I cooked for some people just before Christmas- some mates, some acquaintances, some allies, some foes. One thing they ALL AGREED on was how great the food was. How boring food used to be in the 70s. Then came a very divisive conversation on immigration and class. they were eating my food and blasting away at how British culture and cohesion had been ‘destroyed’. How so? I asked? Even now not one of them has a child who goes out with a plumber’s son or daughter. The North-South chasm is bigger than ever. So what is this united nation they dream up? Two people left crossly. Before the pudding. Good. I saved the best till last. Sweet and bitter do not mix. Here is the pud.

Indian Bread and Butter Pudding

6 slices good white bread

1/2 tin evaporated milk

1/2 tin condensed sweetened milk

1/2 cup full cream milk

3 eggs

2 tbsp. toasted, shelled pistachios and the same amount of flaked almonds and golden raisins

1/2 tsp saffron and cardamom powder

Mix the milks

Add saffron and cardamom and leave for an hour

Cut out crusts from bread

Beat in eggs into milk mixture

Lay down bread in two layers

Leave for ten mins

Bake in medium oven for twenty minutes or until the top starts to brown.

Rest for ten minutes and serve