Monday, 4 June 2007

Toast & Top Hats
As a child breakfast consisted of cereal, milk and sugar. That is, real milk - from Channel Island cows - not the white water which currently masquerades as milk. I recently bought some 'Gold Top' milk in a supermarket trying to recapture the taste of my youth but was perplexed that the label proclaimed only 4% fat. The point of Channel Island milk was the richness of its cream which is hardly achieved by restricting the fat content! I suppose if I look hard enough I shall find low fat dripping and lite suet. Ugh!! When we visited our cousins in Derby we encountered a strange product called Sterilized milk. This homogenised and creamy flavoured milk is still available in its distinctive bottle with the Crown Cork closure. Whilst the cousins benefited from the egalitarian creaminess they never had the experience of opening a new bottle of real milk and, by very careful pouring, depositing an unfair share of the cream on their cornflakes. Nor did their bottles develop a top hat in the winter when the frozen cream would rise out out of the bottle by about two inches pushing the gold top up with it. Sometimes on a Sunday Dad would make rasher sandwiches liberally sprinkled with vinegar and pepper. But for some reason we never had toast. This was a mystery to me until we visited the cousins. Here I discovered that the technique practised by Aunty Dot was to toast the bread under the grill until it was black and then take it into the back yard and scrape the black off with a bone-handled knife. Not until I left home did I discover that toast could be produced with less effort by removing it before it burnt.
Over the past few days we have met each of the cousins again and in the process started the BBQ season.

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