One hour back


A wet, grey, humid day spent mostly on buses back and forth across Tangleton; vegetables from Tesco, and two new pairs of jeans from the giant Asda store, as my summer ones, cropped to mid-calf, are being rapidly superseded by the season.  Tonight the clocks go back, and we gain an hour’s extra sleep; poor reward for the months of darkness that will follow.

But autumn isn’t all doom and gloom.  “Strictly Come Dancing” is upon us, as is Halloween with its cheap plastic thrills and pretend horror.  I and my sister have carefully procured the tackiest corpse bride puppets, fake pumpkins and plastic skeletal hands that Poundland can provide, to decorate Mum’s grave up at the Tangleton Crematorium*

Another benefit of the season is the vegetables; potatoes, swedes, parsnips, leeks, savoy cabbages, sweetheart cabbages and other tough leaves of the soil, that can be roasted, stir fried or stewed into delicious green submission.  Today I picked up a bag of kale for a very moreish, pleasantly spicy black-eyed bean stew (the leftover leaves go to my nephew’s guinea pigs, the little furry eating machines that they are).

Original recipe to be found here.  I’d not heard of Anna Jones before, and nicely-spoken young ladies releasing nicely-spoken recipe books full of nicely-spoken organic, free-range, quinoa-esque recipes, are kind of ten a penny these days.  However, this is a bit of a winner of a stew……


*This was her dying wish. No, seriously.  She wanted her (otherwise tasteful and understated) grave decorated at Halloween and Xmas. The tackier and more tasteless the better.

Black-eyed bean and Kale Stew

  • One small chopped onion
  • Two spring onions, chopped
  • Two garlic cloves, minced
  • Around a 1/3rd of a red chilli, chopped finely
  • Two generous handfuls kale, chopped
  • One tin plum tomatoes
  • One tin black eyed beans, drained and rinsed
  • Two tablespoons olive oil
  • Teaspoon honey
  • Vegetable stock cube
  • Nutmeg, coriander, chilli powder
  • Two tablespoons lemon juice
  • Walnuts / grated cheese (optional, for topping)

Heat one tablespoon olive in a wok or saucepan, and gently fry the onion, half the garlic, and the spring onions for 10 minutes.

Add a dash of chilli powder, cook a little longer.

Add the black eyed beans, the crumbled stock cube, tin of tomatoes, and a little hot water.

Bring to the boil and then simmer for 30 minutes, or until the tomatoes have reduced down to a medium thick sauce.

Add a shake of nutmeg, half the lemon juice, salt, pepper and the chopped kale.

Mix the other garlic, the chopped chilli, the honey, and half the olive oil in a small pan.  Heat through briefly, until the mixture bubbles.

Add to the wok, mix, and simmer for another 10 minutes.  Add a little more hot water if necessary so the mixture doesn’t dry out.

Serve hot, with walnuts/cheese scattered over the top, according to taste.


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