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This blog is about present life in a village in Brabant Wallon and how this interacts with my past and the food I love. More Info

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The View from Nethen Bridge

Ding dong bell, pussy’s not very well

May 12, 2013

Last week I spoke about battles, albeit of a horticultural nature.  Sadly this last week has reminded me that violence in all forms is never far away, even in Nethen, a peaceful and verdant place.  This was in our letter box (the flyer, that is)

Crossbow Cat

The cat survived and is recovering.  So far, even in our village where everyone knows everyone, the owner of the crossbow has not been located.  It is unlikely to be someone from outside so almost Midsommerish, dark secrets walk side-by-side with familiarity.  We don’t know if it was intentional but even if not, firing a crossbow in daylight, on a street where kids play and adults stop and chat is a moronic act.  There are certainly crossbows about in this area, as in many others.  There are many ‘sociétés d’arbalétriers’, one of which was at the Fête de St. Georges a couple of weeks ago.  This arrow or bolt is however of a lighter calibre than fired by the old engines owned by the reputable crossbow societies.

It is not difficult to buy them after all.  This is the legal position in Belgium.

Despite the clear legal position: ‘Les armes en vente libre, tout comme les armes soumises à autorisation, ne peuvent être vendues ou proposées à la vente à distance (commande par la poste, Internet, …).’, just try typing arbalete into, say, ebay.be .  Yes, I can see that all the ‘bolts’ shown have rubber suckers on them, but I don’t think that converting something into what we see above would be problematic.  Not that buying the piercing bolts is tricky or expensive.  Neither am I saying that the crossbow in question was bought from ebay.

I suppose that such events being so rare should be comforting, in which case I glad I live here, not the other side of the channel.  After all, apparently guns don’t kill, just the people who use them.

Anyway, this week’s recipe has nothing to do with the curious cat incident.  I’ll resist any brochette-based recipe and offer a dish from Recipes and Ramblings by the food columnist Elisabeth Luard.  We have all heard of Welsh Rarebit but I never knew there was an English Rarebit, particularly with any claim to antiquity.  This was published in Hannah Glasse’s The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy from 1747.

English Rarebit

1 thickish slice brown bread, 2 oz mature Cheddar cheese, finely slivered, 2 tablespoons red wine.

Toast the bread on both sides, pour the wine on it and let it soak in for a moment.  Lay the cheese over the bread and put it under the grill until bubbly and brown.

The recipe doesn’t mention Worcester Sauce, but a shot of it over the cheese before the final grilling is rather good.  Don’t toast the bread too much in the first phase or you could have some burnt bits.  Oh well. 

Now that that’s what I call a Cheese and Wine Party!

by NethenBob. Find out more about NethenBob here.

Categories: Cheese