Diary and Notes
There's an old sketch by Benny Hill that goes something like this:
Three old giffers are sitting in leather chairs in what seems to be a posh Gentleman's club. They are sipping brandy, smoking cigars and talking of old times.
First old man: "I think it's spelt W.O.O.M.!"
The second old man shakes his head in disagreement: "No no old boy, I say it's pronounced W.H.O.O.M. and then loudly calls out whoo-oom"
Third man: "No no, come on now, surely it's W.H.O.O.O.M.B." and waves his arms in a very big way shouting "Whooo-oooooomb".
A woman who is serving them drinks is disgusted by their ignorance and storms over and breaks in indignantely: "I think you'll find it's spelt W.O.M.B." then turns in a rather smug manner and struts away. The three look at each other shocked and for a moment say nothing then the first man breaks the silence:
"Do you know, I don't think she's ever even heard an elephant farting!"
I'm not really sure if that has much to do with today's dinner, but it's an old gem which I was reminded of by what I was eating, so I thought I'd put it in.
There is a town in Somerset called Froom (pronounced Froom - which is why I was reminded of the sketch) that many years ago used to have an excellent Italian restaurant. Alongside the usual spaghetti, lasagne, biscotti and insalata they had a dish on the menu that I'd never had before nor ever seen in an Italian restaurant again - eggs Neapolitan. Eggs served on a spicy tomato sauce with cheese, quite superb.
I've found another web site that has a recipe for these tasty delights
The FoodMaven.com which calls them eggs in purgatory. I think my recipe is better than his however, though it's a bit more effort and expense (of course).
I was also lucky to have some fresh oregano and basil in my fridge just waiting for an excuse to be used. Delicious, absolutely delicious.
A Mr. Kipling Victoria Slice: It was late and the only place to buy a cake was a corner shop.
Crusty Granary Bread and Butter
Olive oil, onions, garlic, chilli flakes, bacon, plum tomatoes (I had some really top notch Italian canned tomatoes in a really thick sauce - don't ruin this excellent dish with poor tomatoes), tomato puree, white wine vinegar, sugar, fresh basil, fresh oregano, black pepper, salt, eggs (and don't use battery farmed eggs for that matter, this isn't an expensive dinner, so buy some good ones), mature Cheddar cheese, black olives, red peppers, fresh Parmesan cheese
Tomato Sauce: Finely dice the onions and mince the garlic. Sweat them together in a little oil until soft. Add the chopped baconand chilli and cook a little longer. Roughly chop the tomatoes (removing the green stalky bits) and add to the pan, add a large squirt of tomato puree, a pinch or two of sugar, a dash of wine vinegar and some salt & pepper. Stir and add enough water to make a thick sauce. Put the lid on and simmer gently for an hour (at least), stir in loads of fresh chopped basil and oregano.
Assembly: Place a thick layer of the tomato sauce in a dish and put the dish in the oven. When the sauce is really hot make dimple in it and crack eggs into the dimples. Cover everything with grated Cheddar cheese, sprinkle on some chopped peppers and a few chopped olive. Put back into the oven for 10 minutes. When ready the egg whites should just be cooked and the yolks still perfectly runny. Sprinkle on some grated parmesan and eat with bread and a smile.