Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


My best meal ever.

The best meal I ever ate, or should I say, the meal I remember most, was when I was like about four or five.

Well I wouldn't call it a meal as such.

It was a cheese sandwich.

I had been sick with some horrendous stomach bug that had kept me and my six siblings - no wait, when I was five I only had three siblings (I'm Mr Middle) - projectile vomiting for days.

My mother used to give us only flat lemonade until our stomachs settled down.

After 24 hours of flat lemonade, mine was fine and raring to go.

Lunchtime rolled around. The baker (who used to go door to door) had delivered a delicious still-slightly-warm unsliced high-tin white loaf - the kind with the bakery's name in raised lettering along the side of the loaf (how did they do that?) and that shiny, black, glazed top that was so incredibly nutty and yummy. I can still smell that bread.

My mother sliced it and smeared the slices with butter - yummy, creamy, salty.

Then she placed a generous slice of cheese on the butter and the other slice of bread on top.

Then a clean, sharp knife through the middle,holding it with the other hand so that the dough compressed ever so slightly.

I remember biting into that cheesy, buttery, doughy, heavenly sandwich with the black crust.

I've never forgotten it.

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