So, this last weekend we took Tara‘s mother Beth and Beth’s sister Molly for a short break in the Lake District during their stay in the UK. Molly had just found out that her daughter Audra was expecting triplets, so everyone was in a good mood for the weekend, and what a weekend it turned out to be!
The fun started with a stop en route at the Anchor Inn , near Gargrave. Three out of four of the meals were okay, but the heathen amongst us, Tara the vegetarian, did not get such a good meal. First of all they confused her order of veggie chilli and jacket potato, with a proper chilli. So having sent it back, we discovered that there was a potato shortage in Yorkshire as they had no more potatoes left! So Tara had her veggie chilli with chips (yes I know chips are made from potatoes, but these must have been prepared before the potato famine). For you American readers, chips are french fries!
After our meal we made good speed to our accommodation for the weekend, Granary Cottage, which was situated just outside the picturesque village of Ayside.
After a hearty breakfast, courtesy of Tara, we headed out to Ulverston, home of Stan Laurel,to the Laurel and Hardy Museum. While we were there we were shown one of their short films, in a small room holding about 30 people. If I remember rightly the film was called Two Tars, I’m not sure who laughed loudest me or Beth!
While we were at the museum, we found out that Oliver Hardy was born in Georgia, coincidence or what?
Anyway, here’s a photo of Stan and Ollie, with Beth and Molly
This morning I decided to share the incredible funniness of Carol Burnett with Tony. She was a wonderful female comedian who had a variety show on tv when was a child. Sad to say, Tony did not laugh once…even when mrs. Wiggins performed!!! You Americans will understand what I mean. Tony then decided to share some British humor with me and played Monty Pythons ‘The Four Yorkshireman.’ Hmmm, not really getting that so much. Conclusion? I know this will be a shocker but Americans and Brits have completely different senses of humor!!!
Tony has a wonderful tradition he started when his children were young. Each October he makes Christmas Cake, Christmas Pudding and homemade Mincemeat. All need to sit for a couple of months before eating and he feeds the pudding and cake with brandy daily. By the time Christmas gets here, everything is ready (and each serving must contain at least a shot of brandy so your holiday becomes much rosier). This week-end is going to be Christmas in October for the two of us as we are going to try to cook together for the first time. This may be a make or break as we both tend to be just a little controlling when we are cooking!
TONY’S LAWS OF CHRISTMAS BAKING
- He informs me that it is ‘the Law’ that you have to listen to Christmas music while baking. One assumes this must impact the taste of the final treats.
- He uses Delia’s recipes for all of these items (available on her website) and swears by how good they taste, having told me I am not allowed to change the recipes because apparently I am notorious for not following recipes.
- The nutmeg and the cinnamon must be freshly ground
- And I feel quite sure a few more will be revealed this weekend 🙂
I am actually excited about spending our weekend getting ready for the Holidays, not least because Sean is coming over to spend them with us and will be here for 7 weeks! So, without further ado…a sideways picture of my kitchen counter (please note the large bottle of a very nice brandy!). All of this, except for the pears and the pitta bread, to make our Christmas treats. We will let you know how it all turns out – assuming we are still talking to each other.
I have to say Tara picked a fine location for renting a house in York, five minutes walk away from the site of the York Beer & Cider Festival! And As it is my duty to introduce Tara to all Great British institutions, I felt that I had to take her to this festival, so on Saturday we had a wander across to Knavesmire.
It was that rare thing in England, a sunny September afternoon, so there was a beer garden to sit in, as well as two marquees. There were over 300 British real ales, 70 foreign beers and 100 ciders and perries on sale.
With such a choice, it was hard to know where to begin, but I stuck to my tried and tested approach, that of having a half pint for each letter of my name. That’s not too bad, Tony equals four halves. But as my full name is Antony Robert Newboult, it would mean me drinking 20 half pints or ten pints, Not recommended!
In the end, I went for Antony and got on to New when I called it a day. And these are the ales I drunk:
A – Luddington Lager (4.5%) from Axholme Brewing Company. I started with this as it’s brewed in my home county of Lincolnshire.
N -Neilson’s Sauvin (3.7%) from the North Riding Brew Pub
T – Moccachino Messiah from To Ol in Denmark. That wasn’t advertised in the programme, but was rather strong!
O – Oliver’s Medium Cider (6.7%) from The Olivers, Hertfordshire
N – Fiery Red (4.5%) from The Nook Brewhouse in Holmfirth
Y – Yakima IPA (7.4%) from The Great Heck Brewing Company
N – Nordic Storm (5.0%) from The Rudgate Brewery
E – Amish Mash (4.7%) from The Great hEck Brewing Company By this time alot of the barrels were empty so the E came from E by Heck
W – Wold Gold (4.8%) from Wold Top Brewery in Driffield
So nine half pints of damned good real ale!
But not only ale, there was also some music as well. Early afternoon was an open mic session, which inevitably was somewhat varied. The evening session kicked off with a set from TC & the Money Makers , which featured some wicked harmonica playing from Tom Cocks.
Finally I have to confess to having my own “chili” moment, a la Sean, when I tried some Scorpion Death Chilli Chocolate from the Merry Berry Truffles stall. It was hot stuff and had my eyes watering within seconds!
All in all, it was a great day, and roll on the next festival Pocktoberfest
I also came across this poster which I loved!
As the two previous posts have about grits and hot dogs, I thought I’d continue the food theme by recalling Sean‘s encounter with a rather hot pepper at the Music City Festival & BBQ Championship.
The festival took place at Riverfront Park in Nashville. We’d purchased tickets in advance and had to hand these in at the gate, in exchange for a wristband. Fortunately for Sean the guy in charge of the wristbands wasn’t too clued up on the variety of wristbands and gave us some which were for over 21’s only! For any UK readers, alcohol cannot be served to under 21’s in the states, but with this wristband no-one questioned Sean‘s age!
Anyway, as we were wandering around the various stalls and marquees, we came across a stall selling hot sauces. One of the guys managing the stall offered me a taste of a pepper which he’d just dipped into one of their sauces. I responded by saying I would after he’d tried it first (the voice of experience!), needless to say he didn’t!
Sean, however, rose to the challenge (the innocence of youth!) and proceeded to taste the sauce, which would have been no mean achievement in itself, but not only did he taste the sauce, he also devoured the pepper!
Within seconds his eyes were watering, his nose was running and his face was turning red. He was asking for water, but we suggested ketchup, so there followed a frantic hunt for ketchup. This relieved the immediate pain, as no doubt did the free samples of alcohol he sampled throughout the night.
Later that evening Sean bumped into the guy from the stall, who informed Sean that most people just licked the pepper and that the pepper was a Ghost pepper, which I’m reliably informed are pretty damned hot!
I’d like to say that was the end of the tale of Sean and the Red Hot Chili Pepper, but alas there were repercussions the following day. I’ll leave that to your imagination, but let’s say the song of the day was Johnny Cash‘s Ring of Fire!!!
Following our last post about the Grits, I thought I’d carry on the Georgia theme. During the last week of our vacation Tara took us to The Varsity in Atlanta, the world’s largest drive-in!
Although I was impressed by it’s size, the most memorable thing about The Varsity was the chorus of What’ll ya have? What’ll ya have? when we walked through the doors and the look of shock on Devon’s face as we encountered the choir behind the counter.
Apparently the full verse is:
“What’ll ya have? What’ll ya have? What’ll ya have? Have your order in your mind and your money in your hand!”
As well as enjoying the food, I now know how to Talk the Talk!
Hot Dog and Strings – Hot Dog with chili & mustard and French fries
Steak and Ring One – Hamburger with ketchup, mustard & pickle and an order of onion rings
P.C – Chocolate milk with ice ???? Can someone explain that to me?
Joe-ree – Coffee with cream – And I don’t get that one either!!!
Despite all this talk of food, I’ll finish by telling you that my favourite new American word is…..POOT!!!