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Bottled water, free range eggs, and a proper cup of tea

3 March, 2015

Emma has a few things to get off her chest…

“They say a choir marches on its stomach… OK, maybe they don’t, but food and drink seems to be a predominant theme of conversation among this particular ensemble. Three things in particular have been occupying our various gastronomic thoughts:

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“First, and with more of an environmental slant to this one, the bottled water that prevails throughout America. Ben, our self-appointed environmental officer, has been vociferously reminding us at every turn that we needn’t open yet another bottle for just one sip, and encouraging the refilling of bottles whenever possible. There are several refillable water bottles of choice among the group, the most popular being the collapsible ‘ohyo’ bottles, which adorn our rehearsals in various colours, closely followed by Will’s favourite of the ‘bobble’ with an in-built filter, and some plastic bottles that have been with us since Heathrow. All this goes a very small way to assuaging our ecological consciences, primed to varying degrees by the amount of flying we have to do in our line of work, as well as providing an excellent opportunity to tell each other off.

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“Secondly, eggs. Since watching a documentary on the plane about Americas egg production, in which the narrator proudly extolled the highly intensive production of the vast majority of America’s eggs, accompanied by images of some very unhappy chickens, I decided to try and eat ‘ethically’ on this trip to the States. This is turning out to be trickier than I thought. Not being much of a meat eater I haven’t struggled too much on that front, but eggs are one of my favourite foods, as well as being hugely prolific in the American diet (especially at breakfasts). Most places we have been to either don’t use cage-free eggs or have never even heard of them! It was well worth a bit of research and a 20 minute walk in -12C in Kansas City to the BlueBird Bistro, to find some of the most delicious eggs and locally reared bacon we’ve had in a long while.

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“Finally, some of us have, as usual, been greatly missing our usual morning brew. This has turned into a frequent topic of conversation, especially between Becky and me, much to the amusement/chagrin of Ben Clark, who is not used to our exacting standards! They just can’t seem to get it right – either bringing water that was boiled some time ago and a teabag on the side(!) or not having any fresh milk(!!) or simply committing the mortal sin of serving Lipton yellow label(!!!). I mean, how hard can it be to get a proper cup of tea?!

“Negativity aside, there are of course many things we absolutely love about America: never being hungry, the comfortable beds, and the warm welcomes we receive wherever we go. The warmest welcome has been the unfeasibly gorgeous weather here in Florida, but more on that tomorrow….”