My son Ric who was staying with me over Christmas was due to go home today, so last night we were again invited to the home of Andrew, who cooked Christmas dinner, this time for the family's traditional "turkey use-up" meal which some of us almost prefer to the roast on Christmas Day. Turkey and ham vol-au-vents began when my sons were still at home, and I no longer remember if it was my own invention, but it became an absolute "must" every year, before the turkey carcase was finally discarded. We serve it with rice and peas, and the meat in the bechamel sauce is slurped liberally all over the pastry cases, not neatly contained as in this picture here which I found on the web.
As a very reluctant cook who barely got by with feeding her children adequately and healthily, I have been gratified to find that certain of my "regulars" have become necessaries to the next generation - although I suppose there is a certain inevitability about it. For instance, our bread sauce always has chopped onion in it, never mind a polite flavouring from a whole one. And I also earned credit for introducing the idea of spaghetti bolognese made with fresh mince - in those days spaghetti mostly came out of a tin, or at best was made with cooked left-over meat. And the great favourite - Mum's crunchy roast potatoes, which are certainly not an original recipe of mine (boiled first to become a bit fluffy round the edges).
Nowadays I don't have to do any of it, for which I am truly thankful - I'd rather be blogging!