Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Croque Monsieur fingers

I've been too happy to write anything recently. Before this, I was too miserable to write anything, now I'm too happy. My life is too much like an advert for ... something. Cashmere socks? Sometimes, some mornings, I wake up of my own accord because it's 7.20am and both children are still asleep, having slept all night without waking me up. This is a miracle. This has not happened for an entire calendar year. And, I can enjoy it because I'm not and - let's face it - not going to be pregnant again. This is it, this is my life now. It's actually okay again.

Up until quite recently my life was fucked because I was pregnant with a toddler or I had a baby and a toddler or Sam was such a living nightmare. Now Sam is absolutely the opposite of a living nightmare. He is a delightful little boy. And you know that's true because I would say - I have said - if he was not being delightful. I actually look forward to the mornings, now. I do not look at the clock from 3pm onwards willing each minute to pass quickly so that I can get Sam in bed and have my arms to myself for a few hours. I resent the arrival of my excellent and only-until-1pm nanny. I look forward to the weekend rather than dreading it like a looming tax return.

I used to tell myself that the nanny was completely essential so that I could get on with important things (like hiding from shrieking whining Sam) and now, to my slight disappointment, I realise that the nanny actually is essential so that I can get on with important things (like work and admin) rather than sitting about all day cooing at Sam, repeating his baby words back to him, snogging his face off and generally being nauseating and repulsive.

And an awful capricious hypocrite. It turns out that my love for my children is conditional - on them not crying and screaming all day long. If you do that, I will turf you to the Romanians. Smile and we're all friends. I am not a good person.


I no longer hate everyone without children. I no longer hate everyone with older children than mine. I no longer hate anyone whose children sleep. I no longer hate EVERYONE. I love everyone! I have made Kitty a birthday card for the CBeebies birthday shout-out whatsit, due to be posted more than the requisite 4 weeks before the big day. I have decorated my house really quite elaborately for Christmas and the houseplant I bought at the end of my last post is still alive. (Unheard of).

Anyway look have a recipe for these Croque Monsieur thingies, given to me by a chef called Robert. These are really good for toddlers as you can batch-assemble them and freeze them and get them out in the morning to defrost then fry them off for lunch. Totally delicious.

Croque Monsieur fingers

Some Crusts Away! bread (their exclamation mark - get it from Ocado)
Mild cheddar and gruyere
Sliced ham
salt and pepper

How many you make of these is up to you. But what you need to do is make a quantity of very thick white sauce (or béchamel - see the How To Make A White Sauce section of this blog if you are new to this) and then use it to sandwich your Croque Monsieur together.

1 So make the béchamel using about 50g of butter, which is about 150ml of milk and approx a tablespoon of flour, add a handful of cheddar and a handful of gruyere to your sauce to flavour it and salt and pepper if you like.

2 Then leave the béchamel to cool for about 20-30 mins.

3 To assemble your fingers, make a sandwich from a slice of ham, some cheddar, and spread some  béchamel on the inside of both slices of bread. Close the sandwich, butter both outsides, wrap in cling film and freeze.

4 Take out a sandwich first thing in the morning then at lunchtime, unwrap from the cling film and fry each side for about 4 mins until golden brown with the cheese slightly melty. Cut into three.

Feed to your toddler while singing "Can't Smile Without You".

Little idiot fatty Sammy baby boy *gibber* *faint*


  1. CBeebies ask for cards to arrive SIX weeks before the birthday now! They pulled this switcheroo after I had sent my card to arrive four weeks in advance TO THE DAY. Tense times, but it was all right. Good luck!

  2. When are you going to start using Vine so we can see Kitty & Sam action shots and hear them speak?

    Judith de Silverlake

  3. Your tales of the new and improved Sam have given me fresh hope.

    My nearly one year old can't crawl or walk yet and wakes up whining, sits on the floor shrieking, fights me over every meal, bath, nappy change, while getting dressed etc. I'm hoping this will all change once he's mobile. Until then there's wine!

    Natalie x

  4. Glad to hear things are fab. I have a three year old and a one year old (walking! starting to talk!) and feel like I'm coming out the other side.

  5. Elizabeth Medovnik8 December 2014 at 22:03

    I'm so pleased that things are going well now. Every stage passes, but knowing that often doesn't really help at the time. I'm enormously impressed that you're doing a CBeebies card as I would never be that organised, but I have kept a houseplant alive since January and I'm so proud of myself that I nearly wrote about it in our Christmas newsletter (it's an orchid, so they don't seem to need water somehow) xx

  6. Haha! I am enjoying new improved happy, slightly delirious Esther! Yey!