February 27, 2014

I Bought Some British Food

So friends. I had a book post planned for today. REALLY. I have so many good books to show you, I SWEAR. But Julia took the book I wanted to photo to school today. (blame the kid!) And then 'Downton' ended and I was very terribly sad. Let's work through our grief together, ok?


(mild 'Downton' season 3 finale spoilers ahead) 

Daisy! Oh Daisy, could I love you anymore than I already did?? "I'm never excited." SO BRILLIANT! I want to hug her and her pouty little face. And Carson and Mrs. Hughes! Oh my, that last shot of them hand in hand at the seashore.....I want that as a poster in my kitchen, I really and truly do.

Do any of you care AT ALL about Mary and her 2 boyfriends? I don't. Actually, that Tony Gillingham guy is nice, too nice for Mary. So I guess I vote for the other guy by default; they can be The Snarky Couple. I thought Mary's problem was Matthew. After this season, I realized, the problem is also Mary. I think it's tricky to have an unlikeable protagonist like that and also make them a main romantic character. I just don't care. The only time I really cared about an unlikeable Brit period drama character was Damian Lewis in 'The Forsyte Saga'.

On Jenny's recap, someone theorized that maybe Rosamund is really Edith's mama????????? I love that idea! Would explain why Edith looks nothing like Mary/Sybil......

As no-sense-plot-wise everything on that show is (Really Mr. Bates? You just forgot about your train ticket in your coat for 8 MONTHS???), I love love love it. I love the characters (except Mary). I love the food on their table. (the staff had an awesome cake in one scene!) Watching the show makes me feel deeply at peace.

Also, why can't that nice London girl who was chatting up Paul Giamatti be Tom's new lady friend, instead of that weird woman who has been following him around this season? I told Jenny that the casting director needs to put DOWN the scotch and find appropriate romantic partners for these people.

So to help me prolong the 'Downton' experience, I went to this British emporium/gift shop/tea house/bakery that is a few towns away. I don't get there often, so it's ok that I went and bought some Brit treats we didn't need. Also, it appears that a lot of these treats are actually Irish, but that makes no nevermind to me, because hey all you peeps from the British Isles area, I lump you all together in my mind. Is that wrong? I used to get terribly offended when people used to ask me if Hawaii was part of America.

If you are having a hard time following my pictures, I will help you along:

I bought blackcurrant jam, which is rich and has depth and is not cloyingly sweet. It is even better than plum jam. IT IS MY FAVORITE JAM, so I need to be shouty about it. I also bought awesome Irish tea, which the lady at the store said is the best tea ever. It is indeed very good tea and you would like it.

Double Gloucester cheese came home as well, and I opened it immediately, so sorry for that weird torn wrapper photo. It's a mild cheddar that is EVER SO NICE. My kid is on a cheddar kick and she loved it.

Also got this Tikka Masala sauce. It has nice, non-chemically ingredients like coconut milk, cream and tomatoes. I am going to simmer chicken in it and put it over rice.  VERY EXCITED about this, because it looks like a 15 minute dinner to put together.

Have you ever had Cadbury fruit and nut chocolate? Don't tell me that sounds gross, because you would be wrong. It's the best candy ever! Cadbury chocolate is really really creamy, did you know? Have you tried?? Reeeeeaaaaallly creamy and milky. I know dark chocolate is all good for you and whatnot, but my heart will always belong to milk chocolate.

AND not pictured: a few mincemeat tarts, (not as good as the 'Downton Abbey' ones, so says my daughter who loves mincemeat), a Bakewell tart, and a couple slices of ginger shortbread. (Andrew was aghast that I didn't get regular shortbread. He does not share my ginger obsession.)

OMG totally almost forgot I got these little sandwich cookies that have a vanilla custard filling in them. Like fancy Brit vanilla Oreos! I will not open these until the tarts are all gone, which will be in one day.

Did you like 'Downton' this season? I did. Thought it was better than last season. Last season with Sybil....just couldn't handle that very well. I need something to watch while I wait until next year...I'm thinking the original 'Upstairs, Downstairs' show.


(this post contains lots of affiliate links, in case you don't have an awesome Brit tea shop/bakery/grocery store in your area like I do. Amazon is the great equalizer!)

16 comments:

  1. Stop reading my mind! I saw "British tea" at the ye ol' Wal-mart shoppee yesterday and thought I should ask you if you had ever had such a thing and if there was a real difference. My curiosity is peaked although the Dowager Countess would surely tell me to sit down and not exert myself.

    Overall I thought season 3 was good. The relationship between Violet and Isobel was fun. Violet gets the best lines. The season finale was a bit tame -- nothing wrapped up and no cliffhangers. But Carson and Mrs. Hughes hand in hand was the best! I was happy Edith finally did something she wanted and took charge. Poor Edith can't catch a break. Interested in seeing how WWII will play into the next season.

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    1. ok I will totally tell you the real deal about tea, b/c I've tried a ton of different kids. i DO think Brit tea is better than non-Brit tea. But it doesn't have to come from Brit specialty tea shops, you can also get PG Tipps at the grocery store and that's our mainstay house tea.

      Edith just grinds everyone else into the dust for me character-wise lately, and that's the power of charisma and good acting for you -- i thought nothing of her in Season 1 and over time, she just grew and grew on me!

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  2. I'm with Andrew on the ginger. Yesterday, Master W. and I picked up donuts for a morning treat and I found myself lured in by a cream cheese icing topped little donut. It looked so yummy... and the frosting was... but the donut was a ginger bomb. :( It's a sad day indeed when you have to throw away a donut.

    Blackcurrent jam sounds yummy! My mom and I made plum and strawberry jam (not a blend of the fruits - separate batches) to give away as Christmas gifts last year.

    Okay, so that was all random and stuff! xoxo

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    1. you threw away your nice ginger doughnut??? you could have sent it to me!! ha ha ha. and where is this magical ginger doughnut place???? :)

      i wanted to make jam last fall, do you recall me going on about it? but i chickened out. I have jars. i have pectin. what i do not have is courage, or a helper friend to assist me!

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  3. I love everything ginger!!! And that jam sounds delicious! Never had that but I need to try :)

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    1. helpful tip #35: blackcurrant/blueberry combo is also very good. the older I get, the less sweet i like my jam. strawberry is way too sweet for me now!

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  4. I really enjoyed this post. :)

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    1. Well thank you kindly ever so much Miss Cassandra!!! Always makes my day to think that someone other than myself was entertained by my rambling :)

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  5. I'm so behind on Downton. We stopped watching after the rape episode. We figure we'll have a binge marathon later. LOVE fruit and nut chocolate, though. :)

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    1. oh you gotta push on thru my lovey!!! the season got way better after that bit of ick.

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  6. Fun food, great post, wonderful show. You've made me hungry. I'm sure that wasn't your goal.

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    1. Thank you Brenda!!!

      basically, i'm a wannabe food blogger and i try and talk about food whenever possible b/c i love food and talking about food and reading about food and photographing food. my big dream is to photograph a cookbook.

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  7. I absolutely adore buying food from other countries. Stuff with labels I can barely read too. I love cracking them open and discovering something new. It's like cracking open oysters and hoping for pearls.

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    1. i love that idea!!! i wonder if people from other countries ever feel that way about American food. i know a girl who went to live in France and she said when she found peanut butter in a store one time, she felt like she had found pure gold. :)

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  8. I had to stop watching after Anna was raped and Bates turned into an old grump. I had so much invested in their relationship, I couldn't stand to watch him being dour. And the rape- it's so been done, over and over. I found it irritating and sexist. Sorry about my little rant there, lol- I used to love Downton and I miss it! Maybe next season.
    I added Barry's tea to my Amazon wish list- thank you! Have you tried Mcvities Digestive Biscuits??

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    1. I agree with you about that storyline. I don't think it added anything to the show. There's a lot wrong with the show actually. I love Thomas but really, they wasted his character this season. All he did was keep asking Baxter, "Do you know anything? Well do you?" That got REAL OLD.

      Sometimes I really wonder what the writers are up to with that show, but still.....I watch and I love it.

      Unlike this season's storyline, you'll really like the tea! It's a very nice, full bodied tea. Nice depth of flavor! I have not tried those biscuits yet and I TOTALLY want to, and thank you for the reminder! I have a recipe somewhere that calls for crushed digestive biscuits. Plus they sound like they would be so nice with tea. Gonna get some ASAP!

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