This week, savoury followed sweet and on the menu was chilli con carne, a dish I have made a hundred times over the years but this was the first time since my injury.
The important herbs and spices were supplied by the Headway kitchen; paprika, cayenne pepper and cumin which as a native of the curry capital of England; Leicester, did not intimidate me one sprinkle! What did worry me though were the two chillies that I soon carved up and added to its spicy sisters.
Next up was the turn of a big red onion, a stronger flavoured onion than its beige cousin so I’m told, so it was clear to me straight away that this dish was going to be full of strong flavours, just the way I like it. However my girlfriend, who I will be sharing the dish with later in the evening at home, may not agree. But it’s about time I cooked for her as I have watched on as she has prepared lots of dishes for me at home since I got out of hospital a few months ago. I used to be able to chop and dice an onion up with relative ease albeit in a tad teary state because of the fumes. Although now as a consequence of my bleed I have random bouts of uncontrollable weeping (however that’s a whole other story!) Back to the onion and as well as providing amazing care and companionship for people who have suffered a brain injury, Headway provided a neat gadget similar to a guillotine that makes chopping a lot easier. Next up was a tricky pair of garlic cloves, as they needed stripping of her skins a task harder to manage with my left arm not complying with my demands.
Then we were ready to roll, and enter the mincemeat, the central character in our meal, and in it all went at once in one big swoop. Followed by the trusty tin of chopped tomatoes and beef stock, we were off!
After a lot of stirring it was finally time to allow the chilli some alone time, to what we call in the business, simmer. Then it was time to join the others in the games room where one poor woman was trying to guess the name on the card stuck to her forehead, Madonna! How can you not get Madonna with clues such as ‘like a virgin’ and ‘vogue’!?
Then, in walks in my other half and my second afternoon at Headway had come to an end. As I left with boxed up chilli con carne in hand I was sent off with goodbyes from some pretty special people and looking forward to my next attempt at baking the famous Headway Lemon drizzle cake. Watch this cake...