Lesley Handford’s Mackerel Pâté


“There are many odd things to put down, and, lest who reads them may fancy that I dined too well before I left Bistritz, let me put down my dinner exactly. I dined on what they called “robber steak”- bits of bacon, onion, and beef, seasoned with red pepper, and strung on sticks, and roasted over the fire, in simple style of the London cat’s meat!”

Manuela Farmer’s Elder Blossom Wine & Golden Oil

In 1896 a good book was published, called “Farmers Manual”

Inside, two handwritten recipes were found. Transcribed as seen:

Elder Blossom Wine  Pick the Blossoms from
the Stems  Take one “quart of Blossoms to one
gallon of water  heat the Water Boiling  then
Pour it on the Blossoms  Let it Stand one
Hour  Strain  then add three Pounds of Shugar
then a little  so the Sugar Disolves  Let it
come to a boil  and Skim after it cools of
a Little  then add ‘one Lemmon  one table
Spoonful of hops yeast  then let it Stand
twenty four hours  and Strain and *u
dont cor* to (l)ight for a few days
and Keep in a cool place  you can grate
the Lemmon as Slice it to get the Strentt
out of  to

Receip(t)t for Golden Oil

I Quart of Linseed Oil
I Oz Hemlock Oil
I Oz Cedar Oil
I Oz Sasafras Oil
I Oz Organum Oil
I Oz Camphor Gum
1/4 Oil of Spike

(*) = unreadable

Sharmilar Devar’s Pruno

There is no exact science to Pruno, aka Prison Wine – to my knowledge. I learned about it from a 2-Striker who was very interested in imparting helpful information to me.

For example, NEVER punch a police officer’s horse, as that will be considered Assault on a Police Officer (and you will get the appropriate punishment). Also, he shared the best places on your body to “shoot up” your drug of choice so as to evade detection from the authorities… or your significant other – in custody and on “the outside”.

Also, if a person with any sort of record goes to rob a 7-Eleven with a person with no record, and that (no-record) person is shot by a police officer & killed, it is probable that the record-holding thief with be hit with a murder charge, so the police will come off scott-free.

2-Striker might have been high when he told me the last one… but I’m pretty sure the other two are true.

As is this very imperfect recipe for Pruno.

Basically, Pruno is alcohol made from whatever you get during your meals in prison or jail. Usually you collect the fresh fruit you get, whether an apple or orange – even a banana will do. You will need to chew it so that the juices are flowing. Then, you add the bread from any sandwiches that you are given. As there isn’t a lot of food given in each prison meal & you are often hungry, this particular 2-Striker told me that he would eat his sandwiches, but save the crusts of the bread for his Pruno. I would imagine you can tweak the flavors based on items used and the amounts.

Please find the recipe below. I haven’t tried it, but if you do – please let me know if it works!

PRUNO (California Style)

* 1/2 eaten (chewed up to the best of your ability) fresh fruit (apple/orange/banana) – whatever you get in prison/jail
* the crusts of bread from your prison sandwich
* water or juice

NOTE: Saliva is a very important component to this recipe. DO NOT REPLACE!

* sugar packet
* jelly packet
* maple syrup packet
* cookie
* any non-chocolate candy, like sweet tarts, skittles, etc. (if you can get these from Commissary – or whatever way one gets such treats in prison/jail)

Once you have been given your fruit of the meal, start chewing it up into small, half-digested pieces. Your saliva will help you greatly with this recipe – it is a necessary component.

Set the chewed up fruit aside. Try to keep as much of the liquid created as possible.

Then take any sandwich you have been given for the day. Save as much of the bread as you can. If you are too hungry, eat the sandwich and save the crusts of the bread. (Please understand that it might take you longer to create Pruno with less bread AKA less yeast source.)

Chew the bread pieces until suitably salivated (soggy and chewed up).

Add chewed up bread to chewed up fruit and set aside.

Find a container – whether a sock or something fashioned from a undershirt, underwear, whatever you have laying around. If using cloth, you will need to layer it as much as possible, so as not to lose the precious Pruno Starter.

Stuff the chewed up fruit and chewed up bread into the receptacle. Add water, or if you have it, juice. At this time, you can add any additional items, such as the sugar, jelly or maple syrup. If you choose to add a cookie or candy, please make sure it is chewed up as this is the best way to release the sugars.

Close the receptacle as tightly as possible. Combine the ingredients via shaking, squishing, etc.

Place in a dark safe place. 2-Striker suggested the toilet as, in his experience, this made the best Pruno and was the safest place for it to evade the prison guards.

Continue to add additional fruit, bread, optional items, water as your starter begins to ferment.

Depending on prison temperature and ingredients, I would imagine your Pruno could be ready for consumption in as soon as a week. Although, if you choose to wait longer, I think (based on my limited scientific knowledge) that your Pruno will become stronger with a higher alcohol content.

I assume you can add water to dilute the mixture if you choose to share it with others.


re: Toilet Placement – I do not know if urine is a component in this recipe! I assumed that 2-Striker took out the Pruno Starter when he or his roommate used the toilet. Or at least angled their urination away from the Pruno.

Unfortunately, I did not get this part clarified when I was given the original recipe.


Sandra Jasper’s Vegan Cheesecake

For the base:
130g walnuts or almonds
75g dates
1 tablespoon of water
1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

For the filling:
200g cashews (leave soaking in water overnight the previous night)
juice of 2 lemons
70g agave syrup
75g coconut oil
60 ml water
a pinch of salt

7 inch (18 cm) ring tin

1. Put the ingredients for the base (walnuts, dates, water and cinnamon) in the blender, and mix until sticky.
2. Spread base mix equally on the bottom of the ring tin.
3. Put the ingredients for the filling (cashews drained of water, lemon juice, agave syrup, coconut oil, water, salt, and vanilla) in the blender and mix until smooth.
4. Spread the filling on top of the base.
5. Put the tin in the fridge for 2 hours – ready.
6. If you don’t eat the whole cake at a time, you can put it in the freezer and take it out an hour before you’d like to eat it.
7. Add raspberry sauce, if you like.

Paul Novak’s Gluten-free Yeast Bread/Rolls

Boil 1/2 pound of potatoes for 25 minutes; rice or mash. Save potato water

2 T yeast in 1 C warm milk or water (could be saved potato water); let this sit before adding
1 t cider vinegar
2 T unsweetened applesauce
2 large eggs

1/3 C dry milk (or dry buttermilk powder)
1/2 t salt
2 T sugar
3/4 t each baking powder & baking soda
1/2 t lecithin
2 t xanthum gum
1 t guar gum

3/4 C sorghum flour (or other gluten-free flours: millet, buckwheat, potato, etc.; but not rice: too bland)
3/4 C potato starch
1/2 C tapioca flour
1/4 C corn flour (not meal)
1/4 C almond flour
1/2 C sweet rice flour

Mix, put in bread pan; let rise about an hour. Bake in 375º F oven for 50 to 60 minutes

OR make 8 rolls, let rise on pan for 45 minutes and bake in 375º F oven for 25-35 minutes

And these thickeners are roughly equivalent: potato starch, cornstarch, tapioca flour, sweet rice flour. In a pinch, potato flour can be substituted for SOME of the potato starch.

Try other cooked grains as a substitute for the riced potatoes. E.g., 1/2 C sorghum grain in 1 C water cooked for 60-65 minutes covered OR 1/2 C gluten-free rolled oats in 1 C water cooked for 10 minutes uncovered OR….

Copyright 2017 by Paul M. Novak

Hannah Cull’s Muhummara (roasted red pepper & walnut dip)

3 red peppers
50g fresh breadcrumbs
a handful of walnuts
2/3 cloves of garlic
Squeeze of lemon juice
1 dried red chilli
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2(ish) tablespoons pomegranate molasses
2 (ish) tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Heat the oven to 200C. Put the peppers on a tray and roast for 30-35 minutes, turning occasionally, until they are cooked and the skin is blackened. Put the peppers in a bowl, cover with cling-film and, once cool enough to handle, peel and discard the skin and seeds.  Put the peppers in a food processor, add the breadcrumbs, lemon juice, molasses, cumin, chilli and garlic.

Stir through the walnuts, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and the olive oil. Add more pomegranate molasses and salt to taste.


Margery Kempe (c. 1373-1440)

‘Sugar with aniseed, fennel seed, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger [to make the] confection and to [then] beat them together in a mortar and heat them in the manner of food and drinks and dry first and last eat.’

Dave Knapik’s Calpisoco Cocktail

A cocktail of borne of Christmas desperation and a resourceful spirit(s):

1 part Southern Comfort
3 or 4 parts Calpis (or Calpico depending on your location)

Alternatively, just pour an amount of Southern Comfort into a glass that doesn’t make you feel too shameful, then add an appropriate amount of Calpis to taste.


Marjolein’s Leak Soup

Wash 3 leaks and cut into chunks after removing the dark green

2 handfuls of oat flakes
Optional sprinkle of aniseed seeds or basil to your taste
Pepper and salt
Water or bouillon


Cook on a low heat for 30 minutes

Blend the mixture then sieve to remove remaining debris

Serve with a dollop of sour cream

David Jackson’s Smoothie of the Day

some milk, mixed seeds, spinach, walnuts, EVOO, banana, dates, some sea salt…

Professor Tim Spector’s Smoothie of the Day

Kale, banana, pear, mixed seeds + flaxseeds, yoghurt, kefir lime blueberries , raspberries and tumeric (I think)!

Yann Novak’s Pecan, Parsnip & Sausage Stuffing

1 Box Commercial Stuffing Mix
1lb Sausage (Country or Breakfast Style)
1 Yellow Onion Diced Small
3 Celery Stalks Diced Small
2 Granny Smith Apples Peeled, Cored, and Diced Small
4 Parsnips Peeled and Diced Small
1/2 C Raisins
1/2 C Pecans Chopped
2 1/2 C Chicken Stock
1 T Red Wine Vinegar
1 C Butter (2 Sticks) (this is 16 T!; do you use that much?)
2 Eggs Beaten

Salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, soak raisins in boiled water (hot is sufficient) and red wine vinegar.  Butter 9” x 13” glass casserole dish. Mix eggs and chicken stock in a medium bowl.

Sauté sausages in large skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, breaking into pieces with spoon, about 15 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to large bowl. Add onions and celery to same skillet and sauté until golden brown, about 10 minutes; transfer to large bowl with sausage. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes; add apples to bowl with sausage mixture. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add parsnips and sauté until golden, about 10 minutes; add to bowl with sausage mixture. Drain the raisins and add to bowl with sausage mixture. Melt the remaining butter in same skillet. Add pecans and sauté for 1 minutes. Mix pecans and butter into sausage mixture. Add the stuffing mix and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste*. Then slowly add the egg and stock mixture while mixing well.

Preheat oven to 350º. Transfer stuffing to prepared dish, cover with foil. Bake stuffing covered until heated through, about 40 minutes. Uncover and bake until beginning to brown, about 15 minutes.

* Take the salt content of your stock into consideration, because its mixed with egg you will not be able to taste after adding the stock/egg mixture.

Bethan Kellough’s Scones

40ml sunflower oil
300g flour
teaspoon of baking powder
60g caster sugar
100g dried fruit eg raisins
150ml soya milk
Pre-heat the oven to 375ºF.

Mix together the baking powder, oil and flour. Add sugar and raisins. Add the soya milk and fold in little by little. The dough shouldn’t quite stick to your hands… so add more milk or flour as necessary.

Shape into round balls of dough – there should be enough for 6. Bake for about 25 minutes on a tray with a bit of flour to stop them sticking.

Check after 20 minutes… they are ready when the top is a light brown and if you turn them over and tap the bottom, they should make a firm sound rather than a squishy one.


I like butter or cream and jam, with a cuppa!

Peader Kirk’s A Cocktail for Brexit

1 measure cynical politicians
1 measure xenophobia
a dash of Tories claiming they will fund the NHS

Shake vigorously

Thrown down the sink

Denis Blackham’s Baked Tapes

Ampex 407 analogue tape had an issue in c. 1975 with the chemical composition of the glue that held the magnetic oxide onto the backing tape…

So when you played the tape, the oxide started to come off and the heads and the rollers started to gunge up and the tape would disintegrate. Every time you played it, you lost a bit of signal, mostly high end.


the solution, and the recipe:

Bake the tapes at 50ºF for 4 days continuously, which solidified the glue.
after testing, 3 hours at 50ºC (fan oven) was sufficient, providing it was played within a couple of hours… which is enough time to master the audio.

So I would set the oven on auto to turn on at 3am and load the tapes in the oven (ex-box) before I went to bed. Arise at 7ish, breakfast, shower, start mastering at 9am when they had cooled down…

Simon Scott’s Easy Breakfast burritos!

One heaped teaspoon of smoked paprika and one heaped teaspoon of cumin seeds. Dry fry the spices until the oils are released and it starts to smoke.

Stir and add a glug of walnut oil or California grown olive oil.

Add a small diced red onion (White is fine too), one red chopped chilli (more if extra heat is needed) and one clove of garlic crushed and chopped. Fry until transparent and add one teaspoon of black pepper and a small pinch of unprocessed sea salt.

Next add one large cooked potato (boiled with the skin on, a thin cut around the middle of the spud and preferably cooled) peeled and chopped.

Then add 100grams of good quality chopped chorizo (or a quality spicy Mexican sausage), a quarter of a can of stewed and chopped tomatoes (or three fresh tomatoes) and (not essential) dark chocolate with a high cacao content. Cook on a medium heat for five minutes stirring regularly and add a handful of chopped coriander.

Add two medium free range eggs, stir to cook through and then take off the heat.
Add mixture to two soft seeded or wholemeal tortilla wraps and garnish with avacado slices, grated mature cheddar, sour cream, green pepper and chilli pepper sauce.

Total cooking time is twenty minutes.

Professor Tim Spector’s The Evolving Smoothie

“The Ugly Version” of a probiotic smoothie had spinach, dinosaur kale celery, bananas, pears, cucumber, lemon and mixed seeds, yogurt & milk – more information soon…

Professor Tim Spector MB MSc MD FRCP. Tim Spector is a Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Director of the TwinsUK Registry at Kings College, London.

Peter O’Donovan’s “15C” (plum and ginger gin martini)

Muddle a little fresh ginger and one quarter plum in 3/4 oz dry vermouth

Add 1 1/4 oz of plum infused gin

Stir well on ice

Double strain into a chilled martini glass

17th Century Perfume Recipe Book’s A Perfume to Burn

Take 2 ounces of the powder of juniper, benjamine, and storax each 1 ounce, 6 drops of oyle of cloves, 10 grains of musk, beat all these together to a past with a little gum dragon, steeped in rose or orange flower water, and roul them up like big pease and flat them and dry them in a dish in the oven or sun and keep them for use they must be put on a shovel of coals and they will give a pleasing smell.