Sunday

Time


There is something irrefutably damaging to a mans dignity when he has to be pulled headfirst out of the deep damp midday sand as the receding tide trickles slowly back out to sea along with his pride. If the fall had been any harder or nearer to the waters edge I may well have required gills in my buttocks in order to be here this morning relating the tale. Amidst the mêlée of concerned onlookers, I was conscious of a pair of young female hands reaching for the clasp that hid not only my dignity, but also the tightening noose that realistically threatened my current air supply. It is not often that a certain part of me puckers at the touch of the warm gentle probing of a woman's delicate fingers. Like a perfectly prepared egg, I lay damaged, spilling, my inner most self-humiliation laid bare for all to see, the yolk soaking irrevocably into the wet and clinging sand. Like a grand 16th century warship covered by shell, I lay broken and unsalvageable at the waters edge, possibly never to fire my great gun of war ever again.

It is at times like these that a man, as he stumbles ever forward towards middle age, has to remember that his days as a happy-go-lucky hobbledehoy are at an end. The age old pendulum swings ever closer my way. No longer can I allow myself to dally in all night drinking sessions, unless of course I am visiting the in-laws over in jolly old Belfast and the drink to hand just happens to be corner-shop cocoa. Oh, how I have often prayed for a single biscuit dipped in cyanide during those long jejune weekends watching faded sideshows on Northern Ireland's underground drainage systems. It was not to be. So here I am, still in paradise, not lost, but only to find that my 'builders knee' continually thrums, along with a strange fungal infection from not wearing a verruca sock during my wife's swimming aerobics classes at the local lido. Why she couldn't stick to flower arranging is beyond me.

Luckily, throughout history, many scholared men have taken time out to write extremely labour intensive works of pure reading gold. Due to the fact that my rather truncated hobble has forced me to seek comfort in the stretched canvas of a hired beach chair, I have taken advantage of their literary genius with a good book or two whilst I heal. Of late, I have been pummelled, had my knees tapped so malevolently that I nearly offered the gentleman a full time career back in dear old Glasgow. Penetrated with all number of metallic Machiavellian objects so macabre that both my body, mind and arsehole may well be scarred for life. Had copious amounts of Celtic blood stolen from my battered, beleaguered veins, so much so that I teetered on the brink of necromancy in order to make ready for the after life. I began to suspect that somewhere, whole Nigerian villages were growing fat from the illicit sale of my precious blood in order to stave off various ailments brought on by rogue monitor lizard bites, the accidental ingestion of fossilised excrement and of course repetitive strain injury from writing many, many, many bogus begging letters. I have been consistently spiked by seemingly every myopic student nurse in the kingdom of Spain, for bodily fluids from every hanging or protruding infundibular about my person. From pee to poo, then back again it would seem. Only to find that my charts have mysteriously vanished, left on a train or in the smoking section of Starbucks by some poorly paid boeotian laboratory technician, busily conversing in iphone clatterfart, for the general public to entertain themselves with.

I am old school. I like to believe that I can heal myself through hard work, castor oil and a good long walk on the beach to purge the fact that pain is merely weakness leaving the body, to clear not only my fungal infection in the medicinal salty waters, but also my troubled head over the fact that I am convinced I am soon to expire. I remember as a boy my father returning early from his work with a bloodied bandage upon his head and both severed legs tucked under each broken arm. After polishing the shoes of his entire brood, setting a cold fire in the hearts of each room, peeling a bucket of grand oul spuds for the dinner that night, only then did he relent enough for others to seek help as to his injury. I was informed by the mother that I was to run along the snowy streets and fetch the blacksmith, who also doubled as a vet, from his warm place beside the open fire at a local bar to attend the father. Old habits die hard it would seem. Hence my wee stroll along the shoreline. It's been a real bugger trying to find a blacksmith out here though, that much I can tell you.

Yet, as I wait for the many multiple agonies of apoptosis to set about my weary beaten body, I take heed by the sight of so many other bedraggled human specimens who come to my island to play. I mean, come on. Have you stopped lately and taken note of your average German wearing the ubiquitous, inevitable garish thong? Parading about with little left to the imagination other than the white patch on their thigh where a well-oiled Luger pistol is usually strapped? Lank of hair, ox-jawed and synthetically muscled, still with their terrible siderodromophobia before them as they push past incandescent local peasants with half-folded pushchairs bigger than a small mortgage. Their men are no oil paintings either. There is no mistaking them as they kick sand in the face of every eastern European, fustigating  with each other as they attempt, and fail, to play volleyball on the beach, trying hard to forget the strictly cabbage aroma that permeates the lime mortar that awaits them back home in some ruined castle hidden by a forest. Spittle drips from their lips as they hiss at the soigné of the French. A resistance instilled, as they march in three's towards the sausage buffet and potato salad feasts, chocolate gateau and lager breakfasts. "No more" I cry, A feeling of great tintinnabulation brings me to my senses. I shall not succumb to life just yet. I shall continue to halt this usurp of Germanian schadenfreude.  "For Scotland and for glory", I cry.  I will retake this magnificent holiday isle. I have much tarradiddle to write, books to read and comments to decry. My time is no longer nigh. Besides, my empress is picking me up at three and I am badly in need of a shave.

With a new found vigour, I gather up my fallen verruca sock and limp lissom-like back towards the car park. A feeling of ataraxia enfolds me and gives me wings upon which to walk. And then, once more, as swiftly as a smoking Messerschmitt straight out of the mist...  I fall straight back down that same fecking hole...



Scottish Salmon with Rice Noodles

2 salmon fillets (delicately borrowed from the magnificent depths of Loch Duart) 
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 (5cm) piece of ginger, chopped
4 tablespoons sake or white German wine
3 tablespoon sugar (preferably brown sugar)
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon groundnut oil (vegetable or olive oil is also fine)
1 knob of butter
 
For the noodles: 
 
2 tablespoon of groundnut oil (vegetable or olive oil is also fine)            
350g of rice noodles
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 (4cm) piece of ginger, chopped
1 medium sized onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced into strips
1 yellow pepper, sliced into strips
1 green pepper, sliced into strips (can you see a pattern forming here?) 
4-5 pieces of closed cup mushroom, sliced
Soy sauce, to taste

First, combine garlic, ginger, white wine, sugar and the soy sauce in a bowl. Mix until sugar is dissolved. Marinate salmon fillets for one hour. Boil the rice noodles and simmer. Drain water.
In a pan, heat oil and sauté garlic and ginger. Add onions and cook until soft. Add all the peppers and mushrooms. Once the vegetables are cooked, add noodles and soy sauce. The amount of soy sauce depends on your taste. I wouldn't put too much in as I will use the salmon marinade as well.
In another pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Pan-fry salmon, starting with the skin first (if your salmon has skin). Add 1 knob of butter onto the pan. Once it's cooked, remove salmon from pan and cook the marinade. Wait until the marinade becomes thick. Place noodles on plate and put salmon either on top of the noodles or on the side. Pour or drizzle the sauce over the noodles and salmon. Accompany with a good German wine, something sweet, possibly a chilled Spätburgunder on ice.
 
Enjoy.

57 comments:

  1. Bigotry in any form is ugly to all mankind.

    And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?” And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months.

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    1. I read this post twice, I din't see bigotry anywhere. I did see a good natured roast that was uncannily close to being true. But then what would you know about anything outside of your bubble? You really are a moron.

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    2. Och away son, look at your last sentence. Save your breath, no need to fight my corner here, he'll interpret night as day given half the chance.

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  2. I want this comment to serve as an oasis of sanity in Mr. Pewfodder's lonely desert of foolishness. Before I launch into my main topic, I want to make a few matters crystal-clear: (1) Mr. Pewfodder certainly has no record of accomplishment, and (2) as a result of that, I find sardonic humour in the way that Mr. Pewfodder accuses me of the crime of bigotry. I can safely say that I've long thought it would be sensible to try to explain to him how he thinks nothing of violating the spirit of an indigenous people (ze Germans) and that he seems to have trouble constructing a grammatically correct sentence. For the most part, I'm just curious as to how deep Mr. Pewfodder will have to dig into his religious thesaurus to formulate an intelligent response.

    To use common parlance, Mr. Pewfodder's coalition of lickerish crackpots and putrid gutter-dwellers has an "religious zealot installed base" of hundreds of pestilential, grungy biblical charlatans. The implication is that as our society continues to unravel, more and more people will be grasping for straws, grasping for something to hold onto, grasping for something that promises to give them the sense of security and certainty that they so desperately need. These are the sorts of people Mr. Pewfodder preys upon. It is never easy to judge what the most appropriate or effective response to his evangelical plans for the future is, but one unfortunate fact remains clear: We wouldn't have a problem with Oblomovism if it weren't for him. Although Mr. Pewfodder created the problem, aggravated the problem, and escalated the problem, he insists that he can solve the problem if we just grant him enough blog space. How naïve does Mr. Pewfodder think I am? Truly, his xtian flunkies say, "It is righteous to pigeonhole people who sinneth into predetermined categories." Yes, I'm afraid they really do talk like that. It's the only way for them to conceal that by Mr. Pewfodder's standards, if you have morals, believe that character counts, and actually raise your own children, let alone teach them to be morally fit, you're definitely a wild proletariat. My standards, and I suspect yours as well, are quite different from his. For instance, I clearly profess that Mr. Pewfodder wants to prohibit any discussion of his attempts to dispense bread and circuses to gutless, carnaptious wise men to entice them to waste time pointing fingers at bigotry. While it is clear why he wants that to be a taboo subject, I can say one thing about Mr. Pewfodder. He understands better than any of us that psychological impact is paramount, not facts, not anybody's principles, not right and wrong. I'm not suggesting that I behave likewise. I'm suggesting only that Mr. Pewfodder is extraordinarily brazen. We've all known that for a long time. However, his willingness to mis-quote bible stories that are doubtlessly false sets a new record for brazenness.

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  3. To fall into a hole once.......

    Pint? :¬)

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    1. Aye, a pint would be fine indeed. You may have to fetch it over from the bar though for me, eh?

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    2. No bother pal, isn't that the reason Shrek has Donkey? Would ye like a bag of Tayto's with that? :¬)

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    3. No. What I would prefer is to know that the errand that yourself and the plumber went on was a success. Ring of Kerry my arse. A one word answer will suffice.

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    4. Not this time my friend.

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  4. Ouch!

    Can I fetch you something from the kitchen? (Or wherever you keep the good stuff for medicinal purposes.)

    And for the record, I volunteered to fetch on the basis of caring for a fellow human, not because I'm a girl and that's what we're suppose to do. Granted, I think it's in the Southern Gal Handbook, in the chapter about "Random Acts of Kindness", but I still think playing nice is more productive than finger pointing.

    Now, do you require ice for your glass or your ....knee? ;)

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    1. Very kind of you hen, but the little singing fella is at the bar as we speak, shout over to him and I'm sure he'll get you a large one as well. Although, the last time he fetched a tray of spirits he managed to drop the lot on the floor. It's nice to be waited on occasionally, I could get used to it.

      C'mon Maurcheen, hurry yourself along now, we have company and by the love of all things holy, we are both thirsty!

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    2. Are ya STILL feckin' on about that tray of drinks??

      Non-alkihole cocktail on the way for the lovely hope! :¬)

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    3. Aye, that tray of drinks was 12 year old malt. It was as close to my heart as your head is to your arse.

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    4. What can I say, I'm very bendy! :¬)

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    5. Thanks maurcheen. Perhaps I can aid with your tray skills. ;)

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    6. Thanks hope but my tray skills are just fine, or they would be if only some people would keep their size 15's out of a lads way! :¬)

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    7. I have taken the liberty of reserving some fine stools at the bar for tonights game. Shall we say 6:30, one or two swift ones before KO to get the ball rolling as it were! :¬)

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    8. Och son, I've been propping up the bar since the back of three waiting on you coming in. Get your skates on wee man, I've had to put a beer mat over your glass to stop the coke fae going flat.

      Seriously... c'mon, hurry up eh?

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    9. I Don't Want To Talk About It!

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  5. I'm going to have to leave this one until I can print it out. Some things defeat the screen--well, my eyes then--and deserve a slower reading than the computer encourages one into.

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    1. I can't say that I am best pleased with people that come here and then leave without touching the food that I so painstakingly prepared. You leave when your plate is empty... or else.

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  6. Verruca sock? Does it not clash with your beach shorts and your straw hat & sandals?

    I know the recipe well, cooked it quite a few times in my days at the academy in Devonshire Gardens, but you seem to have forgotten the most important ingredient to make it really zing. Let me know when you realise what you left out.

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    1. Firstly Anthony, nothing I wear clashes with anything. Yes, okay, maybe I did go through a phase of rather bright Pringle jumpers, but one has to look ones best when playing golf. Especially the nineteenth hole, eh?

      I've gone through the recipe again, apart from a sprinkle of dill (which I personally am not a big fan of) I cannot think of anything other than perhaps a different choice of wine?

      If I had to add anything else to make the evening zing however, it would probably be some big band music, a sumptuous venue, probably somewhere in Italy by the waters edge, and of course a long night of dancing with my good lady wife.

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  7. Nope James. Saffron and chili. Salmon without saffron is like Glasgow without rain. Am I to stand behind you now and tap you with a rolled up newspaper everytime you make a mistake with the broth?

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  8. It's probably not the best thing for me to see that top photo right before dinner. It's deliciousness personified. It might induce me to consume much more that I otherwise would have.

    A little lamb crashes through your roof. You fall into a ditch. More than once, apparently. Is the sun spreading a madness? Get thee back to a gray, damp climate before you kill yourself.

    A+ for using "jejune" in a sentence. A first, I believe, in blogland.

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    1. Trust me here, UB, it wasn't the first word that sprang to mind given the subject matter.

      If only I hadn't walked under that ladder... bad luck seems to follow me. Perhaps I should stop telling the little singing fella where I am going, eh?

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  9. Och, no. Saffron perhaps, but chili no way. With Loch Duart salmon I want to taste nothing else but the fish. You need to spend more time back up the road instead of wandering the aisles of the ASDA in Corby. Have you been in the Rock lately? When you next see Shanty, tell him I was asking for him, eh?

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    1. Chili all the way Chef. Scallions, lightly salted and buttered, a drizzle of oil and finish with chili strands. As for Shanty, no longer the king of the Rock. Back this side of the bar now. Duart is good, but Fyne has the edge.

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  10. Anonymous2:00 am GMT+5

    What exactly is a hobblehoy chef.It won't let me copyand paste.

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  11. Poor love. Sorry- I didn't mean to laugh.

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    1. Och hen, after my wee dig's at you of late I should imagine you were cock-a-hoop when you read the above. Have a wee giggle at my expense Pat, you have a wonderful smile, something that I would like to see more of.

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  12. Seems to me you require the services of a personal nurse... considering how accident-prone you are! Your lovely wife shouldn't have to haul your arse around because you can't keep your feet on level ground, Chef. Here's hoping the only thing truly injured is your pride.

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    1. A personal nurse would be good hen, especially as the current home-help is either away singing for his supper or laying in the gutter trying to remember his own name. Any chance of a bed bath perhaps?

      Did you know that his full name, by the way, contains these Christian names: Martin Aloysius Cuchullain Teagle?

      Now you know why we call him Map for short (pardon the pun).

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    2. Máirtín Antóin Pádraig Stíobhaird! Get it right Sheymous!

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    3. Tis a good job the mammy didn't do it the other way around, eh son? Somehow SPAM wouldn't have been quite so ideal for such a gadfly as yourself.

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    4. Aye, but a bastid with plenty of good pals.

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  13. I've read it again and am really sorry and hope all heals quickly and do be careful.

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  14. My place... Sunday lunch, I'll cook your favourite roast, my treat... bring your photie albums. I'll get in your favourite tipple. PG Tips.

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  15. i didn't start to feel decrepit until i was about 40 years old. coaching the little dudes futbol squad, i was marching along the sideline with my clipboard. rather than eat antacid tablets, i was nervously chewing on a roll of SweeTart candies. i broke a tooth. As a child, i remember seeing my parents occasionally spit out a part of a tooth with dinner, and then continue eating. i remember thinking "god damn, i hope i'm never that old". when i spit out a piece of my tooth on the sidelines that day, i was officially decrepit.

    you busted up a knee. so long as you're not spitting out your teeth with your oatmeal in the morning, i'm thinking you've got a few years left...

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    1. My dearest Daisy, standing behind a cement mixer slinging sand in the notoriously wet Glasgow winters has left me with a stiffness to my knee it would seem. Nothing to incapacitate me, something I've lived with for a decade or so. However, the sudden change of climate has seemingly aggravated it to the point where I can only feel comfortable when I have a gaggle of sympathetic ladies fussing over me. So far, so good. Spitting teeth on the other hand became a regular event with me in my youth, until I realised that my good looks might be in jeopardy should I reach 40.

      Needless to say, I am still the most handsome man in Glasgow, if not Scotland itself, possibly even Europe. And you know how much the ladies like a certain amount of stiffness about a man, eh?

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    2. i'm adept at relieving stiffness in an appendage. warmth, moisture and just the right amount of heat can work feckin' miracles. off to finish my whisky and send the most pure, therapeutic thoughts across the atlantic.

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    3. I believe you are also adept at creating stiffness in many appendages my dear daisyfae. And if your thoughts, currently winging their way across the water, are pure, then I am Greek and currently on my way to church.

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  16. Salmon is my favourite.

    Insanely expensive it is in this part of the world so for ultra special occasions only.

    Love what you've done with the place.

    xx

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    1. Ah Eileen, you have good taste I see. Salmon should be treated with the utmost respect during the cooking process. The flesh should remain delicate and flake in the mouth with as much elegance as the holy virgin herself weeing in a summer stream. Scottish salmon, if collected from the very best waters, should taste of nothing but the intense flavour of a) the salmon, b) the water from hence it came. Nothing else will do. Tony, to his credit, is a professional chef and insists upon cooking food in the style of which he was very carefully trained.

      Me, I like what I like and every recipe differs according to taste. That's what makes them so much of a pleasure to create.

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  17. So you came down not only once into the mud but a second time on the parking lot.
    Did you hear these damn Messerschmidts again?

    What white wine would one want with it? (I'm sure there are better alliterations, but it's the best I can come up with now.) Seriously: The combination of soy sauce and white wine for the salmon - wouldn't be the Japanese burner better fit in? Accompanying the fish and the noodles - possibly a cold Riesling? A self-willed wine, maybe it would fit with it, especially because of the garlic in the sauce. One should try.

    Something different, just to get it right and make me understand: "Pewfodder" is a joke, right?

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    1. In all honesty Mr Mago, or may I address you as '63'? Salmon for my palate accentuates the taste buds when taken with a decent sized cup of sake. Obviously being brewed traditionally like a good strong beer, sake is best made with a certain longer grain rice, shuzō kōtekimai, and is an excellent accompaniment to the wild salmon. How it tastes when taken with something from the ASDA, one will never know. Taste is all down to the individual, one mans poison and all that malarkey.

      My tumble on the beach was originally inspired by a long liquid lunch which went on for the best part of three days due to a few visiting family members. The fact that I tumbled into a hole which had been prepared by weans playing was an oversight. The fact that I fell into the same hole twice was pure stupidity on my part.

      Pewfodder is an extremely intelligent guy who started blogging with good intentions. Sadly, for reasons that he will not explain, he has devoted his life to Mr Christ, but also has a penchant for trolling blog comments and be controversial. It would seem that I irk him somewhat with my devout atheism. Check out his own blog and you will see what I mean.

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    2. "something from the ASDA" - I'm sorry Chef, I do not get the allusion. It's a kind of supermarket, as I learned from a look at their website, but have no clue where it stands in the pecking order.

      I would not number Riesling among the supermarket wines, but I have no clue how the stuff is marketed outside Germany. As I remember the taste of Riesling - mostly from what my neighbour Ludwig makes in his cellar - it would go with the sauce you describe imho - to drink, but not necessarily to prepare: I can simply not imagine what soy sauce and white wine would do together in a pot; soy sauce and sake, yes. One day I will find out.

      And thank you for asking, please call me mago.

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    3. I have questioned Herr Ludwig, he tells me that he mixes fuscidic acid and quinine together to produce bathtub gin. It doesn't taste pleasant, but for the love of all things holy, it soon gets rid of rust!

      Delete
  18. Love, love, love the new header pic!
    I wish I was sitting there sipping on something cool right now!
    *sigh*

    Now, what's all this about your wounded pride spilling forth like broken egg yolk?
    Meh ... It'll heal.
    In the meantime, does your beverage need refreshing?!
    Sit before you hurt yourself further ....

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    1. Ah Scarlet, thank you. The new header was acquired for me by my better half during my time spent watching my beloved Celtic the previous evening. I will humour her, then probably remove it when the time is right. Diplomacy...

      I am pretty much thick-skinned, pride belongs on the fitba pitch, not in the hands of a great fool such as myself. However, if you would like to hold my hand and join me in a drink, please do hen.

      Delete
  19. Are you still steaming your whole salmon wrapped in the Daily Record, on the top shelf of the dishwasher? I was just wondering, I hear that you are quite a good poacher as well. ;)

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  20. I can think of something I would like to wrap in that particular Masonic rag. It isn't a fish.

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  21. I'm not sure if this would be acceptable to a man of fine sensibilities, but my husband has abandoned the expensive jollop intended to boost his immune system in favour of the cheap stuff intended to boost the immune system of the Alsatian.
    It seems to be working well and, so far, he has not started barking.

    Beats the stings and arrows of myopic medical staff anyday.

    And I wouldn't put chilli with salmon either...especilly not some of the stuff current here. Panamanian chilli, for example.....if they'd used that they wouldn't have needed explosives to dig out the canal...

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    1. The most expensive thing is good health above all else, we all value it and cherish the importance of it. Give him my regards and tell him that Glasgow bows its head to the fire that still remains in his blood.

      Chili with salmon is akin to Joanna Lumley in hip-hop jeans. It simply cannot be done.

      Delete

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