Richard Hawley’s Shepherd’s Pie, with Henderson’s Relish (Arthur, 2005)


by Richard Hawley

photo by Anton Corbijn

Originally published in Arthur No. 18 (Sept. 2005)

Every time I listen to a Richard Hawley album, I see a late-night TV mail order commercial advertising one of those greatest hits cds by a long-gone-pop country crossover artist, or Neil Diamond, or Sinatra or some other smooth-for-the-ladies-and-blue-for-the-gents crooner/operator with a bag full of hits that just keep scrolling, , every fourth title being performed in a vaselined alcoholic cloud haze. Of course the proudly English Hawley is of the here and now, not in some distant UHF-for-mobile-home-seniors past, but his golden grained croon, accompanied by strings, organ and the kind of beautifully reverbed guitar figures Chris Isaak used to budget for, is the kind of thing I bet  my grandparents would dig too. Hawley’s latest is Coles Corner, out this autumn on Mute, and it’s another slow burner of languid, sentimental-romantic  music about Sunday afternoons by the seaside and Sunday evenings at the bar (or, I guess, pub): those times and places where people—of all ages—love, lose and laugh again, often to music like this. (Jay Babcock)

Richard Hawley: I used to be in a band called Longpigs in the mid/late ‘90s. We got on the U2 tour ‘round USA which was boss and got to play Giants Stadium and all that. That all went fine, even though we were probably getting a bit too recreational. You can go a bit mad on the back of a tour bus with only yourselves for company. Anyway, we were pretty glad when the tour was coming to an end and heading back to Britain to see our families. It didn’t work out quite as straightforward as that, though, as we got offered the Echo and the Bunnymen tour of USA at the last minute. They are one of my all-time favourite bands—Mac is a lovely bloke and Will Sargeant is one of the all-time great guitarists. So we stayed and did that tour—and another immediately after, with Oasis. It ended up we were touring the States for two and a half years, only going home about four times.

The whole thing ended up being really destructive and we were all mindless gibbering wrecks when we went home to our loved ones. I got back to Sheffield, out of my mind on drugs and drink and burnt out and bewildered at finally being home. I couldn’t believe I was there—even though I could see all my home town sites: the pubs, the shops, etc.—I was living in a blur. 

I arrived at our house completely numb. When I got in, our lass had cooked tea (that’s dinner to you Americans): shepherd’s pie, with green beans and gravy. I sat down at the table and poured Henderson’s (we call it Hendo’s) all over the food and took a mouth full. As soon as I tasted it I began to cry and couldn’t stop. Henderson’s is made in Sheffield—we have it on everything—everyone does—right since we were kids. But you only get it in Sheffield, nowhere else, so as soon as I tasted it I knew I was home—finally.

I dedicated my first mini-album to Henderson’s cus I feel like they helped save me—well, and because its a condiment for life —everyone in Sheffield has their Christmas pictures when they are kids, all sat round the table for Christmas dinner, and always there’s a bottle of Henderson’s in the middle of the table.

My highest accolade so far is Henderson’s making a special edition ‘Richard Hawley’s Henderson’s.’ When he saw it, my Dad said, “Now you’ve made it, lad.”

4 large carrots

2 onions

20oz potatoes

2 tablespoons chives

4.5 oz. mince meat (or TVP)

Vegetable stock

salt/pepper to taste

Henderson’s relish

Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Boil the potatoes and mash them. Slice and boil the carrots. Dice the onions and lightly fry. Add the mince to the onions in the frying pan then add vegetable stock or gravy. Simmer for five mins. Add chives and salt/pepper.

In a large oven proof dish, add the onion/mince mixture. Top this first with a thick layer of carrots, and finally with the mashed potatoes.

Bake for 30 mins until the potatoes are browned.

Serve with steamed broccoli, broad beans or your favorite vegetables. Finally, and most importantly, coat with Henderson’s Relish (unfortunately only available via mail order from their factory in Sheffield; info at

Dungen’s Popcorn in 16/4 (Arthur, 2005)

Come On In My Kitchen

Dungen’s Popcorn in 16/4

Originally published in Arthur No. 18 (Sept. 2005)

Dungen is a prodigiously talented twentysomething Swede called Gustav Ejstes, whose sunnily melodic psychedelic delight rock, much heralded in the music press when his album Ta Det Lungt was available only as an expensive import (see Arthur No. 14, Jan 05), is finally getting a proper American release late this summer via the kind hand of Kemado, who’ve changed nothing—every lyric is still Swedish, every tune is still universal—and added something (a disc full of bonus tracks). Here’s Gustav’s recipe for popcorn—something familiar, something added…

Gustav Ejstes of Dungen: I used to be called the king of pop. Not to be confused with Mr. Jackson’s title in the ’80s music press. This refers to the art of making good-tasting popcorn. It is probably the ultimate snack, but could also be the most delicious substitute for a well-made meal. 

The thing is, my skills as a Swedish chef are a bit limited. I have never been interested in learning and that has led to experiments with the  interesting vegetable corn. Did the Indians discover it first? Is it healthy or not? 

I think it is. I have survived for days by only eating popcorn. And now you all say: making popcorn is the easiest thing to do. Well, if you choose to use microwaved popcorn maybe, but if your only tools are a pot, oven, oil and salt, it suddenly gets a little bit more complicated. The secrets behind my well-tasting popcorns are olive oil and herbal salt.

Everyone knows the basic recipe for making it, but here are a few tricks that you can pick up that will help you avoiding some of the classic mistakes: for instance, half of them stays un-popped, or all of it gets burned.

Fill the bottom of the pot with popcorn and drench them in virgin olive oil and add some herbal salt. Herbal salt is made from pure certified organic ingredients. I use the Herbamare brand, which is based on Swiss naturopath Alfred Vogel’s formula: it’s made up of sea salt, celery stalk, celery leaves, leeks, watercress, garden cress, onions, chives, parsley, lovage, garlic, basil, marjoram, rosemary, thyme and kelp. 

Electric stove: Start out at high heat. When they start to pop, lower the heat to medium. Wait until there is four seconds between the pops, take off the lid and add some more herbal salt, put on the lid and your favorite record and shake the pot in 16/4 beat and then take it off the stove and call your friends. It’s time to eat.

Gas stove: Start out with full temperature, but since gas gets hot quicker, make sure you turn off the heat as fast as you hear the corns begin their dance inside of the pot. When using a gas oven it is even more important that you shake the pot in 16/4 beat to your favorite record, otherwise the popcorns gets as burned as Swedes on an Asian holiday.

Mike Patton’s “Carne Crude Squarciata Dal Suono Di Sassofono” (Arthur, 2005)


What Mike Patton learned in his days of toil at Benihana’s

Originally published in Arthur No. 16 (May 2005)

Few working vocalists have done as much with their vocal chords as ex-Faith No More frontman Mike Patton. In the years since that Bay Area bizarro rock band’s demise, Patton has built an impressively wide-ranging C. V., including collaborations with jazz composer John Zorn, Japanese noisegod Merzbow and hip-hop concept squad the Handsome Boy Modeling School. His latest projects to see release through Ipecac Recordings, the post-genre label he co-founded and co-owns, are Suspended Animation—a bonkers 30-track tribute to the month of April by his band Fantomas (featuring members of Slayer, Mr. Bungle and Melvins)—and the battle album, General Patton vs The X-ecutioners, featuring turntablists DJ Rob Swift, Grandmaster Roc Raida and DJ Total Eclipse. For his turn in the Arthur kitchen, Patton selected a dish that was featured on his record of futurist recipes Pranzo Oltranzista: Musica da Ravola per Cinque (Banquet Piece for Five Players), released on Zorn’s Tzadik label in 1997. The tracks were instrumental but had sounds associated with cooking and eating—chopping, slicing, chewing, etc.—while the booklet contained recipes. Says Patton, “This is one of my favorites.”

Carne Crude Squarciata Dal Suono Di Sassofono

(tr. “Raw meat torn by saxophone blasts”)

Cubes of beef marinated in rum, cognac and white vermouth are served on a bed of black pepper and snow. Each mouthful is separated by saxophone blasts blown by the eater himself.

Have a Cup of Brendan Benson’s Tea (Arthur, 2005)

Come On In My Kitchen

Have a Cup of Brendan Benson’s Tea 

Originally published in Arthur No. 15 (March, 2005)

It’s nice to know that the meticulous and charming nature of Brendan Benson’s songwriting carries over to his kitchen as well. Thanks to the track “Tea” on his debut album, letters from die-hard Japanese fans are usually coupled with a bag or two for Benson’s boiling. His latest album, Alternative to Love, is out March 22 on V2. Here’s how to make the perfect cup of tea, as told to Ben Cass.

What you’ll need

Water: This is the most important ingredient. It should be clean, but not loaded with chlorine or other such additives. I take it from the tap, but I’m fortunate to live in a city which boasts a premium grade drinking water. Others may not be so lucky and therefore should substitute using bottled water (just remember: no Coke or Pepsi products, as they undergo a heavy treatment process and are stripped of all character. I recommend Evian or Volvic). Water has flavor, however subtle it may be, and a little of that “regional essence” in the water is a good thing when making tea. If you dislike the taste of your tap water, you might try letting it stand or “mellow” in a clean glass for an hour prior to boiling, thereby allowing the detergents to evaporate and the particles to settle. Pour the water into your kettle, taking care to not disturb the sediment.

A kettle: I have the electric variety which I like very much. You may also use the stovetop variety. I don’t recommend using a cooking pot as it only provides for a poor aesthetic. Attention to such detail is critical in the tea-making process.

Tea bag: I’ve chosen to use the tea bag over the teapot for our purposes. Although the teapot method is more desirable, the tea bag will do just fine as long as it is of the highest quality. Twinnings, Red Rose and Lipton, contrary to popular belief, are not teas suitable for drinking at any time by any man. Avoid these brands at all costs. Ideally your tea should be purchased somewhere in the UK from an ordinary grocery store. Brands such as PG Tips and Tetley are good. Barry’s is a wonderful tea but not as common. If it’s not convenient for you to travel abroad to buy tea then I suggest you search the Internet. I’m sure there is a service from which you can order tea from the UK. Yet another option is to buy Tetley “British Blend” bags if you can find them. Nothing else will do.

Milk and Sugar: Your tea must contain milk in order for it to be deemed proper.  Milk neutralizes the tannic acid found naturally in tea. Cream should never be used. Organic, 2% milkfat is ideal; whole milk may be used, but often eclipses the delicate flavor of the tea. Skimmed milk should be avoided. If you are lactose intolerant perhaps you might try an herbal tea (which I personally despise) instead, but under no circumstances should lemon be used as a substitute. Sugar, on the other hand, is an option which you may choose to forgo. I take a little sugar to excel and enhance the effects of the tea.

What to do

Bring water to a rolling boil and let stand for 30 seconds. Swish a little in your cup to warm it and pour it out. Drop the tea bag in and pour the water gently over the bag. Let steep, undisturbed for exactly four minutes. Do not stir. Use a small spoon to remove the tea bag, letting the water drain from the bag. Do not squeeze the bag and do not let the spoon remain in the cup, as it conducts precious heat and will prematurely cool the tea. Add sugar if you’d like, then milk. Stir and enjoy.

Some thoughts about tea: Tea has been enjoyed for centuries throughout the world by the elite and affluent as well as pauper and common man alike. For this reason, I believe its reputation should be upheld, its tradition maintained and the very ceremonious and calming properties, for which it is so loved, preserved.

Wayne Coyne’s Coffee Recipe and Philosophy (Arthur, 2004)

Come On In My Kitchen

This issue’s chef: Wayne Coyne of Flaming Lips

Originally published in Arthur No. 12 (Sept. 2004)

Wayne Coyne’s Coffee Recipe and Philosophy

To begin with, I have not willingly become a “coffee snob.” It was not something I ever aspired to. Christ, we used to drink coffee at Denny’s…and we liked it!!! But it’s not simply a matter of flavor. The process of preparing it seems to have become significant as well… Like any addiction there is a sense of pride associated with being so enslaved.

1. First: my choice of apparatus is the “french press” that holds about six cup-size cups…about 50 ounces….

2. Use freshly roasted beans, if this can be done. If not, roast some, say, on Monday and use them through, oh maybe, Friday…

3. I like to use a lot of coffee, you know, to get more flavor. But the unfortunate side-effect is absorbing too much caffeine…this is easily fixable by mixing de-caf with regular beans. This, to some coffee snobs, may seem like poor judgement…they will claim de-caf’s flavor is inferior. But this argument is only valid in a purists’ agenda-type debate, kind of like trying to hear the difference between analog and digital. If you know what you are doing, it’s imperceptible; in other words the regular and the de-caf taste virtually the same. Anyway, like I said, I like to use a lot of coffee. So in a “french press” that holds about five or six cups, use about a cup’s worth of coffee.

4. Grind these beans as fine as they can be ground, making it appear like black Kool-Aid. Plus you can wash these down the kitchen sink without worrying too much about clogging.

5. Part of what is enjoyable about making coffee is the smell of it. Freshly ground beans are a wonderful pleasure trigger. So try not to have too many other smells competing with it, stuff like bacon…wait till the coffee’s done, then cook it. Nail polish, wet dogs and potent perfumes can collide with the coffees’ aroma creating a horrible combination. Kind of like playing a Belle and Sebastian CD and a Miles Davis CD at the same time—both are great on their own—but together, probably unpleasant.

6. Pour the boiling water over the black powder. DO NOT POUR TOO MUCH, for the beans will expand quite a bit…so pour ‘til about half full. Wait a couple of minutes…shake and wiggle the “french press”…this will gently blend the water and coffee together. DO NOT STIR. Once it has settled pour some more water—do some more wiggling.

7. Use wide-mouthed coffee cups, so the smell can go more easily into the nostrils. Small cups are better, not little espresso cups, but small enough that the coffee stays hot for the duration of the drinking.

8. Use dark brown sugar and thick half and half mixture at your liking.

9. Drink five to ten cups… be close to a bathroom…enjoy life…..

Holly’s Mashed Roots — a recipe from Holly Golightly (Arthur, 2004)

Art direction by W.T. Nelson.

Originally published in Arthur No. 8 (Jan. 2004).

Holly’s Mashed Roots

Submitted by Holly Golightly of London, England.

In the winter I like to make this dish whenever I roast poultry or game. I have fed some minor celebrities on it and thrown it at boyfriends. It’s very versatile that way. And very tasty.

Four large carrots and four large parsnips

Large knob of butter

Ground black and red pepper

Peeled, crushed garlic to taste

Peel and cut vegetables in evenly sized discs along the length, place in pan and cover with cold water. Add a pinch of salt. Bring to boil and simmer until soft (about 8-10 minutes) on low heat. Strain off water and chop roughly with a sharp knife. Add butter, pepper and crushed garlic and mash until smooth.

Serve piping hot with roasted poultry or game (stuffed with chestnuts and apricots) and slow roasted potatoes, bread sauce, green beans and port gravy.

Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys’ Bomb-Ass Matzoh Ball Soup (Arthur, 2004)

Originally published in Arthur No. 13 (Nov. 2004). Layout by W.T. Nelson.

Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys’ Bomb-Ass Matzoh Ball Soup
As told to Gabe Soria

Essential cookware:
one stock pot
one slightly smaller pot


For the broth:
enough chicken bones to fill the stock pot
2 or 3 white onions, halved
bag of carrots, peeled and halved
parsnips (slightly less than the amount of carrots), halved
bunch of celery, halved
bunch of dill, coarsely chopped
salt and pepper

For the matzoh balls:
4 large eggs
1/2 cup club soda
2 to 3 tablespoons schmaltz (chicken fat) skimmed from the stock
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 cup of Manischewitz matzoh meal

I make this a lot because it’s awesome. I had it growing up. My dad would make it about once every two weeks, and he’d always make a gigantic pot using my grandma [complicated Polish name]’s recipe. [Arthur: How do you spell her name?] Beats me. [laughs] You try spelling that shit. I don’t even think that she can spell it. That’s why she changed her name to Annette. Annette Auerbach, my dad’s mother. She taught herself how to cook, making the most out of not-the-most.

First you gotta make the broth, which is key, and then you make the matzoh balls. For the broth, you gotta get nice chicken bones, enough to fill three quarters of the stock pot. For the bones, I go to Klein’s Market here in Akron and ask for soup bones. You put those in, and you put in chopped-up parsnips and carrots and white onions and celery. You fill the water right up to the top of the bones. Not above, not below. Bring it to a boil and then reduce it to a simmer. Let it simmer for at least an hour, keeping it covered except for a little sliver. Check it every once in a while, and after the broth has reduced a bunch, put in a big handful of dill. The key ingredient is dill. It’s what sets my grandma’s chicken broth apart.

Now get a smaller pot, one that will hold all the broth, and strain out the bones. Normally me and my dad will pick through the meat on the bones and eat that. Take some of the carrots, some of the celery and some of the parsnips and cut them up into bite-sized pieces and save them to put into the strained broth later. Then you add some salt and pepper to taste and you got a good broth. You can even put in a little bit more fresh dill.

While that’s simmering, you want to make the matzoh balls, because they have to be refrigerated. You take four eggs, a half cup of club soda, a few tablespoons—three or four, you kinda do it by feel—of chicken fat that you’ve skimmed from the broth, plus a couple of tablespoons of chopped up parsley (chop it up nice and fine), salt and fresh black pepper, and about a cup of matzoh meal. My grandma only uses Manischewitz. I’ve never had others. I know some people use Goodman’s.

Mix it all up with your hands. Put a little bit of the chicken fat on your hands, rub it in so that the dough doesn’t stick to your fingers, get it nice and mixed up, and form balls with it. Make ’em bigger than a golf ball but smaller than a tennis ball. Some people make gigantic matzoh balls and I just think that’s fucking stupid. That’s kinda like foot-long hot dogs. “They taste like shit, but they’re a foot long. Can you believe it?!”

Put the matzoh balls in the refrigerator. They’ve gotta sit there for at least twenty minutes, a half hour. And then just put ’em right in the broth to cook ’em. Bring the broth back up to a boil and throw the matzoh balls in. They cook in 20-25 minutes, covered. Don’t peek. You just gotta trust the matzoh. Have faith in the Manischewitz. You should have perfect matzoh balls; they should be floating at the top. And then you put in your vegetables that you’ve chopped and then you’ve got the bomb-ass soup. Some people add noodles, but my grandma never does. But that chicken meat that you pick off of the bones? Sometimes she’ll use that. It’s a bonus.

“New Orleans Soul Red Beans, Rice and Corn Bread” recipe by DAVID CATCHING (Arthur, 2004)

Here’s an old “Come On In My Kitchen” column from Arthur’s March 2004 issue (No. 9.) Our star chef that issue was Dave Catching, gentleman guitarist of Joshua Tree, California…

This issue’s chef: David Catching of Joshua Tree, California

David Catching is currently a member of earthlings?, Yellow No. 5 and Mondo Generator and appears on The Desert Sessions Volume 9 & 10 (Rekords Rekords/Ipecac). Take it away Dave…

Hey y’all, Mardi Gras season is here and I hope you’re lucky enough to be celebrating it with me in New Orleans. If you are, you’re probably drunk, still drinking, dancing, chasing members of the opposite or same sex all night, and will be pretty tore up tomorrow. Here’s a little recipe I learned from my friend Jimmy Ford at the Jimmy Ford Clinic (thanks for showin’ me the way) and my friend Chef Big D, of the now-defunct Harbor Bar and Restaurant (R.I.P.), both of New Orleans, Louisiana. It’s easy and oh-so-cheap, which will be helpful while your scrambled brain tries to figure out what you spent all your money on. I’m giving you the vegetarian version here, but it’s also killer when cooked with smoked sausage. It ain’t my fanciest recipe, but it is great and will cure the meanest of hangovers for pennies. Regarding Tony Chachere’s Cajun spice: if you can’t find it in your neighborhood stores, I would recommend a trip to New Orleans. That means you’re probably overdue for at least a weekend there anyway…

New Orleans Soul Red Beans, Rice and Corn Bread
feeds six tore-up folks

one pound dried red beans
two cups white rice
one yellow onion
one half red onion
eight cloves garlic
two vegetable bouillon cubes
two tablespoons Tony Chachere’s Cajun spice
three pinches salt
two pinches black pepper
one pinch white pepper
one cup water
one box Jiffy cornbread mix (I know, but real soul food restaurants really do use this mix)
one jalapeno pepper
six ounces grated cheddar cheese
one egg
one cup milk
optional: one pound smoked sausage cut in one-inch length pieces

Wash and soak red beans overnight and rinse. Add water and boil beans until cooked, then simmer on low. Saute onions and garlic, with spices. Add onion, garlic and spices to simmering red beans and cook a few hours to taste. Follow rice cooking instructions. Follow Jiffy cornbread mix directions, then add chopped jalapeno pepper and most of the cheese. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and cook per Jiffy cornbread mix instructions. Serve a mountain of beans (with or without the smoked sausage) on a nice thin bed of rice.

My first taste of this particular recipe was at the Harbor Bar and Restaurant (the best soul food joint anywhere, ever) on Mardi Gras Day, 1993. This was without a doubt one of the best days of my life. I marched with the Lions Carnival Club, starting at 6am, with our second line brass band leading the way, from the sparse uptown gatherings, through to the thousands gathered at Lee Circle with Rex and Zulu, finally reaching the unbridled revelry of the French Quarter at 3pm, our costumes and masks obscuring the awe and joy we all were experiencing, some of us having imbibed many brands and colors of hard alcohol, psychedelics, prescribed and non-prescribed medications, marijuana and, from what I can gather through hearsay and gossip, stimulants of all kinds. In the madness of Frenchman Street at sunset, I met a beautiful stranger, who led me to the Harbor Bar and Restaurant. There, I was saved by the red beans and rice…

….and a double turkey and seven.

MF Doom’s Villainous Mac & Cheeze (Arthur, 2005)

From Arthur No. 14/Jan 2005:

villainous mac & cheeze

Come On In My Kitchen:

MF Doom’s Villainous Mac & Cheeze

We wish there were more rappers like Daniel Dumile. Back when he went by the name of Zev Love X, Dumile and his twin brother Sub Roc made records as KMD, a near-perfect fusion of early ’90s hip-hop. Their music was as wacky and open as a tongue-waggling gas face, and as militant and aggravated as the blows rained on up-jumping punks. They were signed by Elektra, but the label refused to release their masterpiece, Bl_ck B_st_rds. In 1993, with a career-defining piece of music stuck in limbo, Sub Roc died in a car accident. With his life seemingly in the shitter, Dumile did what most of us would’ve: He went to the park and got drunk for a few years.

In 1998, he re-emerged as MF Doom, a black, bastardized version of Marvel Comics arch-villain Dr. Doom. He dropped a beautiful album of painfully sincere, complex and sometimes hilarious stories laid over weird ’80s R&B and Scooby-Doo samples called Operation: Doomsday. Since then Doom’s done great work with heavily-blunted L.A. hip-hop producer Madlib and released several hazy instrumental albums in the Special Herbs series. His new full-length on Rhymesayers is the finger-licking Mm..Food. Arthur asked for one of the MF Doom house specials. Here’s what we got…

5 cups cooked macaroni (approx. 4 cups uncooked)
1 stick butter
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1tbls sugar
One minced fresh garlic clove
2 cups milk
1 8 oz package Colby/ Monterey Jack cheese
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Cook the macaroni until done as usual Add sugar and garlic to water.Do not overcook it. Drain macaroni in strainer.
Place macaroni, butter, salt, pepper, milk, Colby/jack cheese, and 3 cups of cheddar cheese in a pot boil slow add bread crumbs.
Cover everything with aluminum foil and cook for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
Uncover and add extra cup of cheddar cheese across the top. Bake uncovered for another 15 minutes.

“Macaroni and Cheese is an ol’ time classic but Villainous Mac & Cheeze was concocted by wifey about three years ago. It took a couple years to perfect and you must follow the recipe exactly or else. Now Villainous Mac & Cheeze has become an MF family favorite, perfect for any holiday or special meal…enjoy and don’t forget your potholderz…”—MF the Super Villain

Great Grandma’s Macaroni — a recipe and a story from The Reigning Sound’s Greg Cartwright (Arthur, 2004)

Come On In My Kitchen
by Greg Cartwright of the Reigning Sound

originally published in Arthur No. 11 (July 2004)

Greg Cartwright is one of American rock ‘n’ roll’s great undersung heroes, a veteran of legendary Memphis grease-rock outfits the Oblivians and the Compulsive Gamblers. Too Much Guitar!, the career-highlight new album by his latest band, The Reigning Sound, is reviewed by C & D in this issue; the band will be touring with the Hives across North America later this summer.

About nine years ago, while I was touring in Spain, I met an American girl who happened to be there on vacation. Conversation led to the fact that we were both looking for The Revlons’ “The Way You Touch My Hand” single. The stars were lining up but the van was leaving. Almost a year later I met her again in New York and I wound up staying at her apartment for three days. On the third day we decided to stay in because we knew it was our last night together. I said, “Let’s cook something.” She said, “I only know how to cook one thing.” She called it “Great Grandma’s Macaroni.” Was it good? I married her, didn’t I? Here goes:

1. Boil 1 package of macaroni noodles.
2. Put them in a casserole dish and mix in one small can of tomato sauce.
3. Chop up half a sweet vidalia (yellow) onion and mix it in too.
4. Add a pinch of thyme, a little oregano and salt & pepper to your taste.
5. Mix it all up good and spread a nice thick layer of shredded cheddar across the top.
6. Bake at 375 degrees about 20 minutes, or until the cheese starts to turn golden brown.

My only addition to this recipe over the last seven years has been to add a pound of seasoned ground beef in place of step 4. Thanks to Esther’s great grandma for the recipe!