Thursday

I Scream




Experience the rustic charm of dining under the stars. Soak in the beauty and grace of an exotic starlight dance in the lap of nature. Observe the process of the evening sky as it projects a thousand different glistening diamonds into the very heart of the warm Mediterranean waters. Smile as you drink in the company of good friends. Bond with your neighbours over a luxuriously chilled, flinty Chablis in tall glasses and accompany it with a sumptuous lemon fresh, char grilled fish supper. Act pleasantly surprised when you are quietly informed that the defecalgesiophobia suffering couple from down the hill (yes, the ones you didn't invite, the ones nobody likes) are at the door awaiting entry. Choose your moment, excuse yourself with a polite wave of the hand, watch as your wife flashes you a 'please do not embarrass me again smile' and slip away discreetly to discover the source of your irritation. Ah yes, the little cockalorum from further down the hill is making a point. The very same balatrons who stood drintling about a barking dog that we do not have. A charming couple who between themselves are to civility what a typewriter is to the digital age. They have all the warmth and charm of the snake pit at Edinburgh zoo. Rumour has it that during a recent sabbatical to the wonderfully historic pyramids in Zawyet el'Aryan, instead of joining the tourist group admiring the wonderful pictograms and hieroglyphics depicting the history of the Pharaoh Nebka, they remained on the coach composing an email of complaint to the tour company in regard to the lack of air conditioning inside of the tomb. They even refused to be impressed by the one-legged urimancy fakir propped awkwardly upon a rock outside of the tomb who very kindly offered to divine their immediate future using equine urine, chickens entrails and the devils own hecatomb beneath the night sky. Some people, eh?


Already, you are probably drawing a comparison of your own in regard to another loathsome hebetudinous couple of your own choosing whom you have come into contact with in the past, am I right?

Regardless of some peoples perception of me, particularly in the drier, dustier, older, southerly parts of Belgium, and ignoring my somewhat spirited cacodaemonomanian youth, the simpering wee tales that get dribbled on to the interbox every few years or so are simply twaddle. I am actually quite Apollonian of nature, preferring these days to rise above any oncoming shit-storm by merely turning the other cheek. Not at all the uneducated, murdering, Glaswegian cattle rustling, brachiation practising clod from the Lowlands that some would have you believe. Okay, admittedly there was that one incident at the very entertaining leather market last month, very popular with holidaymakers it would seem, where a rather large Somali, hip-gyrating brigand in a pair of cut-off tracksuit bottoms and a decidedly grubby pair of feet, tried to relieve my good lady of her purse as she stooped to put honestly earned coinage into his upturned hat. It is quite by coincidence that his severed hands now adorn the spiked railings that run adjacent to the docks in Ports de Balears rather deserted area. I have heard talk of terrible things that can happen in the shadows of the docks at night. Thankfully, being a devout and staurolatry man, I am always at home (with several witnesses, one of them being a lawyer) by sundown every evening, studiously concentrating the mathematical magnitude of my scrabble board with a chilled glass of scuppernong and playing a decent role of being a proud ampherotokus man (112 points if you hit a treble word score) and could not possibly comment on any such supposition.

Considering that my pleasant soigné evening was in full swing, I purposely relented from greeting my arriving guests with anything less than a spot of recumbentibus eventfulness, I remained melliloquent. Normally at this point, many of you would await the crux of the tale knowing that I am about to reveal a cliché, a somewhat well-meaning life lesson, a poignant, but decisive point, the pivotal moment if you will. No, this morning I will simply end on a obmutescent note without a hidden twist. You may decide for yourselves what actually happened. Answers on a post card please. The person nearest to the actual outcome will be rewarded with a bottle of something rather nice accompanied by much callithumpian.


Speaking of something rather nice...

Chef's Vanilla Ice Cream

2 freshly laid free range eggs                           
1 cup of sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
2-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups fresh skimmed cream
Seeds from 1 vanilla pod
In a heavy saucepan, combine the first five ingredients. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat a metal spoon and reaches at least 160°.  Remove from the heat; cool quickly by setting pan in ice and stirring the mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight or freeze immediately. When ready to freeze, pour custard and vanilla into the cylinder of an ice cream freezer. Freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. 
I cannot emphasis strongly enough... this is a Scottish recipe. It is vanilla ice cream, buttery, creamy, smooth and tastes entirely of vanilla. As friendly as I am with our enormously enjoyable, yet somewhat explaterate cousins from Amerikay, please do not let me discover that you have perverted a perfectly good old fashioned Scottish ice cream with any of the following: Marshmallows, Peanut M&M's, Fudge, Cookie dough, Chocolate sprinkles, Coffee, Coca-bloody-Cola or any other edible trinket, bonnyclabber or geegaw you can sadly find lurking in aisle three at the supermarket.

Do enjoy...  meanwhile, I shall be sitting here drinking a fine blend of breakfast tea and composing a sumptuous proposal of bigamous marriage to the rather delightful Lady Patricia of Somerset in Englandshire.

28 comments:

  1. I'm thinking a swift headbutt to the bridge of the nose followed by dragging the unconscious loser by his collar to the kerb. However hearing so many tales of your previous exploits from Shanty and the boys and knowing that you are a more mature man these days I would guess that your wife punched him while you hid behind the curtains. Only joking. Loving the last part of the recipe by the way. Sometimes too much is just that. You can send me a bottle of Whyte & Mackay courtesy of my Corby address. As for whatever callithumpian is, I'm on a diet.

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    1. Anthony, nice try, however, reverting to extreme measures such as the ones suggested by you would be unnecessary considering that although my visitors were a pair of bawbags, they did not warrant physical removal. You can whistle for your Whyte & Mackay my friend, best you stick to the Bucky with your pals in Corby, eh?

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  2. I think you do what all good chefs have done from time immemorial - Posion the bastards! slowly over time so they suffer and eventially die a slow and painful death.

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    1. I once served up a plate of crab pate to my BIL's in Belfast, which contained a small part of the very obnoxious fingers, of which should never be eaten. I believe they vomited for three whole days before the toxin passed (like hot melting chocolate) through their systems. It is a very painful and debilitating way to treat ones guests, unwelcome or not. I like your thinking though...

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    2. Are you in the capital?
      James Forrest eh what a class finish.

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    3. Sadly not, I am currently in middle England trying to take in the vast beauty of Oxfordshire and its middle class values.

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  3. And if Tony guessed incorrectly, I will offer that you stared DOWN at them with an expression of neither anger nor irritation, but one of polite pity that while there are many things we can change in life, people like them are often be blind to exactly what that change might incur. And then you told them they had the wrong date and shut the door. Firmly. :)

    Ah, that recipe sounds wonderful! Best homemade vanilla ice cream we ever created was my Mom-in-law's recipe (probably should be outlawed by a physician due to richness) which we jacked up a notch by using goose eggs. Yes, when we got married, our first place left us with an inheritance of chickens, ducks and geese. I have never had richer, or more yellow, vanilla ice cream in my life. Sigh.

    Sorry, rambling again. I'll make myself useful and go put out fresh straw for your wee friend. ;)

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    1. Ah, my dear Sous Chef Hope. You may well be partially correct in your assumption in regard to my guests, however, angelic entirely I may not yet be. It will shock some when the answer is divulged, it will depend of course on individual morals. We shall no doubt see.

      Vanilla ice cream... the last bastion in the vast desert of flubbery blandness. Served with a plain wafer or a small wedge of chilled fruit, it is delectable and will compliment almost any dish. The usage of goose eggs is a new one on me, however this Sunday I shall be experimenting using this very item. I shall communicate back to you my findings in due course.

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  4. My thought is that the neighbor man started to complain about the noise from the party as his mousey wife stood an appropriate distance behind him... Before he could finish his first poorly-worded sentence fragment, you looked down lovingly into his eyes... placed your strong finger gently against his quivering liver lips, and said "Shhhh.... You'll spoil the moment. I want to remember you just the way you look in the moon light..." before gently shutting the door in his bewildered face.

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    1. An excellent assumption, one of which has far too many merits to ignore. This has been duly noted and will definitely be used on a future occasion when the timing is right. Sadly though, it isn't what happened, although you above most of the regulars will appreciate the actual events that did take place.

      ...and no, I don't have pictures, but I do believe that one or two iphone cameras were clicking merrily away in the background.

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  5. You invited them in to view your collection of Rangers FC memoribillia and the fotos of you and your mob visiting Buckingham palcae and the queen.

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    1. Normally any comment in regard to the now defunct R*****s Cheatball club would not see the light of day on this blog. However, although you belong to the most despised blog on the internet I will grant you space to comment, but only due to your rather amusing name. I also noted a rather funny quote which appears to have come from your own lips of which I shall place on my sidebar later today.

      Should you have won I would have gladly sent you a large bottle of shampoo to wash out your editors mouth. But you haven't... so get it up yis.

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  6. In the frontispiece of my copy of Our Man in Havana there's a quote from someone along the lines of "And the sad man is the cock of all his jokes." I imagine some sort of scenario which sets such a situation up: that is, similar to the one Tony suggests, where you crush them with politeness and flecks of humour. It very slowly dawns on them that they are beng mocked, the cocks of your jokes and civility.

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    1. Ah well now, your IQ shines brightly my wee artistic friend. In a Glasgow via Kirkintilloch type of wordy detour you may well have locked a few roughly translated key pieces into place. You are definitely on the right path, but I would ask that three pointers are considered by you to secure a more translucent picture.

      1. I make no secret of my hamartiologist tendencies.
      2. I have little time for the sgiomlaireached.
      3. I have a wicked sense of humour when faced with eejits.

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  7. You smile that crooked smile, sang 'Boston Rose' and melted their icy hearts. :¬)

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    1. You know me so well, eh? However, 'Boston Rose' is a special piece sung only when I have the drink upon me and the memories of another time and the country of my birth invade me with a vividity of what has passed before us both.

      Should it be myself that has the audition in front of you in order to take the stage with your man quite soon? No bottle prize for you my boy, but there will always be a cold pint and a glass of warm gold for you on the bar at Jinty's of a Friday night.

      That goes without saying.

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    2. That's prize enough for me my friend, and anyways, a bottle is always best when shared with the giver eh? :)

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    3. Tis better to share a bottle with a friend than to drink alone with only ones thoughts for company.

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  8. It would be too much to ask if the answer was that you invited them in using kindness and an understanding that we are all equal under one God?

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    1. Only the Irish would be equal to any god.

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  9. I'm all for the traditional vanilla Jim, but try this for size.

    4oz/125g caster sugar (fine granulated sugar)
    6 tablespoons water
    6 egg yolks
    7 fluid ounces (210ml) double cream, lightly whipped
    3 tablespoons Drambuie

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    1. Uh-huh, but you are detracting from the point Anthony. Vanilla ice cream does not need enhancement. Drambuie is for visiting Frenchmen, vacant faced girls and the odd occasional bicycle salesman just passing through.

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  10. Remind me to never play scrabble with you. Ever.
    You are right about the ice cream. No tarting up is at all necessary.

    Re the charming couple - you told them they were very welcome provided their shots against leprovaginapox were up to date as there has been a recent outbreak in the family.

    Who is the man with the buttoned flies? His features are too strong for Scott Fitzgerald I think.

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    1. Au contraire dear lady, I believe that a ipsedixitism game of minds with a woman of such substance would be a veritable feast of grammaticaster versatility of the highest order.

      We are in complete agreement upon the subject of ice cream, if it is prepared correctly it requires nothing else to enhance the distinct subtlety of nature.

      Re the charmless couple, your response caused me to nicitate somewhat before smiling at the demure way in which your delicate mind works. Unfortunately the answer is incorrect, although bodily parts, although not spoken of, did play a larger than life part in the proceedings.

      The man with the buttoned fly is an Irishman by birth, swept up at an early age and carried along with the tidal wave of immigrants heading away from the fever to the promised land. He shook off his family name adopting the name of the island that processed him through the gates and into the land of Amerikay. Although he did not possess the art of being able to read or write, he had an enlarged IQ. He went on to become an interesting man affiliated to the less notorious of the criminal echelon in Boston Mass. He married an Irish girl at the age of nineteen and went on to have five boys, two of which perished under the feet of a polis horse during the unrest of the period. He fell out of love for the promised land when the authorities offered them $3 per child by way of compensation. It was alleged that the button-fly man and his remaining family returned to Ireland where he cast off the 'Ellis' surname and took up the more traditional name of O'Bradaigh. His genes were passed down to his own grand-childer, one of which took up with a stunningly protestant beauty, settled in Glasgow and using his wits, after a somewhat brigandish youth, began a successful career using his talent with bricks.

      The rest they say, is history.

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  11. Anonymous6:03 am GMT+5

    You might have answered the door dressed entirely in the skin of a dead Labrador and on all fours, barking? Perhaps cocking your leg and relieving yourself against the legs of the complainee. On a defending note, ice cream in the US is more fun when jazzed up and enhanced. British food is not known for its varieties when it comes to color or flavor, sorry to disappoint, but cookie dough and peanut butter is awesome. X

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  12. You are correct, I might have. Unfortunately I might also have been plagued by doraphobia, which would understandably have prevented me from taking on the appearance of a labrador. Although quite adept with a sharp knife, the chances of skinning, tanning, wearing and then finally disposing of the bloodied slime upon my highly polished tile floor would negate your theory greatly.

    Defending is not necessary. My opinion is not an attack on the American people, more so your lack of simplicity when it comes to ice cream. However, you deciding that I am British would raise a few eyebrows in the land of my birth, especially as it is a republic and under no affiliation to Great Britain. I would however suggest that UK food is far from bland, in fact it has more variations than most when it comes to the preparation of many succulent and tasty dishes.

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  13. You raised a finger, smiling?

    And vanilla ice cream is just that...vanilla..not some other abomination.

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  14. Interesting guests. Troublemakers one way like the other. I have no clue what you did. After all I would not have them come in, the "damage" is already done by not inviting them. I do not like self-inviting, maybe it's a bit like the finger and the hand. I generally try to avoid such situations.
    The ice cream - oh dear ... I gain a pound only by reading the receipt.

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