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.