I think it’s time to say something about food. Not that British food is vastly different to South African food (apart from the lightly distressing lack of biltong, boerewors and bobotie). Actually, no reason at all – there are just a few otherwise unconnected things worth mentioning.
Firstly – Heather Honey. It’s been a while since honey producers started isolating the flowers their bees visited, and orange, bluegum and fynbos honey are common ‘flavours’. But the honey itself remains the same texture, and apart from a slight variation in the colour, there’s not much difference between them. But have a look at the jar of Heather honey. No – it’s not spun, or raw, or anything like that – that’s how it comes. It’s so thick, in fact, that they can’t centrifuge it out of the comb – they need to press it out. And the taste – it’s strong, and intense. Awesome enough to be worthy of a Samson-esque hive location.
You have to taste this stuff – if you like honey, you’ll love it. If you love honey, you’ll be obsessed by it. If you’re obsessed by honey, well, it’s probably better that you stay away from it, or your life will never be the same again.
Ok – on to something less sweet. We were discussing Christmas food at the supper table tonight – offering the kids the opportunity to suggest the sort of things they’d like. Alex pipes up with something rather specific – Apples, cored, filled with with honey and raisins, and then baked. Probing a bit, it turns out that he picked this up from the educational video on “How to Survive Guy Fawkes” (not the actual title) that they showed at school a while back. (Yes – this was the same video that suggested that if you’re drinking wine, it’s best not to go back to the fireworks, as you might get burnt.) We didn’t manage to figure out why he’d retained that little recipe out of all the other information in the video, but it’s now on our list of puddings to make. His other suggestion was Salmon, cream cheese, honey, and peanut butter. You’ll note that he’s not quite old enough yet to discern the difference between eating your favourite foods in isolation, and eating them all together at once.
That said, we are looking forward to a cold Christmas, which enables the squaffing of a hot meal. If only to sate our intrigue at what a turducken tastes like. Or something like that. Although we’re strongly considering giving one traditional Christmas vegetable a skip – the Brussels sprout. Another thing that’s big here is having a Christmas do at a restaurant. Most pubs and restaurants start advertising in September, urging you to “book now for Christmas”. They offer 2 or 3-course meals at almost reasonable prices, with the intention being that you get your family and/or friends together and book a large table or two. It saves you the hassle, mess and fuss of having people over to your own house. Hmmm…. maybe not.
I’m rather impressed that I managed to get all the way through that without mentioning the daily lunch time carvery at the White Swan for only £3.59 a person.