Wednesday, 21 February 2007
The Mother Country
It's not actually my mother country but there were moments where I wished it was. It was certainly a lovely change from the scorching Melbourne summer. Nothing could drive one further from the desire for roast lunches with all the trimmings. Sadly it was hard to come by the traditional English meals I had envisioned. You were more likely to stumble across a burrito or Thai salad than a steamed pudding. I did manage to track down Cumberland sausages and mash and a beef pie with suet pastry but it involved considerable effort.
I was most pleased to discover the warmth of English hospitality. One of the loveliest meals was shared at the home of a wonderful couple who got no more than 5 hours notice I would need a bed for the night. I observed Nigel was open on the kitchen counter which is always a good sign. The meal certainly didn't disappoint. The juiciest roast chicken accompanied by roast potatoes so crisp they could only have been done in goose fat. We nibbled on chocolates and coffee into the morning.
While the meat is undoubtedly better at home I am so very jealous of the abundance of European produce and wines. The Harrods food court alone had seven varieties of proscuitto! I felt less guilty about my purchase when a fellow buyer spent 50£ on foie gras which he preceded to eat for his lunch. I did develop a rather bad habit of buying chocolate truffles and cheap bottle of French wine on a daily basis. Given the exchange rate my wallet is certainly happy to be home!