OT: Toasted Cheese etc. (LONG)

Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk
Thu Feb 3 13:03:52 EST 2000



I'll try and pull the Toasted cheese threads together - these messages are
multiplying rather fast...


Melissa:

>>> It's another night of not wanting to cook dinner.  I'm procrastinating
>>> furiously.  (And it's probably going to be the infamous processed cheese
>>> food product sandwiches again.  Did you know that, in addition to said item
>>> making the best grilled cheese sandwiches, the cheapest bread is also
>>> necessary?  This is because the more expensive bread is too dense to let the
>>> cheese melt properly before the bread is burned.  But I digress.)
>>
>>I've not tried grilling cheese sandwiches.  I prefer to grill the cheese
>>directly - toast the bread lightly, cover with cheese and put under the grill.
>>A good, low melting point cheese is advised - Morrison's, our local
supermarket,
>>sells a "Vintage English Cheddar" that makes an excellent toasting cheese.
>
> Yum.  So, a spreadable cheese, or one you slice?

One I slice.  I've never been too fond of spreadable cheeses - as a child I was
fed Kraft Dairylea, which is better than some, I think, but not the real thing.
(Is it co-incidence that Kraft seem to make all these fancy cheese products that
aren't any good?)

> When we make these sandwiches, we use our electric griddle.  Butter two
> slices of bread, place a slice of cheese between, flip over when the first
> slice of bread is nicely browned.  This way, you toast the bread and melt
> the cheese in a single step.  Real butter is essential.  It's also a good

I will admit that I long ago gave up keeping butter in the house - an attempt to
control my girth (far more worrying than my weight!).  The ingredients are
bread, cheese.  What could be simpler?

> idea to eat them before they get soggy, of course.  The griddle is large
> enough to cook eight sandwiches at a time, though it's started breaking down
> so the heat doesn't spread evenly across the entire surface.  Of course, you
> can do this with any size frying pan or skillet.  I've also used my toaster
> oven when I just want one sandwich for myself; it's a little soggier that
> way, but still good.  (Jacob is the one who taught me the butter-the-bread
> method, but he would drink cream from the jug if he was allowed.)

A griddle that will take eight sandwiches?  That is definitely bigger than
anything I've seen over here.

Besides, even if I could fit more than 2 slices under the grill (I think at a
pinch it could do three, and two half-slices, but they'd be very close together)
they'd go soggy before I could eat them, so I'm happy with my small, British
cooker, thank you!

> (Is it true that appliances in the UK and Europe are generally smaller than
> those in the US?  This is just something I've noticed here and there, in
> watching TV shows.  Like on "As Time Goes By" they have this teeny little
> refrigerator that fits under the countertop, but mine is a 21 cubic foot
> monster that will easily accommodate eight gallon jugs of milk on the top
> shelf.)

My parents had a fridge like yours for well over 20 years, but this was
exceptional - we found it in a house we bought, and we think it dated from the
days when the house was a village shop (store).

I would estimate that my fridge could fit inside yours if you took the shelves
out.  It is not an under-the-worktop model, since it incorporates a real
freezer, and that would be just too small, but it stands only 5ft tall... even
allowing for your gallons being smaller than ours, I don't think I've ever seen
an 8-gallon jug of milk - or do you mean eight 1-gallon jugs?  I buy four UK
pints at a go and that lasts me nearly a week.


Kylie:

> I'd recommend a jaffle iron.  It squishes the bread together like a toasted
> sandwich maker and has a big long handle, becuase it is meant to be put in
> the flames (a gas burner or wood).  We used one camping last month and it
> made some delicious sandwiches.  A bit black, but that's part of the fun!

Sounds great fun!

> And for under the grill I love cheese on toast with bacon.  But only with
> the secret ingredient!  Which is just a touch of Vegemite on the bread.

I will have to try that.  Bread, Marmite, cheese, bacon.  (Mental shopping list)

> For more traditional cheese sandwiched done in a frying pan, my Mum taught
> me to butter the bread - but on the outside of the sandwich - stops it
> sticking.

I use that in the sandwich toaster, but...

Frying pan?  I don't have one of those in my house!  Anything that might be
fried is grilled instead... (Not tried grilling eggs, though)


Melissa again, quoting (?) Elise:

>>   But to return, bagels are certainly a great grilled cheese option,
>>but my current experiments would overflow the bagel too much.
>
> My favorite bagel recipe is lightly toasted, thickly spread with cream
> cheese and topped with tomatoes (and a light sprinkling of pepper and salt).
> This is adapted from Madeleine L'engle's _A Wrinkle in Time_ where they eat
> tomato and cream cheese sandwiches--I find that bagels are hardier than
> bread when it comes to spreading not-quite-softened cream cheese.

Bagels.  Hmm.  When I encountered them first in New York 2 years ago, I had
never seen them in England at all.  They are now beginning to gain popularity,
and Morrison's even sell that most American of breads, the English Muffin!

> I think there might be one brownie left in the pan upstairs....

Those we do have, but we generally call them "chocolate brownies" rather than
(as I understand the US term to be) "fudge brownies", since fudge doesn't imply
chocolate in the UK to the same extent it does in the US

> I just thought of an on-topic related idea.  In _A Sudden Wild Magic_,
> there's that scene where the baby won't eat anything, until they come up
> with the idea of making him a jam sandwich.  The ensuing conversation is all
> about the different names the men have for this concoction--can't remember
> specifically the names, but it got me thinking, as I wrote about brownies,
> if there are common dishes that have different names in different parts of
> the world.  Or--no, of course there are, I know that, but I mean other than
> the well-known ones like chips/fries and biscuits/cookies and so forth.  We
> could go on and on about scones, for example--one of the projects in a
> linguistics class I took was about regional names for the food item Utahns
> call a scone, which is nothing like the ones you have in Britain or in the
> rest of the US for that matter.  I wasn't in that group, but I remember the
> results were fascinating:  Indian frybread, sopaipillas, etc....

Hmm.  FWIW, I don't think I've met the term Slather outside SWM, but Buttie is
common in the north of England.

Scone - with at least two pronunciations (long and short O) seems to have
differing meanings.  In some northern chipshops, a "scone" served with your
chips is a lump of batter, deep fried.  Elsewhere it seems to be the usual bun
made out of something between bread and pastry in consistency.

Also known in Britain is the Drop Scone.  This is a thicker-than-pancake batter
mix, cooked in the same way as a pancake, but usually smaller, say 4 in
diameter.  These are then served up as if they were bread, and you butter them
and spread them with jam or whatever.

Another local name that might catch people out: what is a "cob"?  For that
matter, what is a "bap"?

Answer:  Both are bread rolls.  Cob, in central England, seems to mean any loaf
cooked on a flat sheet not in a tin, and by extension, any bread roll.  Bap, in
southern England, seems to mean a bread roll, especially one that is an
ellipsoid of rotation about the minor axis.  Um, I mean one that is round but
not very tall, rather than one that is long and thin.

I can't think of any more same food, different name examples, but I have one
more same name, different food example that caught me out in Germany.  In
England (and I expect in US as well) "Pepperoni" as a pizza ingredient means a
sort of peppery Italian saussage, thinly sliced.  In Germany, it seems to meen a
sort of very hot green pepper...


Hallie:

> All this cannot be truly irrelevant, though, as anyone who had lived in a
> house with toilets that boiled(*), and rising damp(**), as DWJ has, would
> have to be interested in plumbing, and any appliances related thereto!
>
> (*)  Never experienced this myself.  Sounds terrifying.

This almost happened.  Thermostat in our water heater failed.  Water boiled, and
the vent on top of the tank of course fed it back to the cold water tank in the
loft.  Result, hot water to flush all the loos with...


Gosh, what a long message.  Perhaps I'd better stop.

Philip.





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