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I was concerned over Gill’s immigration status in England after the Brexit vote. Since she hasn’t lived there long enough to get her coveted ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’ status, it’s possible, if things don’t go well in the near future, she could be deported. She is feeling more than a little unnerved and unsettled.Politics can get ugly.

In this current political climate, where Trump sees a conspiracy theory behind every bush (perhaps a Bush named Billy?), it was only a matter of time before the Brits had their own conspiracy theory. To my way of thinking, their problem doesn’t rise to the level of Trump’s ‘the media, Clinton campaign and the government are all in cahoots against me to rig the election’ but it is serious in Britain.

What is the issue?  It seems that, with the threat of Brexit, Tesco stores have taken a stand against the distributor of Marmite, that oh-so-yummy (not!!) yeast spread that Brits slop on their morning toast. Consumers refused to pay the extra 10% that Tesco was trying to pass on to them — a response to Unilever’s rise in price. War was declared and Tesco stores were running out of Marmite. Customers were enraged.

Now I get that people are enraged over a steep price hike. But this is Marmite, folks! It’s boiled yeast, for god’s sake! I realize I am treading on dangerous territory (even here at home) since L’il Sis is a big fan of everything yeasty. When she became vegan, she struggled during holiday celebrations since she could no longer have the traditional roast bird and gravy. She found, to her way of thinking, a delicious substitute in the form of yeast ‘gravy’. Yes. that’s right…nutritional yeast gravy. (I suspect they add the term ‘nutritional’ so at least you can feel virtuous for eating something so foul.) It looked bilious and tasted worse. But she couldn’t praise its glories enough.

One particular Christmastime, she had made the glop at her place and put a bucket of it in the back seat of her car to bring to my place for dinner. She had also , I believe, two dogs in the back seat. One was Elvis the coonhound and the other was her first rescue beagle Wilbur (The Pig’s equally bratty rescue hound predecessor ). L’il Sis had to leave the car for a few minutes to get something she’d forgotten and returned to find the gravy gone, the two hounds covered in yeast gravy, belching. They had attacked and eaten the entire bucket of gravy! First of all, this brings into question the ‘palate’ of the dogs. Who could eat that much of the vile stuff? Then again, these dogs were known to eat everything from dog shit to garbage and all things in between, so I guess this shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Dogs are not gourmands. The growling and gurgling of their upset tummies became the entertainment for the evening. From what L’il Sis said, the aftermath, all during the night, was most unpleasant. Both ends of the dogs were in revolt.

Lil Sis also insisted that when mixed with garlic powder and parmesan cheese, the same nutritional yeast makes a delightful topping for popcorn. She made me try it once…and once was more than enough. I’m glad she likes it but I will never be a convert. I prefer my popcorn greasy with butter and overdosed with salt.

I had not tasted actual Marmite or its close cousin Vegemite until I went to Australia. I was actually surprised that Aussies would eat such an unappetizing substance, given all the wonderful local food they have. Their restaurants are top notch and seemed to have escaped, in large part, the reputation the Brits have for being bad cooks and  serving bland, overcooked meals…mushy peas leap directly to mind. But I did taste Vegemite in Australia and found that it lived up to my expectations…awful!

I thank my lucky stars Gill hasn’t ‘gone over to the dark side’ and adopted Marmite as her go-to breakfast spread. I was so happy that she made a special effort to buy peanut butter during my recent stay with her. How could anyone want Marmite when there’s peanut butter, jam, honey or Nutella to be had? Only the Brits.

But a compromise seems to have been reached between Tesco and Unilever. If this is the first salvo, the shot across the bow in Brexit negotiations, Britain is in for an ugly, prolonged battle.

 

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