When this much anticipated book written by the Grand Poobah of Columbo, arrived on my doorstep on Donald Pleasence’s birthday, it seemed PORTENTOUS!

I use the term Grand Poobah very much in a respectful way as per the first definition below, not the second definition at all, because Columbophile is anything but pompous.  He’s hilarious.

grand poobah (plural grand poobahs)

  1. (idiomatic, colloquial, often humorous) A person who is important or high-ranking.
  2. An extremely pompous person.

I’d already pledged to write about Donald’s No-Name curry for the Blogathon

but here was the perfect excuse for some immersion therapy. Make Donald’s curry, read the entry for the his Columbo episode and then watch it.  Accompanied by copious amounts of red wine of course…

Dinner and a movie and a book in bed. Living my best life!

I managed two of the three. Firstly, the curry (scoot to the bottom of the post for the recipe)

This is a brilliant recipe because it is easy peasy but it comes with a warning.

Make sure you have BOTH types of can opener by your elbow if you are using tinned salmon. I’ve been caught out by these pesky fellows before.

The new fangled tin opener I usually use just does not cut it, and once I had to leave the comfort of my home to go to the corner shop and get an old fashioned one to make this curry.

I was most disgruntled by this! Scoot down to the bottom of the post for Donald’s recipe. This is a great one to have in your, “not much time but hungry” cooking arsenal.

After I’d scarfed down some cuzza (as Columbophile calls it) i settled down in my viewing area (bed) with Any Old Port in a Storm cued up in my DVD player and the Columbo book in my lap. I began reading Columbophile’s excellent analysis of Donald’s episode, then I was compelled to read the book’s foreword and introduction. Then I laughed so much at the “Glossary of Britishisms” helpfully provided for non-Brits, I realised that I would have to watch Donald acting up a storm as Adrian Carsini on another day, because I was having too much fun reading the book!


If you are a Columbo fan, you will absolutely love this book.  Reading about the episodes is akin to watching them again in your head.  A strange experience but a very good one.

For Columbophile, Any Old Port only makes it to #15 in his episode hall of fame. For me it is #1. It is my absolute favourite. Not just because of the open air disco dancing scene, either.

It also contains my absolute favourite line in any Columbo.

and every time I think about this scene (which I do a lot), I remember the fun I used to have at the Columbo tweetalongs, where people all over the world watch the same episode at the same time and tweet about it. I must do one of those again soon.

So apologies for this blogathon post not really being a review of Any Old Port in a Storm at all. It’s really just a love-bomb to that episode, the fabulous Donald Pleasence’s performance in it, and the terrific new book by Columbophile. It’s wonderful, funny and revealing. An absolute MUST for all fans of the show. Put it on your Christmas list!  Here’s a link to the page on the Columbophile blog all about the book.

Donald Pleasence’s No-Name Curry

1 teaspoon ground dhaniya (coriander)

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 teaspoon ginger

Ground garlic [to taste I guess]

Salt and pepper

1/2 pint milk

2 tablespoons cream

Large tin of drained salmon

Shredded coconut

Put dhaniya, tumeric and chilli powder into a saucepan, add the butter, ginger and seasonings.  When the butter has melted, add the milk and cream, stirring until yellow.  Add the tin of drained salmon, cooking gently for a few minutes.  Pour into a casserole dish, and cook for another 15 minutes in the oven.  Just before serving, sprinkle shredded coconut over it and grill until lightly brown.  Serve with a bowl of rice.

Serves 4

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