Monday, 7 March 2011

Full English breakfast and help me decide on a book title

This weekend we introduced my parents to the joys of a Full English breakfast at the Market Arms in Ballard. I hadn't had a "proper fry-up" for over a year and so was feeling a bit nostalgic. Many Americans may be taken aback by the idea of eating baked beans for breakfast, by choice, but I can assure you they actually complement the rest of the meal quite well.

I got the veggie version, subbing mushrooms for sausage and bacon. Here's the play by play:

(Baked beans, fried eggs, sauteed mushrooms, tomatoes and two cheeky slices of toast hiding under the 'shrooms.)

I'm still eating the British way, which I learned was the correct way: fork in left hand and knife in right throughout. Only children and Americans switch mid-eating maneuver to shovel the food into the mouth I was told.

Knife and fork on right signals a a completed breakie. What you're failing to see is the bottomless coffee I had instead of tea -- English Breakfast, Seattle-style. Yum yum.

I'm actually also doing a bit of a poll, and I invite you to cast your vote. The book I'm writing, a memoir of four years in England, is still a work-in-progress, but needs a name.

There are three ideas I have so far. What do you think? 
  1. Tea + Toast: A story steeped in England
  2. Swimming in Treacle
  3. Full English
Do you know what treacle is? I'd call it the British equivalent to molasses or honey, a sticky sweetener that gets a lot of attention in the pastry case over there, even if just subtly as a minor ingredient. It can also be the main attraction though -- apparently, treacle tart is Harry Potter's favorite dessert. I would consider it an acquired taste if you were not raised on the stuff, to be perfectly honest.

Sometimes living in England felt like swimming in treacle to me -- an exercise in resistance punctuated by sweetness.

I think the other two are self-explanatory.

Anyway, thanks for letting me know in the comments if you like any of my potential names.


kelly said...

I personally like tea and toast - although you definitely need a subtitle too.

Anonymous said...

Swimming in Treacle sounds like a book I would pick up while browsing in the bookstore.

alisha said...

Good point, just added a subtitle to Tea and Toast.

Heather Rae said...

I think I like Swimming in Treacle the best. Though that one might need a subtitle also...I wouldn't be sure what it was about without one. :)

Rachael Randal said...

Swimming in treacle gets my vote :-)

Your photos are making me hungry...

Jessica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica said...

Hi sweets! I think I like Tea & Toast best, when I first read 'swimming in treacle' I couldn't remember what treacle was at first, and wow, was I off in what first came to mind!;) So... consider where your book will be marketed to most- some people might not know what treacle is, which isn't necessarily a bad thing- could be intriguing! Still, tea & toast with the subtitle has a certain ring to it.

alisha said...

Hmm...I'll need to come up a sub-title for Swimming in Treacle.

Jess, what did you think treacle was? Or can I just guess?

Jocy May said...

I vote for Swimming in Treacle (treacle is also mentioned in Alice in Wonderland so I've been a fan of the word since childhood). I think it's unique and descriptive of your time there and thus your book. All of the working titles are catchy- nice work! :)

Jessica said...

Oh No! Am I the only one to vote for Full English? I love the double meaning of an English breakfast (something you love) and you living in England. When do I get to read this memoir...sneak peek? And yes, the full english is definitely high on my list of what I will miss when I head for the horizon myself soon!

Brianne said...

My vote is: Swimming in Treacle. Awesome!

Scott and I also eat the English way...we just decided it feels more natural to us somehow :) No one told us it was the English way until we'd been doing it for a year or so, odd.


Joanna Roddy said...

I like tea and toast with the subtitle and a cover of Nikki McClure-style graphic with a steaming pot of tea. :)

I've said it before, but I think I'd like Swimming in Treacle even better if it were Swimming through Treacle. Gives more of the sense of struggle.

Love seeing things come to fruition, friend!

Jenny said...

you know i like swimming IN treacle (sorry joey), i think it has a nice ring to it, though i'll admit that the "through" might be a better description of the story held within.

and i think holding your fork and knife that way is actually european,not just english. i grew up eating that way thanks to my french dad.

Anonymous said...

Ha, Jess, I had the same reaction to treacle:
it IS cute&charming - but also alarmingly like FECAL!!!
As in, swimming in...?!
maybe its true to the struggle

Rebekah J said...

Initially I loved Tea + Toast because I loved the "steeped" part, but became a fan of Swimming in Treacle after reading the reviews... I would read both, because having been to England, I'd recognize both treacle and tea. :) Good titles!

Krystal said...

pick the one that creates the most conversation, interest, and lights up ppl, but is easy to understand....test it for 2 months while talking to ppl, see if you have a winner. :)

treacle is interesting...cuz i needed to hear a conversation about it to understand it, but it would be hard to sell the book by itself with the title. :) my two pence ;)

Rachael Randal said...

Hi again! I just want to clarify why I like Swimming in Treacle... I feel like its a really original and creative title and sounds just so... yummy and splendid! It is an awesome way of symbolising the challenges of your journey, but I think IN is better than THROUGH because I guess you will also be highlighting your precious, happy moments too, when you were more basking and playing in it, rather than just the struggle?

A subtitle may be good but I don't think you need it... how often do you know what a book is about just from the title? Swimming in treacle is intriguing and will provoke discussion.


alisha said...

I appreciate all your comments folks, and am definitely leaning towards Swimming in Treacle. Now I just need to think of a subtitle option, in case that helps clarify. Thanks!

Katie Anderson said...

I agree with Rachael - Swimming in Treacle is my favourite. It's subtly expressive. I also think 'Full English Breakfast' would be good :)

From Trees Fall Apples said...

For those questioning... Treacle can also be substituted with Golden Syrup.

I think Tea and Toast for a book title, as someone thinking about doing the same about my experience in the UK, I think the ability to get by with tea and toast for breakfast or during any crisis is a very British skill.

P.S. Fork in Left, Knife in Right.. Is the only way in Australia. Unless said person is a mannersless heathen (as my mum says)

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