Sandra’s Taste of Britain – October 2012
“He is an ill cook that cannot
lick his own fingers”
THIS MONTH is a continuation of some of the British products and childhood memories
Another salty product that I love. This is a beef and vegetable extract that makes a healthy bouillon hot drink. It was always served on Transatlantic cruises on deck, and I remember us making it for our patients…..although nowadays I wonder if they do as much because of the salt content.
I used to make a flask (thermos) of it for my lunch when in high school, which was carried in my bicycle basket and often leaked, and many times I would hand in my homework stained from the Bouillion!!! (I would be told off for it ….“as a prefect, it set a bad example!!!”)
Heinz baked beans, tomato soup, tomato ketchup etc. The British products have such a different taste to the US ones. Although the baked beans were based on the traditional Boston Baked beans, the flavour is so different. I love them with Bangers and Mash, or on toast alone or with a poached egg…that was a very affordable meal for when I was a student nurse. My very American 17-year-old grandson just loves them, and when I gave him six tins of the UK ones recently you would have thought I had given him real gold!!! The tomato soup is also very different, but I think have mastered a very similar flavour with my main soup recipe. Heinz ketchup also is based on an American “Catsup” recipe, by Heinz in 1876, and is used liberally with chips, burgers etc. However there is quite a different flavour with the UK and US versions. I came across a British recipe recently and will add that to my must try list.
Soldiers for eggs:
In the States egg cups are not really used, but one of my favourite breakfast is a boiled egg in the egg cup. I think the idea of using “soldiers”, a thin slice of buttered toast to poke into the golden yolk of the egg, was a way to encourage children to eat up. It was called soldiers as it possesses “a straight, upright manner; is crisp and uniform in appearance…” I still eat my eggs that way sometimes
And two other British favourites:
Generally this is just cheese on toast grilled, but really it should be made with beer and mustard in it. Toast one side of a piece of bread, and then spread the un-toasted side with a mix of grated cheese, beer, English mustard which has been heated up in a small saucepan. Then grill it so that it gets puffy and golden, yum! (Easy to do in a toaster oven)
Such a traditional British dessert, it has gained quite a bit of popularity in the States. Although I sometimes cringe at some of the ways it is made here. It really is just a layered dessert, preferably in a glass dish to show the layers. The basic trifle is some kind of cake in the base, soused with sherry, then fruit, and then I like to use jelly, topped with Birds custard, and topped with real whipped cream. It is always popular and simple.
Well there are so many other foods and products I could continue with, but I hope you have enjoyed going down memory lane with me. Pretty much all the products are still made, and are available now at any import shop, if not one in your area you can order on-line from several companies, such as the ones advertised in the Union Jack.
I would like to hear from any of you if you found this of interest, and indeed any suggestions or requests you may have for other items and recipes
At time of printing I am preparing to go to England for a trip, it’s been six years since I was over, and I am so looking forward to search out market places, pubs etc where we can enjoy so many favourites. Two things I plan to do, is have fish and chips a lot, and a special treat having Afternoon Tea at the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne! I shall have to report my finds when I return.
(I welcome comments, recipes and requests and can be reached at Yourcuppatea1@yahoo.com.)