Wednesday, March 17, 2010

mammy dinner

A routine trip to the hospital and a dose of anaesthetic yesterday meant I needed chaperoning overnight. Lee and Mena came to visit, the former to stay over and play nursemaid, and the latter to cook dinner for us.

I was feeling perfectly fine and totally compos mentis, except Lee said I wasn't really: apparently my intelligence level seemed to have decreased somewhat. Now and again I made a declaration which elicited a puzzled response from her, because apparently I was making no sense whatsoever and even getting simple sums wrong. Horrifying.

Meanwhile Mena arrived and set to work cooking the exact menu that was served in our family home for decades on a Tuesday (and still is). Eggs, beans and chips. Perfect comfort food. I added sausages to the menu, having been to Paddy's the Irish butcher last week and so having a plethora of pork products to hand.

Nothing fancy: real Heinz beans, two eggs dry-fried sunny side up, and potatoes chipped by hand and oven-cooked with a little spray oil. Irish-recipe pork sausages fried in the pan (they are really low fat and dry-frying them gives a much better browning effect than grilling). The only thing was that I only had regular malt vinegar. A nice onion vinegar would have gone down well with the chips. A good dollop of tomato sauce for dipping (sorry, Andy, it was shop-bought) and it was just the perfect Mammy Food.

I probably shouldn't have, but instead of washing it down with a nice strong cup of tea, I indulged in a cheeky glass of two of a nice Langhorne Creek shiraz cabernet. Not strictly Irish kosher, but on the eve of St. Patrick's Day I reckon that was forgivable.


FridayFood said...

I would love to find the origin of the phrase "comfort food". It's clearly very descriptive but it does mean so many different things to different people. The food equivalent of a warm blanket I guess.

On the topic of ketchup, I would comment less on whether it's shop bought and the fact that you have ketchup with chips at all !! Perhaps it's the Northerner in me but I just can't get my head around something semi-sweet with chips. Lashings of salt and vinegar are a must and, if I was being truly decadent, gravy (sorry Fi) would make it total comfort food heaven for me.

Mairead said...

Bloody Northerners with their weird ways. Next thing you'll say you would have wanted a Melton Mowbray pie instead of the whole damn thing.

Gravy? On Chips????

(in the style of Peter Kay's "garlic bread" skit)....

FridayFood said...

Well, now you come to mention it, a pork pie would go down very well indeed. Chips and gravy are as common in the North as Guinness on St Patrick's Day in Dublin (Happy SPD BTW). I actually found it really strange when I moved to London that you couldn't get gravy in any of the chipshops.

There you have it - regionality in a ketchup bottle / gravy boat.