29th July 2014
Memorial Camping Trip
The Walking Tree

On the anniversary of Mum's death my siblings Kurt, Karen and I met up for a camping weekend near Samye Ling - the Buddhist centre where last year we scattered her ashes, so we could eat some of our family's traditional spaghetti bolognese (for which I sacrificed one of my precious, precious remaining tins of Campbell's condensed oxtail soup) in its natural environment: A sulky silence in the great outdoors.

I enhanced the recipe a little - I ground up my own beef mince You really can't trust that pre-ground stuff you know; it's where they hide the horses. Not to mention the lips and arseholes. and ran a little chorizo through too for some extra flavour though it would be better fried separately. I did desperately try to find some of that enormous two-foot-long spaghetti that used to be the only stuff you could buy, to make the experience as authentic as possible, but all my Local Fucking Supermarkets™ have simultaneously decided not to stock it any more, so that was that.
(I Later, too late, randomly discovered some packets in my local fucking Lidl™ which I suppose is a sad comment on the parlous state of this nation of shops.)
Unfortunately I also forgot to add the mushrooms to the sauce: much to Kurt's delight - he doesn't like fat mushrooms; too squeaky!
Kurt: Mum's recipe doesn't use mushrooms.
Us: What recipe?
Kurt: From her recipe book.
Us: What recipe book?
Kurt: Er...

And thus was revealed Mum's secret recipe book that Kurt has been hiding for all these years!
Apparently she wrote down the instructions for a bunch of our favourite dishes when Kurt first moved away from home and had to start cooking them for himself.
Somehow he just forgot to mention it to any of us later.
I've updated the section of my Olde Recipe Booke to reflect this new treasure trove, but there's also one or two gems that were a surprise to me - like this red cabbage.
Who knew? Well, apart from Kurt, obviously.

We camped at Honey Cottage Caravan Park in the Ettrick valley near Selkirk, a pretty beatiful area actually, well provided with terrific walks, walking trees, midges and a complete absence of phone signal. I sensibly took my mosquito net hat with me, but Kurt was forced to improvise with the underwear to hand.
I don't see it catching on!

I took the opportunity to chum Kurt and Karen back down to Bradford and stock up on Spicey Cottage curries and those delicious Pakistani honey mangoes, they being in season just now.
It was there that we inexplicably managed to upset Karen enough to send her home in a huff. Who knows how - she's a girl.
Same time next year Karen?

Red Cabbage
side veg vegan
Via Kurt's secret recipe book.
Dunno where she got this one - not from me!

Remove stalk and chop cabbage.
Chop onion & apple.
Put in lidded casserole with herbs & wine. Add salt & pepper to taste.
I (this is Mum talking) usually add just a dash of vodka or brandy, or whatever I get hold of first.
Cook at Gas Mark 4 until tender - about ¾-1 hour.
Seems pretty racy for one of Mum's recipes. I haven't tried it, but provide it here for your delectation.

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