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Wednesday was spent at a funeral, which went about as well as these things can go.  (What can you say to someone that’s going to a funeral? I mean you can say “have a great holiday!” or “Merry Christmas!” or “Have a lovely wedding!” but for funerals it’s a bit “well, I hope they don’t get the deceased’s name wrong….”).

Went to the wake to support the departed’s daughter who is a close friend of mine, which was a typically-British restrained “ham sandwich and a cup of tea” type of affair.  After the relatives departed some friends hung around for a while longer, played with her kids and caught up on the gossip.  Neither she nor her husband were in any fit state to cook, so a phone-call to the local curry-takeaway was in order; a comforting pile of rice, hot naan breads, poppadums and richly-coloured curries, dribbling fragrant red grease and orange oils over the wrapping papers and the plates.  Mmmm, vegetable balti* and a cheese naan…….*belches*

My team at work had planned an informal early Xmas lunch at the local pub the next day, which would have given me the chance to balance this out with a baked potato and salad, or something of that ilk.  Instead this was cancelled as some Very Important People were visiting, and as such lunch was brought-in pizza.

A bit bloated on grease and carbohydrates I considered a salad for dinner, but there’s a bit of a cold snap on weather-wise, and lettuce didn’t really appeal.  So I nipped into the local corner-shop for a tin of ready-boiled new potatoes.  I have a guilty affection for these little yellow boluses, smoothly-plastic and over-salted as they are.  I then constructed an extremely quick dinner, suitable for those That Cannot Be Bothered To Cook Properly, but with enough healthy ingredients included to act as some sort of counterweight to two days of unhealthy living.

  • Tin new potatoes, drained (use fresh new potatoes, skinned, fresh-boiled and chopped into chunks if preferred).
  • Tin chickpeas, drained.
  • Good handful sweetcorn kernals, pre-cooked/tinnned/frozen.
  • Good handful fresh spinach leaves chopped medium fine.
  • One medium tomato, chopped into medium chunks.
  • Vegetarian ham, chopped roughly.
  • Small handful grated cheddar.
  • Black pepper, olive oil.

Boil the pototaoes, chickpeas and sweetcorns for 10 minutes, until thoroughly warmed. Don’t salt as the tinned potatoes will likely be salty enough. Drain and mix with the other ingredients, be generous with the black pepper and a decent dash of olive oil.  Serve warm, although this should make a good cold lunch as well.

*I will find a recipe for this, and show non-Brits reading this how the Queen of British Curries** should be done…..

**not to be confused with proper Indian food that proper Indian people eat in India. Apparently the word “balti” means “bucket” in Hindi.

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