The restorative powers of fat

While I am obviously a man of restraint and fine moral vigour, occasionally the desire to celebrate with a glass of two of chilled sherry can become a little too much for me. Unlike certain other of my friends, I’ve never been reduced to begging for cash in public or been forced to leave a family member’s birthday party and subsequently fallen fast asleep on a cold hard kitchen floor. But that doesn’t mean I’ve never woken up with a head seemingly pounding out its own vibrant African rhythms, and a clear yet somehow elusive feeling of regret and momentary self-loathing.

On such self-induced occasions, the body really has no choice but to accept emergency aid. Yet like a foreign power helping out in a region so that it can later lay its filthy hands on all its natural resources, that aid seems to provide initial relief before you later realise that it’s probably done as much damage as the original problem itself. With more grease than the elaborately coiffed hair of a 50s throwback, the hangover breakfast tastes like the greatest meal on earth while you’re eating it, but 37 minutes and 23 seconds later leads indirectly to the familiar pained cry of “I’m never ever drinking again.” And an afternoon on the sofa watching fourteen episodes of Murder She Wrote on some obscure cable channel.

Nevertheless, there are some times when only fried food will do. And for me, the meal of choice on the morning-after-the-night-before can only be the bacon sandwich. Crisped to within an inch of their lives, each rasher must carry a powerful payload of HP Sauce, and preferably be sitting on thickly sliced highly processed white bread. Artisan-made organic multi-grain loaves have their place, but that place is not the morning after, say, showing off your breakdancing skills to a rapt-yet-terrified crowd.

Sadly bacon in the United States is 98% fat, 2% pig testicle, and as a result, the bacon sandwich doesn’t quite have the same appeal. Instead, the hangover breakfast American-style comes either with eggs, or at least 87% more cheese than an Abba-themed fancy dress party. The everything bagel with ham and cheese is a welcome addition to the campaign to fight over-consumption, but it’s not the universal panacea that the body requires.

On Sunday morning, I woke up with a slight sore head and jokingly remarked to The Special One that she would be my hero forever if she brought me a bacon butty in bed, safe in the knowledge that the house was a resolutely rasher-free zone. Fifteen minutes later, she stepped into the bedroom with a toasted sandwich containing two split open and grilled smokey hot dogsbrats. American ingenuity and innovation at its best, I say. And you know something, it actually tasted remarkably good.

Didn’t stop me from having sausage, chips and beans for lunch at the local chipshop, obviously. But pretty damn good nonetheless.

14 thoughts on “The restorative powers of fat

  1. Karen

    Ah yes the bacon sarnie ๐Ÿ™‚ Good for every occasion.

    We like to sleep all day the morning after and around 7pm get up hop online, order some dominos and then flop on the couch and watch lots of
    tv.
    With the way things are now, I doubt we will have any morning afters for a while ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Dylan

    Grahame – good to see you back. And you’re right…forget the economic crisis, ignore the interventionist politics – just get the sodding bacon issues sorted.

  3. Jan

    I wrote an article once about how to cure your New Year’s Day hangover, here’s a snippet:

    Drinking as much water as you can before bed will alleviate dehydration.

    Take a multi-vitamin before and after drinking to help combat the depletion of vitamins and minerals lost in the body as a result of alcohol consumption.

    The next morning eat a breakfast of:

    Eggs, which help soak up the alcoholic toxins in the body.

    Banana, which replaces lost potassium, the result of alcoholโ€™s natural diuretic effect.

    Fruit Juice, fructose helps replace the bodyโ€™s vitamin C and sugar reserves resulting in increased energy levels.

    But give me a bacon butty anyday. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Expat Mum

    I have to add to Jan’s list. Chasers – you can buy them here in drug stores (how American do I sound eh?). Apparently, they really do stave off hangovers. You have to take them before you start on the booze, so it’s a bit like admitting upfront that you’re going to get ratted, but hey, if it works.
    The other one is Resolve, which they don’t sell here, so the next Brit to go back home can buy loads and dish them out.

  5. Lisa

    Remarkable!

    NB. Don’t you just get a bit slightly peeved by the lack of witty English responses on your blog?

    :o) (smiley face… I know how much they irritate you)

  6. IanB

    You see, you’re not helping the whole “it’ll be OK, Americans are just British people in the wrong place” thing. Bacon sarnies are an important staple food group to a dyed-in-the-wool soon-to-be-in-Omaha-Brit like me. I’ve still not recovered from the shocking ignorance of Marmite that my own beloved one showed until I educated her on the sludgey goodness (“it’s ok, it’s supposed to taste like eight cups of salt dipped in diesel”). 2% pig testicle? 98% fat? I didn’t realise Tescos made bacon in your new part of the woods.

    Oh, and the “sure” post – really, you’re not alone on this one:

    “Would you like some coffee?”
    “Sure”
    “You mean yes?”
    “Sure”
    “er…”

    p.s. Yes, I know this is probably a witty English response – don’t listen to Lisa, for public safety reasons she’s not really allowed to use computers any more.

  7. Krista

    Firstly, love your blog. I’m in the opposite situation–American living in London. Secondly, the bacon butty. I like bacon. I like bread. I like HP. But the three together…it’s just so plain! It seems so wrong to not have something else with it.

    When I go to my local caf–The Market Cafe on Whitecross Street by Old Street tube–and order a breakfast sandwich, I have to be very specific: I have to ask for bacon, egg and cheese and repeat myself. Otherwise, all I get is bacon. Or maybe bacon and egg. 3 times out of 5, I have to return the sandwich to the kitchen for the cheese. Weird.

  8. Milo

    I remember how awful the bacon is (I lived in MA for 1.5 years as part of my university exchange). I really missed fish and chips too! Just doesn’t seem to be the same out there.

    I’m going to my fave fish and chip shop late afternoon for dinner. Olley’s in Herne Hill. http://www.olleys.info/ In this huge city it usually comes in the top 3 in the ratings.

    All this talk of food is making me hungry.

    PS Hi by the way, I like the blog! ๐Ÿ˜›

  9. Silverback

    Thank you, Milo, for introducing me to this blog – but not for reminding me how much I miss ‘proper’ bacon. I just can’t understand how this nation puts up with thin crisp lengths of pig fat with tiny bits of actual pig just making up the numbers.

    And don’t get me going on Canadian Bacon !

    Fun blog, Dylan

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