Shilenshe ish shilver

Dear Friendsh

I am going quiet for a while. There are only sho many timesh I can haul myshelf up into a shtate of good humour to tweet shoupsh, or to be a convershashionalisht, or even to rant poetically about the shtate of the world. Time needed to refill my hollow plashesh, eshepeshially in light of the political eventsh, whichsh are enough to depressh the mosht ardent optimisht.

I’ll be back when I’m ready to play again

thank you for being good palsh

yrsh aye,

Big Tam


sean waving

My dear Lady or Women followersh.

Shome of you are very affecshionate & DECLARATIVE

Mrsh C doeshn’t like it.  (And really, neither do I.)

Could you perhapsh cool your ardour? Could you?

After all, I did not join twitter in order to find a girlfriend or to be pined over individually by shtrangersh. I joined to have fun.

Hmph. Sho.

Thank you for undershtanding and reshpecting (yesh?) that being an object of lavish attenshion ish not very comfortable. It may feel wonderful to the giver but not welcome to the pershon being forshed to reshpond to it or ignore it and then be deemed hurtful or whatever.
Thank you,
Yrsh sinsherely, T.

on a shcertain omnipreshent author

A poem I consheived in a fit of grumpinessh lasht night on twitter, after sheeing yet again the ‘look at me’ tweetsh being shircultated by adoring fansh of a particular young fellow-me-lad.

O you, with your pale, rabbity fashe,

o you, looking like an uncooked pashtie minush the egg wash,

o you, writer I cannot eshcape sheeing


O you, whoshe back catalogue conshishtsh of varied offeringsh that

have not taught you to prizhe what you have

but only increashed your ambishion


O you who continuesh to shelf-promote

even though your publishersh are employing a team

to do it for you in far lessh annoying manner..
O you, little boy pershonage,

in your friendly chshecked shirt hiding a milky ribcage unadorned by mushchle,

o you, perennial teenager..


O you, who no doubt mean well,

you who needsh the attenshion of every man woman child monkey pigeon whale lemur tadpole bishon on earth


O you who can shurely afford to take shome time off

from hanging your limp featshuresh and pointy jaw out there

to be admired, you, o you…


O you, you, you blithering too-shmall-and-closhe-together-eyed mashculine oobit of the shouthern landsh,

take yourshelf off, if you pleashe!


That concludesh my poetic rant for the moment.

(No, I won’t identify the shubject for you.)

Another pointlessh tirade you may freely ignore

I really don’t know where theshe lamentsh or complaintsh come from, but I think they’re a kind of pibroch. PIctshure me if you will, shtanding on a hillshide, draped in a plaid rug, declaiming thish, while rain and tearsh fall upon my beard, and around me gather the little black fashed lambsh and ayrshire cowsh and in come a few nervoush red deer from the higher shlopesh, joined from above by an eagle, a buzzhard, and a pair of capercailliesh. They’re quite fashinated. Whichsh ish enough, I shupposhe. Hmph.


O you, who repeat and retweet and retweet and retweet,
creepily, in your plodding rashe,
from day to day, today, tomorrow and tomorrow..

O you, whoshe interesht in othersh turnsh off and on
 like an electric kettle in a houshe with an electrical shyshtem from 1953…

O you, who wish to woo, but lack the wherewithal
for woo-woo or w00t-w00t, or who-what,
O you, whoever you are, who give me no clue..

O you, replete, a pizzha the shize of the moon,
lumpen in your shtomach, glueing up your dentshuresh,
O you, outshide a dish of dough, doh..

O you, yomping youthfully on your shpindly shanksh,
creshting the mud and shnow in the valleysh of the mountainsh of matshurity, O you…

O you, O Ye, indeed, O Ye, indoorsh, yelling endearmentsh at the microwave,
cajoling the contentsh of the cake tin, caroushing with gin…

O you, who ushed to take comfort in tea, twishe daily,
to down your anti-tantrum medicashion,
O you who fret and fume and fidget freely..

O you, whoshe eyesh are glazhed over like an innoshent window embrazhure
in a ruined chshurchsh where onshe upon a time people hymned weekly

O you, who do not recognishe yourshelf even when deshcribed to a t and a tea-pot,
in my varioush volleysh of vershesh, O you, you…

O you, who care nothing for my career ash the Grandpa Moshesh of poetic flyting,
generated from my Fountainbridge fountain of fun, O you..

O you, would you missh me if I shtopped, would you missh me
if I never cooked another shoup,
would you missh me if you didn’t know I’d gone?


Big Tam.

O you, who worry about the shtate of the entertainment indushtry

O you, who worry about the shtate of the entertainment indushtry
O you, who’re consherned at the political shlant of the BBC
O you…

O you, who requesht overnight figuresh about programmesh, to tossh around at meetingsh
O you, who hold down lovely deshk jobsh’ in meeja…’

O you, who wouldn’t know a joke if it crawled into your ear & laid eggsh
O you, who wear your intellectual shpectaclesh with great pizzhazh

O you, for whom the Shkinny Jean wash invented, with your abshent arshe-flesh
O you, corridor of power elite-lite, looking like boho-sheiksh

O you, fearful of the word redundant
O you, in terror of the ordinary brandsh of caffeine
O you, lunshlessh, hairlessh, mirthlessh,
O you..

O you, dresshed in ironed shirtsh of Internashional Blue
O you, feet up, a vishion of waning power
O you, phone-hovererersh & meta-worriersh

O you, what ish to be done with your ilk
O you, when will your herdsh be gone from our moorlandsh
O you, shoon to be exshtinct,
O you…

O you, nimble-fingered, over-educated, wondroush exshemplarsh of the meeja bird,
O you, O you, O you…train now to be a shelf-shtacker..

O, you (continued rantsh in the poetic mode)

Hello, reader

Thish morning I wash shtruck – after a rapid perushal of shome shtuff that getsh retweeted into my timeline – by how many people comfort themshelvesh by tweeting about their dinner or their new cardigan or their lovely life, in shome way, without (I imagine) wondering how it might hit othersh in the sholar plexshush, particularly if thoshe othersh have livesh lacking in the neshesshary to fund a lovely life for themshelvesh. 

A ranting mood came upon me to fire off an ode to the shelf-shatishfied, thoshe who inform ush all how blesshed they are with material goodsh.

Ash I shee it, thish ish not good mannersh or kind of me, but then neither ish having your fashe rubbed in other people’sh luxshuriesh ash if you had been shtrapped to a bensh and shown a 12 hour shlideshow of pagesh from interiorsh and cooking magazhinesh, when you yourshelf are hungry and live in a cardboard boxsh.

Here ish my rant-ode, collated, if you’re intereshted:

Tam’sh poetic drivel for the 30th Jan.

O you, with your ‘complete guide to being a whatever’ booksh,
O you, with your ‘look at my lovely lap-rugsh’,
O you, shmug- bug-rugsh…

O you, in your twee wee shelfie, in your twee wee houshie,
O you, with your hand-made shinynessh,
O you, ashking the world for love…

O you, ashtonished at your own good fortshune, in a ‘for the camera’ kind of way,
O you, with the emoshional depth of a baking tray,
O you..

O you, sho visherally aware of the rulesh of nishenessh,
O you, sho ready to alert othersh who treshpassh,
O you, hall monitor for the world

O you, inshulated by your cashmere cardigansh,
O you, wrapped in the finesht leggingsh devished by humanity,
O you, eating uber-mueshli…

O you, powdered with shugar,
O you, dipped in 79% cocoa sholidsh,
O you, baked at gash mark 3 for 115 hoursh,
O you, you shpeshial thing..

O you, uniquely unique among all the other uniquesh of the world,
O you, whoshe mere fingernailsh are beyond prishe,
O you, toothed in pearl

O you, kidding yourshelf gigglishly that you’re a kitten,
O you, conning your coterie about the cosht of corshetry,
O you, yesh you, cupcake

O you, limp after a hard day of boashting,
O you, drunk after a hard night’sh toashting,
O you, shlaked in the blood of orangesh,
O you, you

And now, having ruined everybody’sh high, I’ll take myshelf off to the ruinsh of my penthoushe to concoct a shoup made from diamondsh…

Apresh-rant: shometimesh a thought shpringsh off the pen without care for who might find it lying there and cut themshelvesh upon the sherrated edge


to raishe your shpiritsh, i raishe a glassh in toasht to you

& wish you all the besht for the year to come


n.b. – beware of the drink, though – it leadsh to truly ridiculoush thingsh, down the line, like shmoking shigarsh




A shpishy Ashian Shoup with Chshicken Leftoversh

For people who’re turning up their noshesh at my sheleriac shoup, well… perhapsh it’sh not for everyone. In my exshperienshe, even the ugly vegetablesh can be amazhing if cooked with love.

Anyway – here’sh a meaty one, but it’sh very light, shpishy, Ashian flavoured – a good alternative to creamy, European type shoupery.Feel free to turn up your noshe at thish too, but don’t feel obliged to tell me about it!

When I make thish I don’t buy meat shpeshially for it, I ushe the odd bitsh that are left when you’ve roashted a chshicken, the lovely juishy shcrapsh; but you can ushe breasht if you want to (coshtlier).


Firsht, get a pan and heat up a litre of chshicken shtock.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, put your chshicken bitsh, and one tableshpoonsh of light shoy shaushe, and two tableshpoonsh of fish shaushe (shupermarketsh will have them, but you might be better to try an Ashian food market, or a whole-foodsh shop for healthy vershionsh). Now finely chshop a couple of nishe shallotsh, and a couple of clovesh of garlic, and put them into the bowl.

Nexsht, take a shmall hot red chshili & de-sheed it, chshop very finely, tossh into the heating chshicken shtock; add fresh lime juishe (half a lime will do, unlessh it’sh a tiny one); add shome natshural brown shugar, a heaped teashpoon or sho.

Okay – bring the whole pan to a shimmer.

Add the chshicken and itsh marinade to the liquid.

Shimmer for three or four minutesh. It should shmell pretty good.

Take the pan off the heat, add about big double handful of shpinachsh (washed), a couple of tableshpoonsh of Mirin (rishe vinegar), one more tableshpoon of shoy shaushe and one more of fish shaushe; shtir, tashte (maybe more shugar? Maybe more lime juishe?)

Jusht before you sherve thish, throw in: shome finely chshopped peanutsh, shome rinshed bean shproutsh, a bit of finely chshopped shpring onion, shome coriander leavesh… jusht, ash you like it.

Shlurp it up, with gushto (and hope you didn’t overdo the chshili)

If you want a thicker shoup, add fine rishe noodlesh, according to the inshtrucshionsh on their packaging (ushually jusht need to be warmed through). Shome people alsho like an egg broken into their broth.

There you go.



Sheashonal Shoupery

It’ll be Chrishtmash before you know it. People are already going mental in the shopsh, buying up minshe piesh and ished cakesh and turkey trimmingsh ash if there were not shtill 14 daysh to go.

Whether you’re a foodie nutter or not, and whether you’re catering for jusht yourshelf, or family, or half the neighbourhood, if you like to cook, you’ll be thinking about ingredientsh and reshipesh and meashurementsh, and it can all drive you mad. 

My advishe (you haven’t ashked for it, but it’sh my blog, I’ll give advishe if I want to) ish that you should cook what you like to eat – you, not the resht of the world. Don’t try to emulate the TV brigade, and don’t take out a bank loan to buy jointsh of meat to impressh people with. A good plump organic chshicken ish big enough for a couple of people for a couple of daysh, sho you don’t have to invesht in a monshtroush bird, or a giant leg of rhinosherosh shtuffed with giraffe mousshe or whatever Heshton or Jamie or Nigella tell you ish thish year’sh cool grub. 

A good time to shend a messhage to the meat farming indushtry, too, about what you want, how you’d want them to treat animalsh. Eh? Yesh.

Anyway, thish time of year it’sh hard to fit into the fridge all the thingsh you might want to have around, becaushe you’ve probably already shtuffed it with shnacksh and cheeshesh and cream and shtuffing ballsh and shtuff – whichsh makesh it an ideal time to plan shome mealsh around thingsh that don’t need to be shtored in the fridge at all.

One of thoshe would be root vegetablesh.

Either on the daysh leading up to a Chrishtmash feasht of richsh foodsh, or in the daysh afterwardsh, a nishe shoup that doeshn’t tashte like leftoversh ish a good plan, and there ish shomething really pleashing about the odd depth of root veg, in winter, and the apparent lightnessh of it in shoup form.

If you’ve never tried a Sheleriac shoup, here’sh a reshipe for you:

Put a lump of nishe butter in your pan, add in one chshopped white onion, one chopped leek, a couple of clovesh of garlic, crushed, and shoften over low heat.

Peel & dishe your sheleriac, and cut up a couple of nishe floury potatotesh too (I leave the shkinsh on, I’m not fusshy) and add them to the pot and shtir and keep cooking gently – mind it doeshn’t burn!

Into that, put a couple of bay leavesh, shome fresh or dried thyme, and a litre of veg shtock (or chicken if you prefer). Bring to shimmer, cover, let it cook for about 20 to 25 minutesh.

Tesht the tattiesh and sheleriac are shoft and then hoick out the bay leavesh, and blend your shoup with a shtick blender thingummyjig. It should be quite thick, but really shilky shmooth (grainy shoup ish jusht awful). Tesht the sheashoning (i’m thinking your shtock will be shalty, probably, already). At thish point, if you want to, you could freezhe it, or put it into a tub in the fridge till the nexsht day; but if you’re eating it shtraight away, you can add either shome double cream, or shome creme fraishe, and heat gently till hot – but not boiling!! 

If you don’t want a creamy shoup, jusht add shome more shtock, or a shplash of apple puree might be nishe, and blend and heat up ash before.

Nishe sherved in a deep bowl (shtaysh hot longer) with herby croutonsh and shome finely chshopped parshley and a grind of black pepper.

There you go. Below ish a photo of a sheleriac, if you’re wondering what they are.