Funny food?

 Hi everyone,

A lovely lady in Connecticut, who left a cheery comment got me thinking. It may seem that we Brits eat funny food. Let’s start with mincemeat. Mincemeat is made of: finely diced bramley apples, beef or vegetable suet, mixed dried fruit, dark brown sugar, almonds or chopped nuts, lots and lot of spices, orange and lemon juice and zest. If you wish, you can add brandy. I’m making mine now to use up the glut of apples I was given yesterday. The jar above is from last year and it will last for years to come due to the very high sugar content along with the acidity of the fruit. The spices also act as a preservative. We make small pies, with sweet pastry and a huge spoonful of ‘mincemeat’ goes inside. We eat them mid-winter, traditionally at Christmas. I usually make mine in a very low oven, but this year I’m using the slow cooker. Here’s last year’s blog of the details of how I made it

 Everyone that I know, has a Yorkshire pudding tin. We make small sponge cakes in them, or jam tarts and in the winter, it’s the turn of mincemeat pies.

Here are my mince pies from last year. I took them into work at the end of the year to share a tin full. To many of you, this beef fat and spicy fruit pie just might sound a bit weird! But we love them.

Another delight, that I know most people like is Chutney. It’s a great way to use up excess veggies and we have every kind in a multitude of flavours and colours. It’s our version of sweet and sour with the combination of sugar and vinegar as preservatives. Here is the Spiced Damson chutney I made yesterday. It gets better with age and will be best in the depths of winter. Here’s DB helping himself to some Cheddar cheese  with a cracker and home made chutney. We eat it with cold meat pie/pork pie, cold cooked meat, sausages, with cheese and biscuits and we even add it to cooking and often eat a variety of chutneys with curry.

We must have some odd food, for example, Black pudding or a blood sausage, similar to the French Boudin noir. We eat it for breakfast along with eggs and bacon. (I love the English and French version)  Can anyone else think of something that we eat that some people might think of as unusual.

Here’s the finished mincemeat, I managed to get about 5lbs. Two large pickle jars and two small jam jars. Pies all round then!

(Added later – thanks for all of the suggestions so far. I can feel an offal cooking feast coming on, we love faggots and pate)

Until then,

Lots of love,

Froogs xxxx

He didn’t keep his hands off the chutney for long!


24 thoughts on “Funny food?

  1. To be honest I think breakfast cereal is strange. To tip some manufactured mixed up cardboardy stuff in a bowl, and see it swimming with milk, which then has to be eaten with a spoon, I think very odd.

    The rare occasion I have muesli I put only just enough milk on so there's none swimming at the bottom..

    Porridge I mix with water and they add a tiny glug of milk when cooking, then just sprinkle a half teaspoon of brown sugar on the top.

    To see people go in chip shops and maybe 'caffs' and have chips with gravy, uggghhhhh!

    By the way, your damson chutney looks divine. Will it actually last long enough to be at its best?


  2. Froogs, you would have been proud of my yesterday….my beloved coffee maker refused to function no matter what I did….in the old days I would have donned my coat and rushed out, card in hand, to buy a new one, but no…..froogs says 'do you reaslly need it' the answer was NO, I have a cafetiere which we take on holiday with us (I cannot function till I have had 2 mugs of coffee in the morning) so I got it out of the cupboard, dusted it off and made my coffee, saved myself ay least £40.

    Thank you.


  3. How about scones with jam and cream? They`re like the American biscuits, I think,which they eat as a savoury accompaniment. Or how about Scotch eggs? (not something I eat)


  4. I'm sure Christmas Pudding is wierd to some people as is some food combinations, like Christmas Cake and Cheese…….
    My favourite is Weetabix with a spoonful of the darkest brown sugar and cold milk! Anytime!
    Julie xxxxxxxxxx


  5. I love Boudin Noir. Can't find any good versions of it here. Only 1 type at the supermarket. I'm sure it's not as nice as yours.

    Always interested in the foods you eat. Even though Australia has many similarities to the UK foodwise – there are also many differences.

    Tonight we ate at my mums. Mince Kangaroo with mash potatoes. Very yummy. And Kangaroo has very little fat, making it a healthy choice.


  6. I've seen raised eyebrows at Christmas pudding, trifle, mushy peas, mince, cornish pasties,blancmange,tapioca, semolina, treacle pudding. The list goes on…then I tell them I make vegan versions and the eyebrows hit the ceilings.
    I organised a British pub night at church. The mock menu board got lots of laughs and it's photo taken many times….Stargazey Pie, rumbledethumps, etc
    Jane x


  7. Hi, I'm from the US and love your blog. I can't wait to read the next episode! Your chutney looks delicious as does all of your food. What about marmite? I had never heard of marmite before I saw it on a BBC show once. I immediately googled it because I didn't know what it was eaten with.


  8. Froogs here in KY mincemeat thrives! My father loved it and canned it himself. Being descended from English and Irish stock we have retained some of the food traditions.


  9. Just come back from holiday in Norfolk and peoplke were happily eating samphire which is seaweed [sea vegetable?]
    And I love our crazy names for food
    rumbeldethumps, stargazey pie, poor-knights-of-windsor, cock-a-leekie, bubble-and-squeak, fidget pie, norfolk swimmers…
    No wonder foreigners are confused. [slice of snake-and-pygmy pie, anyone?]


  10. nothing unusual there i was thinking, except i dont know what faggots are except a term for homosexuals, then i got to angelas comment, oh my, i know bubble and squeak as leftovers fryed up for breakie but the rest, not a clue. we have mincemeat pies here, but not many people make their own, its a real treat when you find fresh ones. it seems everyone buys them for xmas but nobody eats them, they sit on the xmas platter and look pretty.


  11. My all time favorite English foods are: mince pie, triffle and chutney !
    I'm going to make your mince meat recipe for the first time this year
    The only problem is that I have never seen beef suet in a French grocery store… Do you think I can substitute it with lard ?


  12. hi muriel , if you email me your address, I will post some beef suet to you and I will email the exact link to the recipe – trifle is lovely, my mother made it on our birthdays – chutney is wonderful, have you ever tried cheddar cheese? or stilton? if not try it with rochefort cheese and some crusty bread


  13. I'm in the states–Oklahoma. Hubs mom made mincemeat with roast beef. I don't know about the suet. I used to can green tomato/apple mincement (no meat) for regular winter pies. & have a recipe for hamburger (mince?) mincemeat pie, which I've never tried. We can buy jarred meatless mincemeat, but the spices they put in aren't very tasty. When I first found your blog, I went back & read every bit of the archives. thanks for all you've written.


  14. I did once confuse an American reader of my blog with references to toad in the hole and dippy eggs and soldiers!! More to do with the names than the actual dishes though. Made me laugh like a drain anyway. Thanks for the cheese sauce info 🙂


  15. I am thoroughly enjoying your explanations of British foods. I love a good triffle with blackberries please! My family is French, so boudin noir for breakfast along side pork sausages were common on the breakfast plate once a week. Now it's gourmet food and costly.
    Agree that Mincemeat pie is a Christmas pie here, and few eat it. My grandmother made her own and canned it as well.

    Thanks again for sharing : )


  16. My friends and inlaws are all British. We live on the West coast of canada and I still can't call baked potatoes “jacket potatoes”, even though they do!

    Does your chutney need to be canned?


  17. hi everyone – you don't 'can' or pressurise jam, pickle or chutney = the cooking and pickling process is all the preserving you need, also pouring hot jam or pickle into a hot jar and then sealing it, then allowing it to cool creates a vacuum and adds to the 'seal'.


  18. What a good idea for the apples I have been given, I hadn't thought of mincemeat,a job for Sunday!! I think tripe is a strange food, I don't like it but know loads of people that do.


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