Chilli hot chocolate, 16p, and a broken foot, priceless.

This morning I woke up, walked out of the bedroom, skidded down the stairs, and crashed my foot into the wall with the full force of my rapidly-descending body slamming behind it. I spent the rest of the morning in Charing Cross A&E, where despite looking extremely light on staff, I was seen relatively quickly, by a doctor who used to be a psychiatrist and before that lived in the Phillipines (we had a great food chat!) I had my wonky-looking foot X-Rayed by a very kind radiographer, the doctor set it and strapped it up, and I cleared a good deal of my work diary for the immediate future. Walking with a stick on bruises and fractures and sprains is not really conducive to prancing about in a kitchen testing recipes, well, not as early as Monday, anyway. BUT, I made a New Years resolution to cook or make something new every day – so apologies that today’s may be fairly low level, but I can’t stand unaided right now and I’ve sprained my right shoulder, so chopping and slicing and dicing is temporarily beyond me… However, it’s something I’ve been meaning to get to grips with for a while, so simple it may be, but it’s also delicious, and comforting. Ladies, gentlemen and non-binary readers, I bring to you an oh so simple chilli hot chocolate… Serves two (you’ll probably want both!) 500ml milk (can be made with […]

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THE RICE FIELDS: TANZANIA

We bounded into an Oxfam Land Cruiser early this morning – after a breakfast of mandazi (deep fried donuts) and fresh eggs and banana at the hotel. I’m really enjoying the local cuisine, but it deserves it’s own blog post I think! We (me, Mora from Oxfam GB, and Bill and Teresa from Oxfam in Dar Es Salaam) were setting […]

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What can you do to help? Buy someone #22mealsforacoffee (That’s 22 meals for the price of a £3 coffee…)

While typing my previous post, I had a bit of a brainwave. And I wonder if I can get something going here, with almost 10,000 Twitter followers, 5,000 Facebook fans, 2,000 Facebook friends, 3,000 email subscribers… I wonder if… If, instead of spending £3 on a coffee today, tomorrow, this week, you could do this instead. Go to your nearest supermarket, and buy the following: (I’ve priced mine at Sainsburys, but other major supermarkets are similarly priced): 2 tins of baked beans – 22p each 1 jar of fish paste – 32p 1 can of sardines – 55p 1 tin of chopped tomatoes – 31p 1 tin of carrots – 20p 1 loaf of bread – 50p 1 jar of jam – 29p 1 bag of pasta – 39p TOTAL: £3.00 And go and put it in a carrier bag and take it straight to your local food bank, or a friend or neighbour in need. Because one latte = 16 slices of bread and jam + 6 portions of beans on toast + 2 portions of pasta with fish paste + 4 portions of pasta with sardines and tomatoes. One latte = 22 meals. No, not nutritionally perfect, but better than hunger. If you have the extra cash, replace the jam with peanut butter. Add some tinned spinach or more tinned tomatoes, some stewed steak or tinned meat. I don’t care what you spend that £3 on – just […]

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Reader Recipes: Laura P’s Chickpea Rice

Laura said… “Here’s another Chickpea recipe from my kitchen. I often joke of my 101 Ways With Chickpeas, so expect more! It’s a bit long-winded I know – I find it ever so difficult to be concise – but I think missing out any element of the instructions would mean a pot of burnt, stuck, useless rice. This is a delicious and well-worth-the-extra-faff recipe, as opposed to plain boiled rice, should you have the time or inclination to faff that is.” This serves 2 people generously as an accompaniment to a curry. Would be equally delicious with chilli, fajitas, an omelette – that sort of thing. Also, very nice cold for lunch the next day. It’s a nicely balanced meal on its own, but very very mmmmm with chopped cooked chicken or tinned tuna – if you had some. Use 100g value rice, well rinsed in advance. It is worth taking the time to rinse the rice until the water is as clear as you can get it. You will have the end result of far fluffier, nicely dry, non-soggy rice, and less sticking to the pan. Start with a dry pot and heat up a dessertspoon of oil – to a medium heat. To this, add a finely chopped onion and cook, stirring, until it is beginning to soften. At that stage add the following – miss out what you don’t have, and if you have none of these, […]

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Reader’s Recipes: Marie-Cecile’s Simple Fried Rice

I have a recipe for you. It is a simple fried rice I prepared for today’s lunch. I guess you may want to try it yourself. For two persons: Splash of vegetable oil – 20 ml Rice – 125g Sesame oil – 10ml Dark Soy Sauce – 30 ml 1 big carrot or 2 medium carrots 1 spring onion 50g bacon 2 eggs 1/2 garlic clove salt, pepper Cook the rice per instructions (It is best to cook the rice the previous day or use leftover rice) Cook scrambled eggs in the wok, set aside. Do not add salt. Chop the carrot and the bacon, mince the clove Put them in a splash of hot vegetable oil in the wok Let them cook a bit Add the rice and the soy sauce. Raise the heat, stir a bit and wait until the rice “pops” , then lower the heat In the meantime, mince the spring onion Add the reserved eggs and the minced spring onion Add the sesame oil (fragile, best to add just at the end of the cooking and not too much because it has a strong flavour) Add salt and pepper to taste Stir and NOM! Best regards, Marie-Cécile To see your favourite recipe here, email jackmonroe@live.co.uk

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Berry Bread Pudding, 11p [VG/V/DF]

This luscious, dense, simple little number was thrown together this afternoon in the midst of a craving for something hot, stodgy and comforting while I worked from home in the bitter cold. I love my beautiful (rented) house with its views of the sea, but when the temperature drops and the wind kicks up it is devastatingly cold, and I […]

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Soda Bread, 7p [VG/V/DF]

This is an ideal bread recipe for newcomers, no fancy equipment needed and the bare bones of a recipe. I tricked Mrs J into making this last week; she who famously doesn’t cook but hovers helpfully around the washing up, trying not to gwt roped in with my wily ways. “Can I do anything?” she asked. “Yes darling, could you […]

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Pumble, 20p [VG/V/DF]

This cheeky little number is a cross between a pie and a crumble, a hot sweet pile of stewed fruits beneath a crumbly puff pastry topping. I admit to approaching my pies with borderline religious fervour; that is, in order to qualify as a pie, it must have a base and walls and a lid. This does not meet my […]

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Carrot, Cumin & Kidney Bean Soup, 18p [VG/V/DF/GF]

. I wanted to write another recipe, but I felt sullied, trite, misappropriated, and used. So instead I am going to rewrite my recipes from 2012 - that many of you will not have seen buried beneath the beautiful new ones - and re-cost them to demonstrate the soar in prices in the Basics range over the last 6 years, and how it is always the poorest who shoulder the burden of economic inequality. 

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My Ready Meal Is None Of Your Fucking Business.

Tonight, scrolling through Twitter, I came across a frankly audacious message sent from the ‘Bath Conservatives’ account, that had tagged me in. Unfortunately this is not an account dedicated to the frugal recycling of your dirty wash water, more’s the pity, but the haphazard and misfiring musings from the anonymous social media person for the Bath branch of the Conservative […]

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