Yes dear, yes she did. Noting our plate of shortbread, she continues ‘I waannnntt cookie… pease’. Ach Evie, this is a biscuit. Not just any biscuit but the biscuit of the motherland. However, Evie is undeterred by our astonishment and repeats the request until we relent. She is a little American, clearly her ‘Guys’ are not.
Despite my fondness for tea and biscuits I’ve always felt more comfortable abroad and fell in love with Chicago. It’s gritty and polished, grand and cosy, unassuming and badass. The people are warm and genuine. My home is here and it’s where my heart is but being so far from family at a time like this has worn on me. I began filling this void with motherland comforts, most of which can be fulfilled in the food world food isle of our local supermarket. Pig that I am. There are however a few cravings I have failed to overcome. Evie’s ‘guys and cookie’ moment reminded me that these will be foreign to her and Isobel, so I thought I’d write them down.
1. Back Bacon – The bacon mutt; part loin, part belly. Sandwiched between two thick slices of springy white bread = delightful.
2. Winding country roads and hedgerows – the grid layout of US cities does have the benefit of making me feel like a navigation super power however windy roads are charming. During those occasional sunny spring mornings when the wild flowers are scattered in the hedgerows, the sun is shining through the mist and there’s a chorus of bird song, I think it may just be the most beautiful place on earth.
3. Custard on puddings – Can’t quite believe our love of hot custard didn’t make it in the US. Is it an acquired taste? Perhaps the exported Birds custard powder got it a bad rep.
4. Sausage Rolls – I have yet to meet a meat eater who does not like these little morsels. Evie naturally already loves these but she has yet to experience my Nanny Youngs crumbly creations.
5. Walkers Sweet Chilli Sensations – washed down with lots of white wine. Cheap and cheerful.
6. Crispy Duck – slow roasted and basted duck served with cucumber slices, spring onion, hoisin sauce and rice paper pancakes. Perhaps not exactly a British creation but I have scoured menus for it here and never discovered it. My craving for it became quite extreme during my pregnancy with Isobel, to the point I drove out in a snow storm during the polar vortex to an empty Chinese restaurant. I was disappointed.
As you can tell, chemo has been no match for my appetite. Speaking of which, chemo tomorrow so off to bed for me.