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Sweet Potatoes of Horror

This young orang-utan could rustle up a tastier dinner that the recipe that follows.

Sometimes when the supplies of food in our house get very, very low, instead of calling the local Thai takeaway or the pizza shop like a normal human being, I take it as a challenge to make dinner out of whatever I can find. Usually I begin by browsing the internet with searches like ‘How to make dinner with no ingredients’ and I spend a few minutes on this splendid website .

That’s how I created a new and exciting dish on Tuesday night. I like to call it Pommes Douces d’Horreur. That is made-up French for Sweet Potatoes of Horror. I do not recommend you make it. So that  you can be absolutely sure never to make it, here is how to not do it.

Bake one enormous sweet potato in the oven. Repeatedly shout ‘Hot, hot!’ at your toddler for forty-five minutes or so as she careens towards it like a sailor who has been kicked out of a bar while on shore leave. Marvel at your toddler’s uncommonly stumbly new gait and complete lack of balance. Fail to connect this to her new-found clinginess and bouts of extreme screamnation and thus leave it to your own mother to point out that perhaps the child has an ear infection. (What would my mother know? It turns out May Blossom doesn’t have an ear infection, she has two ear infections.)

When potato is mostly cooked but still slightly unpleasantly crunchy in the middle, remove from oven.

Make a sauce loosely based on bechamel. Melt some butter in a pan. Add a teaspoon of flour and cook briefly, not quite for long enough to remove the floury taste. Inadequately stir in a cup or so of milk, allowing lumps to form. Grate in some cheese. Cunningly disguise the lumps by adding two small tins of creamed corn that have been cluttering up your cupboards since a weird late first-trimester craving made you buy a three-pack of them.

Add one small tin of tuna. Because this recipe isn’t quite gross enough. Season without pepper because you have run out. Who runs out of pepper?

Pour the sauce over the sweet potato and serve with a grimace.

Wine pairing: whatever has been open the longest. This dish would go beautifully with a mixture of the dregs of three or more different types of white wine.

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