My own recipe.

cost: £1 serves: 2
use your leftover gammon from yesterday’s meal, or use bacon lardons if you want to make it any time

1 C cooked ham, cubed.
1 medium yellow onion
2 tins cannellini or great northern beans
2 C water
black pepper

Roughly chop the onion and sautee with the ham and a little butter until the onions are just tender.  Deglaze with a splash of water and dump into a slowcooker.  Add beans and water, and season with a pinch of salt and generous cracks of black pepper.  Cover and let simmer for several hours until the beans are tender and the soup has thickened, stirring occasionally.  If the soup becomes too thick, add additional water.

If your gammon or ham had a bone in it, you can use it in this soup.  Remove it just before serving.  Any bits of meat still clinging to the bone should be really easy to remove and add back to the soup.  This soup is amazing served on a cool, rainy day with  warm cornbread.


Based on the ham we baked at the deli every Sunday.

cost: £4-6 serves: 4
bake for up to 5 hours, but don’t forget to keep basting!

1 unsmoked gammon joint
12 or more whole cloves, or 2 t ground cloves
3 C 7up or other lemon soda

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Remove any tough skin from the gammon joint, but leave the fat on.  Place in a roasting dish, fat side up.  Poke cloves into the top of the joint, then pour over the lemonade.  Bake for a minimum of 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes. Top up the juices as needed with additional lemonade.  You can add the juices to gravy, but they will be too salty to make gravy directly.  Serve with your favourite Sunday roast sides.

Based on this recipe.

cost: £2 serves: 2-4
serve on smaller croutons or crackers as a starter or appetizer

2 fillets smoked mackerel
100 ml crème fraîche or soured cream
1 T horseradish
half a lemon
black pepper
1 small bunch spring onions chopped

Remove the skin from the mackerel and place in a bowl. Flake apart with a fork, then stir in the cream, horseradish, and the juice of half a lemon. Add black pepper and spring onions and mix. Serve on freshly toasted bread for a light meal.

My own recipe.

cost: £2 serves: 1
a nice alternative to tuna pasta salad

2 good handfuls of salad leaves
1/2 C cooked pasta, chilled
2 t mayonnaise or a drizzle of olive oil
1/4 bell pepper, diced
1 green onion, chopped
1 whole carrot, grated
2 T cheese, grated
5 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small fillet salmon, cooked and chilled
cracked black pepper

Layer ingredients in order. You can use a few scoops of a prepared layered cheese pasta salad instead for a quick alternative, but be aware of the amount of mayonnaise in the salad. Flake the salmon over the top of the salad, discarding any skin. Crack over with pepper.

cost: varies based on cheese serves: as many as you wish!
this is a great spread to lay out for brunch and snack on all day

A sturdy loaf of brown or malted bread (we chose La Brea Walnut loaf)
Melton Mowbray pork pies
Sliced tart apples
Sliced pears
Cherry tomatoes
Salad leaves
Ploughman’s pickle
A varied selection of cheeses which can include:
– Blue cheese
– Strong cheddar
– Swiss or Emmental
– Smoked cheese (we like strongly-smoked Polish Oscypek which you can find at Tesco)
– Mild white cheese like Port Salut, Muenster, or Cheshire
– Fruited cheese like Wensleydale

Serve with a variety of real ales and ciders. A nice choice is Innis & Gunn oak aged ale.

cost: £3 serves: 2
would make again with venison

1/2 lb ground beef mince
3 T breadcrumbs
1 t worcestershire sauce
1/4 t salt
3 T cracked black pepper
2 crusty wholegrain rolls
2 slices strong cheddar
2 T pickle (we like M&S own brand; it has more cinnamon)

Combine the first 4 ingredients and mix by hand until uniform. Split in half and form into patties. Crack the pepper generously onto a plate and roll the edges of the patties in it until they are heavily coated. Grill patties for 8 minutes per side or until cooked through. Serve on wholegrain rolls with cheddar and pickle.

Based on this recipe.

cost: £5 serves: 2-4
would make again with chicken, red bell peppers, and real andouille if I find it

1 T olive oil
1 andouille, chopped (use chorizo or other dry, coarse sausage if you can’t find andouille)
1 cups okra, de-stemmed
1 onion chopped
1 C yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 C celery, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 t thyme
1/4 t oregano
1/4 t white pepper
1 t cayenne pepper
1 can diced tomatoes
2 C fish stock or water
1 package crawfish (you can substitute prawns or add other seafood if you wish)

Layer all of the ingredients except for the crawfish into the slowcooker. Keep the okra whole to prevent it from becoming slimy. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours. Add crawfish and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Serve over rice.