I must confess that I am a late-night snacker. I eat little during the day before dinner, but come midnight I desire a comfort fix. It's as if I suffer from PMT (PMS) every night, like a snack craving Cinderella. If I don't make it home and into bed by midnight, my normally complacent appetite will turn into a ravenous glutton and the snacking will ensue . I'm not promoting this after-hours feasting as a healthy habit by any means, and most nights I certainly try to comfort my yearning tummy with a couple glasses of water, but I'm happy to treat myself with a swell midnight snack from time to time! We all deserve treats, right? Especially on a select 5 or 6 days of each month when my stomach has a capacity beyond that of a teenage boy.
So I thought I'd compile a list of my top night time treats, from simple snacks to time consuming treats, in no particular order.
I like cereal. Some people complain of a weakness for crisps, nuts, or sweets, that once they begin to eat them they cannot stop. This is how I am with cereal. I do not buy really nice cereal for this reason. I will eat one bowl, two bowls, three bowls, and want more. It never fills me up and I can never get enough. It's like my body was programmed for cereal and cereal alone. Luckily my husband obsessively eats a mix of bran and honey bran flakes for breakfast every morning, so there's a supply handy. If I am feeling very sorry for myself, I will also put some condensed milk, chocolate chips, and/or dried cranberries in the mix. Wow, I know. It is taking me a lot of guts to admit this. I really like cereal.
I like Canadians and I like poutine. I didn't even know what this was until a couple of years ago when I overheard a Canadian friend explaining to someone. Usually it's prepared with beef gravy, but add a little bit of Marmite to a veggie gravy and it gives it a richness that I think suits the dish perfectly. I use halloumi cheese, and if there's some around then it's not unusual for me to start peeling potatoes at 1am in order to start the chip making process.
Peas are nice. Peas, cheese, and gravy. Enough said.
Is there anyone who doesn't love a pancake? They are fabulous, whether dressed with lemon and sugar, maple syrup, condensed milk, or any number of other ingredients (maybe not any number, but I'm sure there are some other great toppings out there, like jam!). They can be made thick, American style, or thin, French style. They can be cooked with fruit or chocolate inside, and are both filling and satisfying. Plus they are easy!
Grilled cheese is underrated in this country. Every American appreciates a grilled cheese sandwich; it's a staple. British people, however, don't seem to do grilled sandwiches (and when they do they need a sandwich maker in which to do it). Grilled cheese sandwiches do not take rocket science, and they do not need a separate appliance. The problem with the American version is that Americans do not have nice cheese. The sharpest cheddar I can find in the US barely equates to the weakest I've found here (that's a little bit of an exaggeration, but not far of the truth). So combine a nice, sharp, British cheddar with the American tradition and voila! Brilliance. I like to dip my grilled cheese sandwiches in vegetarian Worcestershire sauce or enchilada sauce (the sort that mimics taco bell mild sauce).
What are your favourite midnight treats, whether simple or complex creations? Or are you one of those people, like my husband, who has his dinner and maybe some chocolate, and that's it for the night?