Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday Memories

A few years back, I was staying in a pub in Surbiton during one of my first trips to the UK. I will often remember the trip for having lived above a pub for so long, and for making such good friends whilst over there.

I will also (on this day) always think of that pub because of the publican and his wife (? - Partner?), who was the cook; at least she was in the kitchen whenever I ate there. She was also (it is my firm belief) an observant Catholic.

I know this because of what happened that Ash Wednesday. It was breakfast and the publican was taking order-after-order for the Traditional English Breakfast; sausage, beans, mushrooms, eggs, and grilled tomatoes. He had sent back quite a few while I was sitting there, and he had just delivered a plate of steak and eggs to the next table and was commenting on how nice it looked and how he would love to have had that for breakfast when his (again – partner? wife?) cook walked out of the kitchen and announced in a voice that filled the bar and dining room:

“For those of you who would rather not eat meat on ASH WEDNESDAY we do have Kippers and Eggs or Bubble and Squeak on the menu today!” (And yes, when she said it, you could hear that she was speaking in all capitals!)

She then disappeared into the kitchen again trailing a look of disdain and roll of the eyes from the publican. I am not sure how many takers she had for the kippers, but the sausages were lovely!

Wherever you are today, I hope your breakfast was whatever you wanted it to be!

Don Bergquist – 25 February, 2009 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

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