A British-American bluestocking living in the UK writes about politics, pop culture, and emerging new paradigms as they unfold on both sides of the Atlantic. (New content.)

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

The Duchess of Beans on Toast

(Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall with her two children, Tom and Laura)


Beans on toast is a very traditional British fast food and one that I discovered soon after I arrived here. It's right up there in the British fast food realm with Cornish pasties (that's "pah-stees" not the things that dancers with names like " Skye Rocket" use). They are like turnovers stuffed with sausage, potatoes and just about anything that can fit in there. They have about two million calories and three million grams of fat. And of course, they are delicious. I am convinced that you can gain five pounds by just standing outside a fresh pasty shop and smelling them. They are that rich.
Today, it was reported that the Duchess of Cornwall was outed. Her son, Tom Parker Bowles who is a food critic and writer said that his mother raised him and his sister on a diet of "fast food." Apparently, beans on toast and beef burgers on the run were the norm at the Parker-Bowles house. There were no sit-down meals with silver and foie gras at the Parker-Bowles home. He said that his mom often just had them eat "beans on toast" and "Wimpy burgers." That would be the American equivalent of "White Castle". That's downright well....almost...normal.

I thought this was like an anthem for the common woman....remembering the dozens of "Mac and Cheese" single-mother-on-the run dishes I cooked when raising my daughter. But then, I thought, "Camilla...you weren't working...you were home....and you were still feeding your kids fast food....? Was it that you had to get to the fox hunt early? Or did you have to sneak a smoke behind the barn before the reporters arrived from "OK" magazine? Or were you just too busy chasing our beloved monarch of an organic farmer around the country?"
Camilla, with all due respect, you will have to tell me that you shopped for your kids clothing at ASDA, had your holidays at Butlin's and put nail polish to stop the ladders on your hose before I can think of you as "one of the girls." Tom will have to admit that he had to pry you away from your Mills and Boon potboiler romances and that you wore pink curlers and lit your ciggies in the toaster. He will have to say he was traumatized when you wore Pond's cold cream and came to tuck him into bed and he thought you were a phantasm come to haunt him. He will have to let us all know that you clipped coupons from the "Daily Mail" to get the full set of "Darling Buds of May" on DVD and that you were late for dinners at Buckingham Palace because there was a particularly scintillating episode of Emmerdale to watch. Yes, then, maybe....just maybe....I can believe that you indeed...were one of us...the frazzled, pinched masses of mothers-who-are-too-busy-carpooling-and-coaching-soccer- to-lunch.
Beans on toast....delicious on the run, madam, but not enough.