Soul food

Woke up in a strange bed this morning and for a few seconds had no idea where I was. Turned out to be my parents’ spare room and the lovely smell wafting across the hall was one of my Dad’s famous full shebang breakfasts being rustled up. We’d been asked over for a curry/Chinese the night before to say thanks for having them over on Christmas and New Year days but I have to admit it was the promise of breakfast that was the deal clincher. Having my breakfast made for me is one of my favourite treats because it’s my least favourite meal to make. Even if it’s just a slice of toast and a cuppa it’s really appreciated but no one seems to realise how many Brownie points they’d get if they did it without me having to ask every now and again.

After lunch it was a trip to buy new school shoes for MiniHim then a big supermarket shop which just about broke the bank but I do feel a bit of a hunter/gatherer when the cupboards are full.

I finally relented and got an XBox Kinect just before Christmas and it’s taken HimIndoors this long to work out how to join XBox Live and download the free games that came in the bundle. Dance Central took five hours to download and at 3GB the broadband limit took a bit of a hammering. For the uninitiated you choose a track to dance to then follow the avatar throwing some shapes and get scores for accuracy. So far MiniMe and I have been the only ones in the house brave enough to try it and it’s only been the easy dances. We closed the blinds just in case the neighbours spotted us but I have to say it was a brilliant laugh and it may turn out to be my new way to get fit.

Dance Central got me in the groove just in time for my weekly soul and funk session with Craig Charles on Radio 6. If you’ve never tuned in before you can either listen live or catch it on the iPlayer. It’s perfect party music so all you need to do is move the furniture out the way, get the radio/iPlayer on and  you’ve got the best soul/funk DJ playing in your living room. It’s essential Saturday evening listening.


Today I learned:

  • food is definitely getting more expensive
  • I can still dance
  • Craig Charles is a national treasure and should get an OBE for services to soul and funk

Today’s recipe

Open ham, leek and cheese toastie


Serves 2 for dinner, 4 for lunch

I don’t measure and of this accurately so sometimes it’s gooier than others but it’s always delish! You can play about with the toppings, for example sausages cooked and halved lengthways instead of ham with a layer of chutney before you add the cheesy topping would work.


large knob of butter

1 leek, sliced

4-6 mushrooms, sliced

2 sprigs of thyme, destalked

2 dollops creme fraiche

2 handfuls of grated mature cheddar


4 slices sourdough bread

4 slices of good quality ham

Method: Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the leeks. Let them bubble till soft then add the mushrooms. Once cooked add the thyme leaves, creme fraiche, 1 handful of the cheese and pepper.

Once you’ve added the mushrooms toast the bread lightly on both sides under the grill. Put the ham on top of the toast then add spoon the leek and mushroom mixture on top. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and put back under the grill until bubbling and browning on top.

Serve with salad and a glass of chilled white wine.

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