But remember: phone your mum to ask for her lentil soup recipe, but if your kitchen is on fire, the emergency services are a better bet.
SLOW-COOKED SHOULDER OF LAMB WITH RED WINE
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• lean Scottish shoulder of lamb
• 300ml red wine
• 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
• 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 2 red onions, quartered
• large sprig each of rosemary and thyme
• 400g can of chopped tomatoes
• 400g can of butterbeans
Oil a large roasting tin, add the meat and all the other ingredients except the butterbeans. Cover with foil and cook in a preheated oven (170¼C/325¼F/gas 3) until the lamb is tender - about three hours. About 40 minutes before the end of the cooking time, add the butterbeans.
Serve with mashed potatoes and green beans.
BEEF FAJITAS WITH SALSA
• 750g skirt or rump of beef, sliced thinly then cut into bite-sized pieces
• juice of 3 limes
• 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tsp ground cumin
• 1 tsp crushed red chillies
• 2 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
• 2 heaped tbsp coriander stalks and leaves
• 3 tbsp sunflower oil
For the salsa
• 4-5 plum tomatoes, diced
• 1/2 red onion, peeled and chopped
• 1 ripe avocado, diced
• 1/2 green chilli, finely chopped
• 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
• salt and pepper
• 2-3 tbsp tequila
• juice of 1 lime
• warm flour tortillas
• soured cream
• shredded iceberg lettuce
• lime wedges
Place the beef in a bowl. Mix the lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, cumin, chillies, garlic, chopped coriander and 1 tbsp of the oil, then tip over the beef. Marinate for a couple of hours.
Heat two frying pans (or cook in batches) - each with 1 tbsp oil - until very hot. Stir-fry the beef for about three minutes until just done.
Combine all the salsa ingredients in a bowl.
To serve, place the warm tortillas, salsa, beef, lettuce, soured cream and lime wedges in dishes on the table. Everyone can then pile fillings on to their tortillas and devour.
FUDGE BERRY BAKE
This scrumptious recipe is based on one from Arbroath's wonderful Sugar & Spice tearoom. Owner Jean Stewart uses her home-made fudge for the topping; I use the more widely available Orkney fudge.
• 200g butter, melted
• 3 tbsp golden syrup
• 500g digestives/Hobnobs, crumbled
• 100g dried cranberries
• 100g raisins
• 200g puff candy or Crunchie bars, coarsely crushed
• 300g fudge, chopped
Melt the butter and syrup then stir in the biscuits, cranberries and raisins and about two-thirds of the puff candy. Tip into a lightly buttered swiss roll tin, spreading out evenly. Melt the fudge (I microwave it gently for one or two minutes until just molten), then spoon it carefully over the mixture in the tin. Scatter over the remaining puff candy and press down gently with your palms. Leave until cool before cutting into bars.