Beans and grains and vegetables and more…

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Soup! It’s healthful, nutricious, economical, convenient, filling, warming — and, above all, delicious. All of Mars knows this, just as Mars knows that the first colonists never could have survived without it. For many of those early settlers, that first hungry, hopeful, desperate generation, there was little else to eat for weeks, for months on end. Anything and everything might end up in the pot: whatever they could hunt, whatever they could grow, whatever they could carry.

The girls of the Crater School understand this, from Miss Harribeth’s history lessons — but it’s likely they have never quite understood how…

Mashed and spiced and fried to a crisp…

Beans have been a staple crop on Mars since the very first pioneers arrived with many a sack to plant, and little to sustain them meantime but hope and, yes, beans. In sacks.

Mrs Bailey has countless recipes in her repertoire, and has shared a number of them already with us here; but her beancakes are a favourite throughout the school, because what child doesn’t love something fried, with a crisp outer coat and a delectable interior?

(Me, I like these for lunch, with a couple of fried eggs atop; but your…

(Corn syrup? No, of course there’s no corn syrup…)

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The first pecan trees on Mars were a gift from the American Consul to that province; as their country fell further and further behind the two great interplanetary powers of Britain and Russia, the United States were ever eager to curry favour with their former master.

Happily, the trees thrived, and another page was added to the colonial cookbook. Pecan pie is nothing alien to Mrs Bailey, nor to the Crater School; it’s as normal and everyday as walnut cake or peanut brittle.

Make your favourite pastry — Mrs Bailey favours a lard and butter mix, with the lard thoroughly…

Curry is not the only food

1 pork tenderloin

Cider vinegar

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon cayenne

1 onion, sliced

Half a dozen garlic cloves

1 handful of bread crumbs

Put your tenderloin in a nonreactive bowl and rub it all over with a splash of cider vinegar.

Mix all the spices together, add those to the pork and rub again until thoroughly coated. Leave to marinate as long as possible, and overnight if you’re that well organised.

Fry the onion gently until soft and starting to colour; use mustard oil if…

A slice of Morocco, right there on your plate…

A pinch of saffron threads

1 onion, sliced

Half a dozen garlic cloves, crushed

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 teaspoons ras el hanout*

750g leftover roast chicken, shredded

125g strong chicken stock

3 eggs, beaten

50g almond flour

1 pack filo pastry, defrosted

Quite a lot of butter, melted

Put the saffron threads in a little hot water, to soak.

Toast the almond flour in a dry pan over medium heat for a couple of minutes, until golden. …

The nursery classic for grown-ups

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It is, perhaps even it must be, possible that somewhere on three planets breathes a human being who doesn’t like tomato soup. I’ve never met them, and certainly neither has Mrs Bailey. She probably wouldn’t even entertain the notion. It’s a staple on her table, in and out of term; and generations of girls have wheedled this recipe out of her, to take home for their mothers or their older siblings or their housekeepers, so that they needn’t go without all holiday long.

1 onion

A dozen or so large tomatoes — say 2.5 …

The secret is to heat the pan. That’s it.

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This is another of those recipes so simple they’re really just a method, and honestly this one comes down to just a line.

Put a cast-iron skillet (for preference) or a heavy-based roasting pan in the hottest part of your oven, and preheat it to 400F. Leave it alone for half an hour even after it comes to temp, so that the skillet has time to get seriously hot. That’s all the secret that there is to this.

Meanwhile, trim and halve your brussels sprouts, put them in a bowl and toss them with salt, pepper and olive oil.


To say nothing of the ginger…

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Shockingly easy is always a good look in a recipe, especially when you have two hundred-odd hungry adolescent mouths to feed, and the staff besides. And Mrs Bailey’s simplest dishes are often her most popular. Never a tray of these potatoes comes back anything other than empty.

More good roasting potatoes than you think you’ll need, peeled and cut into pieces

Oil, lard or goose fat (in rising order of preference)

One head of garlic per tray of potatoes

One bunch of spring onions per tray, cut into pieces

Thinly sliced garlic and shredded fresh ginger

Put the potatoes in…

(now in several kinds of order, yay!)

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To nobody’s surprise, this is a work in progress. More recipes will be added on a tolerably frequent basis; I might also add more categories (Indian dishes, Chinese dishes, eg), though you’ll find that some dishes already occur in two or more categories. I like to think that might be helpful.

If you’re new to Mrs Bailey’s recipes, there’s a general introduction to her life and times in the original recipe list, here:

Appetisers and Light Dishes:


Red Meat:

Chaz Brenchley

I write. That’s what I do. Forty-two years a pro (and counting), and never a day job. Betweentimes I cook, and garden, and am very married.

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