Monday, 8 November 2010

House Fairies, Fireworks and cheese on Toast!

We have three fairies living with us.  Ms Sock Fairy lives in the washing machine and only ever steals one of each pair.  I figure she is either one-legged or quirky enough to like wearing odd socks.  She must have moved here with me as he-who knows- about- such- things never had a problem before I arrived with my washing machine! Then there is Ms Plastic Lid Fairy.  No matter how many times we sort out our plastic container box you can guarantee within a month the occasion arises when I’ve just put the leftovers in a plastic container ready to go in to the fridge and the lid is missing – but of course only the lid for that container.  I’m convinced that this  fairy lives in a very snowy landscape and enjoys plastic lid sledging so much she needs to constantly replenish her supply. Our third fairy is particularly active at the moment. She is Ms  Procrastination Fairy and has been stealing my motivation for college work all week.  I decided to tell you about her in the hope that all the publicity would placate her enough to encourage her to go away and bug someone else for a while!

That naughty last fairy has sent me some lovely distractions this week. One of my favourites was  the fireworks display at Blackheath last night.  Every year we wrap up warmly and fuelled by large bowls of thick vegetable soup, walk the mile or so up to the Heath.  The crowds get thicker the closer we get. Normally I avoid such large gatherings but this one is always friendly and accommodating.  As we wait, children  play with sparklers and glow sticks, others  visit the stalls and food stands and everyone seems happy to chat to strangers around them. As the tinny music fades the countdown is announced.  The crowd roars out the numbers – 10….9…8..down to  ‘zero’ and  the first rocket explodes, showering the darkness with its brilliance. It is followed by 40 minutes of noise and colour assaulting the senses with pure delight.  The crowd is silent apart from the oohs and ahhs accompanying the many  spectacular moments.  As the last shower of sparks disappears the crowd breaks into applause.  With our visual appetites satisfied we begin the walk back, the smell of the chemicals lingering in the air  and the memory of such beauty still so fresh – a huge friendly crowd dispersing into the night. We walked back with three friends who stayed to share a late meal – rounding off a perfect autumnal celebration.

Now it’s time to banish that fairy and get on with my work …. but not until I share one of my favourite family cold weather foodie treats with you  - perfect for those study breaks- or dare I say it – when you need one more thing to stop you getting started!

Alice’s Family’s Welsh Rarebit  (or posh Cheese on toast)
For two people


Grated cheese – about a handful per person – I like strong cheddar – the stronger the better but just choose your fave*
Teaspoon of mustard – I like Strong English but use whatever you fancy*.
1 egg*
A little milk*
Pepper and salt and herb to taste*
Worcestershire sauce*
4 slices of bread*


Turn on the grill . While it is heating mix the * ingredients together with a fork. Use enough milk to make the mixture a little bit runny but not too sloppy or it will fall off the bread. Toast the bread and sprinkle it with Worcerstershire sauce.  Spread the mixture over the toast and grill it until it is browned on top and the mixture firms up.  Then – enjoy!!

Some variations:
Try sliced tomatoes under the cheesy mixture.
To make it spicier add paprika or cayenne – not too much though!!
Basil or parsley is yummy in the mix.

Why not try it then let me know what you think! If you have more ideas on variations I’d love to try them.  Now, no more excuses – time to get down and write that case discussion ready for next week – aaaahhhh!

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