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Thursday, 19 October 2006

Hold the Fries: Moving to Wales - Page 5

Written by Katherine H. Breen
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I come from America, land of the free and home of the super-sized. We super-size, oversize, and jumbo-size everything from fast-food meals to roadways. One of the first tasks I faced living in Wales as an expatriate was learning to drive on roads the width of American bike paths.


But months later, I forgot to get my boys their Richard‘s “pork and leek” sausages and found myself in Abergavenny on market day having just made the realization. It was half-past four and I had nothing thawed for dinner. Though I thought of returning to Richard’s, I knew the shop would be closed by the time I got back to Crick. All alone and pulling my hood tightly around my face, I snuck into the very butcher’s which I hadn’t dared visit in two months though I was in town once weekly. I looked over my shoulder before whispering my order of “pork and leek.” I was handed the sausages and tucked them beneath all the “veg” I purchased at the farmer’s market.

I scurrilously served those Abergavenny sausages that night to my two boys. Staring down at their plates after their first bites, noses positioned above the sausage for inspective sniffs, they grumbled, “Mom, these aren’t right!”

Then, they cocked their heads in suspicion and hissed, “Where did you get them?” I begged them not to reveal a whiff of my indiscretion to anyone and I swore allegiance to Richards and all things Crickhowell.

Village loyalty paid its dividends over the year. Jane and Collin, the owners of Richard’s Butcher Shop had acted as culinary paramedics as I learned to use an Aga Cooker. Aga Cookers, and mine was 27 years old, had four compartments of varying degrees but no temperature gage or dial. I navigated cooking speeds just as I did driving speeds--I guessed. I was particularly thankful when Jane and Collin prevented me from serving a healthy dose of Salmonella to ten unsuspecting Welsh guests who came for an American style Thanksgiving. The turkey was fine, it was the rock hard pie crust that sent them home in pain.

It was through the wise intervention of Anne, Collin and Jane that my family harmony was restored and we learned to live in rightful communion and homogeneity with all in our village. We, like them, enjoyed our town’s natural beauty, zipped along at adrenaline pumping speeds and proudly carried our meat purchases in Richards sacks.



©Katherine H. Breen

(Page 5 of 5)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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