THE FIRST OF APRIL IS THE DAY WE REMEMBER WHAT WE ARE THE OTHER 364 DAYS OF THE YEAR. Mark Twain
The latest edition of the local Yellow Pages arrived on my doorstep - and what a cracking read it is. Within its pages you will find everything from birth to death - not forgetting wheelbarrow hire and lap dancing. Every household should have a copy of this seminal work, it is useful for keeping the sash window wedged open, and particularly good for propping up the wonky leg on a bed in our guest room.
RANTING:The media just don't have what it takes to do a proper April Fool's Day spoof any more. I remember the famous spagetti trees production of BBC Panorama, and the Guardian's brilliant newspaper supplement on the Islands of San Seriffe - both were so clever that they fooled millions of people. But all The Independent on Sunday could come up with today was 'Bill of Rights for abused robots', it was so damned obvious it was a spoof it wouldn't have fooled anyone.
On New Year's Eve I had 20 people here for dinner and one of my guests was teasing me about this blog. He read out a recipe that he said was perfect for me to post, and he was quite right so without further ado I share it with you now!
Having shot your cormorant, hold it well away from you as you carry it home; these birds are exceedingly verminous and the lice are said to be not entirely host-specific. Hang up by the feet with a piece of wire, soak in petrol and set on fire. This treatment both removes most of the feathers and kills the lice.
When the smoke has cleared away, take the cormorant down and cut off the beak. Send this to the local Conservancy Board who, if you are in the right area, will give you 3/6d or sometimes 5/- for it. Bury the carcase, preferably in a light sandy soil, and leave it there for a fortnight. This is said to improve the flavour by removing, in part at least, the taste of rotting fish.
Dig up and skin and draw the bird. Place in a strong salt and water solution and soak for 48 hours. Remove, dry, stuff with whole, unpeeled onions: the onion skins are supposed to bleach the meat to a small extent, so that it is very dark brown instead of being entirely black.
Simmer gently in seawater, to which two tablespoons of chloride of lime have been added, for six hours. This has a further tenderising effect. Take out of the water and allow to dry, meanwhile mixing up a stiff paste of methylated spirit and curry powder. Spread this mixture liberally over the breast of the bird.
Finally roast in a very hot oven for three hours. The result is unbelievable. Throw it away. Not even a starving vulture would eat it.