Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The Perfect Irish Coffee

Tips from the master.

1. Take a tub of double cream and shake vigorously until solid.

2. Line up your red wine glasses.

3. Add coffee to glasses. Either ready-made fresh or instant coffee is fine.

Warning: pouring boiling water into a glass can cause it to shatter.

Top Tip: warm the glass up first by swilling a little hot water around it. If you leave a teaspoon in the glass as you pour the coffee, it is much less likely to break.

4. Add a teaspoon of sugar to the coffee for those who like things sweet.

Top Tip: Add the sugar before the alcohol, otherwise it won't dissolve properly.

5. Stir the sugar in really well.

6. Add a generous dash of Irish whiskey. Irish whiskey is triple distilled (Scotch twice, and Bourbon only once) which makes it nice and smooth - perfectly complimenting the coffee. If you don't have an Irish whiskey, then Jura is an acceptable alternative. 

7. Finally, add a fork or tablespoon full of thick cream to the coffee. It's really important to do this gently and not to let it plop in. You want the cream to dissolve resting on the surface, to create layers. If it goes under the surface it will simply turn into milky coffee.

There is another technique, whereby you hold a spoon upside down over the glass and pour liquid cream onto the back so that the convex shape of the spoon helps to rest the cream on the surface of the coffee. Unless you're confident - ours is an easier option.

Et voila! The perfect Irish coffee:

Monday, 10 January 2011

Condom Craft

Edinburgh is a fantastic city - but impossible to remain sober in.

There's an awesome bar called The Regent on Montrose Terrace. It's just a wonderful place. Touted as something like: "winner of the Scottish gay real ale pub of the year" - very specialised category.

If you ever find yourself there, it's compulsory to order a 'stovie'. It's a traditional Scottish dish: mashed beef, potatoes, carrot, salt and pepper, served in a pot with butter and oat cakes. The ones at the Regent are truly very special.

Anyway, after a bit of a pub crawl and a stovie, my friend Ruairi went to the little boys' room. He came back with a pocket full of condoms and lube, explaining that there's a Durex machine in there charging £1, but next to it are baskets of free condoms in 'trim', 'natural' and 'golliath' size. He had to take some - because they were free.

You know how it is.

Anyway, I went to powder my nose, expecting to find treats in the ladies' - but, to my disgust, not a sausage. Err...I mean, nothing. Now, fine, on the Scene we women don't require condoms, it's true. But what about some lube, or a flavoured lick?

See - even in a gay bar male dominance and sexual inequality still run rife! It was most disappointing. I expected better.

So, we went home and decided to run a little test.

Part one: What is the difference between 'trim' and 'goliath'? Think length? Apparently not:

L-R: Large, Natural, Trim.

The difference actually appears to be in girth. To the naked (oo-err) eye, it's actually not that obvious at first.

The second part of our experiment involved another comparison exercise. Whilst in our various development roles overseas, we were constantly plied with free condoms. They were in the Programme Office toilets and every other INGO (International Non-Government Organisation) lav.

Naturally, we had one or two left over as souvenirs. We decided to see whether free condoms in Africa stretch as far as those in the UK:

L-R: Large, Natural, Trim, VSO standard issue.

Apparently, the answer is no!

VSO standard issue condoms are quite clearly a lot smaller!

There's budget cuts for you.

Curiosity satisfied, we then resorted to a condom sculpting competition:





Our finest inventions included The Exorcist:

This may not look very impressive, but the nature of the beast meant that the courting bulges at the top tried to swivel themselves free, causing the whole thing to twist round like Regan's head. First very slowly, then extremely fast, until it made a leap for freedom across the kitchen!

The second was an anatomically correct condom sculpture of a penis:

So, a very educational evening and much fun had by all.

If you enjoyed this post, you may well enjoy Puppetry of the Penis. I went to see them many years ago in Cardiff, and will never forget the Hamburger! I have a signed copy of their book - now I just need to grow a willy :op