My recipe cards

A good few years ago I was inspired by my friend Heasy to start a recipe collection. His family has a thing called The Document, with recipes passed down through generations, and jealously guarded.

I pinched some of them for my box. Here are some of the other recipes I’ve collected. Some are triumphs. Some are disasters.

Apple burgers

I’ll never make these. They sound horrible, don’t they? I mean, the whole point of burgers is that they have as much actual meat in them as possible. Not apple. Never apple.

I just wanted to have a recipe in the box that begins with A.

Butternut squash, carrot, and potato soup


This is one of my actual recipe triumphs, and I made it up all by myself. It’s a really good winter warmer soup, and comes out a wonderful deep orange colour. That “glug, glug” of dry vermouth adds something special, and I usually find that a few more glug glugs find their way into a glass with some ice in it when I’m making this recipe. If you haven’t got a hand-held kitchen blender, get one at once; they’re really useful.

Drop scones


Really easy to make for a weekend breakfast treat, and impresses guests if you’ve got them round. These little waffly pancakes are great served in a heap with a blob of syrup or marmalade. This card is a good example of how a recipe gets tweaked over several attempts if initially the quantities aren’t quite right. Oh, and if you’ve got a good non-stick pan you hardly need any butter.

Gin Atomic

My favourite cocktail - the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster of Toxic Towers. Judging the state of my handwriting here, I probably had already imbibed a couple of them before putting pen to index card. Well worth the investment in a cocktail shaker and a bottle of elderflower liqueur. Don’t worry too much about the lemon bitters - I’ve never managed to find the stuff, and use Angostura orange bitters instead. Even if you miss that out, this cocktail is still amazing. And lethal.

Jam Sandwich

My friend Nicola who lives up in Cumbria has a recipe box of her own, and we organised an exchange of our favourites. She got my BNS soup recipe, I got her Two Pastas. I was also lucky enough to receive this gem from Nicola’s daughter Ella. This was a few years ago. Ella is in her teens now, and will probably be mortified when she sees this.


The index card box has a Mc section. I had to put something in it.

Pesto (lemon)

One of the recipes I’ve stolen from Heasy and his family. Just sling it all in a blender, blitz up, then mix in the results with your favourite cooked pasta. Wonderful.

Sourdough starter

Back in the days when everybody made their own bread, bakers’ yeast was hard to come by, and quite expensive. One alternative was to have a bowl of sourdough starter bubbling away that used the bacteria in sour milk and the natural yeast present in flour to give your bread its lift.

I quite like sourdough bread when I’ve bought it in the shops, so I thought I’d give this a go. The recipe involves mixing milk, live yoghurt, flour, and water, and leaving it in a warm place (on top of the hi-fi amplifier in the living room in our case), for a few days.

It stank the whole house out! It took days for the fetid miasma of rancid milk to go away. I couldn’t bring myself to make any bread with it. With a fair bit of dry-heaving, I slung the whole lot down the sink, followed by a generous dose of bleach. See the note written to myself at the bottom of the back of the card. You have been warned.


I was surprised I haven’t got any recipes that begin with T. Perhaps you can suggest one? Or, if you’d like to do a recipe exchange with me, like the one I did with Nicola, send me a message! Bear in mind that I’ve already got Jam Sandwich.

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