LOCKDOWN week 12. There have been some highs and lows this past week.

Let’s start with the highs. The Quarter Master had a grand day out at the cowp. Such heady times. He had the bunting out and everything.

But there was sadness with the passing of Dame Vera Lynn. The QM dusted down his medals and pinned them on his jammies as a mark of respect. We have been crooning away. With actions. I might throw myself off the White Cliffs of Dover sometime soon.

There has also been something of mix-up at The Mess. The QM’s stock-taking went rather awry with the click and collect. Instead of ordering three onions, he clicked for three bags of onions. So we have had onions 10 ways this past week.

Seeking inspiration, we turned to the go-to tome Molly Weir’s Recipes (new ideas and old favourites by Aggie of Life With The Lyons, or so the subtitle goes). This book is well worn, to put it mildly. It was signed by Aunt Agnes in 1965 as a gift to my mum, with the message “good cooking”. (It’s always good to live in hope). The pages have long parted company with the spine. We start on page 186 and work randomly, concluding on page 77. The chaos is enhanced by the many loose leaves of various hand-written recipes stuffed between the pages, shared by folk long gone.

READ MORE: Toilet roll tubes and more old socks help pass the QM’s time

This book is so old it bears scribbles from toddler me. Anything for peace and quiet while we get the ingredients into the Kenwood mixer.

Back to the onions … we’ve had onion soup, onion curry and onion onions. We consulted Molly. Alas, only two recipes: glazed onions and onions au gratin. Both recipes, unsurprisingly, feature mainly onions. But I was surprised to discover the level of technique required to lift these seemingly mundane vegetables to such sublime heights.

“Onions au gratin. Method: Break the onion in pieces, but do not chop them. Grate the cheese and get ready about half a pint of good white sauce, well seasoned. Grease a fire-proof dish and put in a layer of onion, then a layer of cheese, then some sauce, then onion and so on (you get the picture) Sprinkle some browned breadcrumbs on top, dot with butter, and bake in the oven until nicely browned. Serve in the same dish.”

“Glazed onions. Method: Skin the onions and wipe them very dry with a cloth. Put a little salad oil into a shallow stewpan and heat it on the stove. Put in the onions, sprinkling them with caster sugar, and tossing them over and over until they are well browned on all sides. Pour off any superfluous oil and pour in enough brown stock to barely cover the onions. Add a little salt if necessary and let the onions cook slowly on the stove or in the oven. When they are nearly ready, let the stock boil down quickly till it forms a glaze on the onions, turning them over gently till they are evenly coated. These are a delicious garnish for all sorts of meat dishes.”

This seems like an awful lot of trouble to go to for a few ingins. But, hey – we have plenty of time on our well-sanitised hands.

And Molly definitely knows her onions.

Next week: Cauliflower Souffle, Potted Bloater and a Seven-Cup Dumpling.

The QM had better contact his suppliers.