Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Week END


I keep hearing interesting differences in pronunciation between the Queen's English and American English. We say WEEKend. They say week END. Emphasizing the closure of the week. We say goggles. They say googles, rhymes with poodles. Same spelling as our spelling, though. Ben suggested that I wear GOOGLES as I was handling some toxic substance. I gave him yet another puzzled look. He showed me where they keep the googles. Oh! Goggles! Speak English dammit.

Rain rain rain. Wind. Rain. Wind and rain. Dreadful weather. I join Nick, Ben, and Liz for the morning in the Dairy. I wanted to go over the morning routine, since I'm going solo for the first time on Sunday. I'm not going anywhere in this weather and they're happy for the extra help.

After Tea Time, I went to Totnes. Stores close early on Saturday so I wanted to get some stuff for supper. Nick asked if I could run by the butcher for him. I'm happy to help. I got a roast beef for Nick and a rib eye steak for myself. A.W. Luscombe is one of the best butchers in town. They have limousine beef. I have no idea what that means but it must be nice. This family butcher has been in business since 1788. I also went to the Ticklemore Cheese Shop. I was in the mood for some Comte. Yum. Down the road from the cheese shop is Annie’s Fruit Shop. I popped into pick up some runner beans for Nick and some potatoes for me. I walk in and there are five young women wearing green shirts waiting on other customers. It is not a large shop, so the space was pretty tight. I go over and look at the selection of runner beans. One of the green clad girls approaches me and asks if I need help. I tell her what I’m looking for and she shows me three different runner beans from different farms. I pick the local ones, and she selects a bunch of beans for me. I am a bit put off by this personal attention, as I’m not used to having someone select my groceries for me while I’m standing there. But I got over it and had her pick out some organic potatoes for me. After I recovered from my sticker shock when the aloof teenager told me my total, I paid and went back out onto Totnes’ main street.

It’s Saturday, so Fore Street is pack with families strolling slowly up the steep street. The sidewalk (if you can call it that) is less that two feet wide at its widest point so you must dodge strollers, other pedestrians, and traffic driving up the narrow street. I needed milk, so I wanted to go to the Riverford Organic Farm Shop. This is a local farm and dairy that has a small shop in Totnes as well as on their farm. Their milk and yogurt is a bit cheaper in their shop, but their products are available in most of the local grocery stores. They also make some nice looking pasties and meat pies. I might have sample them in the future.

A woman working as a cashier at a natural food store spotted my California driver's license in my wallet and said that she's from California, too. Turns out she's from Petaluma. Her husband is English and she's been here for three years. Small world, indeed.

I head back to the van and race back to Ticklemore. It rain has picked up. Ugh.
I had the steak for dinner. It was fork tender. I usually avoid beef in Great Britain. Not because of Mad Cow Disease, but I usually don't like the flavor. It's just not as good as U.S. beef. This local stuff made me change my mind. It was really good. I might have to amend my rule.


Not a flattering look for me, but it keeps me clean and the cheese clean, too!

I go solo! I had my notes in hand and got up early so I could get on with my day. I don my chef trousers, wellies, lab coat, and blue hairnet bonnet. I unlock the Dairy door and enter the room. There are lots of things for me to do. It is a two page list of tasks. I salt cheese, I move cheese, I scrub the Making Room. I disinfect the work surfaces. I rotate moulds and trays from a caustic bath to an acid bath, but I must rinse them before they get transferred. I must prepare the moulds for Monday and I must wash down the sinks and floors. It is supposed to take about 2 ½ hours. It takes me three, since I'm new at this thing and I keep double checking my notes.

I go back into the apartment, eat lunch and collapse. It has turned into a sunny day with big puffy clouds darting across the sky. I feel like I should go do something, but it is hard to get the motivation to go somewhere when you must do it alone. I go to the supermarket, instead.

I did it. I bought a frying pan. It is a small, nonstick pan that weighs nothing. It cost £2.49. I can now scramble an egg. Yippee! I love exploring supermarkets outside of my home territory. You never know what you'll find. I was pleased to find haggis in the meat aisle. It comes in logs like Jimmy Dean sausage. I guess you supply your own sheep's stomach.

I go home and assess my dinner options. I'm uninspired so I head back out to a pub in Totnes called the Royal Seven Stars Hotel. It's more of a tavern with a few bar areas, a B&B, and meeting rooms that you can rent. It always has a ton of people sitting outside at their al fresco tables, and the food has a good reputation since a couple from Dartmouth took it over. Since it was Sunday, they were offering Sunday Carvery. Yes! I've been trying to find a place that offers a traditional English Sunday meal. The more traditional pubs offer a hearty meal roasted meat, usually roast beef and/or lamb, roasted potatoes, roasted veggies and a flavorful gravy. I took a seat in their non-smoking room and opted for the leg of lamb with a creamy vegetable soup. I was in heaven. It was good and reasonably prices (for England.) Added bonus: they offer free WIFI!!!! Woo Hoo! I can kill two birds with one stone. Carvery and free internet access. I plan on returning often.

1 comment:

Papasan said...

Your blog makes me hungry.