A good, staid Glaswegian gentleman, when in company, is ever humble, yet the tyrant is never courteous to those who serve even the whitest black crows. Humility and gentility is neither in birth, wealth, or fashion, but in the mind. A high sense of honour, a steeled determination never to take a mean advantage of another, adherence to truth, delicacy and politeness towards those with whom we hold social intercourse, are the essential characteristics of a gentleman. Little attentions to your mother-in-law, your wife, and her pig ugly sister, will beget much love. The man who is a rude husband, son-in-law, and brother-in-law, cannot be a gentleman and will be lonely within the marital bed. He may ape the manners of one, but, wanting the refinement of heart that would make him courteous at home. His politeness is but a thin cloak to cover a rude, unpolished mind. So, with all this said, I decided to take the moral high ground and behaved impeccably during my time in the home of my beloved wife's family.
I did not once pee upon the toilet rug in anger or frustration, neither did I take umbrage at the way in which my offer of helping in the kitchen was so pointedly rebuked. I even pretended not to notice when my morning tea was served in a rather grand cup graced with a portrait of HRH herself. I like to believe that I can hold my own in any circumstances, all be it outnumbered by a bunch of dim-witted Ulster men with an axe to grind against the Glesga man who turned their sisters head many years since. Tis the charm, you see... What better than to verbally beat the troglodyte's at their own favourite game... Each evening as they gathered to watch their nightly helping of mind numbingly boring soap operas, I began to quote continually from the Christian bible which had been placed so considerately at my side. Just like the Religiosaurus - they too verged on the veritable precipice of extinction once they were starved of their nightly sustenance. Piety is always a religion best served cold.
3lb vine-ripened tomatoes, diced to 1cm
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, de-seeded and chopped
2 pinches sea salt
4 pinches cayenne pepper
20ml white wine vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
400ml still spring water
50ml extra-virgin olive oil
2 basil leaves
1 newspaper crossword
4 large glasses of red alter wine (don't let the priest see you steal it)
Mix all the ingredients and seasoning together in a large glass bowl. Swally down the first glass of wine. Cover with clingfilm and marinate for a minimum of one hour. Begin the crossword, sample the second glass of wine. Purée in a liquidiser for two minutes on full power. Strain through a fine sieve, add the third glass of red wine to the mix, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Next, 3 down - a small crooner with a club foot from Limerick - 7 letters, begins with 'M'. Refrigerate until required. The mix NOT the crooner. Serve in a chilled bowl. Enjoy the fourth glass of wine, you have earned it. The success of this recipe is determined by the quality and ripeness of your vine ripened tomatoes; the amount of sugar required depends on the natural sweetness of your tomatoes. Choose carefully and for the love of all things biblical, do not refrigerate the toms prior to the preparation of this dish! For a suave garnish I would recommend chopped black olives, sliced hard-boiled eggs dressed with cracked black pepper and garlic croutons. For those out to impress, ciabatta bread with wee dods of fresh butter as an accompaniment. Finally, 17 across is incorrect. Think again.