here's a fantastic guest post by Brian Davis, a Alaskan Ambassador of Culture and Sausages
The English sunshine was bright on the whites at the Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, but despite the good weather the stands were mostly empty. It was Thursday, and Gloucestershire were playing Derbyshire on the fourth and final day of the inter-county trial championships. Henry and I arrived before noon and watched for two innings, five hundred twenty-six runs, and three wickets over seven hours, and joined the sparse crowd in congratulating the two teams as it ended in a draw. Simple and straightforward cricket is not. But the eats were good.
I had been going native while in England, drinking only “real ales” pumped from a cask below the bar and served tepid and flat. It’s good that way, and it only took me a little while to adjust. The bar at the cricket club had lagers on tap (Foster’s and Stella Artois are very common in English pubs), but when I ordered a Marston’s Pedigree I felt a bit the pub snob when the girl flipped a tap to dispense it. It tasted pretty much the same as in the pub, but there’s something rewarding about watching your barmaid work the shiny, lathe-turned two-foot-long wooden handle—it’s like your beer is coming from some cool, limestone cellar. I bought Henry a Stella; he feels a little guilty about losing his taste for the real ales. Too long in the States has made a lager man of him.
English cuisine fails to impress,
as is its reputation, unless you’re partial to meat and potatoes.
The lunch menu at the snack bar included chicken a la king, sad-looking
white chicken cubes on white rice which I observed sad-looking people
eating in the caf. There was also a standard Chinese stir-fry
plate with prawn crackers. (Apparently, when Brits go to a Chinese
restaurant in the States they search in vain for these deep-fried, shrimpy
little crisps, which are apparently a Sino-British invention.)
I went for the standard grease
and ordered the sausage bap with English mustard and chips. Chips
are fries, of course, served with malt vinegar instead of ketchup.
A “bap” is a bun, plain and simple. Often you’ll find sausages
on a pub menu under the alias “bangers,” but here they used the
American. English mustard packs a punch, a good accent for the
mild spice of the banger, and with a couple more ales I persevered through
the 88 overs in the 4-hour second inning, which saw some impressive
bowling by Gloucestershire’s Wagg and an exciting century-mark for
Derbyshire’s Birt. “There was much rejoicing… yeah.”
The final four-day score was Gloucestershire 624 for 5- Derbyshire 668 for 3… or something like that. Henry did his best to explain why this result was a tie, but I was content with what I head seen, heard, and eaten. Leaving the grounds we had a 99 Flake for dessert, which is a soft vanilla ice-cream cone (“cornet” in Britain) with a chocolate candy bar stuck in it like a straw. Cheers, mate