Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Cheer-Up With The Toydog Fry-Up

Well, I haven't been in the best of moods this week, for the obvious reasons. I've been home alone and glued to Sky News, working myself up into a right state. However Londoners, being the pragmatic, stiff-upper-lip, thoroughly British people that they are, seem to have collectively decided to pick themselves up off the pavement and simply get on with it. Aw, these guys. I'm so proud to be amongst them.

I've always found that the most effective way to recover from spiritual or physical injury is a lovely hot plate of yummy food. With that in mind, I thought it might be nice to demonstrate my interpretation of the greatest of English dishes: the fry-up breakfast. If one is feeling extra peckish or naughty, I recommend a couple of slices of nicely sizzled black pudding thrown in on top as well.

First step is to get some of your favourite sausages (It doesn't matter what they are, as long as they are your favourite. Some people will try to confuse you by talking about 'breakfast' sausages. Breakfast schmeckfast, mine's a pork and apple), and slash them a couple of times with a sharp knife to break the skin up so they don't burst during cooking. Allow two per person- one for serving and one for seconds. Pop them under the grill on medium heat.

Wash some tomatoes and button mushrooms under the tap- half a tomato and two handfuls of mushrooms per person. You might prefer other mushrooms, I'm not sure, but as a small toy dog I find button mushrooms the easiest to handle. Pat the vegetables dry with a paper towel.

Then slice the tomatoes in half, and the mushrooms into thinnish cross-sections about half a centimetre across. Season the tomato halves with olive oil, salt, and basil, and pop them under the grill next to the sausages. Check the sausages while you're at it and turn them over if they look done.

Happily, you're halfway there already. Now fetch the plates that you're going to serve breakfast on, and pave them with baby spinach. Meanwhile, the sausages and tomatoes are emanating yummy smells from the grill. You're now ready to fry the eggs over medium heat in some olive oil, two per person, and sautee the mushrooms on the side, first melting a little butter into the pan. Hopefully, if you are co-ordinated enough and the pan is big enough you can do this all in the same pan, which saves on the washing up. Take the pan off the heat as soon as the egg yolks are semi-solid and the mushrooms have sweated out all their water and absorbed the butter.

The sausages should be done by now. Give them a prod with a fork to see if they're firm. Liquids running out mean DANGER! DANGER! If the tomatoes are looking like they're over it, take them out and put aside for the minute.

When everything is finally cooked, plate up the breakfast like a big happy face, heaping up the mushrooms to make big furry eyebrows:

Et voila! Enjoy immediately with a fresh pot of espresso coffee and the weekend paper.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Oh dear, I've been a bit of a bad dog, haven't I. Call off the search party, Hachiko's home.

I wouldn't even know where to begin explaining these last, lost, six weeks. Honestly, when Mistress said she was looking forward to heading out east, I thought she meant Bethnal Green, so I jumped in her handbag. Next thing I knew, I had woken up in Warsaw. Fortunately for both of us, I am the adaptable type. Above is a photo of me adapting quite well to sunbaking in Collioure, a tiny town in the south of France. I had a wonderful time there. Scoff ye not, when I take off my scarf there's a definite tan line. The other dogs however only spoke French, which made socialising a bit awkward.

I came home in time to watch Live8. Judging by those huge bags under Bob Geldof's eyes, it was a lot of hard work bringing it all together, and I thought it went off brilliantly. Well, I am a rabid- so to speak- Robbie fan. Even Madonna ("I've never been to Africa, but I know people that have") impressed. Any woman over 40 who's still managed to avoid the dreaded bingo wings gets my vote of approval. Mariah Carey on the other hand is a complete nutcake. No amount of philanthropic gestures on her part can disguise the fact. Sadly though, I missed the infamous dreadful Pete Doherty and Elton John duet. The ex-rent boy and the camp old queen together on stage, who would have guessed? And would somebody please buy Joss Stone some shoes?

The sun has momentarily reappeared so I must go and take full advantage. One never knows with these fickle English summers.

Oh, and I found out that my favourite TV stars Kath and Kim had made it to the front cover of the 4th June issue of the Financial Times weekend magazine! Noice work ladies!