Oh, the joys of cooking with a dear friend! Even when they are miles away in a different part of London and you can only see a tiny WhatsApp picture of them on your mobile phone. I absolutely LOVED cooking along with Sanja as I know her kitchen well and have great memories of spectacular meals at her place with her and her brother Sasa. At the moment we can’t eat in the same room, but we CAN cook the same meal and eat it together remotely. This experience is totally new to me, but I am going to do more of this in the future for sure.

Add a 10 to front of the 0% at the moment

Of course, whenever I think of Sanja I cannot help but think of this, the funniest picture I have ever taken, of her in her kitchen after she’d burned her oven glove.

The night we made George’s chicken dish together, we drank lots of beer and laughed like drains. Sanja has a very particular sense of humour that always has me in stitches. She cracked me up with a tale about an article she’d read online about how competitive vegetable growing was going through the roof during the pandemic. She told me about a photo she had seen of a “marrow the size of a coffin” and she’d thought to herself, if the guy proudly posing with should suddenly snuff it, they could just “halve it and drop him in it. Simple”. Of course I Googled it, and guessed that this was him.

But actually it turned out to be this guy…

What a whopper!

From being coaxed through the process of jointing a chicken

to having dinner on our respective tables took about 2 hours. I admitted that I wish I’d read through the recipe properly and had taken note of George’s recommendation to serve it with Valpolicella.

But Sanja said, and I agreed wholeheartedly, “I just really, really, really wanted to drink beer so that we could imagine we were in the pub.” It’s true. The festive raising of glasses and cans of beer towards the phone at regular intervals was a tonic. It did feel like we were together somehow.

I’m thinking of inviting test cook volunteers to cook a dish with me like this, via Zoom or What’sApp or another type of video call system. Who is game? It would help me knuckle down and finish the dishes for the Murder, She Cooked book having someone by my side in the kitchen. We can talk about anything you like while we are cooking – giant vegetables, the weather in whatever part of the world you are in, who your favourite movie stars are… If you fancy this, just drop me a line via the Contact Page and we’ll find a time that works in our respective time zones and an appropriate recipe. I am stupidly excited about this prospect, I wonder who I will meet?

Me, Sanja and Sasa all agreed that George’s Paprika Chicken recipe was GOOD. Easy to make, there’s a chunk of time where the chicken is simmering for you to get your veggies on or just chat. Sanja came up with the brilliant idea of serving this with some gherkins, so here’s how hers turned out

I do love a pickle, so I did the same, here’s mine…

We both used sweet paprika for our dish, George didn’t specify, but I’m sure this would be just as nice with hot paprika or smoked paprika – up to you. This is definitely going in the Murder, She Cooked book alongside the episode guide for Murder at a Discount.

It freezes well too, I’ve had some lovely working from home lunches with all the bits I didn’t eat on the night. Recommended!

Here’s George wife’s recipe – his favourite dish. I’m sure it would be quicker to make without all the frivolity, but the frivolity was the best bit!

Love the illustration. That’s George running away from three foodstuffs he dislikes, spinach rice and tapioca. I’m with him on the last one…

This will be going in the Murder, She Wrote cookbook. I’ve been working hard on this during our second lockdown in the UK and am going great guns. I think I have the definitive list of recipes for seasons 1-6 and if you fancy testing something for me, skip over here to see what’s up for grabs.

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