This morning, after breakfast out on the patio, my wife and I planned the day and she asked if I could call into a local supermarket to pick up a few items while I was out doing other things.
“I’ll make a list,” I said, picking up a Post-it pad and a pen. “What do you need?”
“Bread, wholegrain mustard, bacon bits, and Worcestershire sauce,” came the reply.
Studiously, I wrote down the list of items. When it came to the Worcestershire sauce, I thought about challenging my wife as to whether she could spell Worcestershire but then thought better of it. Sometimes, my challenges can lead to an argument!
“What’s the sauce for?” I asked.
“Tonight’s glazed oriental salmon fillets,” she replied.
“Hmm, sounds tasty,” I murmured.
Off I went on my rounds, finishing up at the supermarket. All went to plan until I came to the shelf on which normally resides the Worcestershire sauce. There was no sauce.
“Do you have any Worcestershire sauce?” I asked a nearby shelf stacker.
“Let me see,” he replied, whipping out a little gizmo and scanning the barcode on the empty shelf. “It appears not,” he said, “but let me check this stuff here that I’m about to stack.”
Sadly, there’s was none on the trolley.
“Maybe we have some out back,” he postulated, and again whipped out his barcode scanner and punched some more buttons. “No, we are plumb out of Worcestershire sauce. Sorry.”
Hmm, now I had a problem. While in the supermarket, I’d spotted one of my favourite ice creams – Malaysian coconut and lime – and I’d placed a tub in my basket. This meant that once I was through the checkout, I needed to get home reasonably quickly before the ice cream started to melt. But, at the same time, my wife had stressed the need for the Worcestershire sauce for when she prepared the glaze for the oriental salmon fillets. I thought about driving to another supermarket further away but it was hot outside and that special ice cream was looking up at me from its resting place in the basket. Ah, but wait a moment, I thought. There is one of those everything-frozen supermarkets next door. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll have a few regular grocery items. It’s worth a shot.
The shot paid off. I found a bottle of Worcestershire sauce, cheaper than in the other supermarket had they had any, paid my money, asked if the bottle could be delivered (a joke, based on a free delivery notice prominently placed at the checkout), and drove home feeling satisfied with my shopping expedition.
“Here you are, dear,” I said, walking in through the door. “I had a job finding the Worcestershire sauce but managed it in the end.”
“What Worcestershire sauce? I asked for oyster sauce!”
Oyster sauce! It was a classic oh-shit time. My hard-of-hearing problem had let me down again. It turns out that we now have four bottles of Worcestershire sauce; one in use and three in waiting.
So, tonight, we are having glazed oriental salmon fillets done with a Worcestershire sauce glaze instead of an oyster sauce glaze. I will say the fillets are very tasty even if they’re not!
Next time, I will challenge my wife to spell the word Worcestershire.
This blog is dedicated to my son, Mark, who has often urged me to write down my what-I-heard-is-not-what-you-said stories. I have lots I could recount; if I could but only remember them!
And for those who, maybe, don’t get it, I should add that Worcestershire when spoken aloud, is pronounced as Wooster, not Wor-cest-ter-shire.
Good one! Try and think of some others – they always make me laugh!!
Ben Bennetts said:
The classic one, a few years ago, was when someone said, “We’re having leg-of-lamb pasta this evening.” At least, that’s what I heard. That’s novel, I thought, but didn’t query the statement. When the pasta was placed on the table, it turned out to be leek-and-ham pasta!
All this begs the question – why is Worcestershire on the sauce bottle pronounced Worcester when the county of Worcestershire is pronounced correctly? ‘Tis a puzzlement!!
Ben Bennetts said:
I think you’ll find Worcestershire is usually pronounced Wooster, as in Bertie!