Friday, 21 December 2012


Technically, this isn't really a recipe at all, but as the end of the world is imminent let's not be picky.  

This is one I used to make all the time as a student once I'd accidentally discovered it by dropping a packet of sweets in my coffee.  It works best with the cheapest ingredients (always welcome) and is so simple anyone can make it.  All you need to go with it is a big chair and a very good book.  If there's still time.


Mug of coffee, preferably white, preferably instant under these circumstances.

One bag of Minstrels

1 teaspoon


1. Place a Minstrel on your teaspoon, and rest it in the bottom of your coffee.

2. Wait until the Minstrel begins to turn white and crack around the rim.  This will only take a minute or so (fortunately).

3. Eat quickly, making sure to stick your tongue right through the crispy shell.  The inside of the Minstrel will have melted, but the outside will be just brittle enough to have a slight crunch and a faint taste of coffee.  And possibly asteroid dust.

Thursday, 13 December 2012


Now this is a great recipe.  As the weeks have got colder and I've been even less keen than usual to venture outside, making soup has become my lunchtime mid-writing ritual.  The process itself is great for letting ideas settle, and it's always comforting to have a big bowl of soup while you're thinking.  This recipe is one I used to make all the time, and I'm glad I've rediscovered it in time for the snow.  Very cheap.  Very simple.  Enjoy.


50g butter
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped finely
1 onion, chopped
2-3 leeks, washed and chopped
350-450g potatoes, chopped.  This is a very handy recipe for using up extra potatoes, but you can vary the amount according to preference.
900ml stock made with 7 teaspoons of Marigold Bouillon
Freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. Heat the butter in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan.  Add the garlic, onion and chopped leeks.  

2. Cook gently for 6-7 minutes, stirring from time to time to ensure that your vegetables don't stick.

3. Add the potatoes and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally.  I never bother to peel the potatoes for this soup as it adds both vitamins and texture, but if you prefer to, be my guest.

4. Add the stock and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes.  Your vegetables should soften, but not go mushy.

5.  Remove from the heat and serve, sprinkling the top of the soup with black pepper.  Delicious!  Best served with Breadline Bread.

Thursday, 6 December 2012


Those who know me well will be aware that I suffer from a deep-rooted and near-pathological hatred of sausages.  Tragically, I am part of a family who loves them, so this meal was originally made (with much reluctance and grumbling) as a result of prolonged nagging.

As it turned out, it's a good job that I was pushed.  Sausages, I learned, are not Satan's choice of meat product after all but extremely easy to cook and delicious when baked in a vegetable casserole.  All in all, it's been a bit of an eye-opener.  Now I just need to work on the presentation...


2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 onions, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
2-3 eating apples (I use Granny Smiths as they have a nice tang)
1 teaspoon mixed herbs or oregano (I vary this depending on what I have in the cupboard.  Both work well).
1 tablespoon tomato puree
400g tin peeled tomatoes, chopped (more flavour than a tin of chopped tomatoes).
400ml vegetable stock made with 2 teaspoons of Marigold Bouillon
6-8 pork or vegetarian sausages (I allow 2 per person)
salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat the oven to 200C (400F/Gas Mk 6).  Heat the olive oil to a medium heat in a large, heavy bottomed pan and cook the sausages until browned (approx 5-8 minutes).

2. Remove the sausages from the pan and set aside.  Add the onions, carrot and sweet potato to the pan and cook over a medium heat for approximately 5 minutes, stirring to ensure even cooking.

3. Add the garlic and herbs and cook for another 5 or so minutes.  

4.  Peel your apples, remove the cores and chop into chunks of about 1-2 cm.

5.  Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, apples and sausages.  Add the stock and bring to the boil, stirring.

6. Transfer to an ovenproof pan, cover with a lid and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes.  Check from 25 minutes onwards.  

7. While the casserole is cooking, make mashed potatoes and green beans.

8. Remove the casserole from the oven, and season with salt and pepper.  Serve with the beans and mash.  Surprisingly delicious!


One of the great things about this casserole is that any leftover sausage-free sauce can be reheated as chunky soup the next day.  

And, of course, any leftover ingredients will give you the bulk of what you need for Spicy Squash and Sweet Potato Soup. #allintheplanning