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Legaspy 7: Grandpa

Come on a journey back to sixties cusine with us and discover a recipe that sparked the redecorating of a million bathrooms; this is our Grandpa's legendary prawn cocktail.

Gpa: Are you recording this? You're not going to put it on ebay or anything like that? And then it'll go viral and we'll make a fortune.

K: How do you know about going viral?!

Why is this your Legaspy? Gpa: I suppose its one of the ones because we don't have it very often, so its more of a novelty.

L: For special occasions. Would you never have it just for yourself?

Gpa: No, no. It's always to share.

L: So it's always for a family event?

Gpa: mhm

Who taught you how to cook? Gpa: Self taught.

K & L: Wow really!

Gpa: Yes, yes. We used to toy with it a little at home, but my mother was a very good cook.

L: What was her speciality?

Gpa: I suppose fish, probably. She could buy a cod's head and she could get enough fish off to make a whole plate of fish cakes.

K & L: Woah!

L: Just like Jesus.

Gpa: It was one of these things that you didn't have much money in those days.

K: To feed all of you as well? That's impressive.

gpa: It's amazing what you can use.

K: Yeah definitely, I think that's not so much anymore

L: Yeah, that's true. Especially with a fish's head, that usually just goes straight in the bin now.

Gpa: Cod's head are quite big you see.

K: When you say self taught, is it more in recent years that you learnt, because obviously you were away a lot [as a commercial pilot].

Gpa: Yes, mhm.

L: Who taught you the prawn cocktails?

Gpa: I made that up myself.

L: Wow, that's an original Grandpa.

Gpa: Yes, as I say today I missed putting that bit of lettuce in, but you need that just to bulk it out. We didn't need to bulk it out though, because we had plenty of prawns anyway.

L: My favourite part of it is putting the vinegar in between the different avocados.

Gpa: Yes, that gives it a bite. The pepper as well.

What is a dish you can't cook but wish you could?

Gpa: Generally, I'm the sous chef who does the vegetables. So, the ones that I can't cook are the ones that Grandma does, things like crumbles. I can't cook sweet stuff.

L: So you wish you were more of a patissier.

Gpa: Yes, in some ways. In some ways I'm quite happy not doing that.

K&L: * Laugh *

K: It's good to do some team work.

Who is your biggest inspiration when cooking?

Gpa: I don't think I really have one. No.

L: Do you ever watch any celebrity chefs on TV?

Gpa: No, I switch it off as soon as they come on.

L: You're your own inspiration.

Gpa: Yes.

L: Did you never read a cookbook?

Gpa: No, never. I don't do much cooking.

L: All cold cuts.

Gpa: Yes, salads.

K: Once you know what you like and you have the recipes for it, why do you need to discover new stuff.

What do you like to listen to while you cook? Gpa: Myself singing.

K: What kind of stuff do you sing to yourself?

Gpa: All sorts of things. Whatever comes into my mind.

L: Do you write your own songs?

Gpa: No. No. No.

L: Is it mostly, because I know I've been here when you and Grandma have been watching songs of praise, do you sing hymns to yourself?

Gpa: Yes, sometimes. Sometimes rugby songs as well, so it really varies.

K: Just depends whats stuck in your head.

L: I always used to get the Saracens song stuck in my head after we're saw them at a rugby match.

All:* Laugh *

What is the best dish you've ever eaten?

Gpa: Now that's interesting, I don't think you could claw at a dish, but possibly one of the best restaurants I've ever eaten in is probably in Cape Town. And it was a restaurant, it was the one that all of the top nobs used to go to when it was just liners going down there, before aeroplanes. I'm trying to think of the name of it... but, it was the whole style of the thing, people wearing white gloves and everything. But, actually what I ate, I couldn't tell you.

L: Was it Western food?

Gpa: Western, yes.

K: But it was the atmosphere they created that made it feel special.

Gpa: Yeah. I think the atmosphere tends more to stick in your mind than the actual dishes.

K: Yes, when we were talking to Dad he said that it always seems like your best dishes are on holiday, but its probably because you're sat by the sea or in a nice place, rather than the food.

Gpa: Yes, thats right.

L: Did the restaurant in Cape Town have a view over the sea?

Gpa: No, it was inland.

Grandpa's Avocado Pear Prawn Cocktail


3 avacados

10ml white wine vinegar

150g shrimps (or prawns)

5 tbsp thousand island dressing

A few cracks of black pepper

  1. Cut avocado in half and remove stone

  2. Score avocado with fork

  3. Fill one avocado hole with vinegar and tip between the avocado halves' holes.

  4. Crack some black pepper onto avocado halves.

  5. Put 150g shrimps in a bowl with 5tbsp of thousand island dressing. (Add some strips of iceberg lettuce if you have some in the fridge for recipe elevation.)

  6. Put each half into its own dish and fill hole with prawn/ thousand island mix.


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