I think that the Brit’s reputation for bad food is undeserved.
The produce and meat here are AMAZING. Pricey, but fresh, organic, locally grown, and so beautiful. Of course, it has to look PERFECT per EU food standards.
It used to be that any “blemished, knobbly produce” were not allowed to be sold. The recent high food prices have caused this standard to be relaxed, provided the food is going to chopped up and not actually “seen”…
There are so many new things to try that I’ve been inspired to prepare things like pea and cucumber salad with feta and fresh mint, or savory Chicken Fennel Provençal for… you know, LUNCH.
The other day, I went to purchase fresh basil (BAY-sil) and found that for a few pence more, I could have my very own fresh basil plant and have basil for eternity…
Besides, I’ve always wanted to be the kind of cook who adds in stuff from my very own herb garden. Sure, perhaps I’ve maimed, drowned, or dehydrated every plant I’ve ever “nurtured” (even a cactus), but it’s worth a shot… and what better time to start one? New beginnings all around!!
I took my plant to the front of the store and waited my turn at the cashier. The elderly gentleman behind me in line pointed to my purchase and read the label aloud.
“Basil (BAH-zil). Why, that’s me! My name is Basil (BAH-zil)“
I smiled sympathetically, the way you would towards any kind, but crazy person.
“So, what does one DO with basil exactly?” he asked as I paid the cashier.*
“The basil (BAY-sil)… I plan to cook with it,” I said.
“Cook with it?!” he asked as if I just admitted to eating puppies and tree bark.
“Uh-huh. I plan to add it into a meatloaf tonight” I said taking my bag and preparing to leave.
He pressed further, asking what a meatloaf was and how it was prepared. Then, he inquired on how I was enjoying living in England and my thoughts on the weather…
Eventually breaking the conversation. I bid him farewell by saying, “Well, it was certainly nice to meet you, Basil (BAH-zil). I hope I see you again and that you have a wonderful day.”
“Enjoy the… what was is again? Meat…loaf…”, he called out after me.
I guess it was a good thing I wasn’t there buying tampons…
*Update: We get asked this quite a bit actually. I sent Mike out for maple syrup and frozen waffles for Avery a few days ago. The idea of freezing waffles seems to strike the locals as absolutely bizarre…
Why not make it from scratch each morning?
Yeeeessss, why don’t I… Because I have nothing else to do but cook, serve, and clean. Where do you think I live? Hampton Court? I’m inspired, but not THAT inspired.
Mike’s request for maple syrup was down right spat upon. “You want to eat… tree sap?” the clerk asked him.
Once Mike clarified that it comes from Canada, clerk seemed to slightly approve. He pointed Mike towards the “International Food” aisle and there it was with the chutneys and soy sauces.