Google Analytics

Thursday 20 June 2024

Bangers and Mash

We opened a tin of country garden vegetable soup. Sheer laziness, I know, but it was fine. However, we were surprised to see that the contents included rice and pasta. I know they have to keep the price down, even though it was not a cheap brand, but country garden vegetable soup containing rice and pasta, well, you wonder which country’s garden vegetables they have in mind. 

I am not the first to say this, but before around 1970, at least in the north of England, rice was for puddings, and few knew what pasta was. “Foreign muck”, as my mother would have called it, was laughed at. 

From somewhere in my head, came this forgotten song about an Englishman who married an Italian, who, in the days when men never entered the kitchen, gave him only Italian food.   

https://youtu.be/aGFpVN2xwXU

Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren recorded the song as a follow-up to their hit, ‘Goodness Gracious Me’, which arose from their roles in the film, ‘The Millionairess’ (1960).

Sellers was at the height of his popularity. I never understood why. To me, he seemed a self-regarding show-off, and not a particularly likable person. I found much of his humour unfunny, and in retrospect it was often cruel, with every -ist and -phobia going. He was brilliant at inventing comic voices and characters, as you can hear in the song, but it was the kind of humour that laughed at odd accents and eccentricities. I side with the eccentrics. Underneath, I think he was an immensely talented but flawed, deeply unhappy soul. He seemed unable to be himself. He died of a heart attack in 1980, aged 54. There are conflicting views about the exact nature of his relationship with Sophia Loren. I suspect she had better sense. 

34 comments:

  1. Well I have to say that rice and pasta don't figure in my home-made vegetable soup. They figure in a lot of other meals though (which is totally irrelevant).

    I was a fan of the Goon Show (shows my age) but I can't say that Sellars really figured in my listening very much after that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was too young for The Goons, but some bits I heard later I find amusing. I never took much notice of The Pink Panther.

      Delete
  2. I was never a fan of Peter Sellars but one or two of his Clouseau scenes made me smile. I had read that he was quite smitten with La Loren but she never gave him the time of day. Sensible woman.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One or two clips are mildly amusing, but no more than that. One of those people with whom everything had to be about him.

      Delete
  3. I found Sellars a bit creepy. I wonder if the people who added the pasta into the garden vegs had seen that long ago April fools joke on BBC about the pasta trees being harvested?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Creepy is the right word. That film is available to watch in the BBC archive online.

      Delete
  4. Generally, I'm neither a fan of rice, nor of pasta.
    I don't remember much of Peter Sellers, but Sophia Loren is still with us, charming even in her old age.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not keen on them either. Rice leaves me full but hungry an our later. Pasta is often rubbery. She must be in her 90s now - yes 90 later this year.

      Delete
  5. Bit of a laugh and I hadn't heard it before, thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A memory from childhood. It's mildly amusing, and I have to concede that Sellers voices are good - I think he does them all (except SL's of course).

      Delete
  6. Rice AND pasta in the same dish doesn't make sense to me - you eat either the one or the other, not together. Give me a creamy risotto with a dry white wine, and I'll be with you anytime. Give me pasta, and I'll be with you occasionally.
    Like JayCee has said, some of the Clouseau scenes were funny, but other than that, the actor (is it Sellers or Sellars? I am too lazy to look it up) was never among my favourites.
    Sophia Loren was and is a fantastic woman, combining looks and brains.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Sellers". Yes, it's what's in the risotto that matters. I'm not a fan when rice is separate.

      Delete
  7. I don't eat pasta, never have seen what people see in it. I do occasionally have rice but not very often. I was never the right generation for Sellers so don't really know him. I had Heinz Vegetable soup last night with toad in the hole, coincidentally.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sellers was a bit before my time too, but I remember the song from childhood. I find pasta indigestible, often rubbery. Prefer potato instead.

      Delete
  8. A tin of soup occasionally is fine. Some of the ingredients in some of them seem a little odd, though - egg, for example.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It tends to be the high salt content that puts me off, except occasionally. Quick and easy.

      Delete
  9. Yeah, I remember when pasta was considered pretty exotic foreign food, LOL! I enjoyed Peter Sellers in movies but yes, I read that in real life he was quite the SOB.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spaghetti from a tin was the ultimate in sophistication.

      Delete
  10. I grew up with an Italian mother so have always loved delicious Italian food!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is the song about your parents?
      There were children who had Italian fathers and Italian names when I was at school, from the PoW camp where they were sent to work on the land, and stayed. They were thought quite exotic and very popular.

      Delete
  11. Typical diets in the north of England are now much more varied than they used to be. My wife's parents never had Italian, Indian, American or Chinese food. My mother-in-law was a great baker and cook but only within traditional boundaries. Do peter sellers sell peters? Perhaps peters can wear out through overuse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aren't they a consumable?
      My parents were the same. The Isle of Axholme is very near to where I grew up.

      Delete
  12. I remember when Peter Sellers died. It was quite shocking, given his age. At the time I knew him mainly from the "Pink Panther" films, which were favorites when I was a kid -- but you're right, his style of humor hasn't aged well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Pink Panther became a franchise with a series of films and products. I think Sellers was only in the first 2 films, but I have never watched any right through.

      Delete
  13. I never found Peter Sellers funny in any of the movies he did. I guess I never got his humor. "Foreign muck"-- now that's funny!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My mum said that on more than one occasion. I've laughed at one or two Sellers clips, but usually because of Spike Milligan's contribution.

      Delete
  14. I cannot access the video as it says youtube closed the connection. It does seem strange to have pasta and rice in veggie soup, particularly if anyone is wheat-intolerant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know now whether there was a warning on the tin. Shows how careful you have to be.
      I don't understand the YouTube problem. The YouTube address is also here underneath the video.

      Delete
  15. A lot of 'comic geniuses' were pretty flawed. I just read a bit on Johnny Carson. He was not nice. A lot. He liked to make fun of people to their faces. He had guests who refused to work with him because of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many comedians and comedy actors seem to have had psychological problems of some kind, which is perhaps the source of their need to make others laugh.

      Delete
  16. Hi Tasker

    I'm shocked Peter Sellers can speak cockney.

    I've only ever known him as Inspector Clouseau. My favourite is 'The pink panther strikes again scene". There is a scene where he interrogates the staff after having fallen a flight on stairs. Every once a while, I think of it and start smiling to myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peter Sellers could do any accent very convincingly. He does more than one on the record. Yes, I do find some of the Panther scenes amusing, but much of his humour had a "look how good I am" element to it.

      Delete
  17. Give me Peter Cook and Dudley Moore any day. Cloth caps in the pub, the pair not able to hold back their grins as they became more and more absurd.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some of the Pete and Dud sketches were truly funny, and even more incredible that they were almost entirely improvised.

      Delete

I welcome comments and hope to respond within a day or two, but vision issues are making this increasingly difficult. Please note: comments on posts over a month old will not appear until they have been moderated.