A craving for barbecue

It was the last day of the July 4 Holiday. It was still hot, but not as humid as it had been We were sitting in our garden enjoying the view (above) when our neighbors started to barbecue. It smelled so good that we decided we had to have some. While we have a barbecue grill we haven’t used it this year and we didn’t have any supplies. So we decided to go out to a nearby BBQ place and pick some up.

Round Up Texas BBQ. It was very good too. Note the sign for ‘Lone Star Beer’

Another view of Round Up Texas BBQ. Some kind of food preparation going on inside.

I felt like a drink while I was waiting for my wife to come out with the food. Unfortunately, she came out just as I got it so I had to take it home. So now ‘It’s Miller Time”, or at least ‘Lone Star Beer” time for me.

Taken with a Sony RX-100 M3.

A Classic English Lunch

I recently discovered that you can buy pickled onions on Amazon.com so I ordered a few jars. When it came to lunch the other day it occurred to me that I could have a classic English lunch. It’s called a ploughman’s lunch and, in its basic form, it consists of fresh bread, cheese (in my case two different kinds, but I don’t remember what type they were), and onions (originally raw onions, but nowadays pickled onions). Some people also like to have ham and/or pork pie. I prefer to keep it simple and in any case I haven’t yet found a good source for pork pies (which I love) in NY state. Everything is traditionally washed down with beer.

According to Wikipedia:

Pierce the Ploughman’s Crede (c.1394) mentions the traditional ploughman’s meal of bread, cheese and beer. Bread and cheese formed the basis of the diet of English rural labourers for centuries, with skimmed-milk cheese, supplemented with a little lard and butter, forming the main source of fats and protein; onions and leeks, in the absence of expensive seasoning, were the “favoured condiment”. The reliance on cheese rather than meat protein was especially strong in the south of the country. As late as the 1870s, farmworkers in Devon were said to eat “bread and hard cheese at 2d. a pound, with cider very washy and sour” for their midday meal. While this diet was associated with rural poverty, it also gained associations with more idealised images of rural life. Anthony Trollope in The Duke’s Children has a character comment that “A rural labourer who sits on the ditch-side with his bread and cheese and an onion has more enjoyment out of it than any Lucullus”.

Ploughmen, like other farm labourers, generally ate their midday or afternoon meal in the fields.

The Oxford English Dictionary notes the first recorded use of the phrase “ploughman’s luncheon” as 1837, from the Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott by John G. Lockhart, but this stray early use may have meant merely the sum of its parts, “a lunch for a ploughman”.

While farm labourers usually carried their food with them to eat in the fields, similar food was for a long time served in public houses as a simple, cheap meal. In 1815 William Cobbett recalled how farmers going to market in Farnham, forty years earlier, would often add “2d. worth of bread and cheese” to the pint of beer they drank at the inn stabling their horses.

For more on the ploughman’s lunch see this article: How to eat: a ploughman’s lunch from The Guardian newspaper. I particularly liked the quote from Tommy Cooper, a famous British comedian (now deceased): “I had a ploughman’s lunch the other day … he was livid.”

Taken with a Sony RX-100 M3.