On The Other Hand

Breakfast this morning consisted of deliciously sweet torrijas, cafe con leche and fresh orange juice squeezed over crushed ice and swallied with a mere pinch of cinnamon for taste. Served in a small reed basket beneath an oven-warmed cloth of muslin, it doesn't get much better let me tell you. The recipe can be found here.

4-6 slices of stale white bread.

3/4 cup of full fat milk, for the sake of all the Saints in Ireland, semi-skimmed is a big no-no.

1 egg, brown if possible, if it is speckled then even better.

Vegetable oil for shallow frying such as corn oil, NOT for the love of all things holy, olive oil. Olive oil is acceptable for baptisms, confession, last rites and not bad drizzled on warm tomatoes with a pinch of white pepper. Do not use it to fry, you will regret it.

1/8 tsp vanilla extract, bottle stuff is acceptable on this occasion.

A pinch of brown sugar and a smidgen of cinnamon.

Fresh honey, do not use supermarket or fuel station varieties unless you truly loathe your partner.

In a large pottery bowl, beat the eggs with the milk and vanilla.

Pour just enough of the oil in a large frying pan or skillet to cover the bottom completely. Set the pan to medium-high heat. (To test if the pan is hot enough, drip a drop of the egg mixture in the pan. If you can see it start to cook after a few seconds, the pan is ready). Not rocket science, but all the best chefs are men, say no more ladies eh?

Place each slice of bread in the eggy mixture and flip it over so it's completely coated. The bread should be soggy but still firm enough to handle.

Transfer the bread slices to the frying pan.

Turn the slices over when the undersides are golden brown (2 minutes at most, do not go over the time otherwise a truly religious experience of the taste bud variety will pass you by)  Flip the slices with a spatula and cook the other side until golden brown (again, about 2 minutes).

Remove bread from the pan and transfer to a serving plate.

Sprinkle each piece with cinnamon and sugar. Drizzle honey over the top and serve warm under the cloth. You will thank me for bringing you closer to the kitchen God of your choice, believe me.

Where was I?

I have been quite taken with my early morning pasear along the Mediterranean shore these last few days. So much better than trying to avoid the fresh dog shite on the pavements on my way to collect the newspapers back in cold Glasgow. Nothing can soothe a mans soul more so than the warm waters coursing between his toes as he contemplates the sun rising on another beautiful day.

Perhaps Bo Derek running in slow motion I hear you shout?

No, that would be just plain greedy and probably a sin according to the holy mass that I so cleverly managed to avoid again this morning. (4,843 consecutive days so far)
Speaking of Catholicism, the Catholic Church here in Spain are protesting at the remake of 'The Exorcist'. It's about a woman who hires the divil to get a priest out of her son.

I'm thinking out loud again eh?

It was Siobhan's idea, no, not the movie, we've moved on from that. The visit to the infamous palm reader, Gypsy Petulengro. She who sits in judgement of us wee mortals on the pier, the alleged Romany palmist who claims to have blood ties to the famous Gypsy Xavier Petulengro. The one who first cut the hands of a newlywed couple to mingle their blood, and bound their wrists with a silk cord, as part of the ceremony. The groom bled to death before he could get around to consummate the marriage on his wedding night.

So much for buying anymore lucky heather eh?

All was well until it came to my turn. The girls were all destined for tall dark strangers and riches aplenty. Not one to be a spoilsport, what could possibly go wrang with the reading of my giant right paw?

Now, my Spanish is not as good as it perhaps should be after all this time, but body language in any dialect is very plain. My daughter-in-law reluctantly translated the auld woman's shrieks to declare that she apparently did not like looking into my eyes. I didn't really warm to the auld lady's one good eye and a bloodshot pickled onion myself, let alone take in too much more of her rancid breath, but having being brought up by the mammy to be polite I declined to comment further at the time.

I have the look of the divil about me, the stain of sin upon my demonic right hand and an aura which was seemingly frightening enough for her to consider me worthy of a refund. I do seem to recall when I was a wee boy that I did sin rather a lot with my right hand, but that was before I took up with Siobhan and hardly ever never on a Sunday.

Talk about give a guy a complex!

It would seem that the lines of my hand show up a very prominent letter 'C'. This defined letter means in Romany parlance that I am one of the  much whispered about 'children of the dark'.
Shillings for the gas were short back in the day I will admit, our one room and a kitchen in that murky auld Glasgow tenement was lit mainly by the flames under the oul kettle on the hob. And that wasn't more than twice a day at best. Perhaps she was truly onto something?

Me... I like to think that the 'C' really meant to her that I was too strong minded to listen to anymore spouted gobbledy-gook Crap!

However, only time will tell.

If you do start to hear the audible babble of sin-soaked divils as you read my words then it might be time to turn on the big light as you take down the recipe with your spit-licked stump of HB pencil on grease proof paper....

Either that or you did use the olive oil we talked about above, even though I told you not to.

Ahhh, the wee divil is in us all.


  1. 'Tis tenpast three,and I'm feasting on the bacon stew I made before I left to entertain the auld wans. It's good to be above the sod. Give the togs a rinse before ya send 'em back pal eh?

    Beware of one-eyed gypsies, and stick to the divil ye know.

  2. The only divil to be fully trusted is that of the wan who lurks beneath the cork of a fine bottle of something auld.

    Tell me, you do realise that the coddle pot of which you feast will have you up before the cock crows with a hankering for water to quench an almighty thirst?

    It is moments like these when I thank the worldy Gods for the importation of the elixir of life, Glesga's own Irn Bru.

  3. My friend I always bring something fizzy to bed. Though I haven't had the 'Bru' in quite a while.

    Something auld is the thing I hope to share with yersel someday soon pal.

  4. As much as I value your friendship above most of the buttery creamy things on the middle shelf in ASDA, I will have to say no to sharing that particular auld thing with your good self.

    Besides, will her husband no miss her at the bingo of a night?

  5. Aye.

    Pint so. Usual place and time.

  6. Silly old Gypsy, not knowing that "C" stands for Chef. Or Cute Cook. Or Culinary Wizard. I would never go see one of those old gals because she would probably look at my hand and declare that at 5'1" I'm short. :)

    Love the recipe! Although I will admit that here, we put butter in the pan rather than oil. It's a southern thing, I'm sure. Never tried it with honey though...Hubby prefers real maple syrup, not the grocery store sweet crap in a bottle.

    Hope you're having a wonderful time and wish we were for breakfast, Map for adult beverages. :)

  7. I've been known to sin with both the right and left hands, i'm ambidextrous that way... and though when visiting the Islands i've had a Irn Bru or two i seem to lean towards that old purple tin that the nice fellow at Tennent's make.

  8. Map, leaving in 10, but be warned I have a terrible thirst about me the night. I'm thinking bottom shelf for an extra hour before we hit the top wan.

  9. Hope, if you are a fan of butter in the pan, why not try red scallions and brown sugar sprinkled over shallots? Blend in a wee splash of stock and brown till perfectly even in colour. Savoury or sweet, it makes a tasty wee snack.

    Kono, the yellow tins are the best, but usually only available in Glesga, but if you can import a few then it is well worth the cost. No other lager is worth drinking in my owwn humble opinion.

    Always drink chilled and ideally when the hun lose and the Sellik win!

  10. Right, I'll get the bottom shelf, you can get the top. :¬)

  11. A good night was had by all. How about a spot of fry then a few hours sleep afore we can do it all over again the night?

  12. ...sheep as a lamb! Right so.

  13. Who thought Flamenco could be such fun? Who thought Spanish whisky (whisky doesn't have an 'e' here either) could be so potent?

    Who thought that you could go a whole evening without removing your troosers?

    Be ready for 9... be suree and tip the cab driver!


Thank you, the chef is currently preparing an answer for you in the kitchen. Do help yourself to more bread.