Meatballs, Mash and Gravy: Dealing with Rejection

You’ve heard the ping. It’s in. And because your phone clearly hates you, you’ve seen the first few words as a preview.

“Unfortunately at this time…”

Your heart sinks as you fill in the rejection on your submissions spreadsheet. Are you even good enough? Maybe you should give up. Maybe you’re not cut out for this. Maybe that primary school teacher who ripped up your work was right…

Stop that right now. Get out some potatoes and get peeling. Remember every writer gets rejected multiple times. Multiple. Stephen King has been rejected. JK Rowling has been rejected. And now you’ve been rejected. Put your big girl knickers on, get out your masher, and pretend those potatoes are the faces of anyone who has ever said a negative thing about your writing or rejected you. You crush those potatoes!

And then when that’s all done, let the homely warmth of the lightly spiced meatballs and gravy give you a hug from the inside out.

Meatballs, Mash and Gravy: Dealing with Rejection |

Serves 4

Total cost (approx.): £4.66

Cost per Serving (approx.): £1.17


1 pack of around 20 swedish meatballs

Frozen peas


2 tbsp. flour

1 tbsp. butter

500ml beef stock

150ml sour cream


1kg potatoes

200ml milk

2 tbsp. butter

1 tsp. English mustard


Peel and chop the potatoes into two, three or four pieces depending on the size of the potatoes. Put in a pan of cold water so they are just covered, cover the pan with a lid and boil—the water should be bubbling but not violently—for around twenty minutes, until a fork goes into and comes out of the potato easily.

While the potatoes are boiling, make the gravy. Melt the tbsp. of butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. When the butter has melted, add in the flour and mix it into a paste. Let it cook for around five minutes, stirring frequently so it doesn’t burn.

Get your peas on now, cook them according to the packet instructions.

Pour the stock slowly into the frying pan, whisking everything as you go to stop the gravy from getting lumpy. Keep it on a medium heat and stir with a wooden spoon until it thickens. When it has thickened, tip in the sour cream and stir it to combine. When it has combined, tip all the meatballs in and let them heat through.

While the meatballs are heating through, drain the potatoes then throw them back in the pan over the heat and pour in the milk, add the butter and the English mustard. Get your potato masher and mash away until the potatoes are fluffy and creamy.

Drain your peas and serve everything in a bowl. Read a good book while you eat, I beseech you—I recommend losing yourself in the world of Harry Potter.

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