A most peculiar evening and, I have to say, a complete disaster!
It was Gleamhound's turn to cook for my 'Come Dine With Me' competition.
As we arrived he ushered us into his laboratory.
His laboratory is enormous; in fact it seems to take up almost the whole house.
"We shall be dining here tonight," he declared, with glee, "for this is where I have prepared the nights gastronomic delights!"
Our hearts fell.
Gleamhound makes medicines for a living. They are all very good, but they act the wrong way – having the opposite effect to that desired.
He is perfectly bald, and wears immensely strong glasses over his inflamed eyes. He has been using his own hair restorer and eye salve for years.
Anything cooked up in his laboratory was bound to be somewhat suspect.
An intense, meaty smell filled the air as we walked into the laboratory.
"Using rigorous scientific method I have developed some recipes based on sound chemical principles - I call it 'Molecular Gastronomy'" Gleamhound explained.
"First we must all drink some Green tea - it has astringent polyphenols that help get the saliva going,' he insisted.
The first course was a bowl of Seaweed Slasher Porridge. I was pleasantly surprised by the interesting flavours of the seaside that it contained. This was followed by pistachio scrambled egg, Stingo Steak poached with liquorice and Pommes neuf with a hint of hay. A bottle of chocolate wine accompanied the meal.
We then had a Miserberry mousse 'poached' at the table in liquid nitrogen. Looking like a tiny meringue, the frozen puffball popped and melted in the mouth.
We were all most surprised at the range of exquisite tastes in the meal - clearly Gleamhound's expertise in the laboratory had improved.
"And now, my pièce de résistance!" cried out Gleamhound excitedly "Flaming Global Globules! They are extremely difficult to produce and it has taken me many weeks of experiment to perfect the recipe. You have to boil arnica and lime in equal parts for the third of a day, thoroughly souse with rinsings from an old nitre vat, then pour in one oz peppermint. Reduce to a jelly, and with great speed whirl in a hot aluminium pan, taking care to avoid direct sunbeams. Then lightly rub in flaked rice, ginger, rhubarb and orris root, in the proportions of 6-313/8 – 9 and 271/8, at the same time shaking in equal portions of boiled candy and lemon curd. Set alight and serve."
The flaming Globules were certainly spectacular, if a little scary in their combustion, and it has to be said they tasted quite incredible. I felt I had to congratulate Gleamhound for his sterling work.
"Well done Gleamhound! - I admit I had some doubts about these rather peculiar dishes but these Global Globules are quite extraordinary!"
"Yes," said Gleamhound "I think that it is the soupcon of my Stomach Joy medicine that I put in that really adds a little piquancy to the dish."
"Oh no - not Stomach Joy!" cried Cheapman.
Almost immediately we all began to feel the most awful stomach cramps. For, Stomach Joy is supposed to cure all forms of indigestion - but, of course, has the reverse effect.
"Oh my gawd!" cried Beaver 'the old nutters gawn and poisoned us all!"