So, I was surfing the BBC News site this morning. It’s a nice way to start the day – the bad news in Great Britain doesn’t seem quite as bad as ours. Or maybe it is, but it’s a different sort of bad. Anyway, the BBC is enticing. Before I move on to other websites, I’ve usually read four or five news stories from across the pond.
One that I read today was “In Orwell’s Steps,” by Paul Mason, BBC2’s Newsnight economics editor. Mason decided he would follow the route taken in “The Road to Wigan Pier,” written by George Orwell during the Depression in 1936. The book is an account of how the dismal economic times affected the people and countryside of England.
And today? Mason wondered. Roughly 2 million people are now unemployed in Great Britain, a great many of them recently. How is the recession affecting the people living along the route from London to Manchester and Wigan Pier these grim days?
Mason’s article is excellent. Do go read. Then come back, because I’m not done yet.
I’d been thinking, vaguely, of having some breakfast. What to have, what to have? A bowl of granola? Maybe some of that brown basmati rice I made a couple of days ago to eat for breakfast, with a banana and a sprinkle of cinnamon and a little soymilk? Egg on wholegrain toast? Lowfat and un-sugary, yes, but none of those sounded very appealing. But after reading that recipe, I had to try a bacon sarnie.
Trouble was, I didn’t have any bacon. And even if I had, it wouldn’t have been the meaty, British-style “rashers” they love so much. But I did have thin-sliced, packaged lunch ham from the deli section at the grocery store. Might that work? I decided I’d give it a try, got out the fry pan and went to work.
Ohmigod. That has to be the most delicious thing I’ve had since Christmas. I’ve been eating very carefully these days, slowly dropping excess poundage and keeping it off, so something as decadent and fattening as a bacon sarnie hasn’t passed my lips in, well, just about forever.
Substituting the ham for the bacon worked well, for me. It’s still very rich, and when fried until it’s starting to brown and crisp, it’s delicious. I always have wholegrain bread on hand, and by a strange stroke of serendipity, I even have a bottle of HP “brown” sauce, that British staple, in the fridge. And, because of all the mild, sunny weather we’ve had around here, The Girls (our five Rhode Island Red hens) have been fooled into thinking Spring is here and have started laying eggs again. So I fried one of those, breaking the yoke on purpose and cooking it until it was soft, not runny, and then put it on the bread with the ham.
The world seems to be righting itself, for now, and the weather is how it ought to be the second week in February – cold and snowy. Having that bacon (OK, ham-and-egg) sarnie really hit the spot. Was it calorific? Yes. Was it probably bad for me in a variety of nasty but subtle ways? Indubitably. But it was worth every single, savory and sensuous bite. Besides, tonight’s dinner is spaghetti squash and salad. Look at the recipe I found!
Note: The photo is of the second half of the sarnie I made this morning. I ate it immediately after shooting the photo. There WAS a second photo, for a while, of the snow outside my window. But I didn’t like it stuck at the bottom of the post, and Blogger wouldn’t let me place it anywhere else without screwing up the text. Sometimes I hate Blogger.
*”bacon sarnie” is also Cockney rhyming slang for “Pakistani.” I’m not gonna go there.