Breath in, breathe out and relax. It’s all going to be fine. You’ve found the Universal Rules for Guaranteed Good Cooking.
Your culinary troubles are over. All you need for gustatory nirvana is to follow these few simple steps exactly.
No need to sweat through Jamie, cower before Delia or moan over Nigella. Cookbooks begone! All you need is here.
Padmini this is for you. Men wave goodbye to kitchen anxiety. Women flex your spatulas. And let’s go…
The 20 Universal Rules for Guaranteed Good Cooking
1. Choose a bottle of red wine.. Not a carton. Not a box. Not a plastic bottle from a plane. A proper long-necked bottle.
2. Open it. Sniff it. Pause in anticipation.
3. Slowly pour it – savouring that obble-gobble obble-gobble sound. That sound is the spiritual fanfare of the kitchen.
4. Choose your music and press play. [Inappropriate music: The Pogues*, anything about prisons*, anything rubbish.] [Appropriate music: When the night feels my song – Bedouin Soundclash, Moonshine – Jaqee (looking cool and sultry on the left there), Desaparacido – Manu Chao, upbeat reggae or ska.]
5. Adjust the setting on your music player to a higher temperature. That’s better. By now you should have tasted your wine. (NB: Be sure to pour the wine before turning on the music, otherwise you may miss the soul-lifting obble-gobble obble-gobble.)
6. Stir yourself and dance (or at least sashay) round the kitchen. This is to be repeated frequently during the cooking process.
7. Take your measuring jug, scales and specially designed half teaspoon/teaspoon/half table spoon/table spoon device. Carefully hide these and any other oppressively exact tools in a cupboard out of sight. (NB: A glass doored cupboard will NOT do – unless the glass is opaque.)
8. Prepare your mushrooms. Rinse them. Peel them if it makes you feel good. Peel them slowly. Drink some wine. Then chop them and gently fry in three sauces – dark soy, teryaki and mirin. And the greatest of these is mirin Continue reading
This is not original, but it’s still the best. Bar none.
Happy Christmas to you and yours.
And the story of the song is here written by Dorian Lynskey. (It’s not really Shane on the piano. Cheeky pup that he is.)
Shane MacGowan and Cait O’Riordan
In days gone by, The Pogues never failed to cheer me up.
We go back a long time.
I remember sitting on top of a wardrobe in the Crescent in Belfast watching Shane MacGowan beat out a fast tempo with a biscuit tin lid on his bonce.
Or the time the UDR kind of pulled us over because the car was bouncing excessively to Sally MacLennane (er… that’s the song rather than any young lady who may share the name). It was odd, because we were stationary at the time. Perhaps it just seemed we were moving. Or they weren’t so keen on The Pogues.
Or the time I was rescued by Jim from a melee in the Ulster Hall. (Dunno why. It was all fine. Just a bit lively. No idea what he was worried about.)
Or the time in Dublin that “Country” Jem Finer accused me of chucking a television out their hotel window. It wasn’t me at all. (Though I’m not so sure about the fella I was with.)
Or the time I bumped into Cait O’Riordan coming out of the gents in the Olympia Theatre. (No, nothing like that. She was with Elvis Costello.) She sounded like this.
Or the time we sneaked into the Fleadh through a bar tent… Or the time… Or the time…
Or all the times The Pogues were a guaranteed remedy for melancholy.
So here they are. They have cheerier songs, but this was the best video I could find. Even with a song of death, regret and mutilation they still lift my spirits.
Anyone got a guaranteed spirit-reviving song they like to offer as an alternative? (And don’t suggest All Kinds of Everything by Dana – it won’t get through.)
Sodcasters... But they look so lovely. They're probably listening to Price Tag by Jessie J or Ave Maria.
Are you a sodcaster? Or have you been the victim of sodcasting? (Or even the beneficiary?)
Whaddaya mean – What is sodcasting? You’ll almost certainly have experienced it. Unless perhaps you’re American. Because it’s a public transport phenomenon. (So this post particularly goes out to the newly resurrected Exile Imaging, who works in city transit for Austin, Texas.)
So what is it? Sodcasting is the playing of tinny tuneless repetitive beats on your phone loud speaker, or more likely that the sound leaks from your earbuds – thus giving other passengers on the bus or train the joy of sharing your musical tastes.
The music will be bad. Because it has to compete with the rumble of the vehicle. It’ll be distorted because it’s turned up so loud. And it’ll probably be rubbish, because it has been specially made to suit the medium – lots of treble, little or no bass.
I have to admit, though I’m familiar with the phenomenon, I hadn’t heard the term until this week. It is derived from podcasting – combined with a “Sod You” attitude.
And this is the important thing. I heard it on a wonderful radio programme on BBC Radio 4 which Continue reading
I hope the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the IMF and World Bank, and all you other financial institutions around the planet are keeping a sneaky eye on this blog. Because this could be the way out of recession. I should warn you that it involves front fastening magnetic bras. And jugs. But don’t go jumping to conclusions too quickly… Continue reading
Chris Bryen & Phil Kane of Wolf's Head
Ye Gods! Who or what are they? They dress only in black. (Johnny Cash afficionados?) They have black faces. (But they’re nothing like the Black & White Minstrels.) They scurry around whacking people with clubs… I’ve given it away now, haven’t I?
You’re still wondering what these gothic and possibly pagan performers have to do with God being an Englishman. Fair enough. Let’s get the Men (and Women) In Black out of the way first.
Danny Graham & Emilia Graham - Wolf's Head & Vixen