Life Food & Drink

Sunday 21 September 2014

Hold the baby - and reach for some melted cheese

When a pregnancy scare strikes, Sophie White claims this calls for not one but two types of melted cheese

Published 14/07/2014 | 02:30

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Rarebit sandwich.
Rarebit sandwich.

Every now and then in a relationship, somebody does something stupid - crashes the car or buys a fancy jar of cocoa nibs for €18.95, you know the way - and, until the other person counters with something really, really stupid, there is an imbalance.

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Essentially, one has to lie low and bite their tongue, until the other commits a reciprocal deed of untold foolishness, and the playing field is even once more. In our house, we call this The Leveller.

Some time ago, I committed an act of profound stupidity and have been paying the price ever since. No more was I permitted to complain about bikes left in our very narrow hallway. Coffee stains on the upstairs carpet had to go uncommented upon. Day and night, this bad behaviour had to be tolerated because, some months back, I'd committed an unforgivable blunder.

I had gone to my lady doctor for a routine post-Yer-Man check, and discovered, to my horror, that I had been taking my new contraceptive pill incorrectly. When the doctor heard me mention that I was on my "break week", she quickly informed me that the pill I was taking had no "break week".

I immediately started crying hysterically, protesting that "all pills had a break week". I left feeling sick and praying it was only from nerves.

The first month of motherhood was unmitigated hell, and all that horror was still too fresh in my mind to even contemplate another baby.

Himself wasn't too impressed when he heard of my incompetence and, though I stressed that surely 
the humiliation of having to purchase the morning-after pill with your eight-week-old in tow was punishment enough, he didn't quite see it that way.

I was majorly on the back foot and Himself was getting away with murder - playing golf at least three times a week and eating toast in bed - and 
I couldn't say a word about it. I needed The Leveller and, at last, this week, he provided just that.

We've always lived dangerously regarding our van, because we only have one key. We had never gotten round to getting a spare, when Himself decided the one and only van key was the perfect instrument to employ to prise open a tin of paint.

The key snapped and household equilibrium has been restored.

So we can't drive anywhere, but at least it turns out I'm not preggers. For the nine days or so that I went around in a vortex of anxiety, waiting to do a pregnancy test, I decided to make the most of my hypothetical pregnancy and return to some cravings of my previous gestation.

Irishtown Rarebit

Serves 2.

You will need:

2 slices of white batch bread

1 egg yolk

60g (2½oz) soft goat's cheese

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

30g (1oz) Parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons good quality chilli jam

Preheat the grill so that it is nice and hot. Lightly toast the batch bread. Combine the egg yolk, the goat's cheese and the Dijon mustard, and divide the mixture between the pieces of toast.Spread it right to the edges to prevent the bread from burning while it grills.

Finely grate the Parmesan, sprinkle it on top and then drizzle about a teaspoon of the Worcestershire sauce over each piece of toast. Grill the rarebit for about 5 minutes, or until the Parmesan cheese is bubbling and golden. Serve with the chilli jam.

Sunday Independent

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