Graham Kerr and Me
On Scottish Delicacies

I am 72-years young. I have danced with death twice, and both times, I have led death in our dance. Looking back over seven decades, I have enjoyed life. In a very strange and rewarding way, dancing with death provided a great benefit. I realized that I was not immortal. Therefore, I value life and living due to the dance with death. I love life more now than I have ever have. One part of life is my love of cooking.

I acquired my love for cooking ironically due to my mother dancing with death for over a dozen years. She suffered from rheumatoid arthritis and lupus both of which were physically painful and debilitating. Prior to being a teenager, if I wanted something special from the kitchen, the only means to get that treat was to make it myself. I had no training or instruction in culinary arts. Nonetheless, I could read my mother's old recipe books and did. I still have them and use them all the time. I am known as the Graham Kerr of Clan Campbell.

We both looked younger years ago than we do now.

We both looked younger years ago than we do now.

Speaking of Graham Kerr, he is also Scottish. Even when I watched his show years ago, Graham Kerr addressed Scottish independence. The next time, when the vote comes up for Scottish independence and it wins, I along with Sean Connery will return to Scotland to celebrate their independence from England. I will look up Graham Kerr and share recipes with him.

Years ago, I recall watching him make crème brûlée. In the opening moments of that show, Graham Kerr discusses the etymology of crème brûlée. Obviously, the name is French, but it originally came from Scotland.

 Crème brûlée.

Crème brûlée.

Being all for Scottish independence, I also have some etymology issues related to another dessert, which also has a French name, but I contend that it is as Scottish as is crème brûlée. Recently, some of my kids were visiting. As a special treat, I made dinner for them, which consisted of beef stroganoff, which is clearly a Russian meal and name. However, my pièce de résistance was bananas flambé for dessert. Flambé is the past participle of the French word for flamed.

Now, a chef who worked at Brennan's Restaurant in New Orleans came up with bananas foster, which is in many ways similar to bananas flambé, but the Scots came up with bananas flambé years before. I will discuss this issue with Graham Kerr when I return to Scotland.

There is much written about the art of igniting various foods. The Moors in Spain especially around the Alhambra loved flaming foods as far back as the 14th century. There is also a hotly debated story about Henri Charpentier who inadvertently ignited some crêpes for the English prince who would become Edward VII and hence the name Crêpe Suzette. This is but another example of the English claiming culinary control over the world of eating. Larousse Gastronomique, which is culinary arts textbook, claims that Charpentier was too young to be serving English royalty at the time of the accidental creation of Crêpe Suzette.

One of the things that I enjoy doing when cooking is to experiment. I am sure the beef stroganoff is Russian. However, I wanted to experiment with making lamb stroganoff. Therefore, this is my lamb stroganoff experiment. Actually, this is essentially the beef stroganoff with the beef replaced with lamb. I have tried the lamb stroganoff, and it is quite good.

Lamb Stroganoff

½ stick of butter
1 cup of chopped and sautéed onion
2 cups of mushrooms
2 pounds of lamb cut into 1-inch pieces
Combine and brown the lamb

2 cans of cream of chicken soap
2 cans of mushroom soap
Combine then add the butter, onion, mushrooms, and lamb.
Simmer for 20 minutes

¼ cup of sherry
1 pint of sour cream
Simmer while preparing the noodles

Cook 12-16 oz wide noodles

Prep time about 45-minutes and serves 4-6

This is the show that I recall when Graham Kerr made the Scottish dessert, crème brûlée, in which he talked about Scottish independence.

This is Graham Kerr's recipe that I found on the Internet for crème brûlée.

20 fl. oz. heavy cream
4 oz. castor (superfine) sugar
6 egg yolks
1 vanilla bean
Enough castor sugar to cover the custard by ¼ inch

  1. Heat cream with vanilla bean until boiling.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Beat egg yolks with sugar until well blended and beat gradually into hot cream.
  4. Put mixture back on heat and stir until custard has thickened slightly.
  5. Pour mixture into a 1-quart ovenproof dish.
  6. Place dish in pan of cold water and bake for 1 hour at 300°F.
  7. Remove from oven, cool, and refrigerate.
  8. Cover top of cream with ¼ inch thickness of castor sugar.
  9. Set cream in a dish surrounded by ice. Place under broiler until sugar caramelizes. Serve immediately.

Graham Kerr, the Galloping Gourmet's crème brûlée recipe

This video is Graham Kerr teaching Johnny Carson the culinary arts.

This is Graham Kerr when things do not go according to the recipe.

Scottish independence: Yes campaign

Scottish independence flag

Visit the Scottish Independence page to read more about this topic.

Dancing with Death

Dancing with Death

Visit the Dancing with Death page to read more about this topic.

Campbell's Cooking Class

"Campbell's Cooking Class"

Visit the "Campbell's Cooking Class" page to read more about this topic.