When I have folks around for dinner, I try and remember to ask them if there is anything they don’t eat.  Well for Battenburg Belle’s birthday dinner I had quite a few things to juggle with.  2 vegetarian guests, one guest who is dairy free, and one who is allergic to chilli and red peppers.  I abandoned my earlier plan for a big old Mexican extravaganza, and instead made a trio of shepherd’s pies.

Pie Number One – Vegan Lentil and Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie – made to this recipe I found on the internet at The Full Helping…


This was ENORMOUS and even after leaving 2 portions in my vegan neighbour’s bike basket, for her and her boyfriend, I still had about 4 portions left for myself…  I had lentils coming out of my ears for days!


Pie Number Two – was from our dear friend Joan Ransley’s book – this was absolutely scrummy – I made 1.5 x Joan’s recipe and there were hardly any leftovers – boo!


Pie Number Three – when I brought a Shepherd’s Pie made exactly to Cliff Richard’s recipe to the table, Cathy’s brother Patrick asked: “Does it contain mistletoe and wine?”  Ha ha.  It was made to Cliff’s very trad recipe which involved not much more than mince, Worcestershire sauce and onions.  Very, very tasty, also minimal leftovers.  


Here’s Cliff’s recipe, excuse my scribbles…

At the end of the evening I asked strong woman Battenburg Belle to see if she could get my jar of Coconut Oil open.  On the day after almost going beserk trying to open a subborn can of salmon for Donald Pleasence’s No Name Curry, whatever I tried, I couldn’t get the lid of this Coconut Oil off. 


Please note frantic STAB wounds in a last-ditch attempt to release some air and get it to budge.  I see the tagline of Vita Coco is “Eat it – Wear It – Swear By It”.  Well, there was some swearing, definitely.  Perhaps I need one of these…


But even the strongest woman in the world failed to get that lid to budge.  I think the universe is telling me something.  It has taken me years and years to catch on to the fact that Coconut Oil is THE thing to cook with, and now I’m reading that it is bad for the planet.  Hey ho.  What would Cliff do?



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