The Day I Got Made

Wednesday 11/5/2005

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Diary and Notes

"Heey...Jonny...come and give Dadi a hug." The Don seemed to be in a good mood and that's when you need to watch out. Something big was going down and I got the feeling I was going down with it. But why? Business was up and everything was going well between me and Nicoletta, and there was no way he could have found out about me and the Russian agent he had sent to kill me (I still see her now and then for a 'workout' - only to keep me physically honed of course).

I never liked meeting the Don in strange places and a cement warehouse, on the banks of the river Po, in the dead of night, must surely be the worst place imaginable. Worse still the Don wasn't alone, all the boys were there; Toni Macaroni from Naples, Pauli Panatoni and even Noodles McKenzie from the Glasgow ice cream operation. I wondered what my chances were - especially as I had come lightly armed (a stiletto knife, a small .32 special in my sock, a 375 in my hip holster, a .45 in my shoulder holster, two Mac10 spray and prays strapped to my back, an M-16 and a few grenades for emergencies) of course I was wearing my trusty Kevlar jacket and box, but that was all - if only I'd brought something bigger I'd have felt a lot safer.

"Take a seat Jonny Boy. Eat some pasta, join us." This was strange. A table had been set up in the centre of the room and was loaded with food, good food. The boys sat down and began to pour wine, everyone seemed happy and relaxed - I was dead for sure.

"So how's the olive oil business going?" Asked Toni, "Profits up I hope." I nodded slightly nervously.

"And the cream cake racket?" This time it was Pauli grilling me, I nodded again and forced a grin.

"And the gelati? How's the new tutti fruitti? Not been dipping into the stocks and taking it for yourself?" Noodles's eyes stared straight at me, his hand resting on a 9mm. I stared back and felt the handle on the 375. Moments passed - time froze, a pause so pregnant you'd have called it a queen termite. Then "Bang!"


Ice cold champagne poured onto my hair and everybody began to laugh. I wasn't being erased, I was being made. Admitted into the family as one of their own. I released my grip on the handle of my gun and leant back and drank from the bottle.

"And now you can make a good woman of my lovely Nicoletta." Said the Don. "Now we are family!"

Cake Blog

Cherry and Almond Tart: From M&S - after the success of yesterdays pear tart I thought I'd try M&S again. It was good, but not a patch on the pear version. Still - not bad for a quid.


  • Lamb Shanks with Peppers and Olives
  • Fusili with Pesto


    Lamb Shanks with Peppers and Olives
    2 Lamb Shanks
    1/2 Onion
    1 Clove Garlic
    Little Olive Oil
    100ml Red Wine
    1 Red Pepper
    15 Black Olives
    1 tsp Dried Oregano
    1/2 tsp Pickled Peppercorns
    2 tsp Pine Kernels
    1 Clove Garlic
    50g Parmesan Cheese
    20 Fresh Basil Leaves
    Small Bunch Flat Leaf Parsley
    Black Pepper
    20ml Olive Oil


  • Lamb Shanks: Sear the lamb shanks all over in a pan. Turn the heat down and add a little olive oil and the finely diced onion and minced garlic. Sweat the onion until soft then add the wine and reduce for a few minutes. Add the chopped red pepper, the olives cut into halves, the peppercorns, a pinch of salt and the oregano. Put the lid on, turn the heat down real low and go and do some of the Methods for ODE's marking you've been putting off all week - come on, there are about 35 scripts and they wont get done on their own. After marking 8 scripts (an hour and a half) turn the shanks over and go and mark another 7. When you've done 15 scripts in total the shanks should be really well cooked and the meat tender and delicious. Have a glass of wine as well - you've earned it.
  • Pesto: Make beforehand and keeps for ages. Put everything in a blender and whizz until a thick paste forms. Stir into pasta while the pasta is good and hot. Home made is much much tastier than the crap in jars.


    *All quantities are very approximate and for a single person