Texas Cuisine in England

When living in England, I had a wonderful landlady named Alison whom I used to call my English Mum (which she loved).  She was a very elegant woman with an accent that indicated a privileged upbringing.  She lived in a beautiful home that had originally been a carriage house in a quaint Norfolk coastal village called Sheringham.  Sheringham was originally a fishing village but is now a summer holiday destination for English vacationers. Alison often invited me to her home for the weekend usually including Ed in her old world hospitality,  When we arrived she almost always had a list of minor maintenance jobs to do around her centuries old home.  We tended to always slip into a familiar routing of doing small jobs early in the day, shopping in the town after lunch followed by wonderful meals we would enjoy in the evenings.  After dinner and clean up we would change into pajamas and reassemble in her lounge to play penny poker till late in the evening while drinking her home made sloe gin.  One weekend  Alison asked if I minded preparing a traditional American meal which whould typically not be found in England.  Being a son of the South, I decided to prepare a meal of pinto beans and cornbread.  In preparation, I asked her to get a ham hock from her butcher while I would buy all of the other items necessary at tje American base.  Ed (who is from New England) thought my menu was too simple because it didn’t match the elegant dinners she routinely provided but, after two years in England, I was at a loss coming up with something uniquely American.  I remained resolute because it was (and continues to be) one of my favorite meals.  I should have know things were not going to go well when we went to Alison’s butcher and he didn’t know what a ham hock was.  I explained it was the pig’s foot and we ended up with him including enough of the pig’s leg.  We couldn’t fit the “hock” into her tiny refrigerator and had a hard time finding a pot to cook it in.  When we got back to the house I put the dry beans in a pot to boil and had to boil the hock separately because of it’s size.  While we finished doing odd jobs for her, we put the beans on the stove to boil and eventually added chunks of pork we hacked off the leg bone. When we sat down to dinner, Alison was very pleased with the meal.  As a side note, typical English food tends to be bland.  After dinner and clean up, we settled into her lounge in our pajamas to play penny poker drinking her homemade sloe gin.  Once you have tasted home made sloe gin you will never be able to drink sloe gin from the liquor store again.  As the evening continued and we all became mildly tipsy Alison became audibly gassy.  It was embarrassing to me that unwittingly I was responsible for making this very elegant woman very flatulent.  Fortunately, she did not seem to be that bothered by her continual wind but Ed kept flashing disapproving looks in my direction.  I continued to feel guilty for exposing Alison to Southern Cuisine without thinking about the possible repercussions.  We finally broke up the card game early to go to bed.  The next morning she offered more apologies for her loss of control.  She never asked me to provide a meal again.