Thursday, April 19, 2007

Fish 'n' Quips

I had so many plans for this post, I was so determined to prove to any doubters that English food is not a joke but I've failed. My plan was to show you a day of English food starting with a fry up breakfast, followed by lunch, afternoon tea with scones and cream and rock cakes, followed by a fish dinner (not quite fish and chips) and finally ending up with spotted dick.

Of course I wasn't going to eat all this food in one day. I think I would pop. No, I was going to prepare these meals over the last month or so, take the photographs then post an amazing spread. Herein lies my problem. I did make each of the meals I have outlined above but my photography skills are a joke and delicious as my fry up and fresh Dover sole, served with organic new potatoes and fresh peas were the photos I took were...well...think of the brown stuff on that fan and you'll get the picture.

I also made a spotted dick, Dillon had been wanting to try it and this gave me the ooomph to go ahead. Three hours of steaming later and a disgusting blob was revealed when I tore away the paper covering my bowl.

As for the scones and rock cakes, I just ran out of time.

The only photo I deem good enough to share, and it's not that good, is of my ploughman's lunch. Wikipdia describes the typical ploughman's lunch as follows:

The authentic ploughman's lunch consisted of stale bread or a crusty loaf, and an English Cheddar or Stilton, and some variety of pickle. An apple would be included with the lunch to take away the spicy taste of the pickle and to provide a sweet finish, perhaps to be complemented by cider. Ideally, the apple would be of the same variety as that the cider was made from.

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I didn't fancy stale bread so I made some no-knead bread and accompanied it with cheddar cheese, spicy apple and tomatoe chutney (made by my friend Beverley), a green salad, apples and tomatoes. I didn't add pickled onions because I do not like them but the great thing about this meal is that you can adapt it easily to suit your taste. It must be 20 years since I have last eaten a ploughman's lunch and I really enjoyed it. It was also quick and easy to prepare which is always a bonus for me.

So what do you think? Is English food a joke?

30 comments:

ChrisB said...

I haven't had lunch yet and these photos make me feel so hungry there's nothing wrong with English ( well Irish ) food. Wish I was sharing it !!

Lisa said...

Beccy,
Looks great. The second plate, with less meat, looks wonderful to me!

Sam said...

beccy - when i wokr up this morning my computer broke. It made this strange whirring noise so i rebooted it and now it is dead - I have to wait for Fred to wake up to see what we can do - but i just thought I would let you know incase you try to skype me it wont work.

You may wonder how I am writing this without a computer - well i am on the laptop - but it is semi-broken too and the battery power is beig termperamental and if it runs out I have trouble recharging it - it doesn't last for long.

Sam

Sam said...

ps the english breakfast and the ploughmans look great by the way

Sam said...

apart from the beans

john.g. said...

Beccy, give me the fry-up any day!!

Beccy said...

OK so the first six comments were made when I posted a couple of photographs with no text.

That was the big boobie I made!

ChrisB said...

I haven't had a ploughmans for yrs but looking at this I could be easily tempted to forget my cholesterol levels for once.

Willowtree said...

I only see one photo, and to a meat and potatoes guy like me, it looks like what your mum would put out for the turtles.

Ironically, I got this post through bloglines a few days ago and there was a fry up as well, now that looked good!

I know what you mean about the photos, you really have to know what your doing to make them look good.

hellojed said...

I love a big plate of Ploughman's. Glad you enjoyed it.

EmBee said...

I was promised an english breakfast for sunday after I had helped take the tortoises to their wake up clinic and bought more blueberry plants but it somehow did not arrive. Better to travel hopefully!!! Love

Sally Lomax said...

We often eat English breakfast. We have a great local butcher who does excellent bacon..............

And actually, it's good for you. Low carb, high protein and with or without the right amount of fat (depending on how much you want to eat) according to how it is cooked and what cut you have. I think that English people have eclectic taste when it comes to food. We're not fussy, and many of us cook quite well really!

And as for photos of British food, you are always showing us nice photos of things you have cooked Beccy!! Your cakes and cookies are spectacular!

Steffi said...

No english food is not a joke!Your picture with your food looks very delicious for me.

Hey Pretty said...

Actually, I think that looks really nice. As an American, I'd eat it.

Lisa said...

Beccy- I think your picture is great! The fish description was making me hungry, so I'm sure it was very nice,and I don't think English food is a joke, either!

Amy W said...

I am so freaking hungry right now, I tried to eat my screen of this lunch.

Looks wonderful to me too!

frannie said...

first- what is spotted dick? no offense to the brits (you know I love y'all) but that does not sound appetizing.

the lunch? looks amazing! that is a perfect lunch to me- whether being the server or the servee.

and the sole sounds delicious.

cookiecrumb said...

I love a ploughman's lunch. What strikes me as funny about it is that it has a name. It might as well be called Cookiecrumb's lunch, because I eat that way all the time.

Little Miss Moi said...

Dear beccy. I JUST LOVE PLOUGHMAN'S! The night before I got married, I had a fight with my mum, because I wanted a ploughman's for dinner and she wanted a 'proper meal'. IN the end, we compromised and ate both. MMMMMmmmMMMM gimme some good chutney / relish. MMMMmMMMMMmmMM.

Sam said...

i love cookiecrumbs lunch too - we have a version of this planned as one of the courses at our dinner party this coming saturday

H said...

That ploughmans looks gorgeous! I love that kind of lunch.....just wish this new diet would let me eat much bread and cheese now!

elena jane said...

i think english food is just fine! and i always wondered what a ploughman's lunch actually was....it's always on the pub boards :)

my4kids said...

First-I'm with Frannie, what is spotted dick, doesn't sound to appetizing and I could just imagine the comments I would get from my boys even if they saw the words....

Also there is only one picture. I want to see the fry up...

The ploughmans looks good though and I don't think english cooking is a joke!

Beccy said...

I've been pleasantly surprised by all your nice comments but maybe you're just all being polite!

Mum, maybe you could have a healthy ploughman's, a little cheese and brown bread?

WT I thought the photo of the fry looked a bit lost on the plate but it tasted divine. You're deadright about the tortoises, they would eat most of the ploughman's except the cheese and bread.

Hellojed, I was wondering why I hadn't had it in years, it's definitely made a comeback in my house!

Better to travel where Dad?

Sally you notice how I bake a lot, I have a sweet tooth. Your butcher sounds a good place to shop. We used to have a fry most Sundays for bruch but that fell by the wayside in recent years. It really is one of Joules favourite meals so prehaps I should treat him more often.

Thanks Steffi, I wonder how different English food is from German food? I know the dish you made for my Fun Monday was very unusual.

Welcome Hey Pretty and thank you.

Lisa, praise indeed from a fine cook.

Amy I hate reading food blogs when I'm hungry!

Frannie you'd be surprised how tasty a good spotted dick is...I plan to try again some day and all will be revealed!

Lol cookie, now whenever I eat it I shall think of you, I much prefer the name cookicrumb lunch.

LMM I think you should have had beans on toast if that was what you wanted before your wedding but I know Mums are only doing their best.

Wish I could come to dinner Sam.

H, I'm trying to be more healthy this week and am missing bread and cheese.

Beccy said...

Whey hey Elena Jane, I've educated you!

Terri, All will be revealed re the spotted dick when I've perfected it! I felt the fry up picture was crap basically so didn't post it!

no I am not a tree hugger, but... said...

I had a meal with chips in an pub in Kent and we asked for some scrumpy to go with it. The scrumpy was so evil we poured it on our chips like vinegar. I hear that it can make you go blind. Otherwise English food cooked proper is fab. Like roast lamb with redcurrant jelly and crispy roast potatoes. Yuuum. And a proper ploughmans with branston pickle and really strong cheddar. Yuuummmm.

Barbara said...

THe Ploughmans looks nice. I lunch that way too in summer. I can't see the fry up pic.

Catwoman said...

Can I plead the fifth on this?

:)

Just kidding!

I think every culture's food has its good and its bad...

There's a chain of restaurants here in Texas that has this gross sandwich. It's called a Montecristo. It's a ham, turkey and cheese sandwich dipped in batter and deep fried. Then they put some powdered sugar on it, like on a funnel cake (I swear I'm not making this up!)

Then you're suppose to dip it in raspberry preserves.

Sure, the brits have mint jelly. But I'm pretty sure the Monte Cristo is just as bad, ethically.

melissa said...

I think your ploughman's lunch looks strangely similar to my American lunch, which tends to be a tart apple, sharp cheese, salami, crackers or hard bread and sometimes tomatoes.

That chutney looks delish. Your pictures can't be worse than the ones I took of some crab wontons...with my cell phone.

Diane said...

this lunch is very healthy....