On the Dingle Peninsula in western Ireland we met these kids getting ready for a night at the pub--like us, where we could enjoy the music and food.

Food British Isles
Salli & Samantha

For us, food in the British Isles was usually garnered either at a B&B or a pub. The B&B breakfasts (also known as a "fry up") were huge and kept us going most of the day. They always featured cereals (hot and cold), eggs, bacon (similar to what we Americans call "Canadian bacon"– our more fatty bacon is called "streaky bacon"), blood sausage (black, white or red puddin'), and toast. Sometimes there might be juice, tomatoes boiled in oil, or baked beans.

Pub food was fish and chips, steak and kidney pie, Cumberland curl (sausage), sausage and mash, Ploughman's Lunch (hunks of bread and cheese and pickle), stew or soup and . . . lasagna. The food was pretty much the same from place to place, and heavy on meat and grease. Between the ubiquitous "pint" of brew and the food, we soon found that we were putting back on all that weight we lost in India.

At times we'd have a kitchen--in a hostel or a friend's home, and we'd be able to buy things that were a little lighter and more diverse. In London, I loved going to the big "Tesco" or "Sainsbury's" markets because they were filled with foods and people from around the world. Women in silk saris or batik turbans floated down the aisle chatting in unknown and exotic dialects. They searched for and found spices and mixtures for foods from India, Africa and other former corners of the British Empire. As for us, we'd usually settle for bread, cheese, fruit, and veggies and occasional chops and tarts.

Yes, we did fall in love with the idea of tea-time, complete with scones, finger sandwiches, tiny pies, tarts and cakes. Mr. Kipling, who is the Little Debbie or Hostess bakery of the UK was a special favorite, especially to Samantha. . . .


My heart was set . . . I'd found the man of my dreams. Aunt Jemimah and Uncle Ben had both warned me, but he was such a good cook I thought I could overlook a few imperfections. I mean, who can make a better tea cake than Mr. Kipling? Blinded by his neatly packaged cherry tarts, I was a fool to ever think it could work out between us. But then there was the whole Betty Crocker incident and all my plans were crushed. Crushed that is until I realized I hadn't set my sights high enough. Here I was delving into the world of baked goods when I really should have been focusing on loftier positions, such as royalty. So this is it. I'm done messing around with silly pastry chefs and I'm ready to get serious with my new romantic interest. I haven't met him yet, but I have seen his face on the cover of Time and from what I hear he's doing very well at Eton. I haven't received the transcripts I sent for, but I'm sure that he'll measure up very well. And he's less fattening than my last crush -- no, I'm not bitter. But anyway, I've decided to marry Prince William and although we may come from different backgrounds, I really think things could work out – particulary if he too likes Mr. Kipling's.

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