Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Home comforts

Melusina of Mel's Diner posted yesterday.

I interrupt this post for a public service announcement. Don't play your music out loud on the Tube.

(Erghh here's the problem with blogging on the Tube. I'm being distracted by a kerfuffle caused by a young hooligan playing his hip hop without earphones on his tinny mobile phone. Two people have already asked him to turn it down or off and he's ignored them. I've asked him too, quietly and politely with a surreptitious hand signal. Ahh he's just got off at Stockwell, hurray. I wish him a career with a miserable commute, clearly hanging is too good for him.)

Anyway, yesterday Mel posted about an expat care package she's received from her family. Maybe her family cares more about her than mine care about me. (Everybody go awwww).

But it's true you do miss certain items, and her post inspired me.

Here's what I stock up on:

  • Lipton ice tea. You can laugh about bringing tea to England, but the tea here doesn't make good iced tea. I need my iced tea on the rare day it's a bit warm
  • Dale's sauce. Yumm Dale's sauce, nothing makes a steak so good. VolBro was supposed to bring me some from Knoxville but he forgot.
  • Goya seasoning packets - great in chilli and beans. Who couldn't use a little more MSG in their diet?

Most things I've found adequate substitutes for. Thank goodness for the Asian population here. Through their stores I can buy all kinds of dried beans, cilantro, okra and cornmeal. With this and my stash imported from America, I can have my beans and cornbread and iced tea.

But there are other things you can't get and can't reasonably have sent to you: Grainger Co tomatoes, fresh catfish, SunDrop, really fresh corn from your neighbor's garden, my Aunt Virginia's chocolate chess pie...

You can't smell autumn in the Smokies or see the stars shine on a cold moonless night in December on the Trace. You can't watch kids running barefoot through the grass on a still, humid night catching lightening bugs. You can't go to the river on a hot summer day and swim in your cut-offs. You can't see Knoxville bloom into beauty in Dogwood season.

There are just some home comforts you can't get in a box.


melusina said...

No kidding! I was going to end my post with something like that, but then I thought I would cry again, and I already cried when I wrote my leaving Nashvegas post. I'm too weepy these days.

And I wish they had a strong Asian population here. No cornmeal, and I am jonesing for some cornbread.

genderist said...

Other things that don't fit in a box:
* the only fireplace that puts out real heat in the winter
* random get-togethers with old friends and plenty of beer and box-wine
* Nana bread
* the sounds of a late summer night next to the woods
* comfort of knowing that if something happens, someone who cares about you is close enough to come help -- (I know my measley 12 hour drive doesn't hold a candle to your swim across the Atlantic, but Uglyhoma feels like a foreign country.)

We always tank up on Sun Drop, Ricks BBQ, and Martha Washington cornmeal when we make it home.

dawn said...

I would be glad to send you some stuff direct from Lawrence County, if you'd like. Unfortunately, I cannot attest to the staying power of Rick's BBQ, but I am sure that some Dale's (or my favorite, Johnny Fleemans) would travel just fine.