I first had curried baked beans at a barbecue in Stirling in the 1970s. At the time, it seemed incredibly exotic, partly because it tasted of curry powder, but also because it was the kind of thing my mum would never have made. I remember eating a lot of it and I think I can probably trace my tendency to splash chilli sauce on things back to that day.
1 tin of baked beans
1/2 teaspoon of curry powder
Open the tin of beans, pour a little of the excess sauce away, put the beans and the curry powder in a small saucepan and heat gently.
Scotland in the 70s
Apart from making curried baked beans, my barbecue hostess and her husband were "fond of a drink" as the saying goes, and it may be that the addition of curry powder to boring old beans was an alcohol-inspired act of culinary genius. My other memory of her was that she happened to come for lunch the day my mum went into labour with my sister, Clara. As a result, my brother Mark (13) and me (11) were left in her care for the rest of the afternoon. She kindly shared her cigarettes with us to help calm all of our nerves.