"Lockdown" Food Recipes...


I am not going to write lists of ingredients and amount with these recipes, because you may not have all the amounts at this time, but you can get a rough idea and I will describe most of them anyway...

I hope you will enjoy these as we need things to do don't we...




Pork and Orange mince, with pasta and asparagus and broccoli..

I was going to try out an old recipe that I knew I had in  a famous cook book that I have, but I found all of the other one hundred books, but not that one.. So it was getting late, Yes I know "Gentlemen don't dine until nine"... But I was hungry so had to do the simple version... with the same ingredients that I could remember but without the celery that I did not have.

The mince (Half pack) two rashers of chopped streaky bacon, and a finely chopped small onion and red chilli, was stir-fried in my large Balti-skillet, as I call it ,in a little olive oil, until the meat changed colour. Segments of one orange (large) and a table spoon full of tomato paste were then added with a good sprinkling of paprika and a pinch of salt, this was stirred for another five minuets until it started to catch on the bottom of the pan. I did not want this dish wet, so only added a table spoon at a time of water to just lift the flavour from the bottom of the pan and repeated this a few times,

until it, well smelt right and had turned into the right texture...

 I cooked the pasta and greens and plated up.. the flavour of Orange and Pork go together so well as I remembered from the dish I had made all those years ago...

Try it you will enjoy it...


Being unable to go outside my four walls and garden..

Because of my Fibromyalgia...During this period in our lives. I am doing everything to use every bit of food I have in the house at the time, and growing what I can in greenhouse and windowsill and even trying to make my own wine from a kit and Ginger-beer.

So come along on the journey, and don't forget if you are locked into your house to be sensible, the more you do, the more time passes quickly...and reduces stress...

 I may even get back to building up some of the bikes when I get a minute...


I will just start with making Yoghurt from unwanted milk.


 I had a delivery from Iceland Food a week ago and because they had only 4pint bottles of milk instead of two they brought that for me...Which left me with a puzzle what to do with the milk, as I already had a pint left when they brought it.

 So I Goggled Yoghurt making and found out it was not that difficult. but that you needed a small amount of yoghurt with live yeast cultures in to start it off.

I had just managed to get an unexpected delivery slot from Tesco after checking as I do on a daily basis... First thing that came into my head on the list was a small pot of yoghurt with live cultures.

The food order came on Friday and the four pints of milk from the previous Saturday was still in the fridge, so no time to waste...

But I was wine making!

So Saturday after eMail time, I set too to make this batch of yoghurt.

I had done a bit more home work, and found a way of keeping the batch at the right temperature for the twelve hours needed without using a oven light that many use.. My oven is no good because the fan comes on with the light.

A rout about in the greenhouse and I found the old "Freezie Box" but no lid so I had to improvise with some builders floor polystyrene sheet and a couple of towels. You still with me?

So I had the heat problem fixed. So on with the making.

The four pints of milk were poured into a saucepan, well just under the four pints three and a bit, because I had to use a pan that would fit into the Freezie Box.  So the milk was brought to the boil and watched every second so that it did not erupt, Pheww that was close, it rolled a couple of times and then I left it to cool for thirty minutes or so-to get it down to the 110 degrees that was needed, before stirring in the couple of tablespoons full of the yoghurt with the live culture. I did not have a thermometer so had to use the little finger method, wash it, and then stick it into the milk for ten seconds, if you have not scolded your finger it is at about the right temperature.

So the next move is to pop the lid onto the saucepan and to get it quickly into the freezie box sitting on a slab of the insulation and wrapped into a towel..

 I then filled two 2 pint milk bottles with nearly boiling water and placed these alongside the saucepan of milk.The lot had another slab of insulation placed over the top has a lid and then wrapped in another towel, and my old winter coat. I then placed it into the downstairs loo. and left it, saying a few nice words to it...

Sunday morning at ten thirty, the little gem was uncovered, and we had Yoghurt... So I sterilised the little glass pots with boiling water (By Filling them to the brim) and used a spoon that had been in the wine making sterilising solution,along with the pot lids.


So there we have yogurt can't wait to make another batch. If you fancy Greek-style you would have to strain it through a piece of muslin...




Two 2pint milk bottles that were filled with boiling water...



The old freezie box that was used with insulation lid...


Yorkshire puddings filled with bacon, cauliflower florets, and topped with a cheese and mustard sauce...



Firstly make a two egg Yorkshire batter mix.. this using the same volume amount of flour,  Plain if you have it, but I had to use self-raising, but hey it worked.. and the same amount of milk... and a pinch of salt... wisk up and let stand...

 Place your Yorkshire pudding tray into the hot oven with a desert spoon of oil in each tray, if it is one with four compartments... and get it very hot...

Meanwhile boil two cups of cauliflower florets in salted water for about eight minutes, and then drain, and leave in colander so that the steam evaporates most of the remaining water from them...

 Fry the rashers of bacon ( I also added a few small slices of Chorizo sausage), and leave to cool slightly so you can handle it... chop up cheddar cheese for sauce and get milk and butter ready. 

Right time to get this food done, remove smoking hot tray from oven onto a heatproof surface, and quickly place the cooked bacon into the trays, then the swirled up batter mix, and top off with the now dried cauli florets sprinkle a small amount of olive oil onto these... and quickly get the tray back into the oven...

 While this is rising and roasting, make up your cheese and mustard sauce, add about a desert spoonful of mixed mustard, or to taste, about a cup full of cheddar mature cheese, or what you have got...

 When the top of the cauliflower is golden and the puddings risen and brown quickly remove from oven and pour over some of the cheese sauce, and a little strip of cheddar on top to glaze the dish... Pop-back into the oven for a few minuets until the cheese has melted...

Remove from oven, and let stand for a few minutes, then plate up and pour over some of the remaining cheese sauce...


 Super little dish enjoy...


De-constructed Sausage Roll

(Or Pork mince with lattice strip pastry).



I had half the pork mince left over from the first dish..

 So needed to use it quickly..

 Why not make a taken apart sausage roll I thought, and I could try out my new noodle cutting roller...

So into the large skillet went the remaining pork mince (half a pack) and a couple of rashers of chopped streaky bacon, and a finely chopped small onion, along with the flesh of a large orange, a pinch of salt, a good amount of freshly cracked black pepper, a few fresh chopped sage leaves, and a dash of Tabasco, and a shake of paprika ...

 This lot was then stir-fried for several minutes... then left to rest...

 The ingredients for the pastry were placed into the food processor and give a good mix until the right paste was made, I used self-raising flour Stork Marg, and just enough water to bind.

This was then left to rest... while the oven warmed up.

 The mince mixture was formed into a sausage shape on the flowered baking tray. and the pastry rolled out to about 3mm thickness and then cut into strips with the noodle roller.

 The strips were then draped over the roll, and brushed with a drop of milk... 

Baking time was about twenty minuets, and then it was left to rest, while I prepared and cooked the green veg... A orange gravy was made to top of the dish... it was delicious...



Rhubarb and Ginger Cakes...


I just felt like something sweet, and I don't do sweet very often...

 First attempt was a Rhubarb cake as I had rhubarb with large leaves in a pot on my greenhouse steps...

So my big plastic mixing bowl was broke out...

 and I had read a recipe on my Ipad...

 So what I had in the cupboards would have to do.. and can you get flour at the moment?

Rhubarb Cake Ingredients.


100 grms of plain (I only had self raising) flour.

50 grms of wholemeal Flour ...

50 grms of Rye flour.

Tsp of Baking powder .

100 grms of sugar I used half granulated and half Demerara.

100 grms of butter (I used Stork marg)

 Two large eggs...

 200 grams of washed and chopped (Small) Rhubarb..

I then rolled mine in more sugar..


Into the bowl put all the dry ingredients and rub in the butter until it looks like fine bread crumbs.. Mix in the chopped Rhubarb.

 then make a well in the mixture and break in the two eggs...

 Mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture becomes a stiff batter. Line an eight inch cake tin with greaseproof paper. Scrape in the mixture and with the back of a table spoon, smooth and push into the corners the mixture...Sprinkle over a little more sugar for a crunchy top...


 Pop into a pre heated oven (180) degrees,  middle shelf, and bake for about twenty minuets. Check with a skewer to see if the  middle is cooked if it comes out clean it is, if not, place it back in the oven for another ten minuets...

Remove and let cool... Then eat....



For the Ginger Cake, use the same amounts and ingredients but use fresh root ginger 200 grams... Scrape with a spoon then chop into small slices, put these slices into a food processor and wizz for a bit until the ginger is in very small pieces but not mush.

Mix this into the cake instead of the Rhubarb...

 I probably like this cake better, or is it the Rhubarb does not like me?





Store Cupboard and Fridge...Lockdown Winner...

Named Coopers-Gate...for without their help I would not be able to get a lot of my ingredients...


 Todays Ingredients...


3Tbls Olive oil...
1 onion Chopped...
Chorizo sausage slices, hand-full...
Can of chickpeas, drained...
Can of tomatoes plum or chopped ...
Paprika  shake..
Black pepper a grind...
Curry-powder or chilli powder,a shake...
A good half of a cup of home made Yogart...
parsley, coriander, mint... or any chopped herbs...
Some sort of flat bread or baked pasta doe... for mopping up the gravy...
In a large cast skillet, (Or Heavy Pan), soften the finely chopped onion in the three tbls of olive oil...
about ten mins... it does not matter if it catches a bit but give it the occasional stir...
Next throw in the well drained tin of chickpeas, stir well and let the mixture cook for a further 10 mins... it is better if you let the chickpeas  get a bit brown in patches...
Next start to add the tin of plumb tomatoes, but not all at once one or two at a time and let the juice steam off when you have split them, ( you want this to be a dry dish) stir and add a couple more, and do this until the tin is empty...
 Add the seasoning plenty of paprika, and black pepper, and a few flakes of chilli, or chilli-powder...
Now add the hand-full of sliced chorizo... and stir in...
Stir for about five minuets, and let rest for two, before plating up...
 add a good dollop of your Yogart and the herb of your choice...
I used Mint and it was superb... I also used some of my home made wholemeal loaf to clean the plate...
Lemon and Yoghurt Cake with lemon and ginger drizzle...
Recipe Later...
210g of Plain Flour. (I used Self-raising).
2 tsp Baking powder (I used 1).
1/2tsp salt.
265g Sugar.
240 ml Yoghurt.
3 Large Eggs.
2 tbls Lemon Zest.grated.
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract. (I had none).
120 ml Vegetable oil.
8ml Lemon juice.
for the glaze.
125g Icing sugar.( I used whizzed granulated).
 2 tbls Lemon juice, (I added some ginger juice from my ginger beer making pulp.)
Sieve together, the flour salt and baking powder, into one bowl.
 Then in another add the wet ingredients, and sugar, beat into a batter. Then gently mix into the other bowl with the dry ingredients in. (larger).
Beat again until smooth...
 Place oven on at 180...
 Grease, and paper line, the bottom of a bread tin or similar, and flour the sides. Pour in the mixture, and place the tin into the centre of the oven for about 50 minuets, (mine took a bit longer for a skewer to come out clean).
While the cake is baking, put the glazing ingredients ito a small saucepan and heat until it becomes clear (Mind it is very hot).
 Remove cake from oven and leave to cool for a while... remove from tin and place onto a dish or plate and pour over the glaze letting it drizzle into the cake...
 Well you can see what it is like! and it tastes divine...
With Onion gravy and tinned Peas...
Just good old Yorkshire pudding mix...
A ramekin full of flour (had to use SR)...
A ramekin full of half milk, and topped up with water...
Two eggs, tends to be the same amount...
pinch of salt, and beat well while your four compartment tray is getting Hot in the oven drop of veg oil in each compartment.
 Stick the four sausages onto a tray and place them on the shelf under the Yorkies... while they rise...
They should both be ready at the same time...
 I use this method as it tends to eliminate a Yorkie with a soggy-bottom... We don't want that...
Make up your gravy and add a few scorched onion segments (Finely Chopped)...
I just used tinned peas out of the store cupboard...and added a few flakes of chilli...
14/09/ 2020...
I have had a request today to continue with the Lockdown Recipes, as it looks like we may be "locked down again"............Well I have been saving a few over the last few months as I have been trying to release the pressure on the extra store cupboard and the still packed freezer, and then there is all the fruit and veg we grew. What do you do with extra large cucumber and marrows? pickles?...
 I think so, and the hotter the better. And someone has suggested Marrow jam, that should be interesting. So watch this space, I have not just neglected the recipe page Chris Smith, I have just been busy while I can...  
So Much More Later...
OK... made this last night and it was too good to not record the recipe.. so here it is 
Spag-Bol.. Me and My Late mums way...
1 medium sized Organic Carrot …
1 medium sized Organic brown onion.
1 small red Chile…
2 sticks of Organic celery …
2 spring onions…
1 tin of Organic tomatoes…
Seven small Organic plumb tomatoes…
Salt and pepper to taste table spoon of medium curry powder…
Hand full of 5% fat Organic beef minced…
Drop of Olive oil and a knob of butter to soften the veg for five mins.
Finely chop all the veg…. And place into a deep skillet  pan..
Soften for five with the oil and butter, then add the beef and stir to brown…
Leave to bubble for ten then stir in the can of tomatoes.. and bubble for another ten…
Fill the tomato can with water and add to pan stir and place on lid and bubble away for fifteen minuets…
Meanwhile boil a kettle of water and add to another pan add a pinch of salt and throw in a good handful of pasta twirls or pasta to your choice… when al-dentee   drain and leave for five in colander…
Let sauce rest for same time before plating up… add grated cheese to your choice another twist of cracked black pepper and enjoy…
Chef Charlie…Mums was always the best...

Bring Back the Cookery Page for  Christmas  they said.


And now brought back for the current "Lockdown"Crisis...






e-mail me your favourite recipes and we will put them on this page, and even build a recipe book if need be!!




So here it is.

After being hooked with the food stories on the River Otter page.

 This took me to my second love in life, cooking.

After chatting with friends yesterday and asking them what was their favourite dish from the fifties and sixties, when we grew up, I had all the old favourites and the ones we used to eat at school.

So knowing that a lot of you guy's were probably growing up in this period too, I thought you would enjoy this page.


Jam "Rolly-Polly"

And Aunt Flo's Apple Rolly- Polly"






 This is the oven baked version, I like both.


Starting with a pudding "Jam Roly Poly" seems to be the first choice.

This is also a close relative to "Bacon-Jack".

You just substitute the jam, with streaky rind-less bacon and finely chopped onions, salt and black pepper, and either dried or chopped sage leaves.


Roly Poly Recipe.


1lbs. Suet Pastry.

 4 tbls Jam, any, or-

 1lbs of  Streaky bacon for the Jack.



Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured board to form a square about 6-8 inches in size.

About 1/4" thick, smooth over with the warmed jam until it is evenly covered,leaving a margin for sealing.




Or for the Jack lay over the bacon slices and sprinkle over the onion and herbs.

Now roll up the pastry Swiss roll fashion and seal the edge.

wrap in buttered "greaseproof paper,and the  foil", 

Use a pudding cloth, or old shirt sleeve? if you are going to steam it, and tie up with string making a handle to lift it out of the water with.

Now steam for about 3 hours, or with the "greased proof paper method" you can bake in the oven for about 30 Mins but you need to check this, on how crisp a coat you like.. 

You can place a tray of Boiling water into the bottom of the oven to keep it moist.


Serve cut into slices, and topped with plenty of Hot custard. for Jam-Roly-Poly.

And a fine Mustard sauce for your "Bacon-Jack."



For "Aunt Flo's apple" at the top of the page, use the oven method for speed, and sustitute the jam with sliced apples I used pink lady eating for this dish and dredged with soft brown sugar before rolling .30-40 mins.



What next I hear you say....


Well you know all the rich cooked food at this time of year does tend to wear one out, quite quickly.

So here is a simple old favourite  that is not that difficult to make and with good onion gravy, it can bring you back to comfort food.






I still find this old favourite is a job to beat at times, you can stick to using sausages, or use Corned Beef, and add caramelised onions with it, or I once used Spam and crisped sage leaves.

Then the sweet variety shows no boundary, any fruit can be added, but apple seems to be the favourite,sprinkled with soft brown sugar...


My Uncle Tom used to call the dish a "Dropped In", "make us a dropped-in Flo" he used to say to my mother, when he was up  working with us...


So what you need to make first is a good old Yorkshire pudding batter.

I use the Brian Turner method of using the same quantities of ingredients to get it right.

I use a ramekin that just about makes the right quantity.


So that is.


One ramekin of plain flour, with a pinch of salt.

One ramekin of milk, you can add a splash of sparkling water, if you wish.

One ramekin of eggs, usually 2 large or 3 small.




Whisk them all together, I use a pyrex jug because it seem the most sensible receptacle to use.

Put the oven on hot and get it up to temperature, place the steel pudding tin into the oven with a splash of vegetable oil or even Beef dripping if you have some.

Watch until it is smoking hot then put your oven gloves on and remove the smoking HOT tray onto a heat proof surface.

quickly pour in the batter, and the selected filling, and return to the oven quickly. bake for about 15 minutes or until the batter has risen and is golden brown.

What ever you do don't open the oven while it is cooking, or the batter will drop, and spoil the texture of the dish.

Once you get to the fully cooked stage you can if you wish remove from the oven and for savoury add grated cheese and sliced tomatoes, for instance and then place back into the oven for a couple more minuets.


Serve while hot with vegetables that are in season and gravy.

or for the sweet variety good old lumpy custard.




 And Next a Retro Starter.






Yes, Prawn Cocktail.


The Old Ones Are The Best.


4 tbsp mayonnaise

4 tbsp tomato ketchup

2 tsp creamed horseradish

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Dash Tabasco sauce (optional)

2 x 265g packs The Co-operative Loved by Us wild North Atlantic cold water prawns

1 ripe avocado, halved and stoned

Juice of ½ lemon

¼ Iceberg lettuce, finely chopped

Paprika or chilli powder, to sprinkle.


OK... I have used the ingredient list from the Co-Op.

Well this is where I buy most of my food from as I am a member.

You can ditch the avocado if you like, try chopped green olives instead, or just use the lettuce.

You can add tail-on King Prawns as decoration as well if you like.




Mix together the top five ingredients, you can do this before hand and leave in the fridge but only for about half a day.

Place the chopped lettuce into the serving glasses you have chosen about two thirds of the way up the glass.

Squeeze over lemon juice, you can be really naughty and add a drop of lemonchelo, if you wish.

Spoon in the prawns now coated with the sauce you have made, then sprinkle with Paprika or chilli powder or even curry powder I find is tasty.

Dress with the king prawns if you have them, and place the glass onto a small plate or saucer along with a tea spoon or small fish fork. and a twist or two of Lemon 


Serve and Enjoy.



South Newington School Fish Pie...


You will Like this.


School Fish Pie with Cheese Topping, Circa 1956.

Do you know I used to love going to primary school on a Wednesday, for dinner as we called it then, Fish pie was on the menu well that was it, no choice, and sponge pudding and custard to follow.

So a few years back I decided to try and recreate this super comfort food.


Here is what I came up with, and I think I have it spot on.

This recipe stemmed from the rationing years of the early fifties, so the ingredients were simple.

(And even more relevant now in April 2020).




5 large potatoes, peeled, chopped, and boiled in salted water until ready to mash.

3 ,155g tins of Pilchards in tomato sauce.


A good lump of Cheddar cheese. grated.


Some golden bread crumbs , or some crumbs, sprinkled with curry powder and a little olive oil, and then placed into the oven on a tray to brown slightly, while the potatoes are boiling.


3 sliced tomatoes to place on top of the pie (optional).


A dash of Tabasco and Worcester sauce.

Salt and black pepper.




Mash the potatoes with a splash of milk and a knob of butter, and a handful of the grated cheese.

Into a pyrex or cast oven proof dish, tip the three cans of pilchards season and stir.

Now top with the mashed potatoes levelling out with a fork, add the toasted bread crumbs and the rest of the cheese, place the sliced tomatoes around the surface.

Place into the middle of the oven "200 fan" for about 20 minutes or until bubbling and golden.

Remove and let cool for five minuets while boiling the minted peas to accompany the dish.

If you wish you can mix some of the mashed potatoes and some of the peas with the canned pilchards first for a  smoother texture to the pie.

Then, Enjoy,

A glass of stout  goes well with this now-a-days I find.


Still brings back memories of the  early  school days, in South Newington. and do you know when I got to secondary school at Hook Norton it was on the menu there too.



Next >... And a So Simple Recipe.





Tomatoes on Toast.


The simple things like the Tomatoes on toast, or even good old ,

Beans on toast, can be so comforting after getting back from a Holiday, or even getting over Christmas. ( Or Now in this Covid crisis)2020...


Just grill the tomatoes, and put them onto buttered toast.


Or Like I do, sprinkle some Olive oil over the tomatoes with a grind of Black pepper onto a freshly cut thick slice of bread, and pop in a heated oven fan 200, for about ten minuets, until the tomatoes are bubbling and the bread is toasted.



I am on a roll now so a lot more later.


Just to prove to myself that they still work I cooked these tonight.

Delicious Yep...   19/12/15 just.


Another version of the School fish pie and tomatoes dropped in Yorkshire's.


Coming Up.


Mandarin and Sherry Trifle.


Now I an sure that every one of you no matter where, have eaten and enjoyed a good old trifle,

although they were concocted before Mrs Beeton's cook book came out, this is what helped to promote the idea of constructing one.

And it was a crafty way for a female cook to partake in a sip of alcoholic beverage (sweet sherry) whilst making it as most women  were frowned upon for even considering touching any alcohol.

Anyway we will proceed with making ours.

The most important part of this dish,is that its self, the trifle dish.


Like the one below. well it is the look of the layers that encourages you to try this pudding.



Now this recipe is basically how I can remember my mother making hers.




2, 298 g cans of mandarin orange segments.


2 packs of jelly gel one strawberry and one orange.


1 carton of whipping cream.


1 packet of vanilla sponge cake mix. you will need two medium eggs


for this, and 8 tablespoons of milk.


Birds custard powder  enough to make the amount you want. and the sugar and milk to make into just pourable state.


You can make custard from scratch if you like with eggs etc. but Mother never used too and it is her recipe I am following.

Mother used to sprinkle over "one hundred and thousands" as they used to be called,

little coloured chocolate knibbs.

4 tabl spoons of Sweet Sherry or brandy.




Make the sponge cake to the recipe on the packet.

and let cool or better still make the day before, cut this into wedges and place into the bottom of the trifle bowl. spoon over the "Sweet Sherry" to moisten...

Make up the strawberry jelly and leave to cool for a while before pouring it over the sponge in the bowl.

Let this set.


Next drain one can of the mandarins but keep the juice, layer the fruit over the set jelly and sponge in the bowl.


Now make up the orange jelly with the saved juice added, let cool for a while and pour over the layered fruit... leave to set.


Make up the custard and leave to cool again for a while, drain the other can of mandarins and pour the juice over the now set jelly in the bowl.

Now pour over the custard, and level, do this slowly so that the juice does not come to the surface, leave to set.


Whip the cream and pipe onto the top of the now cooled custard.


Decorate with the fruit from the second can, and sprinkle with chocolate nib's if you have them. or buttons were some time used.


Classic for Sunday tea at the time, or for Christmas.

As always Enjoy.





Sophie's Curry Chowder.



Getting stuck in traffic on the way home my god daughter had promised to cook me dinner, we both arrived at her mothers house spot on six, on this dark November evening. We were keeping a check on the house while her parents were on holiday.

"We'll cook it in the pressure cooker "Soph said.

So the object was found out.

Now I don't like pressure cookers a lot, they just need constant watching and need treating with great respect.

But they do work. and this recipe was ready in forty minuets.

Sophie browned the chopped beef steak in the pan along with the array of spices and you can use what you like best in this recipe.

I peeled and diced two large Pink Onions,and three juicy large cloves of garlic, "Shall we have potatoes or rice" she said.

We both decided Potatoes so I peeled and diced three large  spuds , these were then added to the pan along with a pint of fresh  beef stock she had bought, and a can of tomatoes, the dish was seasoned with salt and black pepper and the lid sealed down.

Steamed up it took just forty minuets as I say, to become a delicious warming meal for a cold and damp winters night.

Try it yourself but don't forget to keep an eye on the pressure cooker and the time, and just treat it with respect and you get a meal like this. has quick as a Take-away.




Rabbit Stew and Dumplings.

(You Could use Chicken thighs and wings out of the freezer now in April 2020). Shake a bit of paprica into the mix and the chicken tastes a bit more like rabbit..


Before the onset of Myxomatosis virus  introduced into the Rabbit population to thin out the numbers, in the mid fifties.

One of our once a week meals was a good rabbit stew and dumplings.

It was delicious and a dish worth looking forward to in midweek, as much as the Sunday roast.

This is how I remember mother making it.

A few items like Lard or Beef dripping could be substituted, for so-called more healthy ingredients, but I think it was these that added to the flavour.


So a list of ingredients.


One or two skinned Rabbit carcasses’ quartered. (or the chicken thighs)


Plain seasoned flour for dredging the rabbit pieces in.


Four rashers of Streaky Bacon.


A good table spoonful of beef dripping or home cured lard.


Two large Potatoes peeled an roughly diced.


Two large Carrots cut into chunks.


Two good slices of Swede chunked.


One Large, or two small Onions roughly sliced.


The left over gravy from last Sundays roast Beef that was under the dripping you just used.


Enough water to make up a covering of the ingredients, in the pot, (or you could use a bottle of ale if you wish, our better still scrumpy cider.)


Dash of Worcester sauce,


Sprig of fresh Thyme and Rosemary.


Salt and Pepper to taste




Self –raising, or Mother used Plain Flour, about a cup full.


Beef suet, as much as you think, right.


And Salt and Black pepper to taste.


Enough Cold water, to just bind the ingredients, with out making them wet.


My Aunt Hilda, alus got this wrong, and making them to wet, mother told her loads of times, but she still did it.


Right, The  Method.


Well simple really,

Throw the Beef dripping into a oven-proof, and one you can heat on the hob for a while, casserole pot, (A cast iron one is the best,).


On the hob heat this gently until the dripping bubbles, then throw in the flour dredged pieces of Rabbit, (you can put them into a large freezer zip bag with the flour and give it a good shake.)

Brown the Rabbit pieces in the dripping and then throw in your sliced and diced streaky bacon until that starts to crisp and change colour,


Remove from the heat and let stand for a while.


Mix the gravy with the water or cider into a jug, and add the Worcestershire sauce.

Heat the oven to Fan 175 and leave to warm up, while you add the vegetables to the pot, along with the liquid.

Make sure the liquid just covers the ingredients, and give the lot a stir with a wooden spoon.

Pop on the lid to the casserole, and pop it into the warmed oven.

Leave cooking for about an hour and then check on it, and give it another stir with the spoon.

Make sure there is enough liquid still, place back in the oven for at least another hour, (you can reduce the temperature of the oven slightly) this worked naturally with a coal fired oven when it died down.

Check again, and prod the meat to see if it is tender and leaving the bones, if not it will need longer.

If the meat seems cooked you can now make your dumplings into walnut sized balls, and drop into the top of the pot, again make sure there is enough liquid in the pot because the dumplings will thicken the stew.

Pop back into the oven for about another twenty minuets until the dumplings have risen.

Remove and serve piping hot, we used to have a big chunk of new bread to mop up the gravy with.




Budd’s Meat Pasty.

When I was an apprentice at Youngs Garage (Agricultural dept),

 the little lane off of Foundry Square ran down to the Warwick Road, and down this lane was Budd's the bakers. And they used bake so many delights in that shop and all unique to them. One of my tasks was to take the lunch order from the chaps in the workshop down to the shop and wait until they were ready. The smell from this shop was  sensational and very special I sometimes can remember that smell from the bakery today. These pasties were unique to Budd's.


1 lb of short crust pastry.

12 ozs, minced roast beef.

6 ozs, mashed potato.

1 small onion, (softened in a small spoonful of beef dripping).

Plenty of black pepper and a pinch of salt.

1 tbls of milk.





Make the pastry and roll out to about ¼ inch thick.

Cut into rounds, using a small plate.

Mix the meat, onion, and mashed potato together, grind on plenty of pepper,

(it is the amount of black pepper that makes this dish, the more the better,) mix again with the milk and salt.

Place some of the mixture onto one half of each round of pastry.

Damp the edges of each round with cold water, fold over the flap of pastry left, press edges together and crimp with thumb and finger to seal.

Make a couple of vent holes in this top side, brush with milk or beaten egg to glaze.

Place onto a floured baking tray, and place into a hot oven (450 f, Gas Mk 8) and cook until pastry is pale brown.

Reduce heat to (350 f, Gas Mk 5) and cook for further 20 Mins? Check frequently.

Remove and serve with fresh green peas and a knob of butter.

PS a few peas may be added to the mix.

PS, PPS. Substitute the beef for the same amount of Cheddar cheese, and by magic you get a Budd’s cheese pasty.


Repeat tale from above. 

Budd’s bakery used to be in Foundry Street in Banbury, now gone. I used to have to fetch the pasties from the shop at lunch time (ten o’clock) for my mentors while doing my apprenticeship at the then Young’s Garage, on the agricultural side, and have always wanted to re create these little gems, this is as near as I can get.

They always did have a secret ingredient but I don’t know what.

But I think it was just years of experience making them.




 This one is for you Ross, I know you like it, and could not believe it had celery in it,

that you can't stand. Enjoy.


Jim and Tony, Macaroni Salad,


(I did it My Way),




8 ozs Macaroni.

2, hard boiled free range eggs,

1, red pepper, blackened under a grill and left to sweat for 15 mins in sealed container or plastic bag, then sliced.

2, spring onions chopped.

½, Red Onion sliced.

2, sticks of celery diced.

1, red or green chilli finely chopped.

3,ozs pimento stuffed green olives.

3, ozs Mature Cheddar cheese, diced.

1 lemon.

3, tabls, Brown sugar.

Dash of Tabasco sauce.

Salt and black pepper.



Cook Macaroni in salted boiling water until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water until cold.

Leave to dry off, and then toss with a little Olive Oil in the salad bowl. Slice eggs and mix in, grate in a little lemon zest. Add the rest of the chopped and diced ingredients, and Olives.

Combine the lemon juice, sugar, and Tabasco, in a lidded jar and shake well, then mix into the salad.

Goes really well with your Barbequed food,


Or a starter for Christmas.Try It.



Corned Beef Hash.



1 340 grm tin of best corned beef.

1 large onion finely sliced.

3 large potatoes cut into thin slices.

½ cup of frozen or fresh peas.

1 400 grm tin of plum tomatoes.

3 tbls olive oil.

2 tbls plain flour.

1 tbls curry powder.

Salt and ground black pepper to taste.

Nutmeg for dusting.


Speed Method.

Peel the Potatoes with a speed peeler and cut into thin slices.

Place into a medium sized saucepan, and rinse potatoes several times under a cold tap.

Boil a kettle full of water and pour over, add salt to pan, and boil rapidly for five mins.

Now add the Peas and boil for another five mins.

Meanwhile fry the Onion in a little of the oil until soft, some chopped fresh Thyme can be added if you wish.

Cut the corned beef into small dice, and place into a large bowl with a lid, (or plastic bag), spoon in the flour and curry powder, salt and pepper, and shake bowl or bag to coat the meat.

Remove onion and potatoes from heat.

Drain the potato and pea mix into a colander, placed over another saucepan in the sink, this water can now be used for the gravy.

Into a large rectangular oven-proof dish, place the onion and corned beef, stir the mixture gently so that you don’t break the corned beef dice up.

Pour over the contents of the tomato can and smooth.

Tip on the potato-pea mix and do the same.

Sprinkle over the remaining oil, dust with nutmeg.

Place into a pre heated oven Gas Mk 5-6 ,Fan 175 for 30-35 mins until top is golden.

Remove from oven and leave to stand while you make your gravy.

(potato water, stock cube or gravy granules),

serve with portion of coleslaw.


Feeds 4-6.Time, 15 mins prep+ 40mins until you can serve.

Simple Hearty food.


Skillet Version...


For the Skillet version above use up yesterdays cooked  potatoes and a  can of corned beef,( I used only half a can, enough to serve two,) half a large onion (or one small one) softened in a spoon full of oil  as you heat the skillet. Meanwhile boil a cupful of frozen pea's  then add these to the mix with a slotted spoon. Then just keep turning ingredients as you would do "Bubble and Squeak", until you think the the dish is ready, you can let the bottom catch slightly to add that browned potato flavour...

 I just add a dash of Worcestershire sauce, and or dark soy sauce...



Country Cobbler.




5 large floury Potatoes (cut into roasting sized chunks).

2 large Parsnips (quartered as for roasting).

5 large carrots (the same).

1 large Onion (sliced).

½ Red pepper (sliced).

2 cloves of Garlic (squashed and chopped).

8 medium sized Mushrooms (roughly chopped).

2 courgettes (peeled and sliced diagonally).

1 lb of Wykham Parks best minced beef.

2 stock cubes, a dash of Tabasco, a slurp of Tomatoes Ketchup, a dash of Worcestershire sauce.

Salt and Black pepper to taste.




Boil the potatoes in a large pan of salted water. Into the top place the Parsnips to par cook, about 10 mins, then scoop them out. Leave the Potatoes until they are cooked but still firm.

In a separate pan cook the carrots until limp then use the water to make the stock using the listed ingredients. (About ½ pint),

Meanwhile in a large fry-pan or skillet  soften the onions and red pepper in a little olive oil until soft and slightly burnt on the edges.

Place into a casserole dish.

Fry the mushrooms and garlic in a little butter until coloured and remove these to the casserole.

Fry off the mince until brown, add salt and black pepper, and place this into the casserole. (A few chopped herbs may be added for more flavour.)

Stir the ingredients slightly, cover with the parsnips and carrots.

Pour over the stock, drain the potatoes, and roughly cover the top of the casserole with them, (do not mash).

Sprinkle with a drop of Olive oil and grated nutmeg or curry powder.

Place into a hot oven (Gas Mk 7) for 20-30 mins.

Fry the courgettes and a couple of the carrots in Olive oil, and stir in a good spoonful of Orange Marmalade.

Fry until slightly caramelised. Use as a garnish on the served dish.



Bury’s Hill Apple Dumplings.

Me Gran's sister Aunt Flo from Bury's Hill Farm used to make these,

and still made them the same when she had moved down into Wigginton,

I alus remembers the sweetness, of them and how they fills yer up.





4 large Bramley Apples.

1 jar of mincemeat,

5 or 6 Tbls Brown Sugar,

1lbs of Rich Short Crust Pastry can be bought from chiller cabinet at your local store.

Milk for brushing.




Peel and core the apples (place in cold water and lemon juice to stop browning).

Roll out the pastry until about 3mm thick, cut into four squares.

Then roll each piece out until it is big enough to cover one of the apples.

Place apple into centre of pastry and fill the core hole with mincemeat and brown sugar. Sprinkle more sugar over the apple. Pull the sides of the pastry up around the apple and crimp the top.

Brush each dumpling with a little milk and dust with cinnamon place onto a floured baking tray and then into a pre heated oven, Gas Mk5 for 20-25 Mins until golden. Remove and split open top, serve with fresh double cream or thick custard.


The old ones are the best



Dashlake Hill Shepherds Pie.





1-2 lb cooked and mashed Potatoes.

30 ml /2 tbs, cooking Oil.

1 Onion chopped.

1 clove of Garlic crushed.

125g/4 oz Mushrooms chopped.

575 g / 1-2 lb of cooked Lamb minced.

45 ml /3tbs Tomato Ketchup.

2 rashers of smoked Bacon minced.

150 ml /5 fl oz or more if required, Beef stock (can be made with two red Stock cubes).

A dash of Tabasco and Worcester sauce.

Salt freshly milled Black Pepper and a pinch of grated Nutmeg.

1 oz of Butter.



Heat the oil in a large fry pan or large saucepan, tip in the Onion, Bacon, and Mushrooms, and fry for 5 Min’s. Now add the Lamb, Tomato Ketchup, Sauces, and Salt and Pepper,

Then stir well,

Pour over the Gravy and bring mixture to a boil.

Simmer for 5 Min’s. Then turn out into a buttered pie dish.

Mash the Potatoes with the Butter and the Nutmeg, along with Salt and Pepper to taste.

Spread over the meat mixture in the pie dish, and fluff the top with a fork.

Place into a moderate oven Gas Mk4 and bake for 20-25 Min’s or until the Potatoes are well browned.


Serve with.

Green peas, braised Cabbage or Buttered mashed Swede.     Serves 4.


Leek and Potato Bake.




5 large potatoes peeled and cut into 5mm thick rounds.

2 good sized Leeks outer leaves removed and the rest washed and cut across into thin round slices.

2 cloves of Garlic squashed and chopped finely.

2 rashers of Back Bacon, grilled for 5 Mins. And cut into small strips.

Zest of 1 Lemon.

1 oz of mature Cheddar Cheese, grated.

2 oz of Butter.

Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper.

¼ pint,150ml, of Milk. Nutmeg grated.



Boil the potato rounds in salted water for 10 mins. drain and leave in the colander to cool a while.

Meanwhile soften the Leeks and Garlic in half of the Butter for a few Mins.

Butter the bottom and sides of a medium sized casserole dish grind some black Pepper onto the Butter and grate on some of the nutmeg. Now start to layer up first with potato (mind your hands it could still be very hot) season with a little salt and pepper, and after each subsequent layer.

Now spoon over some of the Leek mixture followed by a sprinkling of Bacon strips, Lemon zest and Cheese.

Start again with Potato ETC. when you have nearly reached the top finish with a Potato layer with a sprinkle of Cheese and grated Nutmeg and the rest of the Butter dotted about.

Pour over the milk and place into a pre heated oven Gas Mk 6 for 30-35 Mins until the top is golden.

Serve with green veg or salad leaves.


Chicken with Mushrooms.


This is a recipe I adapted from one by Kim Fischer, it seemed so easy I thought I would give it a try. I was not disappointed.



250 G, British Closed Cup Chestnut Mushrooms. Sliced.

2, Skinless boneless chicken breast halves.

1, Free Range Egg, beaten.

1, cup Seasoned Bread crumbs.

2, Tablespoons, Butter, or Clover.

4, ounces, Cheddar cheese, grated.

1, 295 G, can of Campbells, Classic Cream of Chicken soup.

1,Tablespoon.Olive Oil.

Salt and Black pepper.



Pre heat oven to Gas Mk 5-6.or equivalent.

Place half of the mushrooms into a 9x13 inch oven or Yorkshire pan ,sprinkled with the Olive oil.

Dip the chicken into the beaten Egg and then into the Bread crumbs, twice to use up the egg and crumbs.

In a medium sized non stick fry pan or cast skillet, melt the butter until bubbling, brown both sides of the crumbed chicken, about 2 min’s a side, remove with egg slice and place on top of the Mushrooms. Scatter remaining Mushrooms on top, season.

Mix can of condensed soup and the same measure of water in a jug and pour over the dish, then top with the Grated Cheddar Cheese.

Place into oven, middle shelf for 30-40 min’s to bake. Remove and let stand for five Min’s, then serve on a bed of Basmati and wild rice.

Serves two very well.


Stuffed Mackerel Fillets.



4, Mackerel, filleted.

4, Slices of Soda or Brown bread, cut into small dice.

½ Red Onion, finely chopped.

12, pimento stuffed green olives, chopped.

1 Lemon, for the jest and ½ the juice.

4 Tbls, Olive oil.

2 Tbls, Butter.

Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper.



Fry the Onion in the oil for five mins then add half of the butter to the pan. Add the bread and fry until golden. Mix in the Olives lemon zest and juice and season with salt and pepper. Remove from pan into a dish or bowl.

Place the other half of the butter into the pan and gently fry the Mackerel fillets for a few minutes on either side.

Remove from pan and place half of the fillets into a small casserole dish cover with half of the stuffing, then add the remaining fillets, and again cover with the remaining stuffing.

Place into a pre heated oven mid heat for 15 mins,

Remove from oven and serve immediately, on a bed Basmati rice with peas and sweet corn added.

Top with a slice of lemon.


A Cornish best recipe...



More Recipes Later 



Ross's Favourite...

And simple...


 Pasta and Peas...




"This is the "Spam" version with added Orange zest just before serving, Try it you will be amazed"...


This is one of our favourite dishes from a few years back..

 and is so warming and filling. proper comfort food.


Ingredients ..

 A good cup full or more of pasta shapes, the bow ones are traditional for this dish but I have used Penne and even broken up lasagne or spaghetti at a pinch..

A cup full of frozen peas.

2 pints of water  made into stock with a couple of cubes.

A small onion finely sliced, and softened in a little oil...

Three or four slices of cooked ham, or I have even used thin slices of Spam in the past and may do now..Cut into 1 inch sized pieces. 

Salt and black pepper to taste a dash of Tabasco, chilli flakes or a finely chopped chilli...

A squeeze of tomato purée or tomato paste...



 In a stockpot or heavy based saucepan boil the water and make the stock. simmer and add the flavourings,(including softened onion,) and pasta, cook until the pasta is al-dente. Toss in the frozen peas and simmer for a further five minuets, throw in the Ham or Spam slices for another couple of minuets. then turn of the heat and let cool for five to ten minuets before serving in a deep bowl..

 You will be amazed how this meal fills you up.. If you want it a bit thicker, add some gravy granules has you turn off the heat and stir in..

 Enjoy.Food for thought...


Keep Safe Everyone...

More Recipes Later...