When I was a student, midnight snacks meant what you ate when you come back from dancing all night, and that meant only two things: a big mug of tea, and toast with Marmite. One of my housemates would always put on the kettle, another would light the gas grill and put a load of bread under it. While the bread toasted and the tea brewed, you'd get to put your feet up, kick your shoes into the corner of the room, and have a laugh about all the stuff that happened over the night.
Now I'm at university for a second time and a bit older -- oh alright, a lot older -- there's no housemates apart from Mr Flicking the Vs, no dodgy gas grill, and most of the late nights I have are when I've been staring at anatomy and histology text books until the early hours.
Two things have remained constant in my midnight snacking though: tea and toast.
I still love Marmite on my toast, but if I'm going to the trouble of making a midnight snack, I want something a bit more fancy on my bread.
For some reason whenever I make a batch of cheese sauce (cashew cheese sauce, obvs) I always end up with a few tablespoons left over in a plastic tub in the fridge. If I'm looking for a lazy late night snack, it's a matter of warming up said tablespoons, sticking some tempeh rashes in the frying pan, and pushing the button on the toaster.
By the time the toast pops up, I've got the sandwich of my dreams:
But that's not where my love of cheese, proteiny sandwiches stops. I've recently become acquainted with Sainsbury's vegan meatballs. Vegan meatballs in a standard issue supermarket -- what a time to be alive! And what if I put them in a big puffy bap, and poured cheese sauce over them? Wouldn't they be ever better? Yes, yes, they would. And what if I did all that, only I chucked a bit of marinara sauce into the mix? Would I have created one of the best sandwiches I've ever troubled my face with? Yes, I'd do all that too.
OK, making something that requires turning on the oven -- as this sarnie does -- would have been considered a bit of a health and safety risk after a night of rum down the student union, but when it's studying not throwing shapes that's causing me to burn the midnight oil, it's not so risky, and the payoff is definitely worth it.
And, I'll be honest with you, going back to university second time around and a lot later on in life, those late nights are few and far between. These days, I'm more likely to be getting up stupidly early to revise than staying up late to hit the books. Still, the best thing about both of these sandwiches is that, as well as being great midnight snacks, they make great breakfast sangers too.