My First Joke

Wednesday 2/2/2005

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Diary and Notes

Firstly, the Newcastle Brown Ice Cream has nothing to do with today's dinner, I just thought it was too good not to include.

So far, apart from the old "Do you like Kipling?" line, (Reply - "I don't know, I've never Kippled.") I don't think I've had a single actual joke, anywhere in my blog. Today I feel that I should me amends.

My friends Marcello and Marika came over for dinner. Marcello (being weird) doesn't eat a lot of meat and as such I cooked fish - mackerel to be exact, one of my favourite fishes in all the seas and oceans. It was a simple affair, nothing overly fancy, just a little herby breadcrumbs and some grilled halloumi cheese. There was soup, salad and pudding and I think my guests were suitably happy with the whole experience.

I like to make a bit of an effort when people come for dinner and this was no exception. We sat around and talked about food, booze and maths (we're mathematicians remember) and afterwards went to the City Gate for a pint of Young's Bitter. A damn fine evening by any measure.

So what's this joke then?

I was thinking of what to write in my blog and I was checking the web for interesting comments on Italians (Marcello and Marika are Italian if you hadn't guessed) when I found an old classic. I've just stolen it from the website where I found it, but I don't think they invented it as it's been around for years.

Anyway, enjoy (or be offended, I don't mind which):

A bus stops and two Italian men get on. They sit down and engage in an animated conversation. The lady sitting behind them ignores them at first, but her attention is galvanized when she hears one of the men say the following:

"Emma come first.
Den I come.
Den two asses come together.
I come once-a-more.
Two asses, they come together again.
I come again and pee twice.
Then I come one lasta time."

"You foul-mouthed swine, " retorted the lady indignantly. "In this country we don't talk about our sex lives in public!"

"Hey, coola down lady," said the man.
"Who talkin' abouta sex? I'm justa tellin' my friend how to spella Mississippi."


In addition to some Frascati I had, my chum Marcello bought a bottle of Villa Masera from Marks and Spencer. I advise everybody to go out and buy this wine, it's fantastic. It tastes almost exactly like a Sancerre or a Pouilly Fume but instead of costing between 9 and 11 pounds it is about 4.50. I will be stocking up on this and keeping it for hot summer days. I don't often recommend wines, but this one is worth trying.

Cake Blog

Six man pudding (recipe below): Named by my good friend Dr Phil Welshegg of Atlanta Ga. We had this once and used a whole ginger cake between the two of us then decided there was probably enough for six. I know I had ginger cake yesterday but as a cake experience this is altogether different.


  • Minestrone soup with French bread

  • Breaded mackerel with grilled halloumi cheese
  • Salad
  • Potato salad
  • Mild salsa

  • Six man pudding.


  • Soup: Olive oil, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, white wine, white cabbage, red pepper, stock, thyme, parsley, spaghetti, tomato puree, black pepper, Parmesan cheese.
  • Mackerel: Mackerel, egg, flour, breadcrumbs (home made of course), parsley, Italian seasoning, halloumi cheese, olive oil.
  • Salad: Lettuce, carrot, tomatoes, black olives, mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, fennel seeds, black pepper, salt.
  • Potato Salad: Potatoes, mayonnaise, apple, celery, spring onions, black pepper, parsley.
  • Salsa: Onion, tomato, cucumber, red pepper, tomato puree, tomato kethup, lemon juice, hot pepper sauce (Encona), fresh coriander.
  • Pudding: MacVities Ginger cake, butter, sugar, cinnamon, double cream, nutmeg.


  • Soup: If you have a pressure cooker it will really enhance the soup, also you need some excellent stock for this, I had some chicken/pork stock which I had made the day before and was really meaty. It is also traditional to have some bacon or sausage and a few haricot beans in the mix. I didn't have any though and it was still damn fine. Finely chop the vegetables (really finely chopped) and with the garlic sweat them in a little olive oil until soft. Pour over a little white wine and allow to steam for a minute or too. Add the stock and bubble for a few minutes then remove about half the soup and liquidize it. Pour it back in the pot (this gives you a thicker minestrone but still leaves you some nice tasty vegetable pieces). Add some spaghetti broken into 1cm pieces, a squirt of tomato puree, the chopped herbs and some pepper. Put the lid on and simmer away for as long as you have time. When you serve, grate in loads of fresh Parmesan cheese.
  • Mackerel: Fillet the mackerel. Mix a little flour into the egg and dip the fillets in this. Season the breadcrumbs with fresh parsley and italian seasoning and breadcrumb the fish. Fry gently in a little olive oil. While the fish is frying, slice the halloumi and rub with a little olive oil. Grill on both sides for about two minutes and then serve on top of the mackerel with a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Salad: Chop the salad ingredients and make a dressing from the oil, lemon juice etc...
  • Potato Salad: This is a normal potato salad but a bit of diced Granny Smith apple, spring onion and diced celery gives it some crunch and flavour.
  • Salsa
  • Pudding: Slice the cake into thick slices (about 2cm thick) and place in an ovenproof dish. Make a spiced butterscotch sauce by melting the butter in a saucepan, add some sugar and cinnamon. When the sugar has dissolved pour in the double cream. Stir and warm thoroughly. Pour over the cake (make sure it's smothered) and bake for 20 mins. Serve with grated nutmeg.