This makes me lucky for several reasons:
1. The accent, of course!
2. His comebacks are INSTANTANEOUS. It’s amazing, and I love how my mom still cracks up when he says something particularly witty.
3. Family in Europe! I promise, eventually I’m writing a post about my trip to England in 2009.
4. Vocabulary. We’ve known each other for nearly seven years, and still he comes out with English words and phrases that are completely new to me.
5. New foods!
First I’ll tell you about mince pies (recipe sourced from here), since I’m craving them right now (why are the holidays over??). Mince, or mincemeat, pies are filled pastries traditionally served in the UK around Christmas. When most people hear ‘mince pies’, they think ‘mincemeat’. Yes, traditional mincemeat includes beef of some sort (as evidenced in this BBC recipe), but fortunately we found a meatless version in the supermarket. For those unaware, it’s full of yummy things like raisins, spices, orange peel, and apples, and as it’s brown and lumpy, doesn’t look all that attractive on its own. HOWEVER. Then you top that filling with a cute little pastry cover, bake, and sprinkle with powdered sugar.The crucial part is the rum butter (sometimes brandy butter) that goes on top of the pie: rum, butter, and sugar, blended together. When Andy asked his mum for some precise instructions on mixing said butter, she said she had never actually measured the rum part. Ha! The mince pie is really a vehicle for the rum butter, Andy and I found ourselves saying several times over the holidays. I promise, it’s scrumptious. Andy actually made mince pies and rum butter for four separate occasions in December, pastry from scratch and all. Many friends and relatives had never eaten them before, so it was fun watching their reactions. Some people declined, some people raved, some people thought they were odd, and my dad likes the pies, but without the rum butter (what!?). Oh man. After looking at these pictures so much, I hope I can convince Andy to make a post-holiday batch of mince pies!
Next, we have the completely unrelated but still quite English dish, a full breakfast. On the plate: fried eggs, fried tomatoes, fried mushrooms, fried potatoes, baked beans, and (fake) sausage. Missing is the toast and black pudding (I am so happy to be vegetarian!). Also missing on my plate is the mushrooms, because they are the one food I cannot stand in any form. Everything else I’m cool with.Two essentials in this meal: Heinz baked beans and HP sauce. According to Andy, Heinz is the The One and Only brand of beans, and HP sauce, AKA brown sauce, is an English condiment that reminds you of ketchup, but also of Worcestershire sauce. I found both items on Christmas Eve with my mom, overjoyed to discover that her local supermarket had a little British section. Yay! For a quick snack, one can also go with the English dish of beans on toast. Baked beans strike again! Looking for something else to add to any meal? Throw on some baked beans!
I still find this one a bit odd sometimes, but that’s due to Andy’s and my differences in toast preferences: I prefer well toasted bread, especially if something saucy is going on top. Andy’s more of a soft toaster. But oh man, does he love beans on toast. Put some cheese on top and he’s in heaven.I hope that I haven’t made you guys too hungry. Have a good Wednesday and may you all eat something delicious today!
Have you ever had mince pies? What do you think of rum butter? Do you have a staple breakfast item?