Saturday, February 8, 2020

What In the Heck is Welsh Rarebit?



Happy Saturday, Lovelies!

Today I have a unique treat to share with you:  Welsh rarebit.

Yesterday, I reviewed Matchmakers for Beginners by Maddie Dawson.  In it, there is a scene where the heroine Marnie visits her wealthy fiancé's family for Christmas.  His name is Noah, and he is shallow and thoughtless.  But the apple doesn't fall far from the tree:  Noah's Mother Wendy wasn't very delightful, either.  Apparently, Wendy serves Welsh rarebit every year at her annual Christmas open house.  She judges Marnie harshly because she is infamiliar with the dish.




Well, Wendy is tacky because I would NEVER serve Welsh rarebit to company.  But it does make a nice afterschool snack or lunch.  It reminds me of a bechamel sauce served on croque monsieur.  Basically, it's a cheesy sauce served over toast or English muffins, if you want to be more authentic.

Here is what it looks like:


When I made it for lunch, I added a coddled egg for protein.


I decided to take a look in my cookbook A Cook's Year in a Welsh Farmhouse.  Sure enough, there was a recipe for Welsh rarebit.  


The recipe in this delightful book included leeks.  My family doesn't like leeks, so I left it out and adapted it a little.



Welsh Rarebit

Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup stout beer
1/2 pound cheddar or Caerphilly cheese, grated

Procedure:

1.   Melt butter on low heat, and then stir in flour, salt, pepper, and mustard.  Cook, stirring constantly, for about four to five minutes.

2.   Remove from heat.  Slowly pour in milk while constantly whisking mixture.  Place back on heat and just bring to a boil.  Add the beer and cook one more minute.

3.   Add the cheese a little at a time until it melts.  Remove from heat.

4.   Toast bread and place on a plate.  Pour cheese mixture over bread.

Cook's Note:  If you want to coddle an egg, start it before you make the sauce.  Also, I did not use all the cheese.  If you use all the cheese, you might need to add a little more milk.


Have you ever had Welsh rarebit?  Let me know in comments. 


Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill




Friday, February 7, 2020

Literary Friday: Matchmaking for Beginners



Happy Friday, My Lovelies!  Valentine's Day is quickly approaching, and I want to share with you a sweet love story:  Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson.  

According to Goodreads:

Marnie MacGraw wants an ordinary life—a husband, kids, and a minivan in the suburbs. Now that she’s marrying the man of her dreams, she’s sure this is the life she’ll get. Then Marnie meets Blix Holliday, her fiancé’s irascible matchmaking great-aunt who’s dying, and everything changes—just as Blix told her it would.

When her marriage ends after two miserable weeks, Marnie is understandably shocked. She’s even more astonished to find that she’s inherited Blix’s Brooklyn brownstone along with all of Blix’s unfinished “projects”: the heartbroken, oddball friends and neighbors running from happiness. Marnie doesn’t believe she’s anything special, but Blix somehow knew she was the perfect person to follow in her matchmaker footsteps.

And Blix was also right about some things Marnie must learn the hard way: love is hard to recognize, and the ones who push love away often are the ones who need it most. 





My Review:

I enjoyed this book because I like quirky romances with well-drawn, interesting characters.  All the characters in this book are unforgettable, with the exception of Noah, Marnie's ex-fiancé who left her at the alter.  He is such a jerk, and it bothered me that Marnie pines over him and makes poor choices concerning him for way to far into the narrative.  I also enjoy magical realism, but I'm getting a bit tired of anything witchcraft related because of terrible things that are coming to light in this world.  One of the special talents that both Blix and Marnie share is the ability to know when two people belong together.  Alas, this magic doesn't work on oneself, which explains Marnie's misguided attraction to Noah.

Noah's Aunt Blix has an instant connection with Marnie when she meets her at a family Christmas party.  She is terminally ill, but her family doesn't know.  She makes the choice to leave her Brooklyn brownstone to Marnie.   Blix also leaves Marnie a legacy of her group of friends who quickly accept Marnie into their fold.  Most of the friends need love, are deserving of love, but they need a nudge from Marnie to realize it.  Patrick lives in the basement apartment in Marnie's brownstone.  He is a lovely person, but he has suffered and survive a horrible tragedy.  His self-loathing is a bit tiresome, but he's no match for Marnie.

My ony complaint about the book is that the ending seemed a little rushed, especially compared to the pace of the story.  I was sad when it ended, and I wanted more.  I was thrilled to discover that there is a sequel in the works:  A Happy Catastrophe.




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Come back tomorrow for a recipe inspired by Matchmaking for Beginners.


Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill