June 2012

I’ve got you deep in the heart of me
So deep in my heart that you’re really a part of me
I’ve got you under my skin

This sounds like a strange way to sing one’s way into a story. Go with it. You remember the standard, written by Cole Porter, made famous by Old Blue Eyes. Now sing along…

My friend Michael Houseright asked me to guest post over at The Blissful Adventurer while he was away in Italy last month. I  thought I should throw it up here too. (Visit Michael’s new blog or he will kill me for reposting without telling him.)

My tale begins 127 years ago. The story goes that Giuseppe Cerve came to Ireland from Casalattico in central Italy. He came here with very little, to find a better life for his family. He began selling potatoes cooked in oil from a barrow. We Irish liked it so much that he soon opened Ireland’s first ‘Chipper’ where he began selling fish and chips. An Irish Italian tradition was born.

A rare photo of Giuseppe Cerve’s original Chip Shop. This image from the collection of the late Barbie Borza.

Prawns, coriander, lime, garlic and a twist of black pepper. For once, I got all the ingredients into the picture.

I remember as a young fellow being slightly flexible with the truth and having my late Dad pull me up on it with “Don’t come the raw prawn with me.”  It seemed like a bizarre expression then and still seems like it now, over 40 years later. While I was thinking about an ‘angle’ for this simple barbecue recipe, the expression popped back into my head. That got me looking it up on Google. That took me to the Australian National University and their Meanings and origins of Australian words and idioms. There are some cracking expressions with which the Australians have enriched our language. Read on, Cobber

I have carried the weight of this around for more than a decade and now I have to clear my conscience. We had been holidaying in the Poitou‑Charentes region of France. We had made the short trip into Saintes for the weekly market. I was feeling ambitious and wanted to prepare a butterflied leg of lamb. I circled the market and located the lamb butcher, having previously tried to buy beef from a boucherie chevaline (horse butcher), causing much mirth for the butcher and embarrassment for me. In my dire French, I conveyed that I wanted the joint boned. With much smiling and what I thought was comprehension, the master craftsman set to work.

I ask the question because I need something to hang this on. My piece of tuna is the shape (and nearly the size) of a baby grand. However, the answer does not lie there. I have been faffing around with this post for over a month now. I have procrastinated, prevaricated and generally beaten about the bush. It is not within me to just cook some food, photograph it and post it. I have to say something. The zing in this thing was the salsa verde. I followed a Jamie Oliver recipe pretty closely and it turned out very well. Then it would, would it not? He is one of the chefs who really is inventive and thoughtful. More than I can say about me and my bush beating. I will fill you in on the piano bit later. 

Don’t get me wrong. I really, really, really appreciate the various awards I have received from fellow bloggers. I am even grateful for the couple that my blogging daughter has bestowed upon my blog. Though, I do  have a problem. The Versatile Blogger Award asks that each recipient passes it on to 15 others. Let me explain first with a bit of maths:

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