Local Heart, Global Soul

August 31, 2013

Loving It, Hating It and Not Knowing What You Might be Letting Yourself In For…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Last summer our visiting Singaporean friend “Velvetine” (I’m using her internet screen name for privacy reasons) stayed at the  Saracens Head  Hotel in Great Dunmow whilst Himself and the kids enjoyed roughing it in tents with a group of friends.

One of the bonuses of staying in a hotel was that breakfast was included so over the time of our stay we collected quite a few Foodie photos. This is a compilation of them all.

“Velvetine”  adores eggs, so opted for an egg dish every day in the form of a cooked English breakfast or  Eggs Benedict (with Hollandaise sauce)  or Egg Florentine (with hollandaise and spinach), and another version that I can’t remember the name of that had salmon as the extra ingredient.

I also rekindled my love of Marmite… when I first came to Europe I was used to the New Zealand version of Marmite and didn’t like the flavour of the English one,  and then it became a moot point because Marmite wasn’t available in the Netherlands anyway.

Now, years later I can get Marmite in one of the Dutch  ex-pat specialty shops but never bothered because I assumed I wouldn’t  like it. On a whim I tried Marmite again some 20 years after my first attempt at British marmite and probably because I have completely lost the taste of the New Zealand version, I discovered I liked it, and liked it a lot.

A large pot of marmite went into our shopping basket before we went back to the Netherlands and I have been buying it and having it semi-regularly ever since.  Marmite is a “love it” or “hate it” kind of taste, and I have one enduring memory of it as a child.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I think that my sister and must have been around eight years old.  My Dutch Oma (grandmother) was visiting New Zealand and she didn’t speak English.

My sister and I had limited Dutch. The kitchen was a little off the dining room and my Father and Mother were busy there, leaving my sister and I with Oma at the breakfast table.

We looked in awe and amazement when Oma suddenly seized the pot of Marmite with great delight and issued a torrent of excited Dutch at a rate we had no hope of keeping up with.

I clearly remember her spreading a very thick layer of Marmite on her bread and watched as the slow-motion-like sequence of events unfolded. She raised the bread to her mouth with a massive smile, My sister and I were still dumb-struck at how much Marmite she had used and sat in stupid wonder.

As she chewed that first bite a look of shock and horror came over her face and her whole face crumpled up, and we then witnessed an elderly lady make a spritely dash for the rubbish tin accross the room, where the offending material was deposited.

Then came the shriek of disgust and another torrent of Dutch that bought my father running from the kitchen, as apparently Oma thought she had found some sort of Dutch stroop (a sweet  dark syrup) in New Zealand that she really missed and had expected something sweet on her bread.

It appeared that her bitter disappointment was both figurative and literal.  My Father then gave my sister and I a strict telling off for not stopping her… which I remember to this day because I thought it most unjust.

How were we to have known that she didn’t know it was Marmite? The transformation on Oma’s face as the realisation hit was however an enduring memory that will remain with me for all my days. Now I can laugh and see the funny side but at the time she definitely couldn’t.  I suppose it was safe to say that we didn’t any translation that day to tell us that she wasn’t in the Marmite  “love it” camp.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I think Velvetine made off with the photo trophy of the series with these two very photogenic Egg Florentine photographs…

(photograph © Velvetine) Used with permission

(photograph © Velvetine) Used with permission

(photograph © Velvetine) Used with permission

(photograph © Velvetine) Used with permission

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