I don’t think Pancake Day really became a part of my life until I lived in the U.K. I thought it was a sweet, whimsical holiday that the Brits invented (they didn’t, by the way. More info on the origins here). But very quickly, it became an annual thing. And then after our kids were born, it became a tasty tradition — one that annually takes us by surprise (I actually didn’t realize it was Pancake Day until yesterday morning), but part of the tradition includes that fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants scramble to get ingredients on a school night and pull this thing off.
I’m happy to report we had success yesterday — and even better, my husband made the pancakes this year.
Cadbury Dairy Milk pairs with American classics
The last time I blogged about Cadbury, I was reviewing their line of Marvellous Creations, which paired Pop Rocks-style candy and honeycomb shards into its trademark British milk chocolate.
This time around, Cadbury has gone a little wild and paired Cadbury Dairy Milk with Oreo, with LU biscuits (why do I still remember the commercial jingle to this like I had just seen it yesterday? “A cookie is a cookie and a LU is a LU”) and Cadbury Dairy Milk with Ritz crackers.
I haven’t tried any of these so can’t review it properly, but if anyone has tried it, please let me know what you thought of it. I’m intrigued.
Dan Croll and “Home”
On “All Things Considered” yesterday, NPR featured British singer-songwriter Dan Croll, a native Stoke-on-Trent resident who has since made himself home in Liverpool. After returning home to see his family in Stoke-on-Trent, he wrote this lovely song “Home,” which just oozes comfy, warm loveliness.
Listen to the full story and watch the full video for “Home.”
The 21 greatest moments in the life of a Londoner
I like Buzzfeed.com’s list of the 21 greatest moments in the life of a Londoner. It makes me yearn to be back in the city a little bit (particularly the joys of number 1, 3 and 21).
Britain: Accept no imitations
Percy Pig turns 21
Percy Pig turns 21 this year! If you’ve never had a Percy Pig gummy sweet from Marks & Spencer, you don’t know what you’re missing! I like to think of myself as a gummy connoisseur and Percy Pig puts every Haribo and Trolli sweet to shame.
Read more on how Percy became the sweets dynamo that it is today. And order some Percy Pig paraphernalia from Marks & Spencer online!
Happy birthday, Percy! And have a happy weekend!
Anniversary dinner at Ode
One of the highlights of our recent trip to England was celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary at Ode in Shaldon, which has been named UK’s most sustainable restaurant by the Sustainable Restaurant Association.
The food was absolutely amazing, delicious, fresh and exciting from beginning to end. Service was friendly and helpful (owner Tim Bouget was lovely!). And all of this for a great price! Our wedding anniversary fell on a Wednesday and Ode features a reduced price menu on Wednesdays: three courses for 29 pounds! We added a couple of glasses of kir royale to start and a very pleasant French white wine to accompany our main courses.
The U.K.’s best gastropubs
I love a good gastropub and as far as I’m concerned, the U.K. is king for this blessed blend of good pub and grub.
Budweiser Budvar announced the UK’s top 50 Gastropub Awards yesterday, as voted by 750 chefs, food critics and writers.
Hot fun in the … autumn time?
It is positively balmy in the UK right now with temperatures reaching the mid-80s. South Yorkshire reports the hottest Sept. 29th (or should I say 29th Sept.?) on record with temps at 29 degrees Celsius (that’s 84 degrees Fahrenheit for Celsius-phobes).
For those of us who are don’t blink an eye unless it’s triple-digits, let me gently remind you: That’s HOT, people! Most Brits don’t have air conditioning and opening a window just doesn’t cut it. Most Brits strut around in shorts at the first sign of sunshine. If you look up the word “balmy” in a British dictionary, I’m pretty sure you’ll find a description of a temperate 70 degree day.
One thing I do find funny is that the heat doesn’t affect their consumption of hot tea. I’ve been told multiple times over the years that hot tea actually cools you down. It’s counterintuitive, they recognize, but they swear by it.
Now I’ve had hot tea in Britain on an 84 degree day and it has not cooled me down. But then again I’m not British so I don’t question. Nor would I dare suggest iced tea with lemon. Just let sleeping dogs lie. Even if those dogs are lying in sweltering temperatures sipping hot tea.