23 August 2011

The ever-adaptable Bloomer!

When you’re poorly, food becomes something of an issue – depending on what you’ve got wrong with you, needless to say.  In my case, along with the Shingles, I had the oddest sore throat in the Universe.  I could eat without bothering it – and in fact, eating improved the sore throat situation.  It didn’t matter what I ate, it could have been a packet of crisps or a slice of fresh lemon, nothing aggravated it except coughing (and, perhaps, snoring – but we’ll skip lightly over that).

Of course, what you might want to eat is another matter.  In this instance, I was happy enough to eat whatever was put in front of me (so we knew I wasn’t dying, put it that way) but my very definite preference was for high carbohydrate “comfort food”.

Enter the Bloomer.

A bloomer loaf (of bread, for those from abroad) is one of the most adaptable things.

Over the last few weeks, we have eaten slices of bloomer in many and varied ways and, to be quite honest, I’ve wondered what I would have eaten in certain situations, had we not have been all bloomered-up in the bread bin department.

I’ve had toasted bloomer (toasted under the grill, instead of in the toaster.  Makes a far superior piece of toast) as a late-night “keep the wolf from the door” snack with just plain old butter on, or rather more exotically, with marmalade.  Breakfast at 10pm.  Naughty, but nice!

Speaking of breakfast, toasted bloomer has accompanied many denominations of same.  With butter and accompanying a boiled egg, it forms perfect “feel better” food.  Again, buttered but with scrambled or a fried egg (in olive oil, of course!) it always hits the spot.

A couple of tinned tomatoes with lots of freshly ground black pepper are a superb breakfast when twinned with toasted bloomer.  Crunchy, tart, savoury – it wakes your taste buds up from their virus-induced slumber.

Good old baked beans will make an admirable plate-fellow for two slices of bloomer, for breakfast or with some grilled cheese hiding under the beans, for lunch.

When you’re deep in the worst of your malaise, good old warming, comforting soup always comes to the fore.  Team it with some lovely soft bloomer with its chewy crusts and you’ve the best of all worlds.  Eaten in bed is by far the best way, but beware the fallen crumbs!

Needless to say, the meal planning went a tad A.W.O.L. during this time.  Hubby manfully took over the stove duties and as such, looked at several of my planned meals and artfully down-sized them to meals with just as much taste appeal, but with far less work involved.  I don’t blame him, either.  Poor soul had enough to do, without working out how small he should be chopping his parsley.

Inevitably, this meant that we had several ingredients sitting aimlessly in the fridge, all lost and without a recipe to go to.

Like the large vine-ripened tomatoes, the olives and the mozzarella.

Cue, for lunch one day, grilled mozzarella on vine-ripened tomatoes and sliced olives, with Worcestershire sauce sprinkled over.  All on slices of toasted bloomer, of course!

In fact, I’ve just waded my way through two slices of toasted bloomer, covered in chicken in white sauce, which has brought about the following (which should be read with a discontented pout hovering around one’s mouth) :

Whatever happened to the tins of “Chunky Chicken”, made by Shippams, that you used to be able to get?  The Princes’ variety just didn’t shape up well against the memory of the pieces of actual chicken, taken from the bone, that Shippams used to cover in their gorgeously savoury sauce.  Yes, Princes’ version had used breast of chicken, but it was in boringly square pieces.  No leg meat in evidence at all.

I can remember my Grandad taking the whole family on a tour of a Shippams factory, once, many, many moons ago.  We saw the chicken paste being made as well as the cans of Chunky Chicken being sealed.  I remember there was a vast pile of chicken wishbones in one corner of the factory, just waiting to be used in some (hopefully lucky!) way.  I can only have been around 8 years old (or maybe less!).  We had the whole canning process for the Chunky Chicken explained to us and I’ve been a fan of the product ever since.

But I digress.  The next time you’re poorly, get someone to bring you a bloomer loaf and a bread knife.  Apart from the pleasure gained from eating it, just think of the fun you’ll have working out how you can use it!


  1. The tomato and mozzarella on bloomer looks fantastic! xxxx

  2. Good to have you back, Jenny - I've missed you.

    But what do you mean by 'plain old butter' on your bloomer!?! There's nothing plain about real butter with a salty edge - it's a wonder of deliciousness.

    You find me in the middle of a crisis. I've put too much blimmin' salt in my homemade chicken and vegetable soup. I've put a squeeze of lemon in, but it still makes my mouth pucker with saltiness. I think I'll cool it and leave it for 24 hours.

    Do any of your readers have a remedy to rescue my soup?

  3. Karen - get two large potatoes, peel them, cut them in half or quarters and drop them in. Simmer for half an hour (or as long as you've got) then remove & bin. They'll absorb loads of the salt! :)

    You're right of course, there's no such thing as "plain old butter". It is the very epitome of deliciousness. :)

  4. To whichever Girl that was, (lol), the tomato and mozzarella was an absolute inspiration, I thought. LOL It was just the job, at the time!

  5. I LOVE bloomers and although I get great bread in France I do miss my bloomers, cobs, cottage loaves and split tins....great post!

  6. Karen - this may be the next thing on your "to do" list, then! "To Do : Bake a Bloomer". LOL

  7. I really like picking up bloomers from the bakers, i liked the fact you can slice it any ole size you want.

  8. That's exactly it, Shaheen! Thick or thin, you slice it how you want it to be. :)

  9. Mmmmm, bloomer! You and Karen are perfectly right - plain ole bread and butter is one of the nicest foodstuffs in the world if the two constituents are of good quality.

    Hope you're feeling better!


  10. I so agree lovely bread is a saviour when feeling ill! After not my greatest year healthwise, the only thing I could face eating at times were part-bake baguettes with a mug of hot vegetable bouillon, something very right and comforting about it!

    Hope your'e feeling better soon! x

  11. Seren - I guess it's no surprise that the majority of the world exists on one denomination or another of some form of bread! :)

    Anne - that hot vegetable bouillon is a thing of beauty, is it not? I will often have a cup of it when I'm sitting watching t.v. in the evening. You're absolutely right about its comforting aspect. :)

    I'm feeling lots better now, thank you - getting to the other side of this particular bout of nastiness! Now all I need to do is find something to write about. LOL

    I do have a mad desire to make pate though. Either chicken liver or smoked mackerel, although it's going to have to wait until the shop bought stuff has been eaten up! :)


I love to receive messages from you all, so if you can spare the time, comment away!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...