Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Taste of Home

Recently, I heard a colleague laughing about an acquaintance of his who went home to Spain and returned with a stash of the food he missed most - tinned hot dogs. For the sake of self-preservation, I thought it best not to disclose the foods I miss most from my homeland. (Candy corn, butter tarts, zebra cakes. Ahem. And bacon.)

In my experience, when you move away from a place, it's often the silly little snacks that you end up missing. Usually, they are tied to a particular person or place or memory of some sort. Butter tarts taste like summer at Point aux Pins to me. Cheez-its taste like high school lunches and after-school snacks.Candy corn tastes like Halloween parties. One time I had an entire bowl of candy corn for breakfast after waking up from a Halloween sleepover. Followed by Reeses cups and Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Breakfast of champions.

I have just returned from a visit to England. Lovely England, home of my ancestors, Paddington Bear, Postman Pat, the Peak District, and every spring more baby lambs than the human heart knows how to deal with.

Home, also, of the treacle tart and the Bakewell tart, shortbread fingers and Hobnobs, properly-made breakfasts, Yorkshire pudding, and flapjack. I had elaborate plans for what I was going to feed myself while I was away. Sadly, many of those plans were thwarted by a virus of the gastroenterological variety. 

On my very last day, while passing through Sheffield for the first time in five years, I happened upon a food festival in the city centre. What luck! The smells of lamb bap and sausages and curry and all good things swirled about me. But alas, I was on bananas and juice and tinned peaches and unable to partake in even one of the twelve varieties of brownie. I wandered about instead and chose what I would have eaten had it been allowed. Pork and crackling, applesauce, potatoes, and stuffing, all in a box for only 4 quid is what it would have been. And a Bakewell tart. And maybe a Rollo brownie. I had to remove myself from the premises before I caved and regretted it.

I never did get my Bakewell tart, or my bangers and mash, or my Sunday roast, or my meat pie. The proper breakfast I had was a rushed one on the last morning before catching the bus to the airport. But I did come home with these:

A few practicalities for a girl living abroad...

No comments: