Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Things from Home.


I'm sure all ex-Pats have cravings for things from 'back home'. My list wasn't too long. 

Classics such as Marmite, Worcestershire Sauce, and even PG Tips Tea bags were all available at my local Leclerc supermarket; however, certain foods weren't, and I'd been having nostalgic yearnings.

English Sausages: Awful. Why I ever missed them I have no idea!

Battenberg Cake: Nice, but far too sweet for me.

Bread: I used to be a great exponent of artisan French Sourdough; but M & S thick sliced Farmhouse is wonderful, especially for my morning toast, or a Bacon sarnie.

Scotch Eggs: A really good quality Scotch Egg is a delight (just ask John).

McVities Biscuits: We could buy the milk chocolate biscuits in France, but not the dark chocolate ones. That has now been rectified.

Pork Pies: One of the real treats of being in England. Mine come hand-made from a small nearby shop, but I'm not against the better commercial ones.

Vacuum packed Kippers, with the little butter pat: I had difficulty finding these, but I now have, and I can hardly wait to broach them. Today maybe?

Gammon Joints: Gammon is unheard of in France, so I bought a big lump for this last weekend. It was gently simmered (in the old-fashioned way) with carrots, spuds, butter beans, and small onions. Lovely. The remaining soup will last for a few days.

Ready Meals from M & S: Their curries are very good; they need a little 'titivating', but excellent. Also their Lasagne is as good as home-made. Viva M & S Food dep't.

Bacon: Proper English smoked bacon is the best there is. I'm never without some in the fridge.

Black Pudding: France does produce some excellent Boudin, but I love the English version too.


And finally an unusual one. Tins of Thai Pickled Mustard Green half in Soy Sauce might sound like a strange desire, but I love them. They are crisp, sweetish, and preserved in a light soy flavoured pickle. I either serve them combined with a standard salad, or just as they are; direct from the tin. I can't tell you how much I've missed them; I bought loads!

41 comments:

  1. The Co-Op do a pleasant sour dough bread but it's expensive unless you catch it just before they bin it.
    Both Aldi and Lidl do malted bloomers which are 90p and acceptable.

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    1. There's plenty of nice bread about, I particularly like the one above; Farmhouse Granary. It seems to have everything I demand from a pack of sliced bread.

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  2. Is pickled mustard green like pickled cabbage? I have never heard of it.

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    1. It's quite difficult to describe. It's just the core of the cabbage; the bit people usually throw away. It's crisp, with a very pleasant oriental flavour. I find it very addictive.

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    2. I never throw that part away, just chop it finely and throw it in the pot with the rest of the cabbage, just like mum used to.

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  3. English sausages are not what they used to be. I blame the health police - not enough fat and salt.

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    1. For me it was not enough meat. At a blind tasting, I would also have had difficulty telling what type of meat is was supposed to be. They were horrible.

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    2. Keep searching. There are good sausages around, it is just finding them!

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    3. I haven't actually visited a 'butcher' yet; they are very tin on the ground. When I do, I shall buy sausages. The people who make the Pork Pies that I buy, also make sausages, so I'll buy a few there too.

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  4. I haven't had a bacon sandwich on soft-white bread in ages. Sooo delicious!

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    1. It's the one sin that no Rabbi can resist. A bacon sandwich is pure nectar!

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  5. We used to buy Scotch eggs from a specialist shop and deep fry them ourselves. We don't see them any more and I've never hunted them out.
    I'm not keen on pork pies.
    I ate gammon in England and wondered what the fuss was about. Very disappointing, but maybe it is better if used as you describe.
    We can readily buy McVities of all sorts, but I didn't grow up with them and they are just a biscuit to me.

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    1. With all those Prawns on the BBQ, it's hardly surprising that UK foods are low on your list.

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    2. Boiled ham is wonderful Andrew. I think you must have come across some very bad food prepaaration when you were in England. There are also many different pork pies, many I do not like but one I like a lot.

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    3. I agree, boiled Gammon is delicious; it's a very traditional English dish.

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  6. If you have trouble finding kippers, there is a very good kipper smoker here who does mail order. Vacuum packed kippers direct to your door!

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    1. As long as Sainsbury's continues its supply, I shall be OK. I might even freeze a few packs, but thanks for the info'.

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    2. I love the boil in the bag kippers.

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    3. I still haven't eaten them... tomorrow maybe!

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  7. John West herring fillets in mustard and dill sauce.

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    1. Yes, very nice. I'm a big fan of most canned fish, molluscs, octopus, etc. My stock is usually extensive!

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    2. I like the tomato sauce herrings and so does my cat, so I have to share the tin with her.

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  8. For good British sausages try the Waitrose store in Brighton and look out for their free range pork sausages or the free range Lincolnshire pork sausages. Both are meaty and delicious.

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    1. I'm not writing them off completely, I shall do some more research. But the one's I had from Sainsbury's were VILE.

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  9. What a list . It reminds me of what I miss. A decent sausage for a start. I doubt I'll ever eat one again so I won't be disappointed.
    Same goes for decent bacon.
    Ready made, English style, meals would be lovely .
    A real kiwi pie is what I'd really like to taste. Homemade is not the same. You have to get that ratio of fat to meat just right

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    1. I've heard about Kiwi Pie. Isn't it a pie made with minced meat and cheese? It sounds very good.

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  10. My brother-in-law gets his bacon by the slab from a butcher and cuts off what he needs for their meals. It puts any bacon I've ever had from a grocery store to shame.

    I've never even heard of pickled mustard greens.

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    1. I used to make my own bacon; it's surprisingly easy. You take a lump of thin end of Belly Pork, cover it with a mix of salt and sugar for about four days, rub off, and hang up for a few days somewhere airy. I remove the skin before the drying process, as it makes it easier to slice.

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  11. Having just returned from annual visit over the Pond, I will second M&S food. Always stay at hotels with my own in-room kitchen and head to M&S for my food supplies and evening ready made meal. Also agree on British bacon. Nothing like it in the US.

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    1. We're just back from M & S... Forget the clothes, their food is best!

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  12. On and off, throughout the day, I have been thinking about your post.

    To not disappoint as being "contrary" I can't agree with your assertion that British bacon is the best. It's good (the dry cured stuff) but do give me a slab from the motherland (the land of pork) or Italy any time.

    Yes, so I was thinking what I miss from the motherland. Or what I would miss should I leave the land I landed myself in (England). No idea.

    However, I was brought (almost) to tears a few years ago when my then neighbours (a young Eastern European couple) gave me some freshly baked Polish/Russian pastries, forgotten the name momentarily. Oh my god, I was transported back to "home". Whatever that constitutes.

    As to your sausages, you'll find them. If you do have a Waitrose in your vicinity, go to their fresh meat counter. That coil of Cumberland sausage will jump into your mouth. Though do fry them first.

    U

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    1. Cro, no sooner had I pressed "publish" it came to me. BREAD is what I miss most from the motherland. The amazing variety of REAL bread. Loaves. Proper loaves. Though England has improved big time since I arrived here.

      Toast? I may be toast in some quarters; to me toast (apart from Croque Monsieur) is an abomination. Though nice with that great English invention of Marmalade (Frank Cooper's or Wilkin & Sons).

      U

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    2. I went to Waitrose this afternoon and could hardly recognise it. It had grown hugely. I went specifically to visit the Deli Counter, which had shrunk. I wanted to buy Polish Kabanos sausages, but there was none. On the opposite side of the road is 'Taj'; the most wonderful food shop on earth; I was in heaven.

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  13. Sausage Cro - keep searching for a good butcher - thre are good ones to be had. Co-op Irresistaeble Pork are not bad - good quality Cumberland too.

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    1. The search continues. I know I'll find the one's I remember.

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  14. Your pantry is very well stocked. It must be very comforting to be reunited with all the traditional British foods.

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    1. We came back to an empty house, so literally everything had to be bought. I'm still finding things that I can't do without; for example, yesterday I bought Garam Masala.

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  15. Our Canadian household is especially fond of McVities biscuits, PG Tips tea, and me especially, Scotch eggs. My cousins Polish mother in law (!) made the BEST Scotch eggs.

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    1. I've never tried to make my own Scotch Eggs, but maybe I should. Meanwhile, I'm buying them from my supermarket and they're very good.

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  17. I have never lived anywhere but Australia (after arriving from Germany aged under a year), so Australian food is all I know. But these days there is a wonderful variety from other lands so no one needs to go without things they remember from "home". I do miss my mother's apple strudels, mine are never quite the same and bought ones are too stodgy and don't have enough apple filling.

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