My good friend Jack C. celebrated his 81st birthday on Saturday 18th October. Our mutual friend Muriel Q. (born in Oldham, Lancs, U.K.) hosted a lovely dinner party to mark the birthday. Present were our hostess, Jack, his wondrous wife Donna and me.
The four of us have English connections (Muriel and I through birth); Jack and Donna via his career (see later).
Jack graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy (where he knew John McCain, one of the current Senators from Arizona). Jack's stellar career raised him to the rank of Captain (he had command of four ships). At one time he was attached to the U.S. Embassy in Athens (his two predecessors there had been assassinated).
His Athens assignment and his attendance at the Church of England Parish there led to him seeking Holy Orders in the Church of England when he'd retired from the U.S. Navy.
He trained for the ministry at Westcott House in Cambridge, U.K.; was ordained Deacon and Priest in the Diocese of Ely; and served rural parishes in that Diocese.
He (an American) was subsequently appointed to be the Assistant Chaplain at the U.K. Embassy in Oslo, Norway - and in that role he served C of E congregations in Oslo and in Bergen.
On their return to the U.S.A. Jack and Donna lived in Newport, R.I.. Jack served as Rector at the nearby St. George's Parish (now closed). For ten years Jack was the Chaplain to the Newport Fire Department.
Jack and Donna (much to my benefit) retired to Sarasota, FL. We became friends through our association as Priests-in-Residence at St. Boniface Church in that city.
Some months ago (bearing in mind his English sojourn) I asked Jack if he liked Kippers. Indeed he did (and Donna likes them too!). So I mail ordered some for his birthday gift.
So, if you are not a British or Canadian citizen you may wonder "what the heck are kippers?". Wikipedia provides the answer:
Damn, they are good!
I bought mine from
My order produced two whole kippered herrings, one for Jack and Donna, the other for me.
Here is mine
I cut it into two pieces, removed the head and the tail, and pan fried one half for lunch today - medium heat for eight minutes, turning often., no oil needed as the fish itself has good oil, eating it with garden peas and lovely ciabatta bread. "Twas the food of the gods".
I am saving the other half for another day.
Should you (in the USA) be adventurous and decide to order from Markys, do order two - otherwise the FedEx overnight delivery charge will be more than the cost of the kippers themselves.
You can freeze the surplus (or give them to me!).