I’m talking about celery, of course. Flamboyant TV chef Keith Floyd was an ardent peeler but Rich from Virginia Beach couldn’t see the point as you can see and hear (https://youtu.be/VjSOY1REX-A).
For my part, I prefer to peel off the “whiskers” from the outside of a stick of celery whether I’m serving raw in a Waldorf salad or cooked in a casserole or sauté.
Former US Navy Beachmaster Rich presented us with his “treasure of the sea” rockfish that is popular in Virginia Beach, on the Atlantic East coast of America. We cooked the 1.68 lb whole fish on his Webber barbecue for 14 minutes – times will vary with different barbecues and different sized fish. Keeping the flavouring simple meant that the flavour of the fish shone through but was also perfumed by the apple wood smoke.
Meanwhile, we had the whole celery debate, much to the delight of his non-cooking wife, Cathy. The vegetable sauté featured the multi-coloured heirloom carrots and the yellow Yukon potatoes, flecked with green spinach and the golden chicken stock. Rich had made his own stock from chicken carcases and was rather more receptive to my idea of roasting the bones before making the stock.
We were two true enthusiasts sharing our passion for kitchen gadgets: rich showed me his garlic slicer, lemon squeezer, two types of peelers, his knife sharpener, the glass loaf pans and his superb sauté pan. Each item had been carefully considered and practically tested – not just the latest fad that sits at the back of the kitchen drawer for years!
It was a real delight to find someone as passionate about cooking who really knew what he was doing from practical experience and not just reading recipe books.