Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bacon & Beavers

Instead of my usual porridge for breakfast I’ve had brunch the last two days – bacon, mushroom and kidney in a cream and brandy sauce on toast yesterday, just bacon and mushroom on toast this morning. Bacon seems the archetypal English breakfast. Indeed it is one of defining characteristics of Western cuisine.

The word has French and Germanic roots but until the 16th century meant in English all parts of the meat of a pig. The phrase ‘to bring home the bacon’ has an interesting history. In the 12th century the English town of Dunmow promised a side of bacon to the man who could say in church he had not quarrelled with his wife for a year. These days the buyer goes into a draw for all purchasers of that particular product. At the least the old bribe had an act of commission.

This afternoon Anne and I watched a DVD, IMAX Beavers. A delightful nature programme. The advertisement says ‘The Biggest Dam Movie You Ever Saw'. Amazing their dam and lodge building feats. They are the animals next to humans who alter their landscape the most the programme claimed. I never realised they were the second largest rodent in the world.

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