In every Liverpool Mum’s kitchen repetoire is a recipe for the Winter staple that is Scouse. A simple concoction of cheap meat and basic vegetables, Scouse was the one thing I looked forward trudging home from school in the January snow when I was young.
It goes without saying that all Mums make Scouse to their own recipe. There is no "right" recipe, mostly because Scouse was invented to feed the five thousand when times were hard- so it is made of whatever was available and has over time firmly established itself at the heart of every Liverpool teatime…
Try as I might my Scouse doesn’t taste as good as my Mums – though I cook it in exactly the same way, with exactly the same ingredients, it seems to lack a certain magical something, but is cosy all the same. I don’t like other peoples’ Mum’s Scouse. I would never order it in the kind of establishment serving it up with a hefty dose of irony, would fade away and die in horror if somebody other than my Mum plonked a bowl full of it on my tablemat and wouldn’t dream of eating it anywhere not in spitting distance of this lovely city. In short, when it comes to Scouse, I am a fussy cow.
But today is one of those icy, blowy Winter days, so under Mum’s supervision I have got a vat of it bubbling on the hob (potatoes, carrots, onions, and beef mince and oxo, cooked in one pan till mushy and served seasoned to taste, with pickled red cabbage/beetroot and HP sauce). Mark is on his way around to discuss goodness knows what (he never gets round to saying much of anything really when he call’s these "talks") and I shall do my best to stop him stealing slurps of my Scouse, before enduring his rambling musings and shuffling him out of the house so I can climb into flannel jama’s, fill a bowl with Scouse served with lots of very bad for me white bread, and snuggle up in front of an evenings worth of tv I am positively demented with excitement about (first night of Celebrity Big Brother and a new series of Desperate Housewives).