In Praise of the Simple Supper

Friday 16 June 2023


Beans on Toast

Admittedly I don't always feel like pulling out all the stops when it comes to making myself something for my tea/supper.  Despite living on my own I have incredibly busy days.  Days where I know I am not going to have a lot of time to cook, but it can't be helped.

That is when the simple supper comes in really handy and the simple supper is something that the British really do well. Most of these ideas I had never heard or thought of before moving over to the U.K. 

Beans on Toast 

I had not been living in England for very long when I was hired by a Care Home which was ideally right across the street from the Maisonette flat we were living in. Very convenient.  I didn't have to catch a bus to get there and was home again in minutes at the end of a long day.

One of the things I did was to push the meal trolly around at tea time so the residents that were unable to go to the dining room for their suppers could have a dinner. I found some of the food very interesting. 

This may sound crazy but one night they were going to be having beans on toast.  I had to ask what beans on toast was because it was a concept that I had never ever heard of.


I felt pretty stupid after it was explained to me I have to admit. They must have thought I was a real moron.  It is literally heated baked beans ladled over hot buttered toast.  Simple.

I couldn't wait to get home and try it however. As simple as it was it looked, smelled and sounded delicious.

beans on toast 

I became a huge fan and it wasn't long before I was morphing it into my own version of beans on toast.  Sometimes I would make cheese toast for the bottom and add spring onions to the cheese.  This went very well with the Heinz Beans in Tomato Sauce.

Sometimes I added a layer of grainy mustard before I put on the cheese and toasted it.  Also very good.

beans on toast

Sometimes I just added a grating of good cheddar to the top, allowing the heat of the beans to melt the cheddar in a most delicious way.  Looking at this photo I can't help thinking that a sprinkle of crispy onions would go very nicely.

Yes, today I made myself beans on toast in homage and memory to all the delicious times I had enjoyed beans on toast while I was living in the U.K.  This was the first time I have made them since my return to Canada some 2 1/2 years ago now. (Hard to believe. Time really does fly!)

Beans on Toast

Of course I had to make do with the ingredients that I have available to me here in Canada.  They do have Heinz Beans, but I find they are not quite the same as the ones in the U.K.  There is a difference. I sometimes order foods from Blighty's and the next time I put in an order I will have to order some Heinz Beans in Tomato Sauce.

I used my next favorite kind of beans and that is the Sprague Beans. I used the Maritime version this time. They do have several different varieties.  I like them all. 

There is a farm market not too far from me that has the nicest Brown Bread. Here in the Maritime provinces we all enjoy our baked beans with Brown Bread.

Brown Batter Bread

I do have a recipe for my own homemade Brown Batter Bread, but I didn't have time to make any today and to be honest, I wanted simple and quick.  So there were two things that were not entirely traditional in the Beans on Toast Supper there. Brown Bread and Molasses Baked beans.  They do go together very well however so I went with it.

I did have a good English Farmhouse Cheddar in the refrigerator so I could not help grating a smattering of that over top of my hot beans.

There really is naught so comforting as a simple supper of beans on toast, and whilst my version today was not the most traditional one, it was still very, very good. I am not entirely sure that the cheddar cheese went all that well with the sweetness of the molasses baked beans and the brown bread, but it was good enough and I enjoyed it.

A simple supper is a really nice thing to enjoy every now and then, and it always satisfies, no matter what it is.  I am no stranger to the comforts of a simple supper.  Here are some of my favorite ones.

Egg and Chips

PERFECT EGG AND CHIPS - Every once in a while I would get my husband to pop down to the local chippie and pick up a plain newspaper wrapped bundle of chips. While he was gone I would fry up a couple of eggs in butter and butter some soft bread to enjoy with the egg and chips when he got back. 

Of course you can make your own chips from scratch, and I often did. I tell you how to do just that in this recipe. There is something pretty wonderful about a simple supper of butter fried eggs, crisp golden chips and a slice of simple buttered bread. 

Scrambled Eggs On Toast

SCRAMBLED EGGS ON TOAST -  Scrambled eggs on toast were always another favorite. You might think it is easy to make scrambled eggs and yes, it is, but there is a special knack to getting them just right . . . rich, moist and creamy . . .  not dry. 

I show you how to do just that in my post. This is an exceptionally tasty supper.  Sometimes you can add some bacon on the side if you want, but to be honest the eggs and the toast will do just fine.

Bacon and Cheese on Toast

BACON AND CHEESE ON TOAST -  Another delicious, quick and easy supper is Cheese on Toast. This can be as simple as just making some toast, piling it with some good cheese and popping it under the grill. (A layer of grainy mustard is very good on this between the toast and the cheese.)

You can also go whole hog as in this recipe by adding a sweet and tangy layer of mango chutney between the cheese and the toast and a few rashers of smoky bacon to the top! Very tasty indeed!

I also have a type of rarebit cheese on toast here that you might also enjoy. 

Spaghetti on Toast

SPAGHETTI ON TOAST - To be honest this one is a no-brainer. Heat up a tin of spaghetti and ladle it over hot toast.  Easy peazy lemon squeazy. Melt some cheese on top of the toast and add a grinding of salt and pepper and this truly is one very delicious comfort style supper.

As you can see toast figures very prominently in the Simple Supper Category.

Welsh Rarebit

PROPER WELSH RAREBIT -  This delicious coalition does require a bit more effort than the others admittedly, but it is proper delicious  and worth every extra bit.  Rich and delicious, and yes, on toast.  (What else!)  A few sliced tomatoes and some salad leaves on the side and you have one very delicious supper.

beans on toast

Of course there are a few more simple suppers that you can enjoy that are a bit more effort as well, such as Potato Pie. Lovely served with some pickled beets and buttered brown bread.  This Sausage, Potatoes, Onions and Cabbage also looks very good.

I do believe that I cracked the trick to having really crisp toast.  Let your toast cool down just a bit and then butter it. The butter won't melt right into the toast, making it soggy. It kind of lays on top, semi-melted in a delicious buttery layer and that toast is still crisp and warm on the bottom.

What are  your favorite simple suppers?  Enlighten us all. Maybe we can discover something we had not heard of before.  Lets share!

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  1. We love simple dinners. Did you know Sprague beans are canned right here where I live. When we first moved here from England one of the canneries was less than 5 minutes away.

    1. I did not know that Linda. Their products are exemplary. I love their French Canadian Pea Soup too! Its delicious! xoxo

  2. I also order from Blightys, but our Superstore and Sobeys both stock proper English Heinz beans in the international section. That’s almost always what I buy. They’re my favourite. Thicker and oh so scrummy on toast, but then anything in toast makes me happy. ♥️

    1. I will have to check it out! I do like them on toast much better than our North American ones! You are right nice and thick. I am with you, anything on toast makes my heart beat a little faster! xo


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