Thursday, January 18, 2007

Baked Bean Fixes

Sometimes the bounty of Gelson's or Whole Foods or Von's just doesn't cut it and when that happens, I either head down the mountain to PCH and onwards to the King's Head in Santa Monica or down the other side to the 101 and onwards to Thousand Oaks. Tucked conveniently into the tidy middle of that (T.oaks) rather conservative suburban community is The Fox and Hounds. Like the King's Head, this place is stocked full of 'nursery' food...the simple foods of an English childhood and, as such, the foods of dreams. Yesterday I stocked up on a few of our favorites: tins of Heinz Baked Beans (they just taste different), boxes of PG Tips tea, frozen sausages, small jars of mint sauce, Rich Tea and Digestive biscuits, a Crunchie bar, some mushy peas and a few other low on the totem pole foods (total bill $74.51). No shock there. British foods are easily quadruple their UK shelf price on this side of the Atlantic. You can't leave the shop without one of the two elderly ladies (one Scottish gal who sounds exactly like the housekeeper on Doctor Finlay's Casebook) and t'other a moody but goodhearted octogenarian lass from the South (Essex) pushing the 'papers' on you. Yesterday was no exception and they chirpily handed over The British Weekly and the Union Jack, the Scottish lady purring, "You'll be wanting to read these dear, now won't you?" Damn straight, I thought, especially with articles like this...and I quote.

"Drunken Bishop Has No Memory of Antics

After throwing children's toys from a stranger's car before being pulled out and splitting open his head, a Bishop said he didn't remember the incident.

The Rt. Rev. Tom Butler, 66, the Bishop of Southwark, when asked what he was doing, reportedly replied: "I'm the Bishop of Southwark. It's what I do."

He then 'staggered' off into the night leaving his cross, personal organiser and Home Office correspondence in the car.

At first the bishop claimed he'd been mugged as he made his way back from an embassy function in central London to his home in Streatham. But his spokesman later said: "He'd clearly had a glass of wine but does not recall being drunk as a skunk. He finds it incredible to believe he was in a different part of town in a car and left belongings there. But he doesn't recall."

Mercedes owner Nicola Sumpter, 33, said the first she knew of the incident was when her car alarm went off. She said: "My boyfriend and his pal raced outside and were stunned to see a grey-haired man in the back seat. He was throwing my one-year old son's toys everywhere. He wouldn't get out so they pulled him away. He couldn't stand up straight and fell over, bashing his head."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't you just love it? Bangers and Mash? Shepherds Pie.....sometimes you need a fix that Freshfields just doesn't have...

I was interested in your trans Atlantic life is similar but Australian Brit. Its great isnt it? You become a citizen of the world and not just a country but it also means sometimes "home" doesnt have the same meaning.

10:30 AM  
Blogger Antipodeesse said...

We also watched Dr Finlay's Casebook during my NZ childhood in the Seventies. I also loved Sutherland's Law, and The Pallisers. Susan Hampshire was my ideal woman when I was 8 years old!

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We shop there too! Gots to get some PG Tips.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Lin said...

robyne, you are so right and yes, it is great. We're lucky.

antipo, isn't a hoot what sticks with you from childhood. I reckon I have a clear memory of all that isn't important and the pivotal, really important stuff? Gone.

anon...maybe I'll see you there! haha...

7:45 PM  
Anonymous jenijen said...

I'd be forever in your debt if you could send me a recipe for mushy peas.

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

funny the way one only craves these things when you don't live in the UK. I have been seen creeping ashamedly to the English supermarket on my island. Ah well.

3:21 AM  
Anonymous sweatpantsmom said...

Mmmmm. Mushy peas!

When we went to England to visit Rigel's relatives (Kira was only 18 months) I had my first taste of authentic Fish n Chips and mushy peas. I haven't had any since. Perhaps meeting at Fox and Hounds for our much awaited lunch? I'll email you!

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