish you a Merry Christmas while I'm here, and I HOPE to get more blogging time in the new year - if the world doesn't end before ...

  4. Lovely to see you popped in Brian... Happy whosit to you too.
    Do you need oiling after you're used? Haha.

    Mine is an enamel so I think it's fine. Not non-stick of course, but I've gone off them. They don't seem to last very long, even the expensive ones...

    Erm, I didn't think I posted a link to a possum recipe... or are you teasing me? They sometimes put snails in Paellas, I understand...
    "First catch your possum ..."

  5. Looks as though the Aussie possums are gonna take over Tauranga. Soon they'll be living in your houses, driving your cars and taking your jobs. It would make a great horror film...By the way, I can't believe that's really your knee! It looks so, so sturdy! Yes, that's the word.

  6. YP - Yes, there are a lot more possi around here than I thought there were! And I still haven't caught the joey.

    Re. my knee, it's not sturdy, nor FAT (yes, I know you were going to write that!) , it's FORESHORTENED, ok!!?

    Actually my legs are looking bloody good still, if I may be so bold.

  7. I need to be oiled before and after use.
    You're right with the snails, but luckily they're rather slow creatures so you can usually enejoy your paella before they make off - would'nt recommend the rabbit paella, though:)

  8. Quite a coincidence Katherine but I was in our (as in Napier's) Mediterranean Food Shop yesterday and they had a selection of sizes of Paella (Pans) which were what I know as a Paella Pan which is much more basic and much flatter than your very smart one. I'm sure they would need lots of olive oiling. I thought of getting one because I can't use a wok on my electric stove. I could use one like yours though which is much more versatile that the flatter Paellas.

    I've never tasted a fresh anchovie (only preserved ones). Much as I love them in small doses I can imagine eating too many whole ones.

  9. GB. I notice today that you left a comment here. Sorry I missed it! Yes, I do think this pan is going to be very handy, and the depth is certainly an advantage - holds more! I guess fresh anchovies are not salty...


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