061112.Widcombe, The King and I

November 12, 2006 at 6:28 AM | Posted in Bath, Cathedrals and churches, Food, people, Supernatural, Widcombe | 9 Comments



Pictured above: H., Me, and the King.


Last night in Widcombe’s St. Mark’s Church Community Center was the “16th Bath International Evening” with international residents and Bath Uni students representing their home country cuisines, and I represented the USA there.


I made it to the Pakistani table for their sweet rice, Tajikistani table for its honey-dipped fried pastry and raisins, Frech table’s meringue cookies, Scotish table’s Scotch shortbread cookies, and of course, Hsueh-Ping‘s Taiwanese table’s grand assortments, which as usual outstripped everyone else. (They even got a double table!)

Originally, I signed up so as to get a free ticket to try other people’s samples (You had to pay four pounds at the door for a 4 sample ticket). It soon turned into a contest between me and the nation of Taiwan, and in typical American fashion, it escalated from there. The damn dirty Dutchmen claimed historical rights over apple pies, etc., etc., and soon the whole world was stealing every shred of American cuisine.


So I strategically retreated to basics: potatoes and peanutbutter. No non-American can claim rights over those.


Another problem arose when I didn’t know if a sign would be provided, and since I lacked an American flag, I borrowed a photo frame containing my Iranian neighbor’s sister and slid in one of Elvis! Intrestingly, the reverse of the USA sign read “Dominica,” in case we were a no show.


I prepared a 5 gallon drum of penne pancetta (with onions, peppers and cream). A Taiwanese-Canadian neighbor helped me make two large bowls of the roasted garlic mash potatoes, and on site my Iranian neighbor turned out to have quite an eye for making the perfect peanutbutter and bananna sandwiches, naturally cut on the diagonal. We set a tall and leaning stack of sandwiches in front of the Elvis photo…and they went quickly. We had to prepare three new stacks before we finally closed up.



Everyone loved them, and they still loved Elvis who remains an international symbol. (Everything was eaten in the end.)


Otherwise, I took my picture with “The Right Worshipful The Mayor of Bath” but failed to impress upon her the appetite to try one of the peanutbutter and bananna sandwiches.


…and then He appeared. We had run out of plates so He couldn’t try any of the pasta or potatoes but he took a sandwich triangle and smiled. “Thank you, thank you very much” was all he said. Such a gentlemen.




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  1. Fantastic picture!!
    James, how could you creat this picture? It’s amazing.
    I think you’re the winner in our competition because the food you prepared was almost three times of I did, and your food was almost sold out!
    And I liked the sandwich.

  2. haha, thanks. no way, your food tasted much better.

  3. Wow. It really, really looks like you Photoshopped yourself into that first picture. Snazzy sportcoat.

    Peanut butter + bananas + potatoes > cream bacon

  4. Great picture! I definately appreciate the subject matter being from Vegas!

  5. and who is He….?

  6. Greetings from Finland, James!
    I have left an answer to your comment in my page.

    Your pictures are really skilful and interesting.
    Good work 🙂

  7. Interesting story; great photo. You must have had loads of fun. What are you doing there? Graduate school—just being nosey!

  8. Nice pictures man, and a good description 🙂

  9. […] At the bottom left of the etching and picture, you can see houses and an ugly church. This is St Mark’s, now a community centre but built as one of three Commisioner’s Churches in Bath (the other two are Holy Trinity […]

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