AFTER months of agony, and fears that his chosen career as a writer and broadcaster have been thrown onto the scrapheap, the Wonderful Withers of WoS is back in the big time. Well, more to the point, he has been asked back to do the newspaper review on Good Morning, Wales at the God-awful time of 6.30 in the morning. Good luck to him and his three listeners.To be fair, I think the wonderful one sees it as some form of redemption.
A couple of years ago when he first decided that he wanted to enter the wacky world of broadcasting I managed to land him his first gig with the Beeb via Nickers, one of our former casual subs. She always told me how DESPERATE they were to get people in at that ridiculous time to do the job, so when she mentioned desperate it was a short leap to Withers.
So fast forward a few weeks and he finally gets the call. "Is that Matt? Yeh, we will send a taxi for you and then wheel you into the studio and you can give your verdict on the stories in the papers that day." Quite easy, you would think. But this is Withers we are talking about.
Now I am in the dark here. I have no idea what he could have done to queer his pitch with the Beeb but he has not been invited back since. Instead a number of weird and wonderful people have joined presenters Reeeeeeen and Sarah (or whoever) on the show to demonstrate their political and current affairs knowledge to the listeners. People like Mr Bill Smith, the owner of the local chip shop just outside Knighton, or Mrs Jemima Buttleworth, the president elect of the Dolgellau Mothers Union (the names have been changed to protect the guilty). Withers' big political journalistic rivals (he sneers at the very mention of their names) have also appeared on a number of occasions. But he has sat by the phone waiting for the call and... zip, nowt.
I don't know how things have changed, though rumour has it the Wonderful One has gone out of his way to make Best Friends with one of the Beeb's Commissioning Editors, going out on the lash, and even to a gay club, in an effort to chat up his new buddy. He has, no doubt, been regaling him of tales, too, of his "triumph" on delivering his speech to the Poor old students of Sheffield who, he claims, hung on his every word (that's if they didn't hang themselves earlier, I guess.
So Tuesday 6.35 it is then. BBC Wales. Listen out. Judging by last time, it may be an awful long time before we hear the Wonderful One on the wireless again.
Last night I cooked a very tasty stew from my Ken Hom cookbook having bought myself a Mooli, which is commonly known as a white radish and looks like a giant parsnip which has been genetically modified to the size of Shutts.
When cooked it's very tasty because it soaks up all the juices from casseroles etc, but this is the only genuine recipe I have known to make use of it.
1lb beef chopped into 2 inch pieces
2 spring onions cut into two inch diagonal pieces
2 tbsp peanut oil
6 slices fresh ginger
4 cloves of garlic
4 dried red chillis
A large mooli
1 pint chicken stock
1 and a half tbsp light soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
3 tbsp chinese rice wine
4 star anise
2 tsp five spice powder
5 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon yellow-bean sauce
Heat a deep non-stick, thick-bottomed saucepan until hot
Add peanut oil and heat until smoking
Add the meat and brown all over, then add spring onions, stir for five minutes, then add the ginger, garlic and dried chillis and stir fry for five minutes.
Add all the braising ingredients and cook for 1+1/2 hours.
Then add mooli and cook for 30 minutes, then put on high heat for 15 minutes to thicken sauce. Serve with boiled rice.