It's soft, chewy, squoosy... it's Malt Bread

My husband went to England with the goal of gaining weight. Yes, gaining. Yay.

Even though he did not grow up on its carby-meaty-goodness, and regardless of its bad rep, my husband loves British food. Cream buns, bangers and mash, marmite, steak and kidney pie... and now malt bread.

I had forgotten about this heavy, moist, sweet and raisiny delight I loved in my childhood. First, you have to try to cut a slice without squashing it into a condensed brown slab - impossible - then slather it with full cream butter and swill it down with a mug of hot tea and... mmmm!

Apparently other ex-pats crave the taste of their childhood. When I Googled "malt bread," at least two results came back from former Brits wondering how to get it or at least find a recipe. When I find Golden Syrup and fresh yeast state-side I will attempt to make a loaf or two, but meanwhile my husband and I will be fighting over the butt end of the solitary loaf we brought back with us.

I should mention that despite the XL portion of fish and chips eaten on the beach, cheese and onion pasties, and multiple pints of ale, my husband did not gain any weight. How? By doing the other thing Brits know how to do better than Americans (ahem) - we walked everywhere!

Day one: AM: down the lane and along the estuary. PM: all around the town (Newton Abbot) where all homes, stores and restaurants are in one area.

Day two: AM: along a river and around a country estate (Dartington). PM: contra-danced at my aunt's birthday bash.

Day three: on Dartmoor and around the village below (Widdecombe).

Day four: AM: around and around a castle ruin (Berry Pomeroy). PM: along the beach (Teignmouth).

Day five: all over another town (Exeter), its central green, cathedral, shopping streets, and along its river.

Day six: AM: along the beach and around the shops of another coastal town (Sidmouth).


And that's how I got away with eating toasted tea cakes, very milky coffee (with full cream sometimes), Cadbury's chocolate, pork pie with mustard mashed potato, lamb curry, and ice cream with a chocolate flake, and drinking shandies and cider as if I was, well, English.

Damn, I think my jeans shrunk...

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Checkin' out?

I had intended to write a little piece on the "fun" of preparing myself, my children, my house, and my mother-in-law for my week out of the country, but we leave tomorrow and needless to say those preparations took priority over telling you all about it.

But I must thank my new naturopath physician who got me through the madness. I am so calm I am fretting that I'm not fretting. I keep wondering when the ball is going to drop. Each morning I squirt a dropper of this foul concoction of root and herbs into my juice (it fizzes like acid) and after I get feeling back in my tongue I go about my day as if I have nothing in the world to worry about. Don't get me wrong, I'm not in some drugged haze - quite the opposite - I can actually see straight because my brain has quit trying to analyze every thought that goes whizzing by. You know those twirly things that short order cooks hang the orders on? That's how my brain usually works - everything I have to keep track of is stuck up in front of me and spinning very fast, too fast to read, let alone take care of. Well, the twirly thing has slowed down and there are fewer "orders" at a time. I take one at a time and I accomplish so much more. Yay, tastebud-dissolving root juice!

I also have to mention that I was asked to write an essay to be included in a book proposal (yes!) - another reason I haven't had any time to write here.

So, the countdown has begun. 24 hours from now I will have (tearfully) hugged my children goodbye and will be headed to the airport. I'm not taking my laptop, just my trusty journal and fountain pen. So, I am checking out for a couple of weeks...

England (spring, flowers, tea, pasties), here I come!

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Elvis has left the building... hasn't he?

A co-worker recently spent a couple days in Vegas. Another co-worker, an 17 year old on her first job, needed to call the sunbathing supervisor to ask a question. They chatted for a moment:

So, what ya doin'?

Lying by the pool, drinking a martini. I had my picture taken with Elvis a little while ago.

Wow! [big pause] Wait, isn't he dead?

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