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Old 08-19-2014, 12:23 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
CG, you are the first person I've ever known to actually have a bowl of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup! I have used it for cooking, but it just never occurred to me, guess I'll have to try it. I adore my own homemade Cream of Mushroom soup though, with a touch of Sherry.
I love the Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup, too! Best thing on a cold afternoon. I drink it down from a mug, same with the tomato soup. I make both with water. That's how I grew up, canned cream soups were made with water. I make Shrek's with milk.
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:08 AM   #52
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CG, you are the first person I've ever known to actually have a bowl of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup! I have used it for cooking, but it just never occurred to me, guess I'll have to try it. I adore my own homemade Cream of Mushroom soup though, with a touch of Sherry.
I make a homemade mushroom soup sometimes, but the can is quicker when I'm feeling bad. It's actually a substitute for my very favorite comfort soup my Mom would make, zacierki na mleku - or "dzad-chill-kee". It's a simple Polish milk soup. You bring milk to simmer just under a boil, then spoon or grate a noodle dumpling dough into the milk, then gently boil it for a couple minutes. Spoon into bowl, put a pat of butter on top, and feel your worries melt away. Greatest boo-boo fixer ever. I might actually think of making it this winter.

Next time I open a can of mushroom soup I'll have to remember a splash of sherry.
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Old 08-24-2014, 05:59 PM   #53
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So many of these comfort favourites remind me of school! I'm from Kent and almost everyone's hands-down favourite school dessert was an incredibly sweet and rare treat called Gypsy Tart. Maybe others also remember it..... For a long time, the recipe was something of a mystery and almost no one apart from school dinner ladies seemed to know how to make it. Now, of course, there are versions of the recipe online, including one by Nigella Lawson, from which I have just learned that gypsy tart apparently originated on Kent's Isle of Sheppey.

Last time I went home, I discovered a tiny bakery in Dymchurch, which sold a gypsy tart that actually tasted just like the original, authentic school-dinner version. Fatal for the figure but totally delicious! If you're ever in Dymchurch, I would recommend it. You'll have to go there early, though, because in my experience, by lunch-time they will have sold out!
Ohhhh! Gypsy tart!!!! The cook at a school I taught in in Essex used to make it for lunch. You don't often find the words "school dinners" and "wonderful" in the same sentence but the dinners at that school were the best I ever had in any school I worked in!

Dymchurch is lovely. I like the Dr Syn connection. I used to stay in Rye once or twice a year and pootle about along that coast and all over the Romney Marsh. I missed the gypsy tart shop in Dymchurch though.

Did you ever read any of the Monica Edwards Romney Marsh children's books which were set in and around Rye Harbour?
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Old 10-03-2014, 09:44 PM   #54
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creative you don't have to be British to enjoy many of those foods. We're lucky enough to have an Irish pub about 15 miles from us that serves many of those foods in a most tasty manner. In fact, I enjoy many of the variations of mash (Colcannon, Boxty) with bangers. Just wish I knew where to source bangers to cook at home. This pub also has Scotch eggs. One of these days I want to make them at home.

MC my Mom used to make kidney stew several times a winter when I was a kid. Loved it! Then I found out what exactly a kidney was. Urp. Just the idea of organ meat... Not to single out British fare, I had the same reaction when I found out that my much loved Polish soup czarnina was not, as my dear Great Aunt would tell me, made from solid chocolates but was instead duck's blood soup. Nanna NEVER got another Hershey bar from my stash again.

Bubble and Squeak has graced out plates here at home. We ran across it on our first visit to Williamsburg VA and bought the cookbook from there so I could duplicate many of the foods. That book has served me well for over 35 years.
Colcannon - my (Irish) dad always called it "Boxty" when I was growing up! I didn't hear the term "Colcannon" until I was in my 20s!

British food has come an awfully long way since the war - but a reputation for poor food is a hard one to break - specially when you live "next door" to France, Italy and Spain - traditionally superior (and able to grow a wider variety of fruit and vegetables due to their climate maybe?)

Anyway, the Brits are divided these days - much like America I suspect. There are "foodies" who visit the latest restaurants and gasp over "gastronomy" but not over the astronomical prices. There are "foodies" who obsess over "local produce" "air miles" "organic produce" etc. And there are "foodies" (like me) who simply obsess about food! (I am interested in everything to do with food, but not particularly interested in the "latest fad")

CG - you didn't know what a kidney was? That must have been a shock! I love a good lamb's kidney! In fact I will be cooking with them this weekend. (I guess you won't be popping over?)
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Old 10-04-2014, 02:40 AM   #55
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Katy, when I was a wee child I didn't know where different cuts came from. When I found out, I decided that I didn't want to eat them anymore. Silly, right? If they were tasty when I was 8 or 10, they should be tasty now.

The Polish soup I referred to included a quart of duck blood. My great aunt would tell me it was melted chocolate...and it was good. But blood?

BTW, the way I learned about different Irish potato dishes: Boxty is a potato pancake/patty, Colcannon is mashed with cabbage, and Champs is mashed with green onions (scallions). Then there is Bubble and Squeak, which turned out to be a loose pan of awesomness! Couldn't get mine to stick. Well, except to my hips...
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Old 10-06-2014, 07:11 PM   #56
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British food has come an awfully long way since the war - but a reputation for poor food is a hard one to break -
15 years of rationing didn't help but even then creative cooks could may a fairly good silk purse out of a sow's ear.

You look a lot younger than me in your avatar so you won't remember the exotica that started to come in during the '60s - Vesta paella and curries with rice - just add boiling water. Even my fairly uneducated palate worked out that real paella and real curries couldn't possibly taste that bad.

A 1971 vintage packet of Vesta curry sold on Ebay a while back for £11.50 at auction. The mind boggles!
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:10 PM   #57
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We have a show here starring Anthony Bourdain. He travels the world and eats. (Oh, how he must suffer!) He mentioned once that England had the reputation that all their food was boiled and bland. But when they came off rationing, they went wild. So be prepared for some delectable delights! He couldn't rave enough about England and Ireland and the food he found. What I like about him is that he goes to little out of the way local spots. There is no High Tea at the Dorchester for him.
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Old 10-07-2014, 06:13 AM   #58
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I've never eaten in Britain but I have enjoyed many traditional recipes.

I think the reputation for bad food has more to do with the monotony of a restricted diet during hard times than the actual preparation of the food.

My maternal grandmother's family was from England and they could make any food seem special because of the heartfelt hospitality they offered with it. A pot of tea, a few cookies and sandwiches piled high on a curate made a big impression on me when I was little.

A sandwich never tasted that good at home!
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Old 10-07-2014, 09:59 AM   #59
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When I was 18, about 30 years ago, my mom gave me a trip to Europe for my high school graduation present - a pre-paid tour, 15 countries in 30 days, with about 20 other people about my age. We traveled on a tour bus with a driver and a guide. We started in Holland and went to Denmark, Germany, Italy, France, Austria, Belgium and several others, finishing up in England. The tour was designed to showcase the best of the culture of each country with trips to museums and parks, etc. England had my least favorite food of that trip. I remember it being bland with very little seasoning. And warm beer - ew. I suspect that when people make these recipes here in the States, they add more flavor than the original had.
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Old 10-07-2014, 10:21 AM   #60
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Some Classic Comfort Foods Of UK

I too got to travel to England for a class when I was 20, many moons ago. The most memorable food I ate was prawns in an avocado with that special pink sauce, I had that whenever I could. Our instructor also took the class to Simpsons on the Strand, where we had roast beast. Most of what we ate was pretty bland.
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