Friday, July 2, 2010


So while we're on the subject of (unhealthy) food, I gained a lot of weight when I met John.  That's because, as an American newly introduced to the wonders of English tea (with milk), chocolate covered digestive biscuits (I went through approximately 1 1/2 tubes per week ... normal people go through about 1/3 of a pack in one week, if that) and British puddings from the St. Catherine's College dining hall (formally referred to as simply "hall"), I was a little ... enthusiastic with my food.

Anyways, when I met John (fittingly, stuffing my face across a dining table in hall), I was in the middle of quite the overeating breakfast routine.  Every morning, I'd saunter into the Catz JCR and proceed to order the following:  one banana and toffee muffin (muffin as in, like, the big calorific kind you get from Starbucks - not to be confused by the savory "English muffin"), one cup of milky English tea and one cheese toastie.

Yup, the American spellcheck on Blogger just flagged up the word "toastie".  'That's just a grilled cheese sandwich,' you say (or rather, sniff, haughtily).   Oh no.  It's not "just" a grilled cheese sandwich.  It's so much more.  There's the ceremonious sprinkling and stuffing of grated - yes, grated, not sliced - cheese between two slices of Warburtons (or Kingsmill, depending on your allegiance), plus the addition of ham or tomato, if you so wish.  But for breakfast, I had cheese.  Can we say artery-clogging disaster?  Then there's the wonderful toastie makers that keep all the loose pieces of cheese in so any danger of fire or burnt pieces of cheese is made improbable.  Then there's the wondrous way it's served - sliced diagonally (never horizontally) and placed squarely in the middle of a plate, with absolutely no garnish at all, with most of the cheese melted but some pieces flaking onto the plate as you lift it to your mouth (clearly, I overanalyze my moments of food consumption).

Like grilled cheese sandwiches, toasties are a great comfort food.  And last weekend, when we stopped off in Leicester for a break before heading on to London, I peered into Alison's fridge for some lunch (I'm polite like that - making myself too at home).  "Jaime, would you like to make a cheese toastie?" she asked.  She handed me a vegetable peeler and a hunk of mature cheddar.  "I just bought these toastie bags from Aldi, so just pop it into a bag when you're finished and put it in the toaster."  I was suitably amazed.  Reusable toastie bags?  Yes, please.  And they worked.  Really well.  So I asked her to please purchase a pack of toastie bags for me the next time she was in Aldi and I would repay her when we next met.

But that's not Alison's style.  No, instead, she purchased two sets of bags and sent them to me via Royal Mail, in a neat envelope addressed to me in her signature cursive writing, along with a lovely handwritten card of a pen and ink study by George Ernest Airey of Ripon - which all arrived in today's post.  What a way to make my Friday.

I just might re-live my Oxford mornings this weekend.  Thank you, Alison.

No comments

Post a Comment

© angloyankophile

This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services - Click here for information.

Blogger Template Created by pipdig