Foodie? Moi?

This is about survival man cooking, and I’ll give you fair warning, you should not read this piece, but if you do so, and pay any heed to the recipe, never mind follow it, the odds are you’re probably going to die. However, should you truck onwards into this bit of the dark interior of the human psyche, this shard of folk recipe will keep you going through the long cold winter months ahead of us – I guarantee it. As with all guarantees these days, it’s a meaningless phrase and the people doing it are either untraceable fly-by-nights or can afford a battalion of lawyers just thirsting to win not only the case, but the award of costs to their client. When somebody says trust me, it’s guaranteed – run the other way.

To restate that health warning more explicitly, if you follow this recipe, you might in all probability be found dead three days later on your kitchen floor in a pool of your own long-cooled piss. On the other hand, should you survive it Mr. Phelps, you will never again have to prove your courage to any man, woman or child, or anything else walking, crawling or slithering across the face of God’s good green Earth, because they’ll all be busy walking, crawling or slithering in the other direction away from you. It’s like Hoyle’s expanding universe, but on an interpersonal level.

Left to my own devices, I could probably get along with the road kill I’d peeled off the inner wheel arches of my car so it wouldn’t bugger up the disc brakes, but obviously appearances have to be maintained, especially as I married a woman who’s forgotten more about how to cook well in the last five minutes than I would ever learn on the best day of my life.

This was driven home to me quite early in what has been a long marriage when we were invited around for an evening dinner cooked by a member of the young mum’s Mafia, who all congregated together in something called the Pram Club, where they swapped hot tips about how your baby dribbling like a broken tap was normal and how to finally get back into a bit of longed-for rumpty pumpty after the twin evils of the episiotomy from hell and an overly considerate hubby who’d not laid a hand on them when they’d most needed it to feel like a human being, also known as a woman, in the last three months of their confinement.

My wife, being an ex-convent school girl confidently heading on towards being a nun after the usual girlish unrequited love affair from a distance with one of them before the chance happenstance that was me kicked off the sinfully attractive “danger Will Robinson” klaxons and the red emergency evacuate lights blinked on and off ominously. In essence, a creature such deliciously scandalised atheists in the wannabe nun club had only ever read of in bodice rippers – was generally acknowledged in the set to be in touch with such basic frustrations I think. I was in the street fighting man phase of my life at the time, with the concomitant natural reluctance to being drawn into anything even vaguely resembling nice.

However, even a street fighting man has to settle down at some point. You have to start being nice, even with people she wants to do the Knob Hill cozy up to and you regard at a glance and from a distance of 600 yards over iron sights wouldn’t be any great loss to humanity.

Such social events are usually cast as “of course you’ll like her other half”, but fairly on early into the evening it dawns on you, your other half and his other half will be having a good old yammer and you’ll be left on the conversational receiving end of a second under assistant who’s totally supportive of the cost accountant statistical model providing vital and gripping advice to one of those large, bladed termite hills that stand man-high on the red, roasted, waterless and barren plains of Africa, where all seventeen million inhabitants of it in a square surface area larger than both the Dakotas don’t have enough body fat to scrape together between them enough to make one of those extremely small bars of soap you get in Lux but actually cheapo hotels you’re expected to “borrow” as souvenirs. It’s all in the daily price Kiddo.

Anyway, getting back on track about the eating to live rather than the other way around, the foundation, of course, is a tin of beans. Don’t go cheap on this one, because it’s basic – they’ve gotta be Heinz beans. There is no rational substitute. Anything else, you just end up sucking those individual bean skins off your teeth for the next 24 hours. Obviously, preferences vary in terms of the type of can, but I’ve come around to the ring pull variety.

I for sure know there’s a certain dangerous excitement about using a classical tin opener and risking opening veins in your wrist, but trust me, just yanking on that handy ring pull and flinging the top of the can into the wrong recycling bin has a certain naughtiness about it that appeals to the essential bad boyo who still dwells within me, and who just won’t go away despite my best efforts. I still bang the can twice on a flat surface, as I’d been taught as a child. If it wasn’t too bulgy and doesn’t explode in your face, the odds are pretty good the contents inside are still edible.

This is the base of the whole meal, so you don’t skip or stint on it. To restate, it’s got to be Heinz beans, or the whole meal could potentially be a disaster. Go big, use the whole damn can, because there’s at least three good meals in the concoction all of which can be stored in your fridge and nuked back to tastiness using your microwave in less that a minute. They’re a bit too sweet for my taste nowadays and they’ve caved to the anti-salt cult, so the first thing to get them back up on their legs and strutting their stuff is to stir into them a generous helping of Maldon sea salt. It doesn’t have to be Maldon sourced or even sea salt but as long as it’s salt, it’ll open up the flavour of the food.

From here on in, you do what’s called seasoning to taste. This is where you can go free range or more usually termed going totally off the bloody reservation. I usually add a generous pinch of curry powder followed by a few squirts from a Chilli sauce we buy in bulk. Soy sauce of the dark persuasion; go heavy. A little bit of BBQ sauce wouldn’t hurt either. Stir it in well; get the nuclear fusion process going. It ignites and starts to bubble and glow in the dark.

Before the damper rods drop into place to stop the Three Mile Island chain reaction, I throw in a few very thin chopped up slices of chorizo sausage. Not too many slices or it dominates the taste of the coming banquet. A finely chopped up clove of garlic doesn’t hurt either.

The near to final addition is one Chilli, again finely chopped up, but it has to have some fierce zing to it, savage. Do not use capsicums pretending to be chillies; save them for salads and such to feed to your veggie friends while you’re munching on a bacon sandwich with melted cheese liberally dressed with brown sauce. They try not to sneer, but that smell of freshly grilled bacon you know is chewing on them cruelly. I watch carefully – we all have our guilty pleasures.

Another good stir and it goes into the microwave. One minute on max power. When the bell goes ping, take it out, stir and after a little rest to cook down, put it back in for another minute of the same treatment – on the next ping, you’re ready to rock.

The last ingredient is three slices of sweet onion chopped into tiny squares and stirred into the concoction raw. Never nuke a fresh onion slice, that would be onion desecration.

At the same time, those two slices of bread have been toasting. They’re honest white bread, none of that dyed brown crap being flogged as the healthier alternative. They get a generous smearing of real Normandy butter when they’re still hot, as opposed to the tasteless axle grease margarine that’s supposed to be so much more good for you. When the butter has melted, the toasted slices are covered with a liberal helping of Ardennes liver pâté. Cut them into strips for dipping. At a minimum, four strips per slice.

The final decision is what drink to have with it. Colder times of the year, a tea or coffee would be the way to go with such a repast. Summertime, when it’s hot you can go for the wine option. I tend to go for a chilled Riesling simply because it’s cold, but nobody is going to put you out front before a firing squad for going for a full-blooded red.

Having made a nice big bowl of it, you take out what you want to eat and the rest goes in the fridge covered for later consumption.

The last choice to make is what music to listen to as you dine like the emperor of Japan. Only you can make that call.


4 Responses to “Foodie? Moi?”
  1. JLC of Perth says:

    This is definitely guy food 🙂


  2. meltemian says:

    It’s definitely a Man Thing.
    The only way I could ever get ‘Himself’ to eat baked beans was to add brown sauce and curry powder!


  3. gallopingcamel says:

    So what to do when the fuel stops coming? Enjoy this video on how to construct a very efficient stove that runs on twigs:

    If you want to know more here is a link you may like:


  4. NoFixedAddress says:


    Saved it to the recipe book.

    I prefer a couple of spuds cooked properly, slathered with real butter then cheese put on top to melt in.

    I make a de-facto Worcestershire sauce and none of it goes in the refrigerator.

    Just because:-


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