Monday, September 05, 2005

British aid to Katrina evacuees

The British have finally noticed Katrina over the weekend.

From the coverage I've seen, just about every news crew has personally saved some individual. What did the British SkyNews tv crew do? They saved a beagle (it was really cute). They picked it up on a Saturday, and had so many phone calls and emails from viewers that they showed it again on a Sunday, safe and well, though missing her owners.

The UK government is sending emergency aid to Katrina evacuees, including British Army Ration Packs, at US request.

Since I've lived in the UK, the quality of food has noticeably improved. But I wondered if the British Armed Services had managed to catch up? What exactly were these poor people in shelters all across the South going to get? Here's a picture and a menu.

Here's a couple things I noticed about it:
  • That pack contains something called a Yorkie Bar. It's a decent enough chocolate bar. They've usually been marketed as the "manly" chocolate, with tv ads showing a burly lorry (truck) driver munching away. But several years ago they introduced a new marketing campaign "Yorkie Bars. It's not for girls." The Vol-in-Law started buying Yorkie Bars then, bringing them home, and refusing to let me eat any. "No," he said. "It's not for girls"
  • It contains British puddings. Puddings are what they call desserts here and they are usually made out of lard and flour and sugar and not much else as far as I can tell. They're too stodgy for me in the cold months, so I can't imagine what they must be like to eat in the heat of early September in the South.
  • It contains mystery foil packets. The Vol-in-Law was in the Territorial Army -TA- for a while and brought home some of these little mystery foil packets after weekend warrioring. I threw them out a while back, so I don't know what's in them. Perhaps the Vol-in-Law can fill us in.
It's very generous I'm sure, but this came through a request to the European Union. Surely countries with better culinary reputations than England could have stepped up. It reminds me of the old joke... Heaven is where all the chefs are French and all the police are British, and I can't remember the other nationality jibed at... but turn it around and in Hell all the cooks are British.

Update: Egalia at Tennessee Guerilla Women has a nice post about who's giving to the Katrina effort.

1 comment:

Vol-in-Law said...

I can't add much re British MREs - the little foil packets are hard tack biscuits. They tasted ok to me when I was in the TA; they're full of calories and one is more than enough food for a day if you're sedentary. The desserts are indeed stodge, which is exactly what you want after hard field training and a cold rainy night under a plastic sheet. Maybe not so perfect for Louisiana in September.