It's normally around this time that I make my annual pilgrimage to Flores in the Azores to see my old friends Carol (aka Mung) and Neil.
But what with one thing (three months in Paris) and another (a trip to Scotland last month), I didn't think it fair to leave BB slaving away at the coalface while I disappeared off again on a jolly.
I'm sad not to be going this year. There's something about the peaceful rhythms of this tiny island, its savage beauty, the luminous sea, that makes me resolve to do - and be - something different.
But living in a little pocket of paradise bang in the middle of the Atlantic has its drawbacks; for one thing, you can't buy a tin of corned beef. The Mung and I have a great affinity for corned beef. In fact, it was over a corned beef and Branston Pickle filled roll that we first bonded, in a little caf opposite Edinburgh Sheriff Court not long after we met.
And we both agree that the tastiest thing to do with corned beef is corned beef hash with a fried egg on top.
tin of corned beef (the best quality you can find)
10 oz / 275 g waxy potatoes
1 large onion
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp grain mustard
2 - 3 tbsp oil for frying
salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Cut the corned beef into chunks and mix in a bowl with the Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and grain mustard and set aside. In the meantime, peel and cut the potatoes into chunks and steam until nearly tender. Finely slice the onion.
2. Fry the onion in the oil until soft and browned at the edges. Add the potatoes and corned beef, some salt and pepper and heat through. Fry the eggs in a separate pan and serve on top of the hash.