john van de ruit

distracted. This gathered many of the local hounds to the garden outside and a terrible dog fight ensued while my parents had a dessert of cheese and crackers.
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Marg’s Toasties sliced brown bread plenty of grated cheese (there can never be too much) sliced tomatoes dried oreganum salt and pepper

john van de ruit Author

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ith all due respect to my wonderful mother, Ros, I have no good food memories associated with her cooking. She would freely admit to this prodigious lack of talent in the kitchen arena, and is the only person, to my knowledge, who has thrice succeeded in burning boiled potatoes. I must have been the only sucker who thought boarding-school grub was delicious. My father, who I miss dearly, often told a hilarious story about his first date with my mother. The meatballs she made (out of corned beef) were so unappealing that he surreptitiously lobbed them out the window whenever my mother was distracted. This gathered many of the local hounds to the garden outside and a terrible dog fight ensued while my parents had a dessert of cheese and crackers. Now that I think about it, it’s a miracle that I’m sitting here writing these words. A food memory that does linger, however, is of the legendary Marg’s toasties. We used to spend holidays fishing and adventuring with our family friends, the notorious Embertons from Entumeni. Their farm and its surrounds made for a splendid place for a youngster to allow himself and his imagination to run mad. It was always on the final night of these holidays that Marg would make her famous toasties. The aroma, the crunch, the farmhouse familiarity was such a comfort that they softened the blow of the end of another holiday. Highly recommended for Sunday evenings, the farmhouse cheesy toastie is a delicious taste of bygone days, otherwise known as my youth. Try one, and when you do, give thanks to Marg who made them beautifully. Oh yes, a good appetite is an essential ingredient – post fishing is the best!

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Preheat the oven to 180°C (but if you are starving make the oven hotter). Toast the bread for a few minutes, then remove from the oven. Add the cheese (generously), tomatoes and seasoning. Return to the oven for 20–25 minutes, or until crunchy. Slice them diagonally – Marg’s tradition – and season again if necessary. Enjoy!