Tuesday 12 December 2017

The punks are on par on the golf course

Every man is Clint Eastwood in the movie of his own life and, this week, Sophie White finds out that Himself is playing ‘Dirty Harry’ on the golf course

Turkey is on the menu
Turkey is on the menu

Sophie White

I have spoken in these pages before about Himself's abiding - and frankly baffling - love of golf. This is a private passion of his which, for the most part, I encourage, as it gets him out of the house for at least six hours at a time, during which I can indulge in my private passion: Gilmore Girls.

Soon after we first met, his father explained to me that Himself had been something of a golf prodigy in his youth. He was, in fact, at one time, the great white hope of his golf club.

Himself's rise began early, and 
peaked when he represented Ireland 
in the Jewish Olympics - which I, at first, understood to be a contest rewarding outstanding Jewishness. 
For example, Groucho Marx would win gold at the Jewish Olympics.

Himself quickly disabused me of this misinformation and informed me that it was actually a huge sporting event called the Maccabiah Games. His next great achievement was, at 16, setting a new course record for his golf club.

Soon after receiving these accolades, he developed an unfortunate interest in the music of Creedence Clearwater Revival, thus dashing his hopes of ever becoming a professional golfer.

The remainder of his teenage years passed in a haze of merry apathy, and he seemed to develop an ambivalent attitude to his early successes. A bit 
like a Corey, or any of the other child 
stars of the 1980s.

However, now there is a new generation coming up in the club 
and the fires of Himself's former 
golfing ambitions have been relit.

He monitors the progress of the newly anointed younger players at his club 
with all the unnerving dedication of a crime-drama serial killer. I keep expecting to find the under-the-stairs cupboard converted into a home darkroom, with pictures of the perceived rivals hanging by clothes pegs, and bookshelves of leather-bound diaries, filled with the handwritten ramblings of a madman, lining the walls.

In this mini melodrama of his 
own creation, he plays a kind of 
muscle-gone-to-seed type, in the vein of Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino, pitted against the young hooligans of the club.

These hooligans are known only as The Equaliser, The Boy King and The Nemesis. The Equaliser is quite obviously the player who came to match Himself's course record, and Himself is clinging to this grudge. The Boy King, Himself sees as a kind of young version of himself, who will, most likely, go on to achieve far more than he ever did.

The Nemesis has been chosen as a rival for the mere fact that they have a similar handicap and Himself believes him a worthy adversary. Each week, he rails against these young players. Vowing revenge and muttering insults as they skip past, heading off to their Junior Cert maths grinds and such.

I think the 'roids' are getting to him because, the other day, he shouted at me that he needed more lean protein in his diet and that there was no keeping up with these young fellas without a strict weight-training regime and at least six hours a week additional gym time. Himself has never demanded lean anything before, so maybe this latest obsession will be good for his general health - though his mental health 
may be suffering.


Turkey burgers with Griddled Pineapple and Cheddar Cheese

Serves 3.

You will need:

Half a red onion, finely diced

Handful curly parsley, finely chopped

400g (14oz) turkey mince

1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

90g (3¼oz) white Cheddar

A handful of tarragon, finely chopped

A squeeze of lemon juice

3 generous tablespoons mayonnaise

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 slices fresh pineapple, cored, 1cm thick

3 nice burger buns, halved


In a bowl, combine the finely diced red onion, the finely chopped parsley, the turkey mince, the wholegrain mustard, and the salt and freshly ground black pepper. Divide the mixture into three and shape into patties. Chill in the fridge for an hour to firm up the burgers.

Meanwhile, grate the white Cheddar. Stir the finely chopped tarragon and the lemon juice through the mayonnaise. Preheat the grill and heat a tablespoon of the olive oil in a griddle pan over a high heat. Grill the pineapple slices for a couple of minutes on each side until they are nicely charred and then set aside.

Brush the burger buns with a little olive oil and toast them on the griddle pan. Wipe out the pan and add a little more olive oil, then fry the burgers until they're cooked through, turning halfway.

Assemble the buns with a smear of tarragon mayonnaise, a slice of pineapple, and a turkey burger on each one, and top with some Cheddar cheese. Grill for about 5 minutes to melt the cheese, then finish with the bun tops.

Sunday Independent

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