Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Starter Main Pudd…Dinner Anyone? From A to Zed -Week 2

I threw some phrases out last week that some or one of you have asked about….let’s start by clearing up some of the mystery:

What is a bap? Essentially this is a hamburger bun. There are lots of sandwich shops here and in fact there is one in our little village called ‘Mrs. Crusty’s –does that sound appetizing to you? Me either. In fact my kids refused to set foot inside based solely on its name. There’s a ‘Mr. Crusty’s in another nearby town. Actually they make excellent sandwiches and when you order they usually ask if you want your sandwich on a bap, granary roll, baguette or bread. If you respond with bread they’ll ask white or brown? And then they usually ask, ‘Do you want salad on that?’ and if you’re American you’re thinking, ‘ewww, no, why would I want a salad on my sandwich???’ which helps explain why, when my daughter ordered a BLT, she ended up with a ham and tomato sandwich.

Let’s break it down shall we- there are three key ingredients to a BLT hence the name. First there is the b for bacon-well now unless it is unsmoked streaky bacon then its generally back bacon which is delicious but doesn’t have that Oscar Meyer taste if you know what I mean. Tastes much more like ham. Next comes the l for lettuce. Supposedly. When my daughter ordered her BLT the server asked, ‘Do you want salad on that’ and of course she said no thinking l is for lettuce right? But, because she said no salad there was actually no l at all on the bLt. Do you see the problem? She did get tomato and a tomato is a tomato here except you must say to-mah-to. It’s the law.

And all this talk about salad brings me to another word I mentioned last week and that word is rocket and it’s got nothing to do with outer space and everything to do with salad. Rocket is what Americans would call arugula and it is delicious and wildly popular here.

Perhaps you would like a white coffee with that sandwich? Or more commonly you will ask for a coffee and the server will ask, ‘white or black’? If you’re like me you’re thinking neither…I’ll have a coffee with a little cream…which is indeed a white coffee. Maybe you’d like a digestive biscuit with that white coffee? That may sound like something for an upset stomach but it’s not. Cookies are called biscuits here and a digestive biscuit is similar in taste to a graham cracker. I’ve crumbled them to use as a substitute for a graham cracker crust in my baking here since we don’t have graham crackers.

Completely coincidental to this post my husband and I actually ‘rocked up to a restaurant for a Ruby Murray’ this evening. Ruby Murray is rhyming slang for a curry and rock up means to arrive. If you’re going for a curry you just might use this expression. I’ve never actually said it myself until now but you might. I have however eaten curry. Lots and lots and lots of curry. My little family here, well, we all love Indian food and I know lots and lots and lots of you are turning up your noses at the mere thought of Indian food and thinking you don’t like it but there are many delicious dishes and all levels of spice. My husband always gets a small side plate of diced chillies because too hot is not in his vocabulary. Daughter2 orders exactly the same dish every time…butter chicken. This is chicken swimming in the most delicious sauce you’ve ever tasted, so creamy… just like butter. And I am completely addicted to the Peshwari Nan which is Nan bread (flat bread) with coconut filling. Kind of like eating coconut pie with your dinner.

We have our favourite local spot in town and we eat there at least every other week. And they treat us like celebrities. It’s such fun truly because when we moved here we dined in this restaurant and they treated us very coolly at first. Just a head nod when we came in. After some months went by we graduated to a small handshake. And now, six years later we get the owner kissing me on the cheek and every waiter in the place stops by our table to shake hands with my husband and greet us. And if my husband and I ever went in with only one of our daughters they would worry…. ‘Where is the miss?’ they would ask. And now that our girls are both away at uni they always ask, ‘You miss your daughters?’ And by the way, the answer to that would be a YES! They like to see our family all together. (Me too!) I think our experience over time in this little Indian restaurant has taught all of us really important lessons about people and culture and etiquette within different cultures and prejudice and friendship and of course, food.

I haven’t even begun to talk about my favourite thing…the pudd. Or pudding as it is called here. The term pudding can go about 10 different directions-I might be talking about Black Pudding but I probably never would (it’s also referred to as blood pudding). I might mean Christmas pudding which is similar to a fruit cake and is doused in brandy or rum and then lit afire and is really quite fun. I could mean Yorkshire pudding and I heart Yorkshire pudding which I’d say is kind of like a Pillsbury biscuit but not really. It rises high and fluffy around the edges and is usually served with roast beef and drenched in gravy. Did I tell you I heart Yorkshire pudding? Most likely though if I say Pudding I’m referring to the dessert section on a menu which is generally just headed Puddings but covers all sorts of cakes, tarts, and assorted other goodies including jellies. Now I could write a whole post on this and in fact I think I will. Except it won’t be next Wednesday because I’m travelling next week and we all know that puddings will require some photos and probably I’m going to need to do some tasting purely for the purpose of blog authenticity so puddings will be in two weeks time.

No worries though…there are plenty of topics to choose from for next Wednesday…healthcare, housing, education…sounds slightly political doesn’t it? Oh, that’s another one…government. Words are everywhere y’all! I'm thinking now these word posts may never end.


  1. Thanks for the post. I guess it has been interesting learning the proper words to speak over in the UK. My daughters and I love Indian food, as well. We have a wonderful Indian restaurant in our town and the lunch buffet is amazing. I love the Nan bread too. A great appetizer is to take Nan bread and cover it in pesto and fresh mozzarella cheese and then heat it. Cut into slices and enjoy!! It is delicious!!! Your posts are so informative. I feel like I have traveled everytime I read your blog. Have a great week. Love & blessings from NC!

  2. I am enjoying this series of posts. They are preparing me for my trip to London this fall.

  3. Yay food!

    Curry - love love love love! Charlie dreams in saffron. ;)

    Yorkshire puddings - We heart it here so much that we have it every Christmas (with prime rib)

    Rocket - Charlie loves it so much that he insisted on planting arugula in our garden.

    Bap - We once ordered sandwiches, and my daughter's bap was bigger than her head.

    You didn't mention courgettes, did you? We had a pretty funny conversation w our hosts on what those are. 'well, they're like cucumbers.' 'Ummm, pickles?' 'No, no. Like cucumbers but with smaller seeds.'

    It took looking at a photo for us to figure it out: zucchini!

  4. Oh, you are sooo good at this, Joyce. You have done a "brilliant" job, or should I say it was brill? :-)

    Pudds are my favorite. I like to make many of my own. I have started making and serving Yorkshire pudding with our roast for the past few months and they are a big hit here at our house.

    Where will you be traveling to? You will be missed. Are you going home to visit with the girls? Or are you going somewhere in Europe with your husband?

    You'll have to make sure you blog "straight away" once you return.

  5. Fun, fun, fun... I truly enjoy reading all about the different words and meanings. But for the life of me, I can't picture myself asking for salad on my sandwich, which by the way needs to be on rye. ; )