Biographical Non-Fiction posted February 18, 2021

This work has reached the exceptional level
Dad tries his hand at cooking.

Corned Beef Hash

by Jimmy Hogg

Mum was in the hospital. It was nothing serious, and we weren't meant to be overly concerned. But I was worried, because this meant that Dad was cooking dinner for us. Other than frying bacon or barbecuing meat, he had no hand in the preparation of our meals.

Without consultation, he'd decided to make us corned beef hash- something he'd picked up during his twenty years in the Navy. It was basically a tin of baked beans and a tin of corned beef, cooked down with some onions and three or four large potatoes.

The steaming pot of mush was placed on a cork mat in the middle of the table. Dad was upbeat yet nervous, as he encouraged us to 'dig in'.

My brother Danny got yelled at after one bite when he'd asked for ketchup. I decided to keep quiet, and dutifully spooned the prison slop into my mouth. The one redeeming feature of the hash was that it required almost no chewing, and therefore didn't have the opportunity to spend more than a second insinuating itself upon our tastebuds.

After dinner we popped in to see Mum, she was sitting up in bed, and delighted to see us. I dutifully handed her a box of chocolates, and she said thank you, and gave me a kiss on the cheek. She asked us how dinner was, and we lied unconvincingly.

When Dad went to get himself a cup of tea from the machine down the corridor, Mum turned to us and said we could help ourselves to the chocolates.

Danny and I sat at the end of her bed and gorged ourselves on pralines, orange creams, and hazelnut clusters. We looked at one another giggling, and he whispered, "I'd eat corned beef hash everyday if this was dessert!"

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