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Gordon's Canny Winter Warmer - 16/01/2009
 
We send our suggested recipe to Mrs Brown at Number 10
1. Gordon Brown's favorite dish for the coming year is peasant style, recalling his mother preparing it when he came home from watching Raith Rovers play. It's the Scottish dish rumbledethumps or bubble and squeak based on reheated cabbage and tatties (potatoes). The recipe is published in a book of celebs' favorites prepared for Donald's School for the Deaf in Edinburgh. The dish in its simplicity reflects the frugality expected in the forthcoming year, with eating plans endorsed and exemplified by his own Agriculture Ministers and in dietary advice proffered a few years ago by the Economist ("a healthy diet is built on a base of grains, vegetables and fruits, followed by ever-decreasing amounts of dairy-products, meat, sweets, and oils"), as well as in the Food Standards Agency's Eat Well advice. The celebrity charity cookbook was compiled by the congregation at All Saints Parish Church in Ilkley, West Yorkshire.

2. The name is said to refer to the noises made as the tatties and cabbage (or kale) are rumbled and thumped in the preparation. Addition of bacon and neaps (turnips or swedes) are all ways of elevating the style of rumbledethumps, the original being just a greasy refrying of the previous night's leftovers.

3. VEGA's Portfolio of Eating Plans already includes a recipe for colcannon, an Irish version of bubble and squeak and we have sent our latest version of the dish (which incorporates vegan bacon) to Sarah Brown at Number 10 Downing Street. We hope the family approve, as well as many other people ready to cook up a nice winter warmer. Others asked in the book to name their favorite recipes include Jim Murphy, the Scottish Secretary, who savors "a hearty lentil broth", and Alex Salmond, who is addicted to curries, but claims as his favorite dish cullen skink, a soup made traditionally from smoked haddock, potatoes, and onions. Consumers of Lord Woolton's WW2 Ministry of Food, pies, stews, and cakes might hark back to the wartime food, with carrots in almost every dish in one form or another, so cooks might embellish any bubble and squeak, broth, or curry with a carrot to add color and more.

4. David Cameron's favorite dish this year has a Mediterranean flavor, but hardly represents the frugal and salubrious bean feasts from that region. His Italian sausage meat pasta comprises "six spicy Italian sausages, lots of red wine, Parmesan cheese, penne pasta, and a half-pint of double cream" - hardly a kind taste and example to flaunt before a population who this year will be eating for survival and living to eat with hearty respect for their own health and for other animals and the environment. However, Gordon Brown might refresh himself with the occasional thrifty glass of IPA at 99p a pint.
 
 
 

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