Market day has come to an end. Now to go back to Brockley and eat the loot!
Certainly one of the nicer dinners I’ve had in a whole. Scottish mussels steamed in garlic and white wine in a spicy tomato sauce served over linguine. Yum.
Snowmagerd!! It’s snowmageddon!!
The brilliance. My thanks to @joelbazinet for the ribbons. I was wrong, Joel. They are beautiful.
A taste of the brilliance that is to come…
This is the tree in front of St Peters church. They lit it in a ceremony earlier this week and turned on all the Christmas lights :)
Thanksgiving in the UK isn’t a thing so this year i volunteered to host. Because this holiday is not important here, it’s been very difficult to source seasonal tools and ingredients like a turkey baster, a proper sized turkey, and even a good cooking pumpkins! There have been some difficulties this year but I have overcome them with some changed plans and whipped cream disguises. More photos to come once the meal is served.
When Mom and I were in Scotland we ate quite a few nice meals, but none so nice as the mussels we ate at Mussel Inn. Here’s a picture of Mom enjoying her delicious blue cheese and bacon mussels. I’ll definitely be going back here on my next visit!
I meant to post this to my UK blog but Tumblr can be a bit tricky sometimes. I need to figure out how to make my UK blog my primary one. Any advice, techies of the blogosphere?
A lot has happened in the last 3 weeks. I had a gorgeous trip to Meadowhall with Jenny, I got yet another cold, I got my 2-stone award at Slimming World and I fulfilled one of my dreams by going to see Florence + the Machine in Manchester. You may recall that I posted 2 of her songs in my countdown to departure back in August, and since then she released her second full-length studio album,Ceremonials, in October. I bought tickets in November and I can’t believe how quickly time passed between then and now.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how lucky I have been recently; on Tuesday I’ll have been in the UK for 7 months, and though that may not seem like a milestone to some, I’m pretty damned proud that I haven’t had any sort of emotional breakdown or burned out. A lot of things have happened in the last month that could have pushed me to the breaking point, too; on Friday one of my best friends got engaged, and even though I would have given anything to be there with her to celebrate it, it didn’t make me sad.
I think I’ve been able to do this well because of the amazing support of my family and friends back home and here, and because of that, I dedicate the video in this post to all of you. It’s Florence singing “You’ve got the love” at the show on Thursday night, and I’m dedicating it because the lyrics are absolutely true: you’ve got the love I need to see me through.
Food in England has been somewhat of a HUGE surprise; I expected to encounter bland, overcooked, badly prepared food and much to my shock I discovered that the food here is great!
The main supermarket here is Tesco and it’s definitely the one I like going to the most. It’s massive and it has basically everything you need, from fresh meat, fish, produce, dairy, groceries and all that to electronics (you can march into the store and buy an Amazon Kindle eReader right off the shelf, no online ordering necessary), clothing (F&F is a really good clothing line and I’ve already bought a lovely brown trench coat from there), home improvement items, kitchen gadgets, music and DVDs, photo developing services, a pharmacy, you name it, the damn place has got it. It also has a service called Tesco Direct that’s basically an online shopping mall. I just ordered all the things I need for my new bedroom from that website and they delivered it to the store 48 hours after I placed the order. Fantastic! But I digress…
One of the things I really love about eating in Cleethorpes is the amount of cheap, fresh local produce available. The carrots here are absolutely fantastic; they compare to the carrots my grandparents grew in their garden in Edmonton so I can’t get enough of them. There are potatoes in abundance and the Brits love to eat them with every meal if they can; I can’t quite get on board with that, but I will admit that they’re pretty nice potatoes. There’s also onions and garlic from UK growers as well as many other root vegetables and some fruit. It’s all dead cheap so you can pretty much eat like a queen when it comes to fruit and veg. Some of the imported stuff is pretty dear, but sometimes it’s worth paying the money for mangoes or grapes.
Meat is in abundance here in the UK, and beef and pork come well before chicken and lamb. UK lamb is very expensive and most people choose to buy theirs frozen from New Zealand. I still haven’t eaten lamb, but I imagine I’m going to get coerced into it sometime soon. The other kinds of meat are also quite inexpensive, though; you can get 4 packages of very nice pork chops for 12 pounds a lot of the time, and yesterday Jenny paid 2 pounds each for 2 lovely, fat little roasting chickens. What a deal!
There are also a tonne of prepared foods available, and even though I’m not impressed with how few people actually prepare their meals from scratch, why would they when Tesco prepares stuff that’s much more gorgeous and delicious than the alternative? They sure put together some really beautiful meals. That will be my next round of pictures. For now, please enjoy some of the beauties and oddities that I noted on this morning’s stroll around the store.
My first attempt at cooking en papillote (in parchment paper, for those of you unfamiliar with the term) and it went very, very well. Next time, though, instead of using the long, skinny pieces of lemon zest I’ll just grate the lemon because the zest pieces were quite bitter.
Okay, I can’t decide if I’m totally grossed out or absolutely amazed by this video. All I know is it warrants further investigation and makes me want to go to Costco.
OK, the sheer amount of meat that they use here is actually gross, but they visited Queen’s! And built Grant Hall out of meat! Cha gheill!
I did it! YAY!!!! I followed the directions exactly, only veering to add a little extra water to the dough (it was still crumbly after 15 minutes of kneading, so drastic measures were taken). I rolled it out jellyroll style, but I guess I didn’t seal the bottom well enough because it split in the oven and made the loaf look like it was being tipped by a tire jack haha.
The bread has a delightfully pillowy, soft texture underneath a perfectly crunchy, hard crust, and the roasted garlic flavour is subtle but very pleasing. Definitely not a breakfast bread because of the garlic, but it certainly would make for a delish lunch or dinner sandwich.
Now that I’m gaining confidence in the bread department, I do believe I’ll try my hand at some other kinds. Maybe potato chive is next, or a classic cinnamon raisin bread!!! Any suggestions?