Ch, ch, ch, chive talkin... Further Adventures of the rolling Stove.
‘Ch…ch…ch…chive talkin’ in The Waldbühne; Further Adventures of the Rolling Stove.
Summer 1991, it’s the second night of three and The Waldbühne arena is choc full of 20,000 Berliners. The sun is setting on a long hot day and the crowd are politely stirring as only a German audience do… I love this moment, the final roadie scurries off, amps on, lights down, the band stroll on to the dark stage… plug in, the audience murmur… it turns to a ripple, a note is struck , lights up, the Bee Gees kick into ‘Jive Talkin’ and the crowd rise.
Over the big white canopy, flocks of bats are soaring in the dusky sky and the wild boars are settling down for the night. For this is the Waldbuhne – literally ‘forest stage’ - the most amazing man made amphitheatre in woods in the heart of Berlin. Originally constructed for the 1936 Olympiad and imagined by Joseph Goebbels for the Nazi propaganda machine it now serves as one of Europe’s most unique venues. But the only obvious connection to its past is the route to the stage which is a zigzagged concrete tunnel – so that you couldn’t shoot straight down it!
Anyway I’m cooking for the Bee Gees on their High Civilization European Tour, and they have sold out 3 nights. The catering zone is way back in the woods with the wild boars and some very ferocious man eating mosquitos! It’s primitive and make shift but it’s a fun, relaxed tour so there are none of the usual hairy arsed roadie grumble groans. The Bee Gees were a brilliant live act (much overlooked) and Jive Talkin which was superbly illuminated by their lighting director Patrick Woodroffe – also responsible for the Olympic ceremonies – was a fantastic opener to a memorable gig! Now when it came to their tea the Bee Gees were quite modest, traditional eaters… Shepherds Pie, mac n cheese, steak n chips and everything with Heinz baked beans! Every Sunday it had to be roast beef n all the trimmings and my first efforts at Yorkies were quite rightly scorned at by Mrs Maurice Gibb, herself a native of Yorkshire. However she kindly donated her mother’s recipe which has a 40/60 water milk ratio and does indeed produce a skyscraper of a Yorkie.
225g plain flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 free-range eggs
200ml cold water
1. Place the flour and a little salt and freshly ground black pepper into a
bowl. Add the eggs, mixing in with a whisk, then gradually pour in
the milk and water mixing slowly to prevent lumps forming.
2. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 3 hours.
3. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
4. Put a little of the dripping in four non-stick Yorkshire pudding tins.
Place the tins in the oven until smoking hot.
5. Remove from the oven and quickly fill the moulds with the batter.
Return to the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes.
6. Turn the oven down to 190C/375F/Gas 5 and cook for a further 10
minutes to set the bottom of the puddings.
7. Remove from the oven and serve.
Cook/prep time 4 hrs
Serves 4 big uns.