When I was a young child, living in Bury Lancashire, one of my favourite evening meals, after the compulsory two hours of football following school, was corned beef ash, a simple dish consisting of a mixture of potatoes, onions and corned beef heated in the oven and always made with a pastry crust on top. My mother, Bella, would always make enough to feed our family of four for at least two sittings even allowing for second helpings. Still there would be some left.
Then the remaining ash with crust was put in the frying pan (similar in a way to bubble and squeak), heated with a bit of butter and brown sauce, and a final serving was made. I remember well how good that fry up tasted.
In recent years I have taken to making corned beef ash, without crust and served with red cabbage. I do not believe it is anywhere near as good as mum used to make but I have had no complaints either. This week I made another corned beef creation and recalling my childhood days decided I would fry up the residue. The result was little short of a disaster, nothing like the taste I remembered.
Sometimes those things from our past are best left remembered.