I Cooked Jeremy Corbyn's Marrow Recipe And Had Some Thoughts About The Labour Party
This is one man's quest to understand the Labour leadership crisis through the medium of vegetables.
For some reason, one of Jeremy Corbyn's first actions after becoming Labour leader was to pose with a giant marrow.
In many respects, Corbyn's decision to pose with a marrow explains quite a lot about his time in charge of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition.
And there was Corbyn's beautiful, simple statement, usually left unspoken by political leaders: “I love marrows."
This made a lot of sense. There is something fundamentally British about the marrow. It's a slow plodding vegetable but one with a certain decency about it. Then there is the great British tradition of men feeling content after growing a large marrow, a topic BuzzFeed has covered at length in the past.
It started to make sense. Jeremy Corbyn grows enormous marrows. He poses with enormous marrows. He is truly content with this arrangement.
Jeremy Corbyn is a marrow man.
This needed investigating.
Then I remembered something: Daniel Boffey, the journalist who interviewed Corbyn about the marrow back in September 2015, had tweeted a recipe for the Labour leader's favourite marrow recipe.
I donned my "poundshop investigative journalism" coat and headed to ASDA. I needed a marrow.
Also, I needed an excuse to write some increasingly terrible vegetable metaphors about the current state of the Labour party.
So it began. Just like the Labour party under Corbyn, I split the marrow in half, right down the middle.
Splitting the marrow made it possible to scoop out the soft core that held the entire edifice together. Once removed we can replace it with something new.
We needed a new filling. Something to replace what had previously passed for the marrow's central core. This is where things became difficult.
Into the frying pan went the quorn, alongside a bit of onion and some garlic! Like Corbyn in September 2015 I was optimistic and happy. This was going to be great! A doddle!
Then we added some spices. The entire structure was coming together. This was going to be a great success.
But then the reality hits. You've got a frying pan filled with dubious protein material. It looks terrible. It's a mess. You've got to clean up this mess.
At this point I turned to the cardboard cutout of Gordon Brown that was lurking in the corner of the kitchen. It was clear he was delivering a stark warning.
The filling was complete. Like Labour, the old marrow had been hollowed out and the insides put in the bin. A new marrow was rising, filled with the goodness of quorn and vegetables and all lightly cooked!
An hour's cooking later we were nearly there.
Still, the revolution must go on, even when the oven timer is ringing. As per Corbyn's instructions, the marrow was removed from the oven and a bit of feta was sprinkled on the top.
The cutout of Gordon Brown joined us for the special occasion.
But this was it. The moment of truth. The point at which it would become clear what was going on with Jeremy Corbyn's marrow recipe and therefore, hopefully, the Labour party. Reader, I began eating.
This was a disaster. The big promises I'd made about a new sort of cooking in our household had come to nothing. But there was hope. Like Corbyn's Labour party, nothing is unsalvageable.
"It's underseasoned," my girlfriend explained. "But I can't work out how much is Jeremy Corbyn's fault and how much is your fault."
And that was the crux of the matter: The basis of Jeremy Corbyn's solid, sturdy marrow recipe was fine. It is fundamentally a likeable and popular meal, something that fills a gap in the market and it distinctly British. People of all ages can enjoy it. It can mean many things to many people and be eaten in many contexts.
Admittedly, it's not great as things stand but it just needs a bit more work, some stronger spices and perhaps some red meat. It needs something to distinguish it from other recipes, a bit longer in the oven and maybe something nice to drink with it.
In short, the marrow needs people to work together to improve it. Maybe someone needs to consider the strategic direction of the recipe and make some tweaks. Ultimately, perhaps, I discovered it really needed someone in charge with proper experience of cooking who could give some advice on the special ingredients that would make it tasty. In short, it's not great as things stand but nor is it terrible.
There's a lot of room for optimism but it requires hard work and dedication.
And then, and only then, Jeremy Corbyn's marrow recipe could reach the audience it rightly deserves.