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The Return of the Village Fete

The judgin’ o’ the veggies. Yes, they really do this and yes, they take it very seriously.

One particularly hilarious category was swiss rolls, where some judge or judges wrote detailed critiques on index cards for each entry, explaining why they voted the way they did, what issues that particular swiss roll had and how to make it better next year.

BTW, red ribbon is first place here and blue is second. Make brain hurt.

There was a point I was sure the village fete would never return. So many of them were teetering on the edge even before the lockdown, and I thought the lockdown might’ve broken some people forever.

I still think there are some permanently damaged people out there (they all seem to hang out in Twitterland), but we went to two village fetes this weekend alone, and they were *packed*.

No masks, no distancing, no elbow-bumping, no fear. It was absolutely, 100% the old normal. But busier.

These were the middle classes, they who listen to the BBC, trust the government and no doubt had every recommended shot at its appointed time. They weren’t being defiant. They weren’t even thinking about covid. They were just done.

I wonder if that’s how Klaus Schwab saw this going at this point in his project.


Comment from Teej
Time: August 3, 2022, 8:57 pm

I wish people were more ‘angry’ than ‘done’.
But I’ll take done.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: August 3, 2022, 9:03 pm

What will it take to anger the herd?

Comment from Teej
Time: August 3, 2022, 9:27 pm

I dunno—starvation?

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: August 3, 2022, 9:59 pm

Take away their tv, and their beer, at the same time.

Then be sure and tell them they can eat cake if they’re hungry.

Comment from lauraw
Time: August 4, 2022, 2:27 am

I had to look up ‘swiss roll.’ Imagine my disappointment when it wasn’t some fascinating euro-vegetable I’ve never heard of but need to have asap. Hmph.

I was certain it must be frost-hardy.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 4, 2022, 10:30 am

Just wait till the blackouts get under way this winter. And the food shortages. It won’t just be the trainer stores that’ll be looted this time.

Swiss roll is still very nice, lauraw: even if it isn’t perfectly hardy.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: August 4, 2022, 11:51 am

The 21 year old who lives in my head suggested a Swiss Roll might be, uh, a nice afternoon with a blonde named something like Inge or Heike, somewhere in a pleasant little Swiss hamlet.

The actual owner of said head, who laughs when the 21 year old sees his “residence” in the mirror some mornings and yells “ahhhhh! What the hell!”, correctly identified the Swiss Roll in question.

Reminds me though, I should get some Swiss Chard for fall planting.

Comment from Jon
Time: August 4, 2022, 4:24 pm

I’ve been angry so many times, but have a tendency to take it out on myself rather than others. YMMV.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: August 4, 2022, 6:20 pm

That fete looks lovely with all those carefully grown vegetables, flower arrangements, and baked goods. Does Uncle Badger offer up his produce for admiration? I think it would be fun.

We are currently watching a program (programme?) on Amazon Prime about British Chefs from all areas of the land competing to cook an banquet for Prince Charles and 100 selected British boutique food producers. The premise is interesting – the chefs are to use -to the maximum extent possible- ingredients from boutique growers from their particular part of the Isle. There’s a lot of lovely stuff to choose from, but given the focus on making ‘true British dishes’ I am beginning to form an impression that everyone in the U.K. only eat ham, lamb, beets -lots of beets- and mushy peas (often disingenuously renamed as pea-puree). Oh and terrines – which are apparently small bits of carefully selected whatever dropped in a bath of aspic and served cold in slices after the jelly jells.

When there is an attempt at daring variety, it seems to run to hoggett (which apparently an animal too old to be a lamb and too young to be a sheep), mackerel, winkles, and assorted pickled fish. I think I do recall seeing one beef dish.

Cabbage and potatoes seem to be rare or almost non-existent but that may be tied to the lack of any Irish chefs in the competition so far.

A good swiss-roll for desert would be lovely, but even the desserts seem to be running to beets, rhubarb, and gooseberry whatevers.

So finally, to my question: I know that mushy peas are a thing in the U.K., but the whole common usage of beet-roots is catching me by surprise. I’m not generally a fan. Are they really all that common there? Might one encounter a beet on his or her plate on any given Sunday? Here they only appear at Thanksgiving for that one weird uncle who claims to like them.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 4, 2022, 6:29 pm

The anger will come, y’all. I promise.

With what they’re doing now, food shortages are inevitable. That includes booze, by the way. Many, many people won’t be able to heat their homes properly and even more won’t be able to afford travel.

And if they can’t deliver electricity consistently, that means all the things they hoped to distract us with won’t work, either.

Cold, hungry, stuck at home and watching them jet all over the world to wag fingers at us? Oh, the anger will come.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 4, 2022, 6:31 pm

Yes, Some Veg – beetroot is pretty common. But potatoes are *hugely* common, and we do have our share of cabbages.

I wouldn’t judge any cuisine by celebrity chefs.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: August 4, 2022, 7:21 pm

JavaMan loves pickled beets, and we are currently in a pickle because the built-in microwave oven over the top of my electric range is too low for the canning pot to clear. This is bad, folks.

JavaMan has a bumper crop of beets, and unless we do a water bath in the turkey roaster, using half-pint jars (or those dainty little “quilted” jelly jars), we will be freezing the beets. What we have the most of for now is yellow crook-neck squash and banana peppers.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: August 4, 2022, 9:23 pm

Did someone say pickled beets? Eh? Eh?

Or sauteed beet greens?

Nom nom.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: August 5, 2022, 1:49 am

@Deborah HH — Is using another heat source for the canning pot a possibility? Camp stove, gas turkey fryer burner, large stand-alone hot plate?

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