You can’t beat this trick with the Dairylea cheese sarnies Heston - Susan Morrison

Every family has that recipe they believe to be “theirs”. It’s rarely written down and it probably doesn’t need much. It’s the food you reach for to comfort a “hingy” child, ease a hangover or a quick heat up after a chilly Autumn walk.
One boy’s trick with his Dairylea cheese sarnie was ‘like an early Heston Blumenthal,’ says Susan MorrisonOne boy’s trick with his Dairylea cheese sarnie was ‘like an early Heston Blumenthal,’ says Susan Morrison
One boy’s trick with his Dairylea cheese sarnie was ‘like an early Heston Blumenthal,’ says Susan Morrison

Our go-to is a little haute cuisine number called “smashed up egg in a cup”. It’s pretty straightforward.

Two eggs, soft boiled, shelled into a wee mug. Don’t use plastic. A vital part of the culinary experience is the sound of the teaspoon against the china.

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Add butter, salt and pepper and then wallop about with a teaspoon until its all gloriously smashed up. Always serve with very buttery toast. I freely admit to a touch of heresy here, I do like a bit of Marmite on that toast. Ok, a lot of Marmite.

It came as a shock to read this very recipe in, of all places, the Guardian, written up by some other family who thought it was theirs.

They lived in some sunnier part of the country like Surrey. I was fair affronted.

What on earth would people in warmer climes know of the comfort of smashed-egg-in-a-cup? Worse, they recommended pairing it with toasted home-made sourdough bread.

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They’re all into yoga studios and organic mung beans down there. What would they know of comfort food?

Not for them the culinary cuddle you get from an ultra-processed tinned product containing enough sugar to have young Julian or Jacinata bouncing off the walls for a week.

I’m talking here of the cream of comfort soup-based recipes, Heinz Tomato Soup and Dairylea Cheese triangle white bread sandwiches.

Oh, I know, there are other brands out there, but no other soup has quite that gloopy quality, like weirdly watered down red wallpaper paste.

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If a drop falls from your spoon the scarlet surface seems to bounce. If you’re using a spoon, that is. Heinz Cream of Tomato is best slurped from a mug held firmly in both hands. You can go full-on retro and take it on your brisk cold walk with you, but it must be in a red tartan flask.

It has an incredible ability to stain. Few people can finish a mug of tomato soup without looking like a vampire that’s just finished feeding. Only the brave and the foolish would consider tackling Cream of Tomato whilst wearing white. It’s truly remarkable just how far that stuff can go.

And always, by the side of the soup, Dairylea Cheese Triangle sandwiches, to be dunked in and slathered with soup. Hence the staining.

A boy in my class in primary school always had Dairylea cheese sarnies for his playtime piece, wrapped, naturally, in the greaseproof paper from round the Mother’s Pride. His mum always used the heels of the loaf, so his piece started the day looking pretty epic.

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He used to sit on them. That made them sort of spread out, into a kind of bum heated white bread cheese calzone.

At the end of playtime, of course, he smoothed the greaseproof paper, folded it up and put it back in his school bag. Don’t tell me we didn’t know how to re-cycle.

He was like an early Heston Blumenthal, taking a simple dish, but then making it more interactive.

Bet they never had that in Surrey.

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