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.
the recipe a little - I ground up my own beef mince
and ran a little chorizo through too for some extra flavour .
I did desperately try to find some of that enormous two-foot-long spaghetti that used to be the only stuff you could
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.
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?
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
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?