You’re doubtless here for the baked eggs in cheesy toast – it’s easily one of our quickest, easiest recipes – and it’s delightful. You could scroll straight to the recipe – look for the picture – but first, I have an important message. Perhaps you could humour me.
It’s Mental Health Awareness Week, you know. No, I know, it feels like it’s always some sort of week at the moment – I’m still eagerly awaiting the celebrations of ‘Comfortably Upholstered Northern Tubsters’ week, but until the day comes when I’m presented with a perspex sausage roll trophy by, oh I dunno, Gail Platt from Corrie, I’ll need to keep dreaming. But this is an important issue so I don’t begrudge writing about it.
Actually, speaking of Coronation Street, Aidan Connor’s suicide storyline really made me upset – it’s unbearable to think that people keep things bottled up to the point where they feel they can’t cope anymore – so, in the spirit of being open about our feelings, I turned to Paul and admitted that I would have given anything, simply anything, to fall asleep nestled comfortably between the wibbly-wobbly cheeks of Shayne Ward’s bottom. I’ve genuinely never known a man make a Zara funnel overcoat look so damn good. I was reading a news story about the actor where he expressed upset over the fact he’s been called fatty-boom-boom on Twitter and accused of having a dad body. How utterly ridiculous: a bit of a podge belly is perfectly natural as you get older, and I certainly wouldn’t hold his belly against him – I’d just balance it on top of my head in the usual fashion.
The storyline has done some amazing work highlighting that not everyone suffering with mental health problems is a shrieker and a wailer and your (lazy) stereotypical loon throwing their faeces around and punching at the clouds. It shows, rightly, that it can affect anyone, with no barriers, and that’s why it’s important to actually talk about it, get it out in the open, have an honest discussion about it.
I’ve gone on previously about my own mental health issue – health anxiety – and I won’t bore you with the details of it. I will say this, though: another year has passed and this year I’ve managed to beat a brain tumour (because of my tinnitus), mad cow disease (because my mother insisted on buying cheap mince for most of the eighties), Alzheimer’s disease (because I forgot where I parked, once, and that’s because I was driving Paul’s ‘car’ as opposed to my own), sepsis (cut myself handling compost) and breast cancer (another harmless lump in my boobs, most likely a Trebor Soft Mint). It’s exhausting being so healthy, I can assure you. Though that exhaustion is probably chronic fatigue syndrome. Bugger.
If you’re out there, and you’re suffering, there’s only two bits of advice I can offer you – and you’ll have heard them before, but I don’t care: maybe my words will be the ones that hit home, like a determined sperm: talk to someone and don’t give up. Now, choose wisely with the first bit of advice, I’m not suggesting you ring your taxi-rank and advise them that you’re seeing only blackness ahead – if they’re anything like my local taxi service, you’ll get twenty seconds of phlegm-soaked coughing and some racist dialogue in the background. No, choose a family friend, someone from work, a loved one, the cat or even a cushion. Vocalising your issues is cathartic, even if you’re talking to yourself. I’m forever talking to myself and find it reassuring – often those negative thoughts in your head are exposed for the nonsense they are once they float out of your gob. If you’re entertaining the ‘what if’ question (especially with your health), rephrase it as ‘what if it isn’t’ – do you really want to be wasting your life worrying about something that isn’t going to happen or, if it is, you can do bot-all about? For every spoken question you give yourself, provide two answers – the rational and irrational. Give yourself a fuller picture. And mind, if you choose to talk to someone rather than yourself, make sure you choose wisely. They’re few and far between, but there’s some folk out there who will gladly lend you an ear just so you don’t notice the knife they’re sticking in your back.
The don’t give up part, then. It’s such a trite thing to say, but you never know what’s coming around the corner. Well, Paul does, but that’s because he’s got boggle-eyes (I’m not saying he’s cross-eyed, but he does have to sit sideways to watch the television). Even if you aim for one day at a time, a day that doesn’t end with a trip in a black ambulance with me driving behind you trying to decide whether it’s appropriate to overtake is a good one. At my lowest I thought I’d be doolally forever – and actually, perhaps I am because mental illness never leaves you – but you learn to cope, then you learn to stop caring, then you forget why you were ever stressed. Until you wake in the night convinced that you’re dying because although it COULD be trapped wind, that pain in your belly is almost certainly bowel cancer and this is it, I’m off to reunite with my nana after three months of shitting blood. Difference is, each time that anxiety-blip happens, you learn a bit more how to cope with your worries, and the time it takes to get over your anxiety decreases. In short, it gets easier. It does.
Chins up, folks. Remember, there’s fuck all to be ashamed about if you’re out there and you’re struggling: you’re a human being. Yes, even you, with that moustache. You wouldn’t feel embarrassed if you broke your toe, why should your emotions be any different? I read here that 1 in 6 folks experienced a symptom of a mental health condition last week. Perhaps you’re not so unusual, after all.
Oh and as an aside, if you’re one of those arseholes who pretend you’ve got OCD because you have to check the oven is switched off once in a blue moon, please, stop. Obsessive compulsive disorder is a genuinely devastating illness that manifests itself in much stronger ways than the occasional ‘but did I’ moment on the drive to work. It doesn’t make you sound interesting or kooky, it makes you sound like a proper Comfortably Upholstered Northern Tubster.
OK we’re done. No more lectures. But please, do talk. To the recipe, then!
baked eggs in cheesy toast
Yield two slices
This super quick breakfast looks impressive but is actually a doddle to make on Slimming World - you can have two 'toasts' and it'll be syn free! Don't want to use your HEA as well as your HEB? We've got you - use slightly less cheese - 10g is only two syns. This recipe makes enough for one person to have two slices - just scale it up as you wish.
Remember my warning from the last time we used a Schar Gluten Free White Ciabatta Roll? Let me remind you...
But here's the thing. Gluten free food is expensive and it can be a proper pain in the arse to find if you are following a gluten-free diet. That's annoying when you want to cook with it, but what if gluten free was the only bread you could have and you had to do without because some div on Slimming World was too frightened about just having a breadbun? Before you pick it off the shelf, have a think.
- one Schar Gluten Free White Ciabatta Roll (HEB)
- two eggs
- 30g of red leicester cheese (HEA) (or use less, and syn it at 10g for 2 syns)
- chives, black pepper
- optional: chilli sauce - yum! We use Flying Goose and syn it at 1 syn, but that's optional
- preheat the grill
- cut your roll in half and drop it into a hot, dry frying pan, toasting off the bottom of each slice
- remove your bread and, using the bottom of a glass, press a well into the bread and crack an egg in, like so
- sprinkle your cheese and chives on top, then grill for a few minutes, keeping an eye on it so it doesn't burn - your egg should be solid, but the yolk nice and runny
- serve - slather it with chilli sauce if you like your arse battered like us
- not got chives? Don't panic - just use black pepper
- if you were feeling decadent, you could always add chopped ham into your well
- feel free to use a different bun - however, a ciabatta is good as it doesn't burn so quickly
There now! Looking for more breakfast ideas, you fabulous witch?
- chocolate and banana pop tarts (2 syns)
- sausage, egg and cheesy hash brown stack (1.5 syns)
- rocky road overnight oats (3.5 syns)
- mint chocolate chip smoothie (1.5 syns)
- rhubard and custard overnight oats (0.5 syns)
- sausage egg bhurji (1 syn)
- full english breakfast risotto (2 syns)
- all day breakfast poutine (1 syn)
- apple pie overnight oats (1.5 syns)
- cranachan (4 syns)
- breakfast loaf (1 syn)
- carrot cake overnight oats (2 syns)
- chocolate orange overnight oats (3.5 syns)
- peanut butter and caramelised banana toast (4 syns)
- chocolate and cherry porridge (4.5 syns)
- cookies ‘n’ cream overnight oats (4 syns)
I liked the article you wrote about mental health. Why is it we feel ashamed to admit we all need help at some time and having someone to talk to will help. Thank you for writing about it. X
Great stuff about mental health week.
Men’s mental health needs more people to write about it at the moment. The loss of so many to suicide is a tragedy.
And yeah, thanks for the comments about OCD. Too many people say things like ‘ooh, I’m really OCD about having my hair bobbles lined up’ er NO. That just means you’re prissy. OCD is when my husband couldn’t eat in case someone else in the family had touched the food/surfaces/cutlery. It’s when my brother couldn’t leave his house in case something he hadn’t checked enough times caused someone to die. Not your naffing hair bobbles, or normally tidied kitchen.
Yes, very good post on mental health. Thanks. You’re a good man.
Fab article on Mental health…..WE ALL NEED TO TALK ABOUT IT…..not just for 1 week of the year….
I do hope that C.U.N.T. awareness day makes it on the calendar next year…..fingers crossed boys
Kitty Kate xxx
ps nearly forgot…love this recipe…YUM
If you can take gluten, for the love of chocolate use a full size bread roll. The Schar rolls canne take a full egg (they just don’t have the gluten cap’in!) as our grill pan found out
Also if you only like your yolks well done, a longer cook at lower temp is needed
Recipe says pre-heat the grill; then ‘grill in the oven’ for a few minutes; but they are ‘baked eggs’. Which is it , oven or grill? Under the grill all we got was uncooked egg white. If oven, what temperature? Cheese was nice though! And added strips of bacon. 🙂
They go under the grill! Our grill happens to be in the oven but will rephrase so it’s clearer! If it was uncooked I’d leave it in for a bit longer.
I thought so. Will try harder next time if nothing else to spare the looks of disdain from the other half’s dislike of slimey eggs…
Hi i am now trying to track my food following sw principles, came across your site, love it, a breath of fresh air, i shall be following more of your receipes. Thank you so much and please keep up the hard work. Angie