My grandmother has, in the past couple of weeks, started passing on a number of her recipes that I have expressed an interest in trying out. Since she is of a certain age, my grandmother is from an era in which most people would naturally eat frugally. As one might imagine, it was unacceptable, both socially and economically, to waste resources during war-time and post-war Britain; the setting in which she grew up. Though it is fairly clear that the roots of this dish do not lie in the 1940s – particularly with the addition of dried apricots – I believe that it still retains the frugal sensibilities of that period, as so many of my recipes do.

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In recent weeks my Grandfather has developed a penchant for divulging a number of his favourite Clement Freud anecdotes. His favourite story concerns a trip Freud made to Mexico. Whilst in Mexico, Freud thought he would sample the delights of a true Central American Chilli, something he soon regretted. After ordering ‘six bottled of beer in quick succession’, Freud advised the chef that it may be best to warn visitors about the deadly speciality. The chef replied that ‘the ratio [of chilli to meat] was about one to one.’ Had Freud wanted his chilli with only a little spice the chef said that ‘there was an American place just down the road.’ I think it’s rather a humorous little tale, though perhaps you’ll disagree if you are an American. Anyway, a deep interest on the writings of Freud developed within, and I asked to borrow my Grandfather’s copy of ‘Freud of Food’. To my delight I discovered that my taste in humour shared an even closer affinity to that of Freud’s, when I discovered a section entitled, ‘Give The Wife A Break’.

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