Advent calendar 12: Pipe Martial Arts

On the twelth day of Christmas,
The Bakery gave to me:
Pipe Martial Arts

Back in the day, Tom German was a whirlwind sensation in the YouTube Pipe Smoking community. In fact, his first video holds the rank of “3rd most watched video” on the Bakery’s YouTube channel with just under 2,500 views. Although me and Tom made quite a few of these videos for the faithful community, only a hand full ever got released. The rest lay coiled in old tobacco tins in my loft, marinating in the musty scents of Parsons Pleasure, St. Bruno and other quality smokes. Tom assures me that over 10 years the celluloid will take on the character of the tobacco, where the footage will become smoother, complex and more thought provoking.

Well, i think he was talking a load of shit, so i broke one open to see what it looked like. This one below has been maturing for 625 days (born on Sunday, March 28, 2010).

I think this excuses and Tom’s late post on Saturday, quite nicely. Another tin will be opened and the video released, in 1000 days time.



Leave a Comment →

  1. I entirely agree with Tom’s assertion that shoving the film away in Al’s loft, as if it were a ham, has improved its flavour and quality.

    I am a great believer in improving things by smoking them. Whether a Bavarian cheese, a stonking nice cup of Lapsang Souchong, or some mouth-watering salmon. It appears even the ramblings of a Kentish theology graduate somewhere in a wood are susceptible to this improving force.

    My friend Isabel once described drinking Lapsang as being like walking past a bonfire with your mouth open. I entirely agree, but I don’t consider this a bad thing. In fact, all this talk of smoke, I’m off to brew myself a smoky Chinese cuppa.

  2. Hams in the loft? Not sure which artisan meat curer you visit Richard, but it certainly isn’t the same one as me. Everyone knows hams cure in the cellar. Along with the cheeses, and wines. Lofts are generally too draughty and dry.

    • I could have sworn that I have visited National Trust properties where I have seen mock-up hams and meats hanging in the rafters of small attic-like annexes off chimneys. Did I dream this?

      Certainly I can imagine salted meats in a cellar. But I wouldn’t have thought you could smoke meat in a cellar because, well, cellars are below the fireplace (and therefore below the smoke) rather than above it.

      However, I am entirely happy to bow to Al King’s superior knowledge of rustic practices.

      That said, I would be interested to hear if Geodaddi has anything conclusive to add to this discussion..?

      • Geodaddi

        In the tradition of a parliament led by a coalition, you might both be saying different things, but you are both right! Here is a short monologue on pork products.
        Once you have killed your pig there are 6 stages: Scalding, Jointing, Curing, Drying, Smoking, & Storing.

        Scald the pig and scrape off the bristles. *
        Hang for 12 hours.
        Cure by packing in salt and various other things like saltpetre, depending on your recipe. This stage takes about 3 weeks.
        Dry by hanging in a dry place with a through draft of air, (like a kitchen). If eaten at this stage it is called “Green Ham”
        Cold smoke at about 40C by hanging in a big open chimney for a week over smouldering sawdust or wood chips.
        Wrap the ham in muslin and paint the outside with a thick paste of lime and water.
        Finally store by hanging somewhere cool and dry (in a larder or hygienic cellar) for up to 3 months.

        *In Devon a candlestick base is considered best for doing the scraping.

        “O dear heart alive! She never belong to take a knife to he! Tes a brass candlestick she belong to take to he, surely! Her’d take all the hair off he with she, wityout breaking the skin of he. Mother, she’d fley us alive if she catched us taking the knife to he! Skin of he been tender after the hot water – oh NO! Dear sakes! She never belong to take a knife to he; candlestick, she give a good grip, and she take all the hair off he and never hurt he!”

        • Hahaha! Well i never. Thank you for such a comprehensive background on the preservation of pork! Still not too happy Richard is also right though.

        • What’s your closing quote from, Geodaddi?

          Considering we’re called The Bakery, there is not nearly enough discussion of cooking techniques on this website. A guide to pork preservation is an excellent starting point.

          Next on the agenda, a competition: what’s the most surprising thing you can put in aspic? Entries to the usual address…

          • Geodaddi

            A marvellous book by Dorothy Hartley, (1954) FOOD IN ENGLAND. Published Macdonald & Co, London (Later republished 1985 by Futura) Listen 20 minutes into this:

            Oh by the way, King Crimson think Larks Tongue is the ideal, so that is my entry for the competition.

          • Am currently with The Last Bookshop’s composer, Owen Hewson, who considers Larks’ Tongues in Aspic to be a favourite album. Never heard it myself, so I’m giving it a listen this afternoon…

            Regarding the radio programme you linked to: I can’t believe the woman asked to review Hartley’s 1950s cookbook baulks at the meat recipes!

  3. Tom German Doesnt live here anymore

    This is either funnier then I remember it or Al is a very good editor, probably that. I think that Lapsang Souchong is like licking the ballbag of a Chinese dragon, but I wont weary your ears with my Saturday night anecdotes. Tom Mathias will be happy that weve got another video out, and I didnt actually have to do any work apart from two years ago. A bit like finding a fiver you didnt know you had…

  4. Tom German Doesnt live here anymore

    My second video ‘pipe smoking in London’ is at 988 views. Can we have a campaign to get it above a thousand.

  5. Tom German Doesnt live here anymore

Leave a Reply