Tag Archives: bacon

The G20 Series:United Kingdom

27 Jun

by Stephanie Dickison

I am half British, so it makes sense that I get to write this post.

Though it took me awhile to appreciate the food.  I mean, it can seem a bit boiled and gray, especially for my Mom, Grandma and Great Grandma.  They didn’t have Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey or my own personal hero, Nigel Slater, to help them along.

They also didn’t have the immense ingredients available to them.  In fact, my Grandmother and to this day my Mom still has a bit of the rationing mentality leftover.  You should see the cans piled up at my parent’s place.  There are just some things that tattoo themselves on you.  Having enough cans to survive on for a good year or two is my Mom’s ink of choice.

Growing up, I never had Marmite or trifle, but I did occasionally have Bubble & Squeak and lots of Liver & Onions (which I love and which is hugely popular in the UK).

Strangely enough, the most popular food in the UK is curry, thanks to the vast Indian population.  And high end food is what you’ll get when eating out**, aside from the fish and chip shops.

The most confusing part of British food perhaps, is the terminology:

Fries are chips, and potato chips are crisps.  A popsicle is a lolly, bangers are sausages and rasher is bacon.  And just to confuse our Texas friends, biscuits are not those breakfast ones that you cover in gravy every morning, but cookies.  They call shrimp prawns and rutabagas swedes.

And that’s just a few of them.

Beans on Toast is comforting to me in the way that I think most people feel comforted by ice cream or a glass or warm milk.  It makes me think of my Mom and how she’s spent her whole life loving me unconditionally.

The recipe above is not how my Mom made it.  I think she took a can of baked beans, heated them up in a pan, while she made whole wheat toast and then poured the beans on top.

See?  Food doesn’t have to be fancy to be good.

** When in the UK, say take away instead of take out.  You’ll save yourself a lot of time and trouble…

Chew On This – If You Had $100, How Would You Spend It On Food?

4 Oct

groceries

Opinion # 1 By Stephanie Dickison

This depends on whether I was going to use it to splurge or not.  Would I treat myself and get more extravagant, expensive things that I’m used to or would I try and get the most for my money?

Let’s go with extravagant, just for fun.  Now the question is would I use it for a nice dinner out with my fella or for fantastic luxe grocery items to keep in the kitchen cupboard for little bursts of luxury?

I think I’d go with the dinner, because getting the stuff for at home is a wee bit more practical and this isn’t about being practical for once.

As for where we’d go and what we’d have, that’s a tough one as we’re both food hounds and other than reading, writing, walking and spending time together, going out to eat is one of very favourite things to do.  Also, I’m a restaurant critic so there are certain restaurants that make not make the list over others.

I’d venture to say that we would probably either go for Ethiopian, Brazilian or Portuguese – the thinking being that we can get Italian, Japanese or Vietnamese any ol’ time, but these places are fewer and farther between.

Scott loves Ethiopian a little more than I do because he can’t get enough injera – the airy bread that you pull away with your fingers and acts as a utensil to scoop out other items.  I find it too goopy, but I love the other dishes, so I do just fine with my fingers.

Brazilian is awfully sexy and I love the heartiness and spiciness of it all, but I’m in the mood for Portuguese these days, so that’s what I going with for this experiment.

There are three things that I think are superb standouts in Portuguese cooking – churassco chicken, piri piri sauce, and the way they prepare fish.

I love that somehow the food is infused with intense flavours, but never overpowers the meat, fish or vegetables.  How do they do that?

I would go to a place on College Street that I’ve been only once, but the memories and flavours have remained ever since.

I would start with the Lobster, Octopus & Shrimp in a citrus, tarragon aioli ($20) and then move on to Grilled and Gently roasted Filet of Salted Cod with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Garlic ($38), while I’m sure Scott would get the Nova Scotia Lobster on risotto of saffron ($45).

I know I went over budget there a little, but I’d be happy to kick in the extra.  When you have food this good, it’s worth it.

Of course, Scott and I don’t eat dinners like this often.  Let’s face it – 2 freelance writers in one household does not an expense account make.   On a regular weeknight, I’m making  chicken and pasta and lots of veg, just like you

But it is nice to dream like this every once in awhile.  Especially while I’m off to make soup and sandwiches for dinner.

Opinion # 2 By Chris Garbutt

Every time I go to the grocery store, I wonder where we get the idea that inflation is low. Food prices have been climbing for longer than I can remember now. A hundred bucks almost doesn’t cover a week’s groceries for the two of us.*

But I think I’ll take another approach here. If I had $100 for one meal for two, then I could have a little fun. And the truth is, what I write today could change tomorrow. So with that in mind, here’s what I would do with that money today.

Now that barbecue season has begun, I think I would get grilling. I’m thinking maybe I would get some large scallops from my local fish market – Avenue Seafood on Avenue Road north of Lawrence. Then I would pick up some produce from Organic Abundance on Yonge Street. Perhaps some asparagus, potatoes, onions. Something in season for a salad – spinach, radishes? I would then walk down the street to The Friendly Butcher to pick up some locally raised bacon.

I would keep it simple:

–    Fry up some bacon for crumbling
–    Make a potato pouch with garlic and onions, and put it on the grill
–    Put some salt, pepper and olive oil on the asparagus, and grill that, too
–    Make up the spinach salad, maybe make a dressing with orange juice, shallots and olive oil
–    Sprinkle salt and pepper on the scallops, drizzle some olive oil and grill them
–    Use some of the salad dressing to create an orange sauce for the scallops
–    Crumble the bacon over both the salad and the scallops
–    Put it all on a plate and serve it with my sweetie

Now, that’s how I feel right at this moment. Give me a few seconds and I’ll start again. I’m starting to think that a lobster on that grill might be nice…

I think I’ve come well under a hundred here, so with whatever’s left, I’d buy the best sauvignon blanc I can find. What would you do?

* Well, I eat a lot of organic.