Archive for July, 2010


Saturday, July 31st, 2010

Sunday 1 August 2010.

Greetings to readers around the world from my old cottage in Sri Lanka overlooking the Indian Ocean. By the way, if you see hieroglyphs as punctuation marks in this newsletter I am assured by an expert that it could be your computer, not my web monster, Andrew. See the comments at the end of Newsletter Number 15.


When I have a special guest at home, Kumara serves L’Oeuf de Poule. I had this once as part of a special dinner cooked by Joel Robuchon (name dropping) at Le Normandie Restaurant at The Oriental Hotel in Bangkok.

When I went back a few weeks later, one of the waiters gave me the recipe, as he had watched what the great Joel was doing.

So here’s our version. We actually use red (it’s prettier than black) lump fish caviar as we can’t get Beluga in Sri Lanka. You will also need vodka and fresh cream.

Start by blending half a shot of vodka (drink the other half while working) with a large dash of cream. Beat it furiously with a fork until it solidifies, and then pop it into the freezer.

Take a couple of uncooked eggs and cut the top of each one, leaving a wide opening. Pour the raw yoke and the white of the eggs into a cup, add just a pinch of freshly ground black pepper and put the cup aside.

Plunge the decapitated eggshells into boiling water. This will cook the membrane remaining in the shell. Remove the

shells and let them cool. Now you have to peel out the membrane and discard it.

You are left with a plain eggshell without a top. Place each shell into its own egg cup.

Put a non-stick frying pan onto a gas fire at a high heat, drop in a huge knob of unsalted butter and let it melt, but don’t let it get brown.

Whip it off the stove while it is very hot and pour in your eggs. Keep the frying pan away from the stove while you stir the eggs vigorously with a wooden spoon. You don’t want to get the mix as firm as scrambled eggs. It should be barely cooked and soft and runny.

Now scoop the egg mix into the eggshells, putting in enough to reach almost to the jagged edge of the eggshell. Take thecream and vodka mix out of the freezer and spoon the solid dollop on top of the liquid egg and it will begin to melt. Top up each egg with a heap of the caviar. This adds the salt, which is why you didn’t put any in the egg mixture.


How to be Elvis

“How to” books are usually good sellers as long as they connect with people who want to learn “how to…”

From, I bought Just Pretending by Kurt Burrows, out of curiosity. It’s an entertaining guide to being an Elvis Presley Tribute Artiste (ETA) which, the book assures readers, is not the same as being an Elvis impersonator – although the two seem to share the same jump suit.

Burrows (being an ETA himself) knows his Elvis and this book contains everything that the potential ETA needs to learn to be a success.

Actually aspiring to be an ETA could be a metaphor for wanting to be a success at anything, and this is an easy-to-read “how to succeed” guide. Advice about being well-rehearsed, self-disciplined, on time, and professional, apply to everyone who wants to be a hit.

Photos of Elvis and tribute artistes illustrate the book but, alas, there is none of the author (who performs with the stage name of Kurt Burrows). He says the book is to entertain and to give advice and not to promote himself.

Kurt is a regular reader of this newsletter, so let’s all wish him lots of sales. Now where can I buy a jump suit? (Actually even that information is in the book.)


This week, I’ve received the advance copy of another new book I’ve written and we took delivery of a brand new black tuk tuk (Indian three-wheeler vehicle.) More about both in future newsletters.

Bon appétit!