Pork curry with ginger and green beans

Shallots, red peppers and celery fried in oil with a chopped home-grown chilli and finely-chopped ginger until the shallots were translucent.  Added chopped French beans and smoked pork (left over from last summer’s hogroast). Added cumin, coriander, bit of tomoto paste, turmeric and paprika, cooked with the spices for a few minutes.  Added a bit of stock and a couple of crushed garlic cloves.  Simmered until the beans were just about cooked through, but still toothsome.  Served with a leafy side-salad.

Carrot, squash and celery soup

Diced carrots, red peppers and butternut squash sauteed for 5 mins in olive oil with some whole baby onions, then simmered in a light chicken stock for a further 15 mins.  Added cubed pancetta, celery, baby leeks, chopped thyme, sage and marjoram.  Cooked gently until the carrots were just done.  Added chopped parsley, a knob of butter and a twist of black pepper.

Homity pie

Potato, onion, parsley, leek, cheese, garlic, shortcrust pastry and magic go into making Caroline’s secret Homity Pie recipe.  Whatever is in it, it is one of thosethings that increases the amount of niceness in the universe just by its general gorgeousness.  Bit of negative entropy is good for the inner human

Salade tiède

Shredded carrot, beetroot, iceberg and celery, dressed with lemon juice and olive oil. Baby pimentoes stuffed with cream cheese, anchovy-stuffed olives.  Topped with flash-fried strips of beef steak served hot.

Tomato and onion soup

Finely-diced onion, fried in olive oil until taking a bit of colour.  Added chopped crushed garlic, thyme and tiny cubes of hand-cut smoked bacon.  Cooked for 5 mins, then added orange/yellow cherry tomatoes, finely-chopped sun-dried tomatoes and some light beef stock.  Cooked 20 mins then blended to a fine creamy texture.  Served with a swirl of cream, herbs and some piping-hot soda bread with plenty of butter

Soda bread

Half and half strong white/wholemeal, bit of olive oil and melted butter, salt, baking powder and some elderly milk (didn’t have access to cream or buttercream…).  Mixed it all up and put into very hot oven for 35 mins. Served with tomato soup and butter while still hot

Steak and chips

Bit of frying steak from our local butcher, with a salad of iceberg and red Little Gem, carrot julienne, cherry tomatoes, walnuts, celery and apple, in a lime juice and walnut oil dressing.  Onions fried with the steaks, then the meat was removed and rested while the onions were caramelised, then the pan was deglazed with a splash of wine.  Added a glug of cream and extra pepper and served on a nice hot plate with the salad separate. Triple-cooked chips, shole spuds microwaved for 3 mins, then cut into decent-sized chips and fried at 130C until blond, rested 10 mins then fried at 190C until golden and crunchy on the outside and fluffy inside.