Over the last twelve years, I’ve considered moving back to England a number of times. Each time, my inner Virgo has me putting pen to paper and writing my pros and cons list. Number 2 on the list, right below family and friends, is always sausages. The closest I’ve found to a proper English sausage is from Myers and Keswick; the West Village store that makes me nostalgic for things I didn’t even have growing up. I find myself inexplicably sighing over cleaning products like Persil washing powder, Fairy washing up liquid and even Dettol, a brown disinfectant ubiquitous in 1980’s England.
But back to those bangers. My ultimate comfort food — bangers and mash. All ridiculously simple except for the Onion Marmalade that I insist is dolloped on the top of each plateful and takes hours to make. When my friend Ben moved back to England after 5 years in New York, we convinced our beloved local French restaurant to serve Bangers and Mash to all 60 guests at his leaving party. My offering was the onion marmalade — I think I cried more over all those onions than I did over Ben leaving. The party was a huge hit with the back room of Le Pescadou turned into a British theme park with posters of The Queen on all the walls while we mourned the departure of our good friend.
Whenever I see a jar of something resembling onion marmalade, I buy it and am invariably disappointed. Like goldilocks, I’ve complained of them being too sweet, too salty or too sour. Finding David L. Davis’ stand at a farmer’s market in Norfok, CT, the Vidalia Onion Jam was the first thing I tried from his exhaustive selection. My search was finally over and I never have to shed another tear again (well at least not over onions). I use it on everything from burgers to goat cheese crostini and of course bangers and mash. What a healthy life I lead! Now all I need to find is a sausage to sell on Many Kitchens. As always, email me with suggestions: email@example.com