Harry Rumble

For breakfast this morning I created a wee piece of heaven by way of a delicious sliced kumato, seasoned with black pepper, Gruyere cheese, and a poached egg atop a wheat English muffin served with a prosciutto wrapped rasher of smoked bacon in the middle. To smooth its passage I made a nice big pot of Brazil's finest rich roasted blend. For perfection itself the entire ensemble was served up on square Belgian plates, pure glazed white in colour, trimmed with fine gold thread, a present from a long standing friend. I shall ignore the fact that written on the back in a neat hand the words 'Property of the Hilton Hotel' can be clearly seen. I'm sure Paris's family has enough to go around and these won't be missed.

This good friend goes by the name of Harry Rumble. His claim to fame is that he is in fact distantly related to the infamous Joe Byrne, colleague of the notorious Irish / Australian, Ned Kelly. Joe Byrne was a lover of horses. So much so that he was deported from Ireland for stealing 30 or so thoroughbreds from an English landowner near Roscommon. Good man that Joe! Quite a feat for a relative of Harry, considering that he is someone who gets asthma every time a horse passes wind within a mile of his house. Now Harry, a man of considerable intellect and quite an expert on existentialism and the meaning of life, not to mention vintage motorcycles, Roman architecture and single malt whisky, has one big weakness.


According to his charming wife, I bring out the worst in Harry and unleash in him a beast that is hard to tame and impossible to handle once a notion is put into his head. Oh, I know what you are thinking, debauched sessions of week long drinking bouts ending in unbridled lust, pillage and cold nights spent on lumpy mattresses in pish stained polis cells waiting to be bailed out by our wives. No, you must be thinking of this guy, not me. I'm the quiet one who ends up having to carry him home after half a pint of shandy and a sniff of the barmaid's apron. Not so much a singer, more of a hinger on oul ladies doorsteps as he relieves his stomach of the remnants of expensive gold all over his black slip on shoes.

No, for the love of all things culinary, when Harry and I get together we spend our time debating, not debauching,  the art of creating the perfect skink. Harry is a real chef, unlike masel, and has worked with a few of the greats himself. He has a mission in life to create the worlds tastiest broth by using only the bare minimum of ingredients, relying totally on his knowledge of combinations of the best produce to hand. I swear, that man could make hot water and salt taste like ambrosia, nectar and the ultimate elixir of kitchen life. Me, on the other hand, I like to rely on tradition, freshness and just a cheeky wee hint of good luck. Not to mention a selection of frozen homemade chicken stock (our secret, reet?). I will soon be dining at his table with his delectable wife. I will be on my best behaviour I promise. I will also be discussing my favourite soup recipe, Cullen Skink. Do have a wee bash yourself and let me know what you think.

You will need.

A large smoked haddock raked free of wee bones
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1½ pints milk
2 tablespoons good butter
8 oz mashed spud
Salt and white pepper
1 bay leaf
Chopped parsley
Spring water
2 Scallions, chopped
Bacon Goujons, about a handful and a half 

Partially cover the smoked haddock with spring water, any bottled water will do if you live outside of Scotland, damn heathen hordes the lot of yis, in a shallow pan, skin side down. Bring to the boil and simmer for 4/5 minutes, turning once. Glance quickly at the photie on the wall of his holiness the Pope before you take the haddock from the pan and remove the skin and any remaining wee bones. Break up the fish into flakes, return to the stock and add the chopped onion, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Simmer for another 15 minutes. Strain, remove the bay leaf but retain the stock and fish. Do not get sidetracked at this stage of the process, otherwise I shall not want to work with you anymore. Add the milk to the fish stock and bring back to the boil. Add enough mashed spud's to create the consistency you prefer (don't be afraid to make it rich and thick like that American eejit on the Fox network, aye, that's the one.) Add the fish and reheat. Check for seasoning. Just before serving, add the butter in small pieces so that it runs through the soup. This is important, so do not for the love of your God skip the step.
Serve with chopped parsley on top, accompanied by triangles of toast and a chilled bottle of Chardonnay, a well established low maintenance wine that produces a clear crisp zing of buttered oak and crispy apple when served with all fish courses. Enjoy. Should you require religious or alcoholic assistance in my 'short' absence, please contact the wee man in Limerick, he has the key and will gladly let you in.

Wipe your feet though, eh?


  1. The allure of the kumato is lost on me. I like my tomatoes bright red with a bit of acid behind the sweet. Other than that, that breakfast sounded awesome!

    1. Mr Earl, the kumato was quintessential to the combination of flavours in this case. Not the most attractive of fruits, granted, but perfect for that second and third flavour to come through after the enticemnent of the egg with the first bite.

  2. Right...'EMPTY'!!! And I know where the good stuff is!
    Ring the buzzer three times then once again.

    1. Did you never stop to ponder exactly why the stone finials at the entrance to my driveway have a small LED that glow green when the gates open?

      Big brother is watching you son... 24/7, and I've put a pencil mark on the label of the Glenmorangie.

    2. Glenmorangie

      *double sigh*

      i'm done, i can't read any further.


    3. Glenmorangie AND sundried raisins together Savvy, one brings out the flavour of the other. Not to be missed.

  3. Ah the irony that you always make me hungry with a single paragraph, yet the recipes make me feel as if I've had a meal. Haven't gained a pound hanging around in your kitchen...and the aromas are divine! ;)

    1. Take a sneak peek in my larder Hope. I have a few treats hanging up and ageing nicely for some choice recipes later on this month. Do join me if you can.

  4. English muffins eh?
    100 lines befor bed-time : I must be nicer to Map.
    I'm off to ask MTL if he is familiar with skink.
    Must try pomegranate juice - I'm weary of cranberry.

    1. Pat, I know... sadly the English do corner the market wiith their muffins otherwise I would of course buy Scottish ones.

      Why on earth would you want to be nice to a scallywag like Map?

      Cullen Skink, he'll know it. He's no been away fae home for that long.

      As for the pomegranate, pure dead brilliant!

    2. Don't ya know all the ladies love a scallywag?!

    3. Aye, you should read the comments I don't publish.

  5. Anonymous1:48 am GMT+5

    Madame D once told me that you and Mapstew are the same person. So are you really a caberet singer or a cook?

    1. Someone anon keeps adding soil to the footings of my garage extension at night. It's an absolute mystery as to why though.

      The plot thickens...

  6. Anonymous7:56 am GMT+5

    "American eejit on the Fox network"

    Which one? There are an endless number of rich, thick eejits in the Fox house...

    1. Ashton Kutcher... if I hear him say once more that he is of Irish descent I may have to smother him with a large, green plastic shamrock.

  7. Oddly someone tried to convince me that you and Map were the same person. God knows why.

  8. Pat, Map and I are both aware of the person who is being malicious. It is only age and gender that keep us from taking it any further.

    What goes around comes around I always say. Quite funny if it wasn't so sad.

  9. It just doesn't make sense.
    I'm liking the pomegranite juice but wonder if I should have got the more expensive version rather than the Store one. I'll lash out next time.

  10. Life makes no sense hen. By the way, the only juice worth having is ginger, made by Barrs and is best swallied fae glass bottles. Ask your man.


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