Saturday, May 10, 2008

Protrudio Says — Hey!

As you may recall, Abysswinksback-goers were invited to partake in the following writing exercise:

Your skeleton suddenly and inexplicably disappears — and you’re still alive. How do you feel?

Protrudio responds...

Extreme Quill Wahoo!

These tasty morsels were well worth emerging from the custard swamps to eyeball — not to mention slirrup through a straw. Yum Yum. It gets very lonely down there with only the fuzziest of TV and mobile phone reception to help me keep in touch with the modern world, and although I have a talking teddy bear to keep me company, I’ve wound up the key in his back so often that his entire repertoire of phrases now resembles a deranged wasp humming Chubby Checker B sides. Compared to that, these are a treat. Hey — compared to anything, these are a treat.

Thanks to all of you for making a big fat superhero in a yellow rubber costume happier than he’s been in a while.

And so (coughs best reciting voice into sponge pudding larynx)...

Kiersten writes

"No, seriously honey, I really can't pick you up. Not just I don't want to, literally, physically, I can't pick you up. Hey! No no! Quit playing with my leg! Fine, whatever, play with my leg. I hope your father gets home soon, because there's no WAY I'm making dinner now. At least my back doesn't hurt anymore..."

(What can I say, I'm practical about this sort of thing. Because skeleton or not, I'd still be a mom.)

McKoala writes


I love ‘em both — and in recognition of your efforts, I present you with a culinary treat to keep you pulsating with paragraph-generating protein and vitamins. This one, I like to save for the weekend when I’m between evil-doers and have time to rustle up something heartier than a snack box sandwich — but maybe you’ll go with 3.58am. Max Scoff Momentum!


For this nosh fest, you will need

6oz linguine per person
2 5oz/150g tins boneless sardines (in oil)
6 medium tomatoes (the riper and softer the better)
1 fresh red chilli
1-3 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons pickled capers
Handful chopped fresh basil
Freshly milled black pepper
Nerves of steel (only kidding)

Preparation time — 35 mins max
Serves 2-3
Danger Factor — Minimal

Fill a large saucepan with enough water to keep an average size goldfish alive but not necessarily ecstatic about it. Add a pinch of salt and a splash of olive oil and get the water boiling. Now boil a kettle for help with skinning the tomatoes later. Grin uncontrollably, skip to right and left and perform a dainty twirl, just for the hell of it.

While the water boils, razor open the sardines with your best incisor and drain the oil into a solid flat-bottomed pan. Feel the adrenaline rush as it glistens. If you're ever captured and thrown into a cave, it's important to have a broad spectrum of visual textures at your disposal for keeping your spirits up in the darkness. When Syrup Shark imprisoned me in the Lagoon Of Eternal Limbo, the only thing standing between me and helpless desperation was the memory swirl of rapidly stirred Mulligatawny with a dash of lemon.

Power up your index fingernail blade to 7 and slice the garlic coarsely, moving on to the chilli and any unopened mail. Scatter the garlic and chilli into your sardine oil — if you’re lucky, it could be art. If you feel like you could take on the whole world with your hands tied behind your back, throw in the chilli seeds. If not, take a good look at yourself in the mirror, you WUSS CAT. Sprinkle on some black pepper, stir briefly according to the broad strokes of your favourite Flavour Enhancement Rune and leave to saute very gently.

Incidentally, when I'm snorkelling though the custard swamps, I always keep a small Scotch Bonnet chilli tucked away in the gusset pocket of my pants. The acoustics down there are something else, and if I shake the chilli gently between my gloved fingers, the seeds rattle about like a bell clapper. In no time at all I can attract considerable shoals of fish to my person. Some days, I school them in fishly tricks; others, I whack ‘em and eat ‘em.

Juggle the tomatoes into a bowl and cover them with hot water from the kettle, making sure they are fully submerged. Think contented terrapin. Assume Death-Defying Mortal Combat Position #25. There may be zero supervillains in your immediate vicinity, but it does no harm at all to practice — plus, it's a great workout for your thighs as you chop the basil and capers and start boiling your pasta.

After a few minutes, the skin of your tomatoes ought to split in places, like clown’s noses at a festival of guffaws. Keep an eye on your chilli and garlic. Any flames or smoke — or sirens — and you’ve overdone it. If there’s nothing at all in the pan, you’ve missed out a few important steps. If the garlic is looking anything like browned, turn this pan off for a while.

Peel the tomatoes. I’m told — heh — I’m told it’s like slipping off tights, only hotter on the fingers. You may need rubber gloves, but if you don’t have any, don’t be tempted by anything woollen or fashioned from chain mail. Chop the peeled tomatoes coarsely.

Flip the tomato chunks into the garlic/chilli oil along with the capers, the basil, and one half of the sardines. Now, picture your arch-enemy in the silvery mirror of the sardine skin. Snarl and mash his or her nefarious visage calmly — four or five times — working the sardines themselves into the tomatoey mixture till you have a semi-pulp.

Leave both pans to simmer for a while. If you’ve got any odd jobs to do, now’s the time to do them. I often remove my gloves and test them for elasticity by repeatedly inflating them, or slip back my mask and comb my eyebrows — but you’ll have a different range of chores to choose from, I’m sure.

Three minutes before the pasta is ready, scoop the remaining sardines into the bubbling sauce with your Protrudio Signature Model Sardine Scooper and replace the pan lid frisbee style. Leave to simmer gently for a few minutes while your nostril hairs braid and unbraid themselves in a frenzy of odour appreciation.

Drain the pasta and throw back into the pan, leaping with delight as you cover it spoon by spoon with the funky wholesome deliciousness of your sauce. Mix together and splash onto your favourite crockery like Vesuvian lava on mosaic, garnishing with more chopped basil. If you have any of those decorative paper cocktail umbrellas, plunge three or four into each portion, shout, 'YUM YUM FUCKING YUM' — and serve.

And that’s it: Max Feast Wahoo.

Got to squelch off now and get ready for The Big One. According to my weather charts, there’s a tsunami on its way and I’ve yet to polish my surfboard — let alone my wellington boots.

Expect my return soon...


writtenwyrdd said...

Thanks, Whirlio, aka Sarcasm Boy (I know you'll fit into that costume again Some Day Soon!) ;)

McKoala said...

I'll never make it, of course, but it's probably the funniest recipe I've ever read.

blogless troll said...

I picture you as V from V for Vendetta, but chirpier and without the explosives. If that's not the case, please don't tell me.

I wanted to submit an entry, but I forgot, and then I ran out of time, and the McKoala Tactic never occurred to me. I'll be sure to catch the next one.

Also, I don't cook beyond microwave popcorn and the occasional butternut squash soufflé, but I'd buy a whole cookbook full of those recipes. I agree with McK, except the "probably" part.

writtenwyrdd said...

I have to concur on the funny recipes. You could come up with a goofy title like "Uncle Protrudio's Old Thyme Cooking Without the Grits" or something equally silly.

Seriously, I bet you could sell something like that, especially if the recipes, when deciphered, were actually decent. And it could have really funny pictures, too.

Kiersten said...

Seriously, have you thought of abandoning fiction and writing a cookbook? I've heard that's where the money is.

sylvia said...

Eeep, I have just realised your format and that I have confused everything with my late entry! Ignore it. I'll be ready for the next one!