Mushy Peas on Toast

mushy peas on toast

Before you say anything, try it.  I know it looks decidedly vibrant and slightly unctuous, but you have to trust me when I say that warmed, tinned mushy peas on toast with a sprinkling of black pepper and a drizzle of mint sauce is one of the most comforting foods you could possibly wish to eat.

Obviously this comes with the caveat that you must love all the various ingredients in order to even attempt to put them together.  ‘It’s ok,’ doesn’t cut the mustard in this particular case.

However, if you have ticked all the criteria, then try you must, as there is something absolutely outstanding about this combination which will make you wonder why it hasn’t been in your life earlier.  A perfect lunch, a wonderful afternoon snack, and suppertime just will not be the same again.

The other thing in it’s favour is the speed with which it delivers.  For me, at the moment, this is crucial.  I am, as some of you may be aware, not a fan of the bought sandwich, which flops, unenthusiastically out of it’s packet like a wet dog’s ear, although I understand completely why it is so popular amongst the busy.

That said, barring the odd occasion where needs must, I just cannot bring myself to dine on the mass produced, cold, and unfulfilling.  However, if you sashay to the left, just a little, in your thought process, the light bite medium that the sandwich has dominated for so long can be easily replaced by something much more enjoyable.

Invariably, but not exclusively, on toast.

Meanwhile this week’s shenanigans have flown by.  The highlight?  My wee boy became a knight.  Oh yes.  In the glorious place he attends, along with his two friends, they held a ceremony with a story created just for them, telling about their heroic actions in order to help others, culminating in them all being deigned worthy of being knighted with the wooden swords they had spent months making.  I cannot tell you just how much this makes my heart glow from the inside out.  Every nuance of translation touches my soul, but perhaps it is the mantra they were asked to learn which transcends into everyday life the most.

I have strength and courage

to do what is right,

To protect those in need,

For I am a knight

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Pilchard and Parmesan on Toast

pilchard and parmesan on toast

Pilchard are, in my experience, one of those love ’em or loath ’em foods.  I’m in the category of loving them.  Although I am also very swayed by the fabulous design of most pilchard tins.  Especially the small round ones.

What’s that you say, style over content?  Yep, that’s me.  Although in this particular instance I would argue that pilchards are stylish and full of goodness.  Hmmmm, not sure anyone’s ever described pilchards as stylish.  Of course, I mean the tin…

Anyway, my favourite pilchards are the ones in tomato sauce which always look so colourful.  However, I completely understand those who are a little averse to these gems of health.  They do contain quite a few small bones, and the smell when you first open the tin can be overwhelming.

To overcome the mini bones, I always mash the pilchards up in a bowl before spreading them onto the toast.  I often pop a little crushed black pepper in there as well, but never salt as, for me, it makes them taste too salty and I end up drinking even more copious mugs of tea than usual, for the rest of the day.

I overcome the smell by opening the tin at a distance.

Toast one side of the bread, turn and smooth the mashed pilchard mix over the top of the non toasted side.  Place back under the grill.  Once the pilchards have been warmed I grate a little parmesan cheese on top.  You could, if you prefer, grate cheddar cheese on top, although for me, it can become a little too greasy.

Meanwhile June is turning out to be quite the busy month.  Birthdays, parties, fairs, duck races, picnics… busy, busy, busy.

I love June.

Sardines

Sardine tin

In my non- sandwich lunchtime quest, I consider many options prior to choosing what I will have to eat.  To be honest, it’s a wonder I manage to get anything else done at all as it is quite a preoccupation, let me tell you.  And today has been no exception.

Thankfully, I was inadvertently diverted to the tinned section of the supermarket and at last, found what I was looking for.  Unlike U2. (little musical pun there for anyone who’s interested) Moving on.

Now I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love the packaging of tinned fish. Especially those rectangular size tins with the ring pull.  There is just something so visually satisfying about the whole thing.  The font size, the picture, the shine… I’m also drawn to the feeling of history they seem to emit, as though they have been stored for a very long time, but, due to their marvellous packaging, they will not fail to delight when released from the tin.

And so it turns out to be.  Moreover, isn’t it bonkers how sardines really do seem to expand when you take them out of the tin?  Talk about packing them in…

Back to lunch.  Sardines on toast.  Simple, but delicious.  Now then, those of you like me, who are enamoured with the packaging of tinned fish will know that the classics come in tomato sauce or sunflower oil.  I always plump for the ones in tomato sauce when plopping them on toast because I like to add a couple of bits to give it a ‘je ne sais quoi’.

Also, they do it on the telly and it always looks impressive.  Not that we have a working telly anymore.  I’m hoping for the leaves to fall from next door but one’s trees soon so that I can re-engage with the television.  At the moment we have become the epitome of  the 1950’s.  Himself serenades me on the piano, and I have taken up knitting, which is wonderful, but…  It’s starting to get dark earlier, everything takes a little more time to spring into action, and at the end of the day it is getting a little easier to sit, slightly dribbling, on the settee for many more hours than you imagined possible.  But that’s a whole other story.

Anyway, where were we?  Oh yes… Having had the immense pleasure of opening the tin, put one slice of bread under the grill to toast and pop the sardines and sauce into a bowl.  Add salt, pepper, chilli flakes and a splash of vinegar in with the sardines, give them a mash up and plonk on the non toasted side of the bread.  Put back under the grill until the sardines are slightly bubbling.

Make a cup of tea.  Enjoy.

Tea and Toast

photo (59)

 

One of my favourite snacks is tea and toast.  It fulfils so many areas that a snack should.  It’s quick, comforting, filling, tasty, adaptable, warming, welcoming… I could go on.  But probably the thing I love about it most of all as a combination, is the emotional satisfaction it gives, every time.

So today the wee boy and I are cleaning.  We’re not just doing  ‘a quick flick around with the hoover’ as my mum used to say, oh no.  Today we are full on, no nonsense proper taking things out and putting them back, cleaning.

Every time I bring myself round to doing this most laborious of tasks, I reprimand myself at the lackadaisical attitude I have which has caused the unseemly fug surrounding all surfaces close to the cooker.  Well, not all, but those things like the ceiling and the lampshade.  As a consequence of not doing a regular wipe round I have to put a huge amount of effort into getting things to have the ‘tv sparkle’ I’m looking for.  Although in all honesty, I have never quite achieved that look.  However.

We have, so far, accomplished a complete clear out of the herbs, spices, oils, vinegars and unknown others cupboard and deep cleaned around the cooker. I say we, what I mean is I have done that and the wee boy has re-enacted many scenes from Star Wars.  Details aside, we took a break and indulged in the wonders of tea and toast.  Actually, the wee one enjoys a splash of honey on his, I am happy either way.  Satisfied and replete, it is now time to move on to the next job.

I think I’ll just make another cup of tea first though…