Apologies for my slightly lacklustre performance recently. I’ve been horridly busy going up and down between Oxford and Liverpool, selling cheese to the world and nipping in and out of the kitchen. I have a huge pile of recipes waiting to be written up but finding the time is sometimes a challenge but I didn’t want you to think you were less of a priority to me. In fact, quite the opposite. I’ve always been a bit unsure if ‘blogging’ was for me but the more time I spend writing this, the more I love it and the more proud I become of it. There are so many food blogs on the internet and I read as many as I can and I’m always astounded by how creative and clever people but I always worry that as with all things popular, it may be saturated. I did wonder, for a while, of hanging up the wooden spoon but with every day and with every charming comment, either in the comments section here, on twitter or by email, I am more determined to carry on finding more recipes that interest me or that I think may be of use to you.
This blogging business can also be a real comfort at times. I love to write, I always have. Whether the writing is an essay about modern history or literature, a handwritten letter, my own many finished and half finished novels (!) or writing about scones, there’s a real joy in producing something you’re proud of and writing about something you love. Life at the moment is full of twists and turns and I’m not sure where I shall be next or what the next step is, meaning I may be sporadic in updating this, but please know that I will update and I want to update and I look forward to updating and I’m extremely grateful for the kind feedback.
Oh, I hope that wasn’t too sentimental!
Sunday lunchtimes are probably my favourite part of the whole week, before that weariness of a Sunday afternoon, and the tiresome inevitability of work the next day, sinks in. I love that pile of Sunday papers waiting to be read and that there’s often a great childrens’ film on.
Sunday lunchtimes since I can remember have either been a feast or a lazy snack before eating later in the day. Often we would have a tomato sandwich whilst watching the Grand Prix. If you’ve never had a tomato sandwich, you should. My mother is the queen of Sunday sandwiches. She does a mean cucumber sandwich too. Tomato sandwiches are very simple and people get quite distressed at the lack of star player e.g. the ham, the cheese, the cold roast chicken, but you needn’t worry the tomato comes out from the wings and it shines! White bread, fairly firm and thinly sliced, salty butter, sliced ripe tomatoes and lashings of salt and pepper, try it – you won’t be disappointed!
Sometimes, you need something more substantial on a Sunday afternoon and there’s nothing that hits the spot quite like a steak sandwich. I like my steak as rare as possible. I remember being small and being told to ask for it rare enough ‘that it would take a good vet an hour to get it back on its feet’. I love that expression! Steak sandwiches were a regular fixture of weekends with my Dad when Mum was at work. You don’t need many accessories in a steak sandwich, I like a charred little onion, a smear of hot mustard and sometimes something a little exciting like a clove or two of roasted garlic or perhaps a flat roasted mushroom or some blue cheese.
It’s not really something you need a recipe for but I have popped a sort of recipe below:
Sunday Steak Sandwich
- a steak (I used rump because that’s what I had but anything good, thick, marbled and, very importantly, British), a crusty baguette or ciabatta, some sliced white onion, 3 small slices of cambozola cheese, salt and pepper, english mustard, olive oil
- take a frying pan and heat it so that it’s super hot, add a glug of olive oil and throw in your onions and your seasoned steak. Don’t be tempted to poke the steak too much but watch until you can see the outside colours up to the middle of the steak (you will notice the colour turn up the side) and then turn. Cook for about 4 minutes for rare, 6 or 7 for medium, 10 for well done.
- Slice open your bread and layer the blue cheese along one side. Smear the other side with some of the mustard.
- When the steak is cooked to your liking, slice thinly and layer within the bread. Squeeze shut and slice into two.
I used Shaken Oak’s ‘Hot and Smooth Mustard’ in my sandwich, it’s like Colman’s English Mustard but has a more subtle flavour and even better is made locally. I really recommend it if you see it at farmers’ markets or elsewhere. They also make the most wonderful dressings and other mustards. You can buy online too, so do! http://www.shakenoak.co.uk/index.html