Hello! Now, a little while ago, the big man at the BBC told me he’d been on a tour of the Middle East, and he said to me; “Floyd! You simply must visit. Take your cameraman, Clive, and make a programme about it!” So I had a quick chat with Clive, and after sharing three bottles of the finest but cheapest whisky I could get hold of, he agreed!
So here we are, in the splendid surroundings of this rather opulent palace, in Saudi Arabia. Quick pan around, Clive, very good, now back to me.
OK, let’s do some cooking. After all, that’s what they’re paying me for. I’m going to make something that is very popular around here, it’s called Saleeg, and it’s a very lovely dish made of chicken and rice, and various spices. Clive, show them the ingredients, thank you, back on me please. Now let’s get on with it. Clive, where’s my wine?
What are you talking about, there’s no wine here?
Bloody hell. Cut for a moment will you Clive.
——–10 minutes later——-
OK folks, Clive has just informed me that they don’t approve of alcohol here in Saudi Arabia, so we’ve had a change of plan. And a change of scenery. We’re now here in this very shabby apartment they’ve put me in, no expense shared. We’re not making Saleeg now. Instead, I’m going to show you, when you find yourself in a godforsaken hole with no booze, how to brew your own! Apparently, this is actually illegal here, and anyone caught making or selling this can face hundreds of lashes, but I’ve not had a drink since the flight, over four hours ago, and I need a top up.
I got this recipe from a dear old friend, who, through a series of unfortunate events, culminating in him being caught by the rozzers, spent a little while studying the culinary arts at Her Majesty’s pleasure.
I’ve sent Clive down to the shops to get me as much fruit as he could carry, four kilograms of sugar, and two large loaves of bread. Normally, while we wait for things like this, I can stand on a balcony overlooking a town square and tell you a bit about the area. However, I can’t do that without someone to hold the camera, or wine. Besides, it looks like they’re about to whip someone in the square, which, I’m told, doesn’t make for good television, unless it’s on Throne of Games or whatever it’s called.
Clive’s back! I’ve been out in the back yard, and found this old oil drum. I’ve given it a quick rinse. No need to be too thorough, the fumes inside will only speed up the brewing process, probably. Now, chuck all your fruit in there and we need to mash it up a bit. As I can’t find any suitable kitchen utensils for this job, there’s only one thing for it. Clive, take your shoes and socks off, there’s a good chap. I’ll hold the camera for you. There you go viewers, have a look at him. See the joy on his face? Go on Clive, jump in. Here’s your camera back. Film your feet, very nice, now back to me.
While Clive mashes up the fruit for me, I’m pouring in the sugar and ripping up the bread into chunks. The yeast in the bread will help the fermentation of the fruit and turn the sugar into alcohol. Good stuff. Chuck it all into the barrel and add some water. Not too much, we don’t want to dilute it. Very good, OK Clive, you can get out now.
No you can’t go and wash your feet, we’re making a television programme.
Now, normally, we’d leave this to brew for at least a week, but we haven’t got time for that nonsense. So I’m going to add some white spirit and paraffin to hurry things along a bit. We’ll place the barrel onto the balcony, in direct sunlight, because we need to keep it warm during the brewing process. This should be ready to go in around 3 days.
——10 minutes later——
Right, couldn’t wait. Going to try it now. Just get this cup in there and scoop up some of that lovely mixture. Normally, you’d strain this through a muslin cloth, but I’ve just got one of Clive’s socks from earlier. Look at that! Clive, get a shot of the colour of that. A kind of dusky orange.
No Clive, it’s not brown.
OK, back on me please. I’m going to have a little taste of this.
Fffffffffff. Aaaaaaaaaaaah. Shhhhhhhhhhhhh. Wooooo.
That’s quite nice. I can taste the orange, the melon and the apple. The paraffin is there in the background, but it’s tolerable. Do you want some, Clive?
What do you mean, “no!?”
Oh well, all the more for me. Quick slurp. Chin chin, viewers.
Come on, Clive, let’s close with a shot of me on the balcony, gazing romantically at the scenery. Don’t worry about the execution down there, they can edit that out.