Nabakov presents The Hat Flu Cure

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A very seasonable recipe based on litres of tradition and extensive hands on research. Works fine with all hats.

First catch your flu.

Blend half a bottle of fine coloured spirits – preferably brandy, whiskey/hy or rum, with a couple of glasses of fishpiss (water) in a saucepan and bring to fingerhurting but not boiling heat.

Then flake in a cinnamon stick the size of Donald Trump’s real dick, half a dozen cocktail-sized lemon slices, a pinch of hammered cloves and some grated nutmeg if the mood takes you..

Now add a big swingeing tablespoon of unsalted butter from happy cows, another equally butch dollop of honey from busy bees and simmer, stir occasionally and sneeze for the length of four good 60s pop songs.

Decant contents of saucepan into thermos flask. Recline on bed or sofa with flask and glass to hand. Place hat on foot and starting imbibing your hot toddy.

When you can’t focus on the hat anymore, that’s when the hat flu cure is kicking in.

hatty

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The Case of the Devil’s Kidneys, by Sir Arthur Conan Nabakov.

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It was on a cold and dreary night in November 1892 that I was first introduced to yet another of the singular talents of my friend Mr. Sherlock Holmes, talents with which he was wont to so often surprise those that thought they knew him well.

Welcome

The fire was blazing in our chambers at 221b Baker Street and I was seated comfortably in an armchair, browsing through the privately published memoirs of a Ruhr industrialist visiting Siam in incognito. Meanwhile Sherlock Holmes sat listlessly at his desk with his commonplace book open before him but ignored. Once again it was clear to see he was in the grip of one of his queer humours.

Looking across, I recognised of old that glint in his eye that signaled a brooding determination to break loose of his lethargy. I feared his gaze would soon turn to the drawer that held his vials of five percent cocaine solution, or worse still, to his violin case.

Suddenly Holmes leapt to his feet and began to pace about the room. “I feel like something spicy and gamey,” he ejaculated.

an ejaculation

“Why my dear Holmes, whatever could you mean?” I murmured, rising to feet and closing a chapter on a stimulating account of nubile hermaphrodites in Indochine.

“The Devil’s Kidneys, Watson! That’s what I mean,” he curtly exclaimed.

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Nabakov presents The Hat Flu Cure

compleat bachelor fare archive

A very seasonable recipe based on litres of tradition and extensive hands on research. Works fine with all hats.

First catch your flu.

Blend half a bottle of fine coloured spirits – preferably brandy, whiskey/hy or rum, with a couple of glasses of fishpiss (water) in a saucepan and bring to fingerhurting but not boiling heat.

Then flake in a cinnamon stick the size of Donald Trump’s real dick, half a dozen cocktail-sized lemon slices, a pinch of hammered cloves and some grated nutmeg if the mood takes you..

Now add a big swingeing tablespoon of unsalted butter from happy cows, another equally butch dollop of honey from busy bees and simmer, stir occasionally and sneeze for the length of four good 60s pop songs.

Decant contents of saucepan into thermos flask. Recline on bed or sofa with flask and glass to hand. Place hat on foot and starting imbibing your hot toddy.

When you can’t focus on the hat anymore, that’s when the hat flu cure is kicking in.

hatty

Nabakov presents – Deep Gumbo: Or, How I Dared The Big Easy To Blacken My Tongue While They Played Waltzing Matilda As I Was Offered A Boat Of Uncertain Length.

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I’m not much of a cook but I’m a real hellion when it comes to ordering up a good meal. Would the kitchens of New Orleans (“It’s pronounced ‘Nawlins’ man! You sound like a fuckin’ limey!”) be up to the challenge?

I arrived in the Big Easy on the evening of Friday 7 November 2008 after 26 hours on the Amtrak Crescent train from Washington DC. My sleeper was very cosy and the views magnificent.

Miles and miles and miles of forests in their glowing fall colours, tiny hamlets painted by Norman Rockwell, long stretches of failed dismal outer suburbs not painted by Norman Rockwell, more beautiful forests, enormous military depots in Georgia where the autumn light turned the ranks of Abrams Main Battle Tanks into squat bronze terrapins and then sunset over the plashy bayou before the final run along the Lake Pontchartrain causeway across oily black moon-rippled waters into the glowing crescent of Nawlins.

The sleeping car attendant was suavely attentive to my needs (“Smoking stop in 10 minutes Mr N.”) and the lounge car very damn elastic about bar closing hours. But the dining car offered some pretty fucking indifferent cuisine and service.

“We do steak and eggs. Or warm chicken salad. How would you like it?”

“On time?”

“You really don’t want to start dissing me here honey.”

So I was feeling distinctly peckish by the time we were decanted around 7.30pm at the Union Passenger Terminal in Nawlins – a chunk of 1950s moderne brave new world of mass travel – right next to the crappy concrete brut 1970s Louisiana Superdome (which is quite a lot smaller than the MCG by the way – but better lit up at night).

Five minutes later a taxi (helmed by a 300 pound bloke who appeared to live in it) dropped me at my hotel in the French Quarter – a 170 year old charmingly dilapidated, sprawling and eccentrically renovated southern mansion run by a charmingly dilapidated, sprawling and eccentrically renovated southern family.

After unpacking and frisking my whiskers, I asked the hotel’s matriarch where would be a good place for a louche gentleman on the loose to enjoy some quality local cuisine before flanuering into the night.

Thirty minutes later I headed out into the Vieux Carré armed with a hand-drawn map marked with Xs everywhere and much juicy gossip about local activities. (Corruption in Nawlins city council elections!!?! Shocked I was!)

So anyway, to cut a rumbling stomach short, I ended up in front of Oliver’s Creole Restaurant on Decatur St at about 9pm on a Friday night. The place was buzzing and looked unlikely to accommodate a lone traveler trying pot luck – but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I pushed through the swing doors and was immediately bailed up by the Restaurant Captain (An American variant of maitre d’) who looked and sounded like a wiry aging ex-hippy version of Burl Ives. Magnificent sideburns. Or as my grandmother called ‘em “bugger’s grips.” I chose not to share this observation with the man who was gonna get me a table.

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Nabakov presents: Spag Bol al Dante

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Ah Spaghetti Bolognaise! The bachelor’s friend, muse and destroyer of waistlines. Here I offer a hot new take on an old favourite. All measures are calculated for two people of firm appetite with enough left over to fill a few jaffles on a hungover late winter morning.

This one’s a bit tricky though as it involves not one (1) but two (2) hotplates. You’ll need all your project management skills here.

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Nabakov presents – Sexy Pink Mashed Potatoes

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One of my favourites and I feel an excellent example of bachelor cooking at its best. Why? Because it works as a v. tasty and stylish addition to a romantic candlelit dinner on the balcony or as comfort food spooned right out of the saucepan while watching “Enter The Dragon” in your undergarments. And like most bachelors of independent means, it’s rich and thick. Also you only have to wash up one saucepan and two or three utensils afterwards. (Anyone who gets round to inventing a combination clothes and dishwasher has got my dollar.)

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