They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. I can certainly vouch for this. I met my husband while we were both students at what is now Southampton Solent University. He turned up at my flat just before Christmas in our third year to come and see some of my flatmates. His LLB (Hons) course had enabled him to spend the first semester of the final year at the University of Copenhagen. To this day he still retains a fondness for Tuborg Christmas beer. After Christmas he kept coming back to my flat attracted by the fact I lived there with his friends and probably the smell of my slow cooker meals. After many attempts to woo me I finally cracked and we were married the Easter after we graduated in my local church. The layout of the church meant it had three rows – one for my family, one for husband's family and the third was full of our university friends. That was 16 years ago.
When I applied to do a BA (Hons) Journalism degree only a small number of institutions ran the course and I applied to all eight of the them. It was the first year Southampton Solent University had run the course but everything just seemed right about the place – the course, the lecturers, the scope to specialise and of course the location on the south coast. Now there are several different journalism degree courses run but I've always been proud to say I was one of the first to graduate and lead the way for the future. At my graduation my Nan got a front row seat and I don't know if she was more thrilled by her youngest granddaughter graduating or seeing Sir Trevor McDonald receive an Honorary degree as Doctor of Letters!
|My original student recipe folder and kitchen equipment still in use today|
This dish is the first meal I ever cooked for my husband whilst we were at Southampton. We had no ovens in the halls of residence but this never deterred me from cooking a decent meal. We have continued to eat this over the years but now the quantities have been increased so our now family of four can all enjoy this together.
500g pack of Minced beef
1 packet Oxtail simmer soup
4oz (100g) Mushrooms, peeled and sliced
300g of dried spaghetti
Pepper of your choice of colour – red, green, orange or yellow, deseeded and sliced
1. In a saucepan put the minced beef in and cover with water. Bring to boil and cook until the mince has lost its pink/red colour.
2. Reduce to a simmer, add the oxtail soup and stir in. If too thick add a little more water.
3. Cook the spaghetti as per the packet instructions or how you like to cook it.
4. Add the mushrooms to the mince.
5. Just before serving add the peppers and heat through.
6. Drain the spaghetti and serve with the bolognese.
This post is in collaboration with Southampton Solent University. The words, photos and memories are all my own.