Monthly Archives: January 2013

That Brit in “The Mindy Project”

Ed WeeksHave you been watching “The Mindy Project”?

I love it. I’m convinced that I would be BFFs with Mindy Kaling if we ever met. I was watching last week’s episode last night and like every week, I wondered if the Brit on the show was actually British.

The difference this time? I Googled it at the moment that I thought it. Meet Ed Weeks, the actor who plays Jeremy Reed, and he is a real Brit! More about him here.

Why do Brits love American food?

Cheeseburger“Juicy burgers, stacks of fluffy pancakes, Cobb salads festooned with crispy bacon, and cherry pie topped with whipped cream: American food is glorious. Especially in America. But why is it becoming Britain’s go-to cuisine?”

The Guardian newspaper has posted an interesting piece about Brits’ love affair with American food. It’s actually a concept that I’ve clearly missed – the novelty of American burgers and American breakfast in particular, perhaps because it’s not a novelty for us, it’s dime-a-dozen. Personally, I’m much more of a Mexican food or sushi fan – or at least that’s what I miss most when I’m out of the U.S.

What do you think? What’s your favorite American food?

Adele at the Golden Globes

Did you catch Adele’s winning thank you speech at the Golden Globes last night? Loved it! She was so gorgeous and real and refreshing and hilarious!

Check it out if you missed it!

Ode to another Ode

Cafe Ode

Last year, I blogged about Ode in Shaldon, a gorgeous little seaside restaurant in Devon, which was named Sustainable Restaurant of the Year.

Nearly one year later and I’ve learned that they have since opened a sister restaurant, Cafe Ode, which received the Sustainable Restaurant of the Year award last November. The new(ish) spot has a nice casual feel, with the same fresh and unfussy approach to cooking. One feature that sounds delish is their Friday Fish Supper, a three-course meal that changes weekly (think mussels with cider cream sauce,  beer-battered, line-caught pollack and fries and coffee-burnt Devon cream as an example).

Congrats to chef-proprietor Tim Bouget for another worthy eating destination for us on our next trip to the West Country!

Infographic: How to make tea

How to make tea

I love this simple little infographic, detailing ways to make three different cups of tea, courtesy of Stephen Wildish.

How do you like your cuppa? I like a good builders’ tea, without the sugar!

Celebrations

Poems on the UndergroundToday, there’s much to celebrate as the world’s oldest underground transportation network, the London Underground, celebrates 150 years today on the same day that the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton turns 31.

When I studied abroad in the U.K., one of my flatmates had an anthology of poetry that had been posted on the London Underground (where the advertisements usually ran). The book, Poems on the Underground (Fifth Edition), became one of my favorites to just dip into now and again, and ranged from Percy Shelley to Maya Angelou, Brits and non-Brits as well as some anonymous authors.

I eventually bought my own copy  that year and have been revisiting those old poems this week. I found one which might be appropriate for today’s celebrations. Let’s raise a glass and have a read! Cheers.

A Birthday

My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a watered shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
Because my love is come to me.

Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.

– Christina Rossetti (1830-94)

The Hokey Pokey, Shakespearean style

Each week, the Washington Post hosts a weekly contest called the Style Invitational, inviting readers to a different creative writing challenge.

The best one I’ve seen to date is the response to their prompt – create a set of instructions for something, in the style of a famous person. Voila! Meet the Hokey Pokey, Shakespearean style:

Hokey Pokey, Shakespearean style

The only thing I take issue with the name of the game. Brits call it the Hokey Cokey, not the Hokey Pokey, and I do expect that Will Shakespeare would fall in line on the cokey side of things. Don’t you?

A hotter toddy

Photo credit: F. Martin Ramin for The Wall Street Journal

Photo credit: F. Martin Ramin for The Wall Street Journal

Is it just me or is this cold/flu season hitting particularly hard?

I suffered the better part of November with a lingering cough that I couldn’t kick (although I would’ve kicked it hard, wearing a pair of steel-toed Doc Martens, if I could) – and the more people that I talk to, the more I realize that this is one monster of a cold going around. But never fear … there are remedies! Good ones! In this weekend’s Wall Street Journal, a suggestion for an outstanding one went something like this:

Hot Toddy

In a large cup, combine 1 spoonful honey, juice of 1/4 lemon, 1 cinnamon stick, small dash of cayenne (optional but recommended) and the tea bag of your choice. Stick 3 cloves into 1 small lemon wedge and add to the cup. Pour in a slug of bourbon, as much or as little as you like. Fill cup with boiling water, stir well and let steep 5 minutes. Savor slowly; repeat as necessary.

Yes! Cayenne and tea jazz up this classic recipe. The writer suggests Earl Gray, Chai, ginger tea or, indeed, chamomile, if you’re seeking a little sleeping solace. I have whiskey in the house, but no bourbon (and I do think that Jim Beam would be a delightful choice in this scenario), but now have a good (and health-giving) reason to buy some.

If you try this recipe, please tell me what you think!

The Limited’s British line

The Limited Red White & Brit

The Limited has unveiled their new arrivals and it’s a lot of British mod styling and red, white and blue. Graphics and patterns galore! Love it.

How I became an anglophile

smittenbybritain

“I haven’t always been the tea-drinking, Boden-shopping, Bond-watching anglophile that you see before you. In fact, my first 19 years were spent in relative ignorance of British culture and customs.

My knowledge didn’t extend beyond Princess Diana’s latest designer dress and what I could gather from “Are You Being Served” reruns on PBS.

But everything changed my junior year of college when I took part in a study abroad program in the U.K.”

And so begins, my first guest blog post, published this week, on another blog — SmittenbyBritain.com, another great site dedicated to anglophiles. I’m so excited to share this with all of you!

Check out my blog post “How One American Became an Anglophile” and have a wonderful weekend!