Fish and chips and posh mushy peas


Is there nothing I won’t subject to a crumb coating?

Serves 1.5

2 small fillets white fish (we had cod)

A thick slice of white bread, blitzed into breadcrumbs

A handful of leaves of fresh thyme or oregano, finely chopped, or a teaspoon of the dried stuff

Finely grated rind of half a small lemon

A small amount of milk – around 50ml

Flour for dusting – cornflour or plain flour

A handful of unpeeled floury potatoes, cut into 1cm square sticks

A tablespoon or two of sunflower oil


A dessert spoon of yoghurt

A squeeze of lemon juice

A handful of mint leaves

Put the chipped potatoes into a pan of cold water, bring to the boil and parboil for 4 minutes. Drain, toss in sunflower oil and cook on a baking sheet, in a single layer, in a hot oven (200 – 220 degrees) for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, get the flour and milk into two bowls and combine the breadcrumbs, lemon peel and herbs in another with a bit of black pepper. Dip one fish fillet in the milk then the breadcrumbs, sprinkle on salt and put it on a baking tray. It needs 15 minutes at about 200 degrees, so put it in when the chips have had 10 minutes.  Cut the other fillet into bite sized pieces, about 1cm thick, and dip and crumb them. They need about 8 minutes, so they can join the bigger piece of fish when it’s had 7 minutes.

Cook the peas and roughly blend with the yoghurt and mint and a squeeze of lemon.

Slather your own chips in malt vinegar and sea salt.


Eggy bread


Serves 1.5

2 slices of bread, the airier the better – sour dough’s good or white sliced

2 eggs

60 ml whole milk

Knob of butter

Sprinkle of cinnamon

Mix together the eggs and milk and decrust the bread. Soak the bread in the milk and egg mixture, one slice at a time, turning after a minute or so. Melt the butter in a reasonably hot pan – you want the bread to cook fairly quickly but not to burn before it cooks through – and pop in the first slice. You can start soaking the second as you cook, turning the soaking one as you turn the one in the pan. Cook till golden brown on both sides. It should feel reasonably firm under the pressure of a spatula, meaning the egg’s cooked through. Sprinkle with cinnamon or serve  your own with crispy bacon and maple syrup and watch your baby’s little face contort with jealousy.

Home made baked beans on toast

baked beans

The whole reason I started trying to find recipes that suited Bert’s palate and were home cooked was his addiction to baked beans, so I’m revisiting an old enemy here. But these were bloody lovely. We had them with grated cheese on top.

Serves 2.5 or would have done if I hadn’t had a large second helping

Small onion, chopped

Large clove garlic, crushed

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 or 2 carrots, grated

1 or 2 sticks of celery, grated if you have them to hand

Glug olive oil

250ml passata

A splash of water – about 30 ml

1 can cannellini beans, drained

Good dash Worcester Sauce – about a dessert spoon

Fry the veg and paprika in the olive oil till the onions are soft. Add the passata, water and Worcester Sauce, and simmer for about five minutes. Take off the heat and roughly blend till they’re a smooth Heinz orange, but thicker than tinned beans sauce. Return to the heat and add the beans, heating through. Serve on hot buttered toast or with toast fingers.

Old fashioned vanilla rice pudding


You can get away with less sugar because the vanilla’s sweet. Bert loved it. I suppose it’s pretty much 3D formula, but don’t let that put you off.

Serves 1.5 – 2.5 depending on how greedy you are your baby is

60 g short grain rice

400 ml whole milk

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

1 dessert spoon brown sugar

Grating of nutmeg

Just pop everything in an oven proof dish or pan, bring to the boil on the top of the stove, then put in a low oven (150 degrees or an Aga simmering oven) for about an  hour and a half to two hours till the rice is soft and milk’s absorbed.