When life gives you lemons

you obviously slice them thinly before caramelising in butter, maple syrup and chilli flakes:

Then chop them finely (including as much lemony goo as possible from the pan), and add them to a salad:

(This is particularly good with spicy fishcakes).

When life gives you ginger, on the other hand, I suggest you send it through the food processor a few times, mix with a bit of water, and make ginger ice cubes. That way your drinks get more, rather than less, interesting as the ice melts.

And if life should finally give you a craving for a really good brownie that does NOT involve beating eggs and sugar forever, or melting butter and/or chocolate, or any of the things that add a bit of effort to the process, try these Jamaican coffee numbers. No, they don’t contain anything illegal, and no, it doesn’t have to be Jamaican coffee, as per recipe. I used Italian dark roast, and here’s the newsflash: I used olive oil instead of butter (I wasn’t trying to be contrary. We just didn’t have butter). A little research tells me that substitution should be 75%, ie. 3/4 cup oil for 1 cup of butter. And since nothing has to melt, you just bung it all in a bowl, mix it with your electric helper, bake, cool, and later slather with a “ganache” of chocolate, coffee, (rum) and crystallised ginger. Hot damn these were good.

Also very good is this recipe for lamb braised in milk with fennel. I couldn’t find fennel, so let dill and a bit of aniseed stand in, which they did with aplomb. Who woulda thunk it. Life isn’t always a beech.