The secret blend of herbs and spices and mystery

I just made – and ate – the greatest chili I have ever made. And Ive made a fair few chilis, and theyve all been pretty good, but this one? Superlative, frankly. Which sadly doesnt mean Im going to stop going on about it. Not for a few sentences at least.

It. Was. Brilliant.

Sadly, Ill never be able to replicate it. For now begins the series of meals made entirely out of whatever needs using out of our cupboards. I think we may have lucked out with the first one, though, it had all the best stuff in, too.

I am, in this, as so many other things, my mothers daughter. My mum refers to these kind of meals as Barge Meals. Dating from when I was a child, and we used to go on canal holidays, the last day and a half meals would be made up of the leftovers from the other five and a half days, combined with all the things we hadnt got round to eating already. This made for either a) Spectacular one-pot dishes filled with a hundred flavours or b) A spread of bits and pieces, warm and cold, in a Very British Tapas kind of way, out of which the most spectacular sandwiches in the history of creation could be formed.

Moving house – as Ive now done, oooh, about once a year for the last 15 or so, basically, sometimes more – the bizarre culinary creations demanded by neurotic need not to waste ingredients are one of my favourite things.

I will never again be able to replicate this chili. But, for myself, for the record, it was turkey based, with tomatoes, a bag of frozen tuscan style vegetables, a bottle of guinness, the ends of two jars of barbecue sauce from the fridge, watered down with beef stock, half a tube of fresh chopped morrocan herb mix (also fridge), the end of this mornings espresso jug, some spicy seasoning I bought in new orleans, and a handful of at least eight other herb and spice jars.

And it was AMAZING.