Thursday, March 22, 2012


Tesco – you and I aren’t friends sometimes.

It was my birthday last week so I decided to take the day after off. Day after? Well, the day of you get your presents and your cake from people at work - and by God don't my colleagues know me:
And of course the day after you’re quite hungover. So it really makes sense. And this dear friends, in fair Clapham South, where we lay our scene. I needed breakfast. So, as I was totting down to Tesco to get my bounty I should have realised that mid-morning is not the best time to enter a supermarket.

The world goes from the frantic pace of 7.30am - 9am to a Thriller like zombie video, complete with shuffling and 1984 fashion trends, post work rush. And there's no better place to see this than the discount aisle at everybody's local Tesco.

Now you think a supermarket should be the easiest place to navigate. Up one aisle and down the other, selecting the goods you want usually right at eye level. Even lab rats have more of a challenge getting through a maze. But bugger me if it doesn't baffle people. And if you're moving at the pace 3 steps an hour, one would think you wouldn't need to turn around because you've forgotten something - you've had the whole morning to pick what you want!!!

Finally escaping the risk of death by supermarket frustration, I made my way to the self service section (insert love life joke here). And Tesco's new and confusing checkout systems looms. Not having enough faith in their customers to be able to identify items alphabetically, they've now gone down the track of  food group pictures, such as 'fruit' and 'onion, garlic & herbs'.

Now if you can't figure out how to spell potato, how on earth are you going to figure out to select vegetable - root vegetable - potatoes - and then there's several varieties ranging from red skinned to baked to mashing. And if you're the same person I walked passed that morning trying to pick the difference between .01% skimmed milk and .05%...you're farked.

So as I was led to the door screaming 'a tomato is a fruit God damn you' I remembered that I was here for breakfast.

Now I thought I knew how to cook a normal breakfast. It’s a simple formula. Two parts eggs, three parts bacon multiplied by mushrooms and divided (on top of) 2 toast. Commonly viewed as:

2e + 3b/To + M 

But all this was about to change. I had a suggestion put in my head that very morning. And for those of you familiar with me, I encapsulate the phrase ‘an idea is a seed’. Seriously, just mention something to me and it grows and grows and grows until I must do it.

So this idea: try HP Sauce.

Some of you may know this sauce, some may not. Commonly called Brown Sauce, HP Sauce has a malt vinegar base, blended with tomato, dates, tamarind extract, sweetener and spices. The inventor called the sauce HP because he had heard that a restaurant in the Houses of Parliament had begun serving.

Northerners love this shit.

Now, I wasn't too sure whether I should dabble in this sauce too much. Like I said, I know what makes my breakfast work and I'm pretty happy with the situation. In fact, last time I contemplated the other accompaniment to an English fry up I was a touch skeptical: http://barts-european-tour.blogspot.co.uk/2006/11/beans-means-heinz.html  ....and I'm still not convinced.

However, willing to give the benefit of the doubt, Brown sauce has been added to the equation (and of course must cover all other goods):

HP(2e + 3b/To + M)  

So after six years in the UK, I've finally discovered a breakfast item that I can add to my repertoire. Now how the hell do I pay for it at Tesco....

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