Friday, March 22, 2013

Tea and Brown Sauce. Don't Bother.

Ever see that film Intermission?
Colm Meaney's in it.

There's a famous scene in it where three lads played by Cillian Murphy, Colin Farrell and Brían O'Byrne are sitting in a café having breakfast when Cillian Murphy's character requests some brown sauce, when the waitress duly obliges he proceeds to pour a generous amount of the sauce into his cup of tea where he's met with the eloquent response of "ya scummy fucker" from Colin Farrell's character.
O'Byrne's character then requests "a shot" of the sauce, says its delicious and so our Colin not wanting to miss out tries it in his own tea then drops the classic and much quoted line...
 "That's fuckin' delish man"

I, like every other soul upon witnessing this scene, had one basic thought manifest in my head...
"Nah, that couldn't be nice... Could it?"

I'm not a tea drinker. I have drank cups of tea, I just don't drink them on a regular basis. I don't understand people who get in from a hard day at the office and all they want is a cup of tea. Tea, in this sense being a standard cup with milk and no sugar, is something I find boring as shite.

I like sugar, I find a spoon of sugar improves the taste of tea.
I like honey, I also think it makes tea more palatable.
I have a similar feelings when it comes to the inclusion of whiskey or brandy to tea.

I also love Brown Sauce.

Which brings me to 3.30am this morning. Bored, wide awake and experiencing more than a little cabin fever 'that' scene from Intermission came into my brain. I should have told my brain to fuck off ya scummy fucker but in my mind I had nothing to lose.

In retrospect, I won't say my first mistake as there were many up to this point, my next mistake was putting milk into the tea.
The moment I poured the 'shot' of brown sauce, similar in proportion to that of the film, into the tea the milk had a reaction which I will only describe as horrific.
Serious curdling going on.

I should have aborted the mission right then and there and no one would have been any the wiser.
But no no, I decided to plough on.

I reassured myself with the knowledge that I would only have to take a sip, what harm could that do? The purpose of this exercise was not to see how I felt after drinking a full cup but solely to find out how it tasted.

I raised the cup to my mouth, placed my lips on the edge ( it's getting all Fifty Shades Of Tae in here... I'll get my coat) and took a sip...

It wasn't that bad. Not at all what I was expecting, kinda fruity, "I think I can manage another sip" I thought.

This second sip is where everything went to shit.
It was not fuckin' delish man.
I'll spare you the grotesqueness but I will say I have a new found familiarity with my kitchen sink and the dog, who had being sleeping at the time, isn't being friendly to me today.

A decent scientist would focus on the milk and the fact that it curdled, that I should re do the experiment with a cup of tea without milk. Yeah. I probably won't be doing that.

I'll leave it up to yourselves whether or not you want to give this 'a shot'...


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Pat The Baker 'Slimbos'

These cropped up on my radar about a month or so ago but my initial delight at how good they looked was scuppered by the 'Slimbo' label combined with a presumably low calorie content. Admittedly I had no idea how many calories a slice of bread should have but they only tend to draw your attention towards these things when there's very little of them. Turns out 100 is roughly the calorie content of a sneeze.
I hesitated to purchase them on these grounds on a number of occasions before finally making a move on them last week.

Right let's get down to brass tacks:
  • Pat markets these as 'tasty white bread squares'. He ain't lying. Tasty they are.
  • Topped with sesame and linseed? Yup. Give 'em to me. Delicious. There's also a couple of other varieties which I'm sure are just fine too.
  • Each square is about equivalent to one single small slice of bread.
  • Each square splits into two so the sandwich will basically contain half as much bread as normal, and thus half as much of those tasty bread carbs that help maintain my sanity.
  • If you are on a diet and have a modicum of self control this is a good thing. 
  • I am neither on a diet nor a possessor of a detectable amount of self control.
  • These are most definitely not marketed at the likes of me.

Upon initial inspection these things didn't look like they'd withstand the construction process of a normal sandwich, I felt a little reinforcing could be needed.

Rashers, rocket and cheese were on my agenda that evening and with the necessary strengthening of the bread in mind I decided to up the cheese stakes by doing a combination of, which is absolutely phenomenal, cream cheese topped with grated cheddar instead of any butter or mayonnaise. Prior to this I gave the 'Slimbos' about 30 seconds in the toaster just to give them an extra bit of back bone before spreading the comparatively stronger (to mayo/butter) cream cheese on top.

I have a rule which I like to pretend is real. That rule is the six rasher rule. Any more than that would be downright piggery. The truth is I haven't figured out a way to fit more than six rashers onto my grill and anyway there's usually 6 in the packs that I buy so I can stay on that high horse until one or both of those factors change.

I decided the six rashers split over three Slimbos would be the sensible way to go.

I threw the rashers under the grill, split the Slimbos in half and toasted them for 30 seconds each, spread each side with the cream cheese and sprinkled both generously with cheddar cheese.

Apologies for the shitty photo but what I did next was I heated up the oven and waited until the rashers were nearly done, at this stage I put the Slimbos into the oven so the cream and cheddar cheeses would melt together. This is where the magical cheese alchemy starts to happen, cream cheese and cheddar cheese are just fine but if you don't melt them  together you're not gonna have super cheese, and believe me you want super cheese. I find it helps to look into the oven window singing that Spice Girls jam '2 Become 1' just for a little bit of moral encouragement. A couple of minutes should do the trick, you don't want the cheese turning brown, just a nice warm melt will do.

Bam, out of the oven, I threw on plenty of rocket on one side of each Slimbo, put two rashers on each of the rocket piles and closed them over.

Delicious, I can not find any fault whatsoever in the taste of these, they're lovely and exactly what I'm after in a bread except for the lack of 'fillingness'.
I was not completely full after three of these and usually two (three) rasher sandwiches will have me stuffed.

I think doubling them in size would make them into something special, they'd have all the handiness and perfect proportions of normal slices of bread with the flavours and textures that come from a seeded roll...

Pat The Baker, my good friend, let me appeal to your good nature, please, pretty please with rashers on top, for all the people like me, you're onto a good thing, you can make it happen, let us walk into our local shops and see the shelves bending under the weight of your next revolutionary product...

Pat The Baker's FATSOS


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