Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


A childhood favorite, otherwise known as comfort food.

Comfort food is the best food of all. Easy, unpretentious and most importantly, redolent of years gone by, a taste of the past.

For me, it was baked meatloaf, among other things.

For T. it is sometimes this:

Mince and tatties.

Heat some oil in a pan and saute a large chopped onion until brown. Add a pound of beef mince and cook until well browned. Add two medium carrots, sliced thinly, and a tablespoon of toasted oatmeal. Pour in enough water to just cover. Crumble in one or two beef stock cubes, season with salt and pepper, cover the pan and simmer for about twenty minutes. Then, thicken with three teaspoons of gravy powder or corn starch mixed with a little cold water.

That's the mince. Now the tatties. They're easy:

Boil your peeled potatoes. Then mash 'em.

Serve the mince and the potatoes side by side. (Note: do not serve the mince over the potatoes. Why? 'Because you just don't,' says T.)

T.'s father cooked this for her and her sister and three brothers in the seventies and probably the sixties. He'd arrive home from his job as a shiftworker at the pipe works and start cooking up a storm until their mother arrived home from her day job.

T. tells me another favourite of her father's was deep-fried spam and chips.

I'm sure it was delicious.

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