French rarebit…


It is said that a bad workman will blame his tools for bad workmanship. Not being a workman in any sense of the word, yet today finding myself at hard labour, I was more catholic in my apportioning of blame and included the weather, the day of the week, the place of work and the person or reason that had caused me to be working in the first place. Today I have been lifting, digging and pushing a wheelbarrow full of the heavy things that I had previously lifted and dug whilst the love of my life reminded me of the catalogue of torment to come. Each time that I have engaged in manual labour I have contemplated the adage concerning the satisfaction to be derived from hard work yet my experience of such satisfaction remains unrequited. I warm to Thomas Edison’s observation that opportunity is missed by most people as it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work and few people, outside of our celebrated English sporting heroes, have missed as many golden opportunities as I. The one positive that I have taken from manual labour is that, unlike writing or image making, I can foresee its end. Today the end duly arrived, earlier than was foreseen by my forewoman, but she succumbed to the old Navajo trick of my kneeling, begging and pleading ( pace Woody Allen). Once out of the orbit of self induced misery I was able to activate the basal ganglia circuit, firing up the pleasure neurons which quickly had me making some lunch. I would love to know the recipe for basal ganglia but it must be American as they can’t pronounce basil. Any way, it needed to be quicker than ganglia, so I opted for cheese on toast. Having recently been in receipt of an electricity bill I noticed that we were being charged money for using the electrical appliances in the house so toasting or grilling would not be part of this dish. A pan with some olive oil and enough heat beneath it makes a very good sandwich of melting Cantal cheese which has been piled between two pieces of pain au levain. Nearly worth going to work for… for a close up:



About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in 2015, Art photography, Cheese, Cooking, Cuisine bourgeoise, Digital photography, fireplace, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, Garden, Humour, Olive oil, Photographic Prints, Photography, photography course, Toast, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

57 Responses to French rarebit…

  1. Mad Dog says:

    I can’t help thinking that the prostration might have included an offer to make lunch 😉

  2. We can so pronounce basil 🙂

  3. Misky says:

    Looks like a damned fine sarnie.

  4. ardysez says:

    Can’t remember ever being so entertained by a story about a cheese toastie. Love the photo.

  5. Yum, Roger. Not eating much bread these days………….makes me miss it.

  6. catterel says:

    I’ll never forget the look on my American friend’s face when I suggested some basil for the tomatoes – “You mean baysil for the tomaydoes?”

  7. Eha says:

    As I am attempting some long ‘forgotten’ early autumn gardening, thank you for some of the phrases I can use! And just don’t name that red fruit with which I have ALWAYS had trouble you know just where . . . . remember the time at a LA hotel it took me half an hour and a personal doorknock from the housekeeper to get a ‘vase’ . . . . simple: it just has four letters, houses cut flowers [which I don’t like in the first place] and is pronounced ‘vah-se’ 😀 !!

  8. Angeline M says:

    Basal ganglia can be cooked just like fried calamari (which it resembles), unless you have problems with the forewoman or warden, then it can be cooked in the juices you stew in whilst begging for mercy.

  9. Michelle says:

    But how are we supposed to pronounce basil? (I don’t much care for it anyway, so seldom have reason to say it.) I’d like one of those sandwiches, regardless.

  10. suej says:

    If your ganglia comprised of basil……well!

  11. platedujour says:

    I would like to have a picture like that last one- framed in my kitchen. Beautiful!

  12. Francesca says:

    Sometimes the simple things are the best- especially if made with quality ingredients.

  13. Pure genius Mr S – and I loved all the comments today!

  14. Dear good fucking lord, that is what has been missing from my diet over the last few weeks. I need to rectify this situation quick smart! 🙂

  15. what divine photos – the food is luminous

  16. Now I have just had my afternoon tea and it is not time for dinner, so although I got a solid two hour bike ride in this morning, in lieu of manual labor, I do think your posting this kind of photo is just plain irresponsible, for it does really tempt me to go rummage around the bottom shelf of the refrigerator for some decent cheese. Perhaps it is a blessing in disguise that we here in the colonies must generally make do with very imperfect cheese, cheese that is best kept in the fridge.

  17. Gorgeous. I…have…no…more…words! 🙂

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