Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Calming down to a panic

When, dear reader, did life get so hectic?

It happens when you're not looking. When you're putting out fires, trying to calm down to a panic and just catch up with yourself.

Between moving (and renovating) house, going to an overseas wedding, insane deadlines, visiting the family for Christmas and doing the Whale Trail over New Year, it feels as though I've been running about 10 paces behind my own life recently.

And the fallout, when I finally found myself standing still, was a sense of 'What the hell just happened? Where am I? Who am I? What is the point?'

Ahem, sorry to burden you with these inner cogitations, but I am sharing them by way of explaining my absence (because I know that you have put your life on hold, waiting for my next blog post, right?).

No. I guess I'm writing this post to myself.

Life really is too short to place greater importance on what you feel you aught to do, than what you really want (need) to do. The trick is finding the courage to actually do it.

I want to write more. And cook more. And that is what I am going to do, deadlines be damned. (Please hold me to that!)

I haven't done much in the way of cooking for quite some time, as you may or may not have gathered, but I would like to share this stupendously easy pre-dinner drinks snack with you, which went with our Christmas dinner. It is stunningly simple and quite delicious, and while it may not win any haute cuisine awards, it has a certain rustic charm. It is ideal as a quick throw-together for impromptu gatherings of family and/or friends.

Okay, I know, I know. It's just posh toasted cheese. But doesn't it look good?

Anchovy toasts
Take one small tin of anchovies in olive oil and two cloves garlic, crushed, and gently fry over a medium-low heat in about 150g butter, until the anchovies have melted. In the mean time, chop up a large handful of flat-leaf parsley and lightly toast about 8 slices sourdough bread. Cut each slice in half and brush with the anchovy butter, sprinkle with the parsley, and top with a thin layer of grated cheese, such as Parmesan, Grana Padano, Pecorino or, my current favourite, Auricchio. (Heck, in a pinch, even cheddar would still give a pretty delicious result.) Grill the toasts and serve.


  1. Oh yes.., that tap tap tapping noise was just me sitting in the corner thrumbing my fingers waiting for you to return.... hahahaa :) Sounds like you've had a busy one of it, but lovin' your anchovy toasts, just the thing to go down wine a chilled glass of the good stuff. Happy new Year 2011.

  2. Whooooooooooooooshhhhhhh! That's me letting out my baited breath! So glad you're back and blogging again... and I am in full agreement with you about committing to doing things and then actually doing them! 2011 is going to be a defining year for us all, I just know it. Those anchovy toasts look incredible, wish I had known about them as we have about 5 loaves of bread at New Year's that we struggled to do enough different things with! Happy 2011!

  3. Well it's about time! (Just kidding). Nothing beats the rustic, Italian scented charm you just described. Except perhaps a lovely Italian white wine along side it. Nicely done!

  4. Nice post and welcome back! We know exactly how you feel as we have been off the radar too, but will be getting back into this weekend. Those toasts look so amazing! Love the writing and happy 2011!

  5. haha i completely hear you about "calming down to a panic" :) sometimes the simple things are the most satisfying, and gives you extra time for the important things in life -- like spending time with dear friends! love your twist on garlic bread, thanks for sharing!

  6. Hi Robyn, you're absolutely right. Dreams without actions are just imaginations. One step at a time as they it. Happy New Year and wish some of your dreams come true for you this year :>)

  7. Sounds like your life is even more hectic than mine - but you are so right about spending more time doing the things we WANT to do rather than what we think we ought to be doing. I LOVE anything anchovy-related so these snacks (can we call them crostini??) have my name all over them!