Project Name

The scratch of tires and a sudden breeze of air flowed into my bedroom, waking me up.

A booming male voice shouts:

   “Courtenay. Wake up!”

I groaned and buried my head under the duvet.

My dad surged through the door saying, “Your mother has already left. I’m taking you to school.”

I moaned, “I don’t want to go.”

My dad chucked my uniform on the edge of my bed, opened the window and left my bedroom door wide open.

A stench of cow dung drifted into my compacted bedroom.

  “I will be back in ten minutes. If you’re not ready to leave then, I’m taking you in your pyjamas.”

The moment he left, I wrapped the duvet around my body and closed the door, window and blinds and I turned the radiator on.

I picked up my now creased school uniform off the floor, got dressed, brushed my teeth with force and struggle just to stay awake.

   “Courtenay!”

I’m coming, I’m coming I mutter as I rush down the stairs, getting rope burn from the poorly constructed tattered railing.

The whiff of coffee hit my nose, “you made me coffee?”

My dad nodded and continued to get into his Saab that felt like rotten fruit and smelt like sweat.

I concentrated on the hot coffee that tasted like dark chocolate. I wrapped my hands around the flask and felt the warmth fill my hands.

Heating.

Coffee.

Bath.

Cauliflower Cheese

Serves 5

1 large cauliflower (leaves cut off)

500ml full-fat milk

4 tbsp plain flour

50g salted butter

100g mild cheddar

3 tbsp white breadcrumbs

8 streaky bacon

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add the chopped cauliflower and cook for five minutes.

Remove the cauliflower from the water and leave it to rest and drain the water from the saucepan.

Heat the oven to 220C.

Add 500ml full-fat milk, 4 tbsp plain flour and 50g salted butter into the large saucepan.

Keep whisking as the butter melts, the flour will soon disappear and the sauce will begin to thicken. Whisk until the sauce comes to a boil.

This should take no more than 3 minutes.

Add the cauliflower into an ovenproof bake dish. Pour the sauce on top, sprinkle the mild grated cheddar cheese over the sauce and place the raw bacon strips across.

Place the dish into the oven and cook for 20 minutes.

Wednesday's gift.

Summer travels. September sales.

Cottage Pie

Serves 5

Olive Oil 

Minced beef

2 onions

3 carrots 

3 celery sticks

2 garlic cloves

3 tbsp plain flour

1tbsp tomato puree

1 glass of red wine

1 beef cube stock 

4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

5 peeled and chopped potatoes

225ml full-fat milk

200g mild cheddar

Thyme

Bay leaves

Nutmeg

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan and fry the minced beef until it is golden brown. Take the mince off the heat and leave to rest.

Put another 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the pan.

Add the finely chop the onions, carrots and celery sticks. Cook them on a gentle heat for 20 minutes. Stir every so often.

Add the crushed garlic cloves, three tablespoons of plain flour and one tablespoon of tomato puree. 

Increase the heat a little and cook for another 5minutes. 

Add the minced beef to the pan.

Pour the red wine and beef stock into the pan, and bring it to a boil.

Stir in 4 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, thyme leaves and two bay leaves.

Cook uncovered for 45 minutes.

Peel and chop the potatoes. Place them in a saucepan and cover the potatoes with salted cold water. 

Bring to the boil.

Simmer until tender.

Drain the potatoes and set them aside for a few minutes, to dry.

Pre-heat the oven to 200C.

Mash the potatoes with milk, cheddar, salt, pepper and sprinkles of nutmeg.

Spoon the meat and vegetable mixture into an ovenproof dish.

Spoon the potato mash onto the mixture and sprinkle any remaining cheese on top.

Cook for 25-30 minutes.

Friday's pitch. Sunday's wake.