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Twinky

The Way of Eating in Europe (well UK actually)

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Hey, Brit food can be very good.

Bonfire Night: is what ist's usually known as. Guy Fawkes Night doesn't really cut it. People build bonfires and put effigies on the top (symbolising the burning at the stake of GF and his comrades in an unsuccessful deadly Catholic plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament). So bonfires are lit and fireworks (symbolising the gunpowder that was to blow up the Houses of Parliament) are let off. But probably for many, they don't recognise the symbolism. In more recent years, bonfires have become unfashionable, and public fireworks displays are more common.

HP sauce: good stuff. Even nicer is Beetop but that is rare even in the UK.

The tuna baked spud sounds horrible. Not sure I would feed it to my cats.

Not sure what Americans would call treacle. It's a cane sugar derivative. Maybe molasses. We also have syrup, which is a golden variety, less thick, still sticky. You could use that instead. Or any other kind of treacly-syrupy thing - would be a waste for maple syrup though.

Now if you are visiting the UK and want a reasonably priced meal: try the British pub. There is so much competition nowadays for money and zero tolerance of drink-driving, so pubs, especially country pubs, have diversified and often offer extremely good value wholesome fare at reasonable prices. Cheaper than more trad restraurants, but not such luxurious surroundings.

My "local" is a country pub about a mile away. It makes a nice stroll of an evening, through fields or country lanes. Nice views on the way. Pub has a garden which is very pleasant in the summer. In the autumn and winter, beverages cn be enjoyed in the bar or lounge of this tiny 16th century pub, snuggled up to the huge inglenook fires. Duck your head under the massive oak beams, and you'll be all right. Has the usual range of normal beers and also serves (this being "the West Country") ciders. Usually a guest beer and a guest cider.

The great thing about this pub is that it has a great chef. The menu is quite small and changed every month. Ingredients are all fresh, and sourced locally - the menu tells you where the veges are from, and who supplies the meat or poultry (if not shot in the nearby fields - pheasant, say, and rabbit). Everything I've had there has been delicious and beautifully presented.

Afterwards you could play pub games (dominoes, card games, darts).

And the mile walk home is just enough to let the drinks go through so that you can enjoy an undisturbed night's sleep.

Oh, I meant to say - feel free to keep the marmite sandwiches. It's something you either love or hate. And I don't love it...

I grew up in the town where it derives from (it's a by-product of the brewing industry). After I'd left home, on the train back I always knew when it was time to start gathering my things. When I could smell the town... but no more. Pretty much all gone now.

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Sad to say, we have nothing here that even remotely resembles the local pub or experiences you describe.

:(

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I remember Guy Fawkes day dances--so fun!!

Twinky, the wonderful scene you described makes me miss the UK so much. I can't get there for awhile--but I can dream.

It really is just about my favorite place to be. I love taking the bus--"Two returns please" and hanging out with the people. Going to Nottinghill and Portobello Road!! Car boot sales and country walks!! The British Museum is the BEST!!

Maybe now that Obama is president I can stop wearing the Canadian Maple Leaf when I visit. LOL

I agree==English food can be great, but can I give you all the recipe for ice?? I hear it is pretty easy to make and rather cheap!! LOL :) People seem rather shocked when it is requested. . . a delicacy??

Just teasing!! kinda. . . .

I love GB. My in-laws live there--my neices are British--my brother-in-law saves the world with Oxfam--just a wonderful place!!

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Oh Geisha ... London. Glad it's there, traps the tourists. Saves the rest of the country, the best bits, for the locals (LOL). Not a place I'd like to live. Nice to visit, nice to get away from. The BM is a great place and you could spend a week there and still not see it all.

There is a lot of regional variety in Brit food, although there is also standard fare you can get everywhere, especially if you eat at "chains" of restaurants or pubs.

And of course most "foreign" foods are also available, Indian/Pakistani, Thai, Chinese (several varieties), Japanese, Mediterranean. In larger cities you may find African or (say) gumbo or other types.

Curry is said to be the most popular food in the UK.

But you can't beat my roast lamb, roast potatoes, and fresh seasonal veges.

Maybe followed by home-made apple crumble.

Mouthwatering.

And I only have pasta tonight. :(

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I love pasta! Some of my most favorite recipes are made with pasta! Can't have a roast dinner everynight twinky ;)

My mother-in-law makes a very good roast dinner. My favorite part is the oven roasted potatoes.

gc :)

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When I was in Oxford I used to go to the same Chinese food take-away every night. Chinese take-away is different in GB--better.

The Indian food is awesome. You are a bit curry mad though. The pizza? Well, I opt American over GB for that one. Maybe I just never found the right place.

I still think whoever invents ice in GB will make a mint!! I still have the recipe and am willing to share it. Why such a precious commodity?

Cadbury really needs to expand here. I love their cakes and such. . . .hmmmm :)

My friends from India who live in GB and don't have a great deal of money. . . . went all out and made me a roasted lamb dinner. They were so proud of it. . . a real treat for me. . . well, I don't like lamb. . . at all!! I had to sit there and eat every bite and smile and ohhhhh and ahhhhh. It was painful! But, it was so sweet of them--I know they couldn't really afford it.

I would have been happier with some rice and Pan.

We don't have XXX mints here either!! See, GB offers lots of great options.

My first experience with brussel sprouts was in GB--

Who says travel does not expand ones horizon!!

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Cadbury's chocolate is made in the US by Hershey. Not a patch on the Brit variety, nothing like as smooth and not so much flavor.

Pizza is very boring but I will give you Americans credit on deep pan pizza, which I first discovered in Boston, Mass - delicious.

GC, what have you enjoyed most about Brit cooking, apart from your mum-in-law's roast dinners?

I made my Christmas cakes a couple of weeks ago. A very heavy fruit cake. C cakes are often topped with marzipan and icing, but I don't like either, so my cakes are just topped with glace cherries and brazil nuts or almonds, arranged prettily. There is about 3 lb fruit in each 8" cake with just enough cake mixture (flour, eggs, that molasses again, brown sugar and other goodies) to hold the fruit together. The fruit is soaked for a couple of days in brandy. Over the next few weeks I will be sprinkling a little brandy over the cakes. By the end of December they are lush! It is so rich that only a very small slice is perfectly satisfying.

There are several cakes and I give them away to very special people, as seasonal gifts.

I still have a tiny slice left from last year's cake (made Oct 2007) which I am saving for...why exactly am I saving it?

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:offtopic: What's your opinon of Gordon Ramsay and his style of cooking? In the last 3 or 4 years on Fox and BBC America, his shows have been ratings hits(Kitchen Nightmares, Hell's Kitchen, and The "F" Word).

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TLB, I've never heard of Gordon Ramsay before you mentioned him. I'm not a big T.V. watcher, so I looked him up. I do like to watch "Step up to the Plate", and I've never seen him on that show.

What do you think about him TLB?

Twinky, I really like the "on the go" food. Pasties, sausage rolls, chicken pie and the like. And of course Fish and Chips. Fill a thermos with hot coffee, pickup some lunch and head to the moors, a perfect day.

gc

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gc, the Moors? isn't that like swamps with quicksand :biglaugh: ? Chef Ramsay is an excellent cook but cusses/uses profanity way too much, especially with the "F" slang term(fornication) and can have a very bad temper. I am getting ready for traditional Thanksgiving with turkey, bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, either green beans or peas, and for desert banana pudding. O next time you or Twinky have roasted pork, I'll be glad to consume it.

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TLB, The moors are very similar to the swamps, 'cept for the hills, the lack of water and there ain't no gators! ;)

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. Instead of turkey and the trimmings I love so much, this year, as last, I plan to go to the Hoe for their thanksgiving celebrations. I really enjoyed it! They raised the flags (US and England) and the Royal Marine band marched and played for us all.

post-959-1226841614_thumb.jpg

And by the way, its Sunday so we are having a roast dinner and today its pork :) See you for tea!

gc :)

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TLB,

The moors are so lovely--when I went it was late fall--you bundle up--a berber scarf is a must--and you just walk and walk and take it all in.

Dead heather--wild ponies--it is beautiful!! Rather gothic!!

As an aside. . . the BEST fish and chips I ever had was in Torquay. Very fun place to visit.

We did stop at a B&B along the way to Torquay ---some very pretty small town. . . we had to ask where there was a B&B because it was not advertised. The only place for miles to stay. . . Finally found it and the guy answered the door in his underwear. . . it was so funny. . . yaked at us the whole time. . . dragged us around his garden. . . would NOT let us have a double bed. . . finally some other guests arrived for him to bother. . . Very interesting stay there. It was hilarious.

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GC, you sound like my sort of person.

Gordon Ramsey? Surprised if anyone can find room in the kitchen for a cooker and his ego.

He's the one that fries everything with his hot and salty language, isn't he?

English fish and chips are wonderful - and even that is a dish with regional variations. Up north the chips are often (or used to be) fried in lard which gives them a wonderful texture. However most places nowadays use vege oils. The fish used varies.

Also up north they are very fond of mushy peas, which I think Ex10 has commented on at the beginning of the thread. In some areas curry sauce is offered as well or instead (yeuk).

TLB, can you see the roast pork and apple sauce I've waving at you? :biglaugh:

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Great pics gc, the buildings behind the band look so regal, like they've been there for hundreds of years.  Since our country's history is so short compared to Europe, we don't often get to see such architecture, although Washington DC does have its share, it's age is comparitively on the young side though.

Twinky, some of the french bistro type restaurants here use the beef lard to fry their pommes frites, but most restaurants don't here, the food police would surely get them for it if they did..it does make the best fries though.  Your roast sounds wonderful, but you shouldn't tease TLB, he might just decide to come over just to sample your cooking!

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Twinky and gc, thanks for the invite. I went to the grocery store yesterday(Saturday) and picked up from the deli the small already prepared pork roast for one to eat and bought a can of White House Applesauce(commercial regional brand). An early Happy Holidays.

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Twinky, :wave:

I don't like the way mushy peas look, so I've never tried them. The only peas I enjoy are petit pois or early peas and I haven't seen them here yet.

now I see, Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed them. I believe the three buildings on the left are old and the others are modern. Many buildings in Plymouth, especially the city center, were destroyed, They were blitzed during WWII :(

Thomas Loy, you have happy holidays also, thanks. :)

gc

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Now if you are visiting the UK and want a reasonably priced meal: try the British pub. There is so much competition nowadays for money and zero tolerance of drink-driving, so pubs, especially country pubs, have diversified and often offer extremely good value wholesome fare at reasonable prices. Cheaper than more trad restraurants, but not such luxurious surroundings.

My "local" is a country pub about a mile away. It makes a nice stroll of an evening, through fields or country lanes. Nice views on the way. Pub has a garden which is very pleasant in the summer. In the autumn and winter, beverages cn be enjoyed in the bar or lounge of this tiny 16th century pub, snuggled up to the huge inglenook fires. Duck your head under the massive oak beams, and you'll be all right. Has the usual range of normal beers and also serves (this being "the West Country") ciders. Usually a guest beer and a guest cider.

The great thing about this pub is that it has a great chef. The menu is quite small and changed every month. Ingredients are all fresh, and sourced locally - the menu tells you where the veges are from, and who supplies the meat or poultry (if not shot in the nearby fields - pheasant, say, and rabbit). Everything I've had there has been delicious and beautifully presented.

Afterwards you could play pub games (dominoes, card games, darts).

And the mile walk home is just enough to let the drinks go through so that you can enjoy an undisturbed night's sleep.

Thought Cafe patrons may be interested in the following:

http://www.packhorseinn.com/

Called in for a visit yesterday after a country walk. Just had to sample the guest cider. And play with the open log fire. And have another pint...

When I get a new job (note I say when, not if) my friend who has been so kind to me will permit me to take him out for a meal to celebrate. We are going to the Packhorse.

The menu on the web page looks rather out of date and the website could do with a bit of updating (for spelling) but the whole sort of adds to the rustic feel of the place. Check out the bit about the pub itself.

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Couple I'd like to try. I love that the menu tells where the meats and veg come from. I notice the fish comes from Plymouth fish market :)

gc

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I always thought Toad in the Hole was this - which also goes by "egg in a basket, Moon over Miami and Bulls Eye."

Its also know as Adam and Eve on a raft

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"Adam and Eve on a Raft" is poached eggs on toast, not tasty link sausages in a delicious moist and crisp-on-top batter.

post-1745-041904500 1293495418_thumb.jpe

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Twinky. How is this? This is from my friend and chef Gary Lindstrum of Santa Cruz, California area. It sure looks great to me.

Guinness Beef Pie

This is a hearty Irish variation on steak and kidney pie, made with a most famous Irish beer.

626-65_Guinness_and_beef_pie_300.jpg

Ingredients;

3 tbsp. tomato paste

3 1⁄2 cups beef stock

4 lbs. beef chuck, cut into 1" cubes

1 1⁄2 lbs. white mushrooms, cleaned and quartered

1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced

6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped

2 cups Guinness stout

1 1⁄2 cups flour

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 egg

1 lb. frozen puff pastry, thawed

Instructions;

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Put tomato paste into a large bowl, add stock, and stir until paste dissolves. Add beef, mushrooms, onions, garlic, thyme, and stout and stir well. Sprinkle flour over beef mixture, season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir well. Transfer to a deep 10 1/2" × 12 1/2" baking dish set on a large baking sheet. Cover dish with foil. Bake, stirring occasionally, until meat is very tender, 3 1/2–4 hours.

2. Beat egg and 1 tsp. water together in a small bowl and set aside. Roll puff pastry out on a lightly floured surface to a 1/4" thickness, 2" wider than baking dish. Remove baking dish from oven and uncover. Drape pastry over dish and brush with egg wash. Return baking dish to oven and bake until pastry is puffed and deep golden brown, about 40 minutes. Garnish with spearmint sprigs, if you like.

SERVES 6 – 8

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Looks good to me!

Steak & kidney pie, or steak & kidney pudding (not quite the same things) are very popular. The pie pastry can be shortcrust or puff (as your recipe). The pudding is made with a suet pastry, the texture of which is quite different. Contents can be the same (still delicious).

Brits seem to like pies and pasties.

Well - not just Brits.

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