One of my favourite snacks when I lived in Australia were cheese scrolls from the local bakery. In fact, as a child of parents who ran a busy Vietnamese bakery, I often lived for the moment when the cheese scrolls came fresh out of the oven. Even better when there were onions in the mixture. My parents also made pizza scrolls as a variation, but I had a soft spot for just the plain cheese version. So when I came across this recipe for Three Cheese Bread in Rachel Allen’s latest cookbook, Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen, I knew I had to make it soon.
Strangely, I have always associated blueberries with muffins. And pancakes. Of course, you can eat them just as they are, as nature intended, but I’m sure most of us are more acquainted with blueberries in cakes and bakes.
It is often observed in the Vietnamese culture, and also amongst other Asian groups, that a typical greeting when you see someone is not “Hi, how are you?” but, rather, “Hi, have you eaten yet?”
Even when my mother calls me, if she’s not asking me first what the time is where I am (either because she’s never sure which country I am in or she’s just too lazy to look up the time difference), she will inevitably ask me if I have eaten yet. It is almost the equivalent of asking someone how they are but without the desire to actually know, although if you do respond with a “No”, you can expect an immediate invitation to actually go and eat, whatever the time of day. For my mum and I, it happens to be our way of keeping in touch. She often loses track of, or interest in, my activities, and rather than boring each other with details of our unremarkable days, she will often call me to see if I have eaten, offering suggestions for the week’s menu and reciting recipes over the telephone while I eagerly scribble everything down on the back of an envelope.
I love eating yoghurt, especially at breakfast when a small tub of yoghurt and some fruit compote is enough to propel me into the day. And given the amount of yoghurt I can consume on my own, it only makes sense that I should try to make it at home.
For our wedding last year, one couple gave us a very generous gift of money which we spent on a yoghurt machine (yaoutière) and some yoghurt recipe books to go with. A yoghurt machine sounds like something destined to sit in the back of the cupboard with other long abandoned kitchen gadgets or collect dust in some forgotten corner. Even Nigella Lawson in her book Kitchen mentions that her yoghurt maker features in her “Kitchen Gadget Hall of Shame”, a freak purchase which she has never made use of.