Cooking, Rebel Style

By Ian Mcneish

Please note: this piece contains strong language


Peter, Jake and Hughie reside in an area of North Lanarkshire, famous for an alcoholic beverage brewed by Monks in a quiet corner of England. The brewers of this dark enticing liquid seem oblivious to its effect on some of the young and not so young people of this quaint corner of North Lanarkshire. Our trio are connoisseurs of this drink. An expertise gained over many years of experimentation, coupled with a lot of trial and error. Certainly a lot of trials. They are particularly fond of the Monks Brew, not to mention the equally famous, 'Purple Tinnies' supplemented by a large cocktail of other supporting substances, few, if any, legal. This modern tale has a European twist. While Jake and Hughie are home grown, - never having ventured too far from the safe haven of their childhood, apart from the occasional train adventure to Glasgow, via Whifflet, that world famous transport hub - Peter, on the other hand is an alcoholic from Northern Europe. Our 'trio brave' demonstrate what the European Union had in mind when first conceived. Citizens bonding across boundaries. 


To our heart-warming tale about team spirit and friendship in this 'dog eat dog' world. Circumstances conspired to split up our trio, our 'three musketeers'. Jake was put on a detoxification programme and to give him a glimmer of a chance, those in power separated him, using family support, from his erstwhile substance sharing partners. So now Jake is lodged with a caring relative in a strange town on the other side of Glasgow. Jake is effectively, to use his own words, 'Gulaged'. Undaunted and not to be outdone, our 'trio brave' have technology on their side and several times each day they engage in a mobile telephone conference. They are finding the estrangement hard to take and need to keep in regular contact, particularly with a view to keep Jake 'up to speed', pardon the pun, with 'what's going down', reassuring him that their supply of substances remains intact and urging him not to worry; when he gets back things will be fine. These conversations always start, no matter who calls who, with that quaint old Scottish greeting, 'whits happenin'man'. One assumes learned at Primary School when engaged in a Burns Poetry competitions. 


One particularly touching call, overheard by Jake's supportive relative, between the estranged Jake and stay at home Hughie, goes along these lines:


Hughie: 'Jake! Peter an' I tanned the wee grocer's shop last night and got two crates o' 'Purple Tinnies', fucking magic man. It's a shame yur no here.'


Jake: 'Yis did nut?'


Hughie: 'Fuckin' right we did.”


Jake: 'That's brilliant.'


Hughie: 'That's no aw man. We got a roast an aw'.


Jake: 'Brilliant man, brilliant'.


Hughie: 'We don't know whit tae dae wae it. Like, how long dae we cook it fur.'


Jake: 'How fuckin big is it man?' (As if that will help.)


Hughie: 'It fits in the oven aw right.'


Jake: 'Naw man, whit dis it weigh.'


Hughie: 'Fucked if a know, ma scales ur too wee.'


Jake, (after seeking advice and guidance from his caring relative): 'Ah think ye should gie it aboot forty five minutes or mibae an oor, am no that sure man, a've never done it afore.'


Hughie: 'Whit gas mark?'


Jake: 'Hus Peter no cooked a roast before?'


Hughie, (after a pause): 'Naw he's no goat a scoobie either. (then after another pause) Fuck it man, we'll jist cut it intae wee slices and fry it. We kin hae it wi some breed. Thanks fur yer help man, we wish ye wur here.'


Two days later Jake moved back to re-join his friends. It is not clear at this early stage how his detoxification is progressing. Perhaps his cooking skills will relegate his substance use problems to, 'the least of his worries'.


rebel cooks, friendship, support