Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Worth Giving Up Freedom For

When you serve a Mormon mission, there are a few things that you can pretty much count on:

1) It will suck. It will also be awesome. I do not know how this is possible, but it is also true.

2) You will have companions whom you will find it difficult to love. (See how I didn't say hate? It took all of my self-control.) You will spend 24 hours a day with them ad nauseum, and it will begin to feel like Groundhog Day except with no cute love interest to spice things up.

3) You will meet the craziest people this world has to offer. There will be people who can no longer brush their teeth because they never have, and if they start now, their teeth will fall out. There will be pathological liars who will tell you that they are country gentlemen, when in fact, they are hobos. There will be old women who yell "Block of Cheese!" as you try to talk about religious matters.

So, imagine my surprise, when, fully knowing these three laws of Mormon mission life, I showed up in England to discover that my first companion was, well, delightful. I'm talking the kind of delightful who remembers WWF (before they changed it, people) wrestlers like Rowdy Roddy Piper and Jake the Snake. I'm talking the kind of delightful that loves chocolate passionately. We were, quite frankly, fast friends from the very start.

We stayed up late laughing about the crazy people we'd met that day, she would laugh so hard that tears would roll down her face, and I would laugh so hard that I would wet myself. Quiet dignity, I always say.

On Carol's blog (which is just as delightful and funny as she is in person, really), she recently posted about her great desire to move to the United States, primarily so that she can have basic freedoms like the freedoms of speech, movement, and religion. I kid, but only because England isn't taking its communism as seriously as it used to.

So in response to her post, which actually had nothing to do with freedom but everything to do with food, Rhett and I came up with the enticing food that England has to offer that would be worth giving up our liberty for.

Rhett would leave the land of the free and the home of the brave for these items:

Cadbury's Dairy Milk Bar--I know that you probably think that you can get this here, but trust me, it's oh-so-different, and quite frankly, JUST PLAIN WRONG. Because it's not Cadbury's unless it has "a glass and a half of full-cream milk in every bar". I used to eat this stuff by the POUND, and it wasn't even my favorite. I'm a Galaxy girl myself. ("Why have cotton when you can have silk?") Do you like how I've managed to make Rhett's part of this all about me? It's a skill, really.


Hobnobs--I'm not entirely sure that moving to England would be the maximum effort Rhett would put in for these babies. I think he might happily sell his soul for a package of them. I will agree though, they are lovely.

Also worth transplanting your entire family thousands of miles for:

Lamb with Mint Sauce--This is how you know I really asked Rhett these questions, because EW! I hate this combination. I can't even tell you why he likes it, because it kind of grosses me out to even hear about it.

Now, on the other hand, let's talk about the really good stuff that the UK has to offer. Here are my big three:

Fresh cream donuts--I actually believe that I could find these in New England, but where I grew up, we had NOTHING like this. I believe that I ate one of these every single day that I lived in England. It was like heaven. Even seeing them now, makes me a bit Pavlovian. Slurp.

Gravy--Oh, kill me now. Seriously, I am ready to jump on a plane, order the blandest meat with two vegetable meal at the first pub I see, and drench it in gravy. It's the British way, people. And yes, I know we have gravy here, too, but it is not the same. In England, it's perfectly acceptable to cover every item on your plate in heavy gravy. And, good heavens, I love gravy. You know that saying, "Everything else is just gravy?" Whatever. The gravy makes the meal, I say.

Gateaux with Cream--I couldn't find the right picture, but basically imagine this without all that pesky fruit getting in the way, and a huge amount of fresh cream poured over the top. And then imagine how moist and delicious the cake is, and then eat the whole thing all by yourself. And then you know what my mission was like.

Perhaps it's better that we live here. I'm pretty sure I would develop type-2 diabetes within six months of moving back. Because I can't say no to gateaux, gravy, or donuts.

But then again, I also can't say no to chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, and fudge. So maybe it's more of a problem with me.


D said...

Personally I think the Lion bar is one of the best candy bar creations ever as well. I love Hob Nobs too. And the Indian restaurants in London are amazing! mmmmm.... yummy...

I remember hearing a talk about missions (during conference I think) while I was on my mission. The speaker talked about certain smells that would take him back to his mission. I joked with my companion that smelly trash and dog would be the smells that brought back memories for me. We tracted a lot of trailer parks in 90 degree and 90 percent humidity. That made for some ripe trash and dog smells. Miraculously I had an easy time with all of my companions but one. I think I was a trial for some of the ones that I loved though. :)

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean, it's not the same! A big favorite of ours was the Milk Chocolate Swiss Lindt Truffle bars! The ones here don't even do them justice, even though I have no problem devouring them. I guess they save the best for themselves, I'm sure we do the same! As for everything else about missions - ditto!

Sarah Anne said...

I can't believe you used the word moist.

Quite personally, I could bathe in cream. Those donuts would act as my bubbles. Delicious.

Heidi said...

Yes, and I thought of you as I typed it. MOIST!

Carol said...


Oh 'block o' cheese' what a lovely walk down memory lane.

You forgot to mention Macho Man Randy Savage, he was my favourite. (Yes, because his name included the word randy.)

I am so touched that I introduced you to 2 of your 3 favourite things. I don't believe I can take any credit for the gravy, that was probably the Page's they did have a large role in your becoming Anglicised.

Love how you made Rhett's choices all about you too, quite a talent my love.

Oh and you forgot the part about how we share one personality as claimed by the squashed faced one.

Ok I'm off to eat gateau and doughnuts....mwahahahahaha!

Sibri said...

Let me know if you need me to send anything over to you guys okay?

Not Cream donuts and gravy though!

Anonymous said...

One word--VIMTO!!!

Jen said...

Oh, the Hobnobs. I miss them a lot. I was introduced to the tim tam slam in the UK, and it's a great love. You take long, chocolate coated cookies, bite off each end, and slurp hot chocolate through them, then eat the cookie. It's like heaven without dying first.

Brooke S said...

I just at a hobnob this morning no kidding. My friend from the U.K. Brought me a few favorite treats. If only they were the Orange Chocolate Hobnobs. Thank heavens for Pirate "O"'s in Draper all the great treats just far enough away that I don't get to eat them every day. My favorite meal in the U.K. was in a Pub in Windsor next door to the tea shop that was crooked. YUMMO!

@my said...

oh diabetes is going crazy just reading this post! you have such a gift to blog!

AMY said...

Heidi, You forgot to mention our trip to the chippies to get a chocolate bar deep fried in batter! You always did love your chips with gravy on them. I'm all about the vinegar! Gateau and cream(anything with cream), that is my all time fav too!

Celia and Scott said...

Oh the mission. Those were the days right? Here was my thing with Brazil:

#1-Their version of the cream donut was called a "sonho," and boy was it ever the dream that it claimed. Filled with cream, fried perfectly, and rolled in sugar. The best part? They were sold by men driving around in little cars with obnoxious music blaring. These donuts FOUND ME! Speaking of Pavlov, I think I gained 5 pounds every time I just heard that music.

#2 - Pao de Queijo, aka "cheese bread." Besides chocolate and milk, could there be any greater combination than cheese and bread?

#3 - Small wonder that I gained over 25 lbs. on the mish.

Beeswax said...

HOB NOBS!...I gained 15 pounds in two months in London. Here's how I did it: get the plain hob nobs, no chocolate, then dip them straight into nutella. Eat it. Continue until whole package is gone. Do it again tomorrow.

Also, occasionally buy a Cadbury candy bar from vending machine in tube station. (But not if the only thing left is the turkish delight.)

I did not get any cream donuts. Where do you get those? I feel cheated of donuts.