englandbitsandbobs

Vegetables

If you asked a supermarket employee where to find zucchini he might give you a funny look. In England a zucchini is called a courgette. Likewise, an eggplant is an aubergine. And remember, it’s tom(AH)to.

Hayfever

If you suffer from allergies, you will find a whole host of new challenges if you decide to visit England. Grass pollen is the main culprit. Spring, summer and autumn will have your eyes streaming. This is mainly due to the amount of precipitation. The cold of winter would be the only time to visit without any kind of suffering. Having said that, an attempt to visit at this time of year may be thwarted. The weather conditions may see your flight delayed or cancelled. Or maybe a volcano in Iceland will erupt.

Pimm’s O’clock

Pimm’s is a gin based drink popular in England, especially in the summer time. The version of Pimm’s known as No.1 cup can be found at Bev Mo. The best way to drink Pimm’s No.1 is to take a tall glass, add plenty of ice, and mix one part Pimm’s with 3 parts Sierra Mist or something similar such as Sprite. Top it off with mint, cucumber, strawberry and orange.

Where to find English food and what to try

At Raley’s and Bel Air you will find an English foods shelf. Usually you can find items such as Robinson’s barley water which is a concentrate you add water to. It is a very refreshing drink; my personal favorite. There is tea of course and Mrs. Balls chutney which is delicious smothered on chicken as a marinade. You could try Ambrosia creamed rice which is a dessert that comes in a can and you just heat it up. There is a small amount of candy too; a better selection for those of you with a sweet tooth can be found at Cost Plus World Market. One favorite of mine is called Kinder Bueno which is sold in a three pack. Also at this store you are able to find Pataks curry pastes which are perfect for making an Indian meal (did you know curry is England’s favorite dish?). In my travels I also stumbled upon a cheese shop in Carmel called The Cheese Shop which carries cheeses from all over the world. They have an impressive collection of English cheeses. If I were you, I’d go for the cheddar.

words

Even though I have lived in the U.S. on and off for a good few years now, I still catch myself using words that I know my U.S. friends and family will not understand until I explain them.

Recently I referred to a braid as a plait and a sandwich as a sarnie.

Port of Dover

View from Dover Castle.

dosh

The currency of the U.K is the pound sterling (£). There are one penny, two penny, five pence, ten pence, twenty pence, fifty pence and one pound and two pound coins. That is a lot of coins. Which prompted my co-worker to ask me how we carry it all. I told him in your pocket of course. Bills are called notes. There are five pound (sometimes called a fiver), ten pound (a tenner), twenty pound, fifty pound and one hundred pound notes.

My mum’s Yorkshire pudding recipe

Yorkshire puddings serve the same purpose as biscuits but they are lighter. They should rise in the oven and be crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Here’s how according to my mum who makes the best Yorkshire puddings I have ever tasted.

Three simple ingredients: plain flour, eggs and milk. Crack three eggs in a small glass, then measure equal measurements of milk and flour to the egg, then whisk together. Heat oven to 400F. Grease with either goose fat, lard or even butter and get pan extra hot before adding the egg, milk and flour mixture. Bake in the oven for twenty minutes. Gravy optional!

Perfection…

Around Oxford

May Day

Before moving to Oxford, I was not aware of May Day. My first experience of May Day involved partying with friends, fighting the urge to sleep, standing in the cold, an invisible choir, police tape and a very early breakfast. My second experience of May Day involved bar-hopping, a beautiful man, a nap and a very early breakfast.

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