Summer recipes special


One of the things that irritates me about the posh papers at any time of year is the proliferation of up-their-own arse recipes. These invariably involve a lot of expensive ingredients, including several vegetables the average punter has never even heard of, plus hours of faffing about to produce something that looks and tastes like burnt vegetables.

It always reminds me of the reaction of my mother (who grew up on a farm) when I explained to her what polenta was: “We used to feed that to the pigs.”

Well, it’s a nice day and I’ve been busy in the kitchen for all of about 20 minutes to bring you some recipes which are far quicker and simpler, and just as disappointing.

Lemon Cordially Invited to Pour Down the Sink

Making homemade lemonade is fraught with hazards; whatever you do, some people will find it too sweet, others too sour. There is no right answer. Here’s the formula I tried today:

1 big lemon

1lb sugar

1 tablespoon citric acid powder

1.5 pints boiling water

Slice the lemons up right thin. Chuck them into a bowl with the sugar and acid powder (NB: do not use any other acids), pour on the water, leave to stand for 24 hours, then drink, diluting to taste.

Artisan Jelly Catastrophe  

This is a delightful little summer dessert which I have just invented. All the ingredients are locally sourced, and it can be prepared in less than five minutes!


– Packet of Raspberry Jelly from nearest supermarket

– Some water from tap (for the jelly)

– The last two of Better Half’s excellent home-made blueberry muffins from the tin in the kitchen.

(Oh yes, we grow our own blueberries in the garden, but if you don’t have your own blueberries, plus someone who’s prepared to muffinise them, any supermarket cake will do.)

Make up the jelly in a bowl.

Hack the muffins into pieces with a big choppy thing.

Drop into jelly

Watch in bemusement as bits of muffin disintegrate into smaller bits of muffin.

Pretend that this was intention all along

Put the whole wretched mess into the fridge to set

Nervously await consequences.

Cooking? Nothing to it. Remind me sometime to tell you about how to do a packet cheesecake with half a dozen Cadburys Creme Eggs arranged around it.


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