Thursday, 22 September 2011

Toasted Sangas

So, the talk turns to toasted sandwiches. 'Can your fiancé cook?' I ask my dear friend Noo. She collapses in hysterical laughter. 'No, he puts funny ingredients in things. Like that time we were eating spaghetti Bolognese and I asked "what's that taste in this, I can't quite put my finger on it?"
"Oh, that's ginger" he said. We collapsed again into fits of laughter. 
"So, I said, just toasted sandwiches for him then?"
"Oh, no way, said Noo, I can't trust him with them!"
 We definitely agreed that there has to be that fine balance between crunchy and greasy outside, and it must have butter before it's toasted...not the cheap margarine slathered across the top after toasting - when you take a bite all you get is the taste of bad marg and cold toast. No, there is an art form to the humble toasted sandwich. The cheese must be oozing, but not too much, and if you have ham then it can't overpower the cheese. The bread needs to be thick enough to withstand those sandwich toasters that are like rock crushers. You don't want a pancake with plastic cheese, or a 'cardboard sandwich with blue tack,' as Louie and I later decided.
And the final touch? Salt and pepper on the outside! I have not tried this and am most excited about my next toastie, which I think I will make myself because I also like grainy mustard in mine, but not too much, just a tiny slither for that hint of taste.
No, there needs to be a fair amount of love put into making the perfect 'toastie', as with life, you take out the love and there is nothing. There is an emptiness, a bland taste and still the need to fill the lonely vaccumous void. I would love to hear your ‘toasted sandwiches’ creations, feel free to comment with them. Until then, enjoy!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Mother of the Year

8am Sunday morning and I wake with a start. Where have I been? Oh yes, in that wonderful, magical place dreamy world, where we cross borders and boundaries in the blink of an (R.E.M) eye. No rest for the sleepy however, we have to be at soccer training by 9.30am, it's a half hour drive away. I may be feeling a little under the weather. I may have had a couple of glasses of wine last night. It's possible.
We make it to soccer in time, little friend in tow. I sit in the warmth and safety of the car, desperately needing a cup of tea and some breakfast. I race up to 'Fishtales' cafe. I am rewarded with a perfect cup of tea, just sweet enough to satisfy the sugar gods and strong enough to really taste. The toasted ham & cheese sanga is that perfect mix of melted cheese erupting from the sides along with a crunchy yet soft outer. I sit watching the kids in the wind kicking the ball around. I'm in my own heaven of taste sensations and warm cosiness of the car. Safe.
The kids are not exhausted enough so off we head to 'Kaotic Kids' (I'm warned), an indoor playground. I manage nearly 2 hours, hunched over my paper where I can't even do the puzzles because my brain hurts, and my coffee that I can't drink because my tummy hurts! Other people's children. Need I say more? They're snotty, dirty, noisy and annoying. Oh dear... I try to protect my ears from the bad radio station, and huddle into myself because it's freezing in there. I finally extricate the boys from the pit of plastic balls. Ahhh back to the car, where it's warm. Next up is fish and chips back in Port Fairy. We attempt to eat them overlooking the wild ocean but the seagulls have called in their mates for a rave party and we retreat gracefully home.
A lazy afternoon lies ahead of me. More kids arrive and my dear friend Amy. We have cups of tea and rocky road slice while chatting about life, kids, food. The kids are roaring around us, I'm cocooned in my invisible shield that protects me on days like this. 
I decide on a new roast chicken recipe. Mixing together caramelised balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and soy I marinate the meat for an hour or so, then cook with veges. The smells are sensational. I get little man into the shower, wash off the days grime. His eyes are hanging out of his head. Finally, he is tired! I chat away to him as I slice the chicken, plate the veges, re-heat the juices. I'm not getting much of a response so I walk over to the chair and my little man has already gone to the dreamy world. He's crossed the divide between waking life and the deep peaceful land where we rest, recuperate and get ready for another action-packed day.
Sweet dreams.