Debbie’s Cheese Savouries

The story

This was a recipe my mum gave me. She used to make them when she had friends round and we used to get to have a couple before they arrived. She also made them as a treat for us kids as we loved cheese – but it was also the only way I would eat onion! For us it was not an everyday food – mainly because mum didn’t usually have time to make extras. I can always remember mum’s friends commenting on how moreish they were!

The language

Debbie talks about memories. Look at this page for more related to those. Debbie says three things that are very useful for non-native speakers of English.

  1. …when she had friends round.
  2. She also made them as a treat…
  3. …as we loved cheese.
  4. …how moreish they were!


1. when she had friends round

When you have someone round, the ‘someone’ visits your home, usually for a short time (e.g. a meal or party). It is the most natural way to describe people coming to your home and staying for a meal or a few hours. When people say that someone is visiting, it could mean that they are staying for a few days! Add for, plus the event or meal, to be even more precise:

  • She had friends round
  • We’re having friends round for a birthday lunch
  • I haven’t had anyone round to my new flat yet
  • I had my sister round for a quick chat yesterday
  • My parents always have us round for Christmas present opening on the 25th

Task 1: Describe who you have round to your home recently. What was the reason? Also, are you having anyone round for a meal in the near future? If you are, what are you planning to make? Is there anyone in your family who has you round regularly?

2. She also made them as a treat

This is a very useful combination. Here, Debbie talks about why her mother made the food. The pattern is: subject + verb (+ direct object + indirect object  – if necessary) + as a + noun (treat, warning, punishment, reward). This is shorter and more efficient than saying She made them because she wanted to give us a treat. The examples below show how flexible this is for many different situations:

  • She also made them as a treat…
  • The dog barked as a warning…
  • She had to wear it as a punishment…
  • He bought them cakes as a reward.

Task 2: What treats did you receive as a child? Do you give anyone treats or rewards? Who and why? Give three examples.

3. …as we loved cheese

as is a very versatile word in English. Here, it is a synonym of because. If you are preparing for an exam, or just want to use a wider variety of vocabulary, using as is a good way of not repeating because.

  • as we loved cheese
  • I arrived early as I wanted to change my clothes.
  • They didn’t use the lift as it was out of order.
  • She forgot to reply as she was too busy.

Task 3: Use as  to explain 5 things you did yesterday or are going to do later.

4. …how moreish they were

This is such a great adjective, especially for fans of food! Moreish basically means that a food is so good, you want to keep eating more of it. Here, Debbie precedes it with how, which adds emphasis, and means we don’t need to say: that they were so moreish. They can also be an exclamation on their own (How moreish! – this is quite informal).

  • I’m amazed at how old he is.
  • All the restaurant reviews said how bad the service was there.
  • Have you seen how beautiful the sunset is in California?
  • How fantastic!
  • How exciting!
  • How handsome!

Task 4: Write a short dialogue between two people who are talking about experiences they had in different restaurants or hotels.

The recipe

  • 1 packet rough puff pastry
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 onion
  • enough grated cheese to cover a dinner plate
  1. Roll out pastry till it’s really thin and cut out circles to line your baking tray (the ones with 12 holes to fill!).
  2. Chop up the onion into small pieces.
  3. Beat the two eggs.
  4. Mix the cheese, onion and egg together adding some salt and pepper to season. The mixture shouldn’t be too runny. Add more cheese if it is.
  5. Pour the mixture into the pastry bases.
  6. Cook in hot oven 210º for 10 minutes and then lower the temperature to 130º for another 10 minutes until the savouries are a golden brown colour. Best eaten straight out of the oven!


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