Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I am many, many things, but a culinary wizard is not one of them. Part of that can be placed squarely at the door of chronic illness - the way that "chop one onion" is for me not a quick aside in the flow of a recipe, but a hazardous undertaking that will require a sit down, a rest, and possibly a couple of sticky plasters - but even before I got ill, I would have a good swear at cookery books and online recipes. What is a "ricer"? Why do you assume I have fresh garlic in the house? If I'm "cooking until golden brown", what time should I put the vegetables on? Couldn't you have mentioned that the oven needs pre-heating before the "now put it all in the oven" stage?

So instead, I've focused on perfecting simple dishes. I am pleased to announce my latest accomplishment: Hot Buttered Toast And A Cup Of Tea.

You will need:

for the toast
two slices of Bread
a Butterknife
a Small Plate

for the tea
a Teabag
Milk and Sugar if you want them
a Cup
a Teaspoon

In addition you will require a fridge (or other means of keeping perishable dairy items chilled), a toaster (or other means of toasting bread) and a kettle (or other means of making water boiling hot). And an appropriate power source for these pieces of equipment, although possibly this is getting a little extreme for the planning...

Step One: Make the tea. While I acknowledge and respect the many regional variations on this theme, I tend to go for swilling a bit of hot water around the cup, chucking the water out, then dropping a teabag and two teaspoons of sugar into the cup before almost-filling it with hot water. Give it a stir, let it brew for a minute, then remove the teabag and add a splash of milk. One last stir, and it's done.

Top Tip: throw the water away down the sink, and throw the teabag away into the bin. The other way around doesn't work so well.

Step two: Prepare the butter. Now this is what's usually the problem. Leave butter out of the fridge, it doesn't keep properly, keep it in the fridge, it's rock solid. So what you do is:
  • Remove the butter from the fridge. Put the milk back in, while you're at it. Neatness is a virtue.

  • Using the butterknife, cut two slices of butter from the block, each about 2mm or 3mm thick.

  • Place the slices of butter on the sideplate.

and then the trick at the crux of the whole procedure:
  • Balance the plate on top of the hot cup of tea.

Leave it there for a couple of minutes while toasting your bread. This will be sufficient to warm the butter (so that it's spreadable but not melting) and also to warm the plate (so that your hot toast doesn't become cold toast after being on the plate for ten seconds).

When the toast is done, remove the plate from the top of the cup. Use the butterknife to transfer one warm pat of butter to each slice of toast, and spread. Cut the toast into your preferred shape.

Eat. Drink. Be happy. Leave the marinades to the experts.


Carie @ Space for the Butterflies said...

That's brilliant - I am wildly impressed by the idea of putting your butter over your cup of tea to warm it up - I'll have to try that one out on the husband :)

Mandy said...

On my travels around the internet (and you know how they can lead far and wide) I came across this video and I thought to myself, there is only one person who will really appreciate this :)

It certainly put a new light onto stroopwaffles for me and I May (strike that) Will have to buy some, just for testing purposes you understand. *wink*

Anonymous said...

Hi, Rebecca from knitting here. Blog not yet in existence.

Have you hear about a butter bell?

I like Real Butter, but it is a hassle to have it spreadable. It wrecks your toast if it is too hard, and then the Marmite aflls through.

By keeping your butter in a butter bell it stays soft enough to be spreadable, and lasts about a week out of the fridge because of the water seal.

Take care!


Mary said...

Butter bells.