Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pip Pip, Cheerio, and All That Rot

I don't like doing what everyone else is doing. I don't like hype.

When people started being obsessed with Harry Potter (the books people, not the movies) waaaay back when, I fought the urge. Actually, I probably didn't even have an urge.

"Why would I want to read something everyone else is reading? A book about a boy wizard. Why would adults want to read this shit??"

'Adults'...that's funny because I was only 16 at the time.

"Hmph", said I, and I didn't read them for a long while. Some of the original hubbub died down to a dull roar around the time the fourth book came out. I decided I would lower myself to read them. Of course, I became hooked. Then I kicked myself for not enjoying them sooner.

I do the same thing with there's hype, I ignore it. There have only been a few select popular things I have let myself get obsessed and girly over.

~Twilight (again: the books, not the movies. The movies blow old, hairy goats. Robert Pattinson can suck it. Pun intended. Ha!)
~Lord of the Rings (both books and movies. And I have an Elvish tattoo. No shame! LOTR 4 Ever!)
~True Blood (very entertaining television and full of awesomeness. And tits. Lots of tits for you gentlemenfolk.)
~Napoleon Dynamite (I did walk around saying 'Flippin' Sweet!', but in my defense, I saw it before it got popular.)

Why is that a defense? I hear that a lot with music.

"I love [insert cool band here]. But look at all these stupid bandwagon jumpers. I saw [cool band] when they were playing dive bars and bar mitzvahs. Before they got popular."

Like that makes one a 'real' fan. But it does somehow, doesn't it??

I've finally let myself be obsessed with something right from the get go.

Yes, I admit it! I'm out and proud.

I'm a Royal Wedding Watcher.

I'm not the only one. Look! There's an actual book for it!

I come from a long line of Royal Watchers. My Mum was up watching Charles and Diana get married at 3am, when I was a month old. I think she's read every book on the Royal Family that was ever made. I didn't grow up in England, but I still grew up in a country where the Queen is on all the money. It's in the blood.

I booked April 29th off at work so I could be parked on the couch before the sun is even thinking of coming up. I'm going to have all sorts of delicious snacks prepared. I may even wear a tiara.

It's my party and I'll wear a tiara if I want to.

But the snacks! Oh the snacks. Fancy little snacks for the daytime. And then dinner will probably be some traditional English fare. I will take suggestions you know! (I'm not talking about the suggestion that I can stick my tiara up my ass for all you care, I'm talking about dinner suggestions. Humour me.)

Everyone complains about English food, but I think it's awesome. The greasier, the better. How could you not love a country that offers up an amazing creation called the 'Chip Butty'?

To all Americans and/or visually challenged readers, a Chip Butty is a French fry sandwich. Ketchup is optional. Butter is not.

My heart screams no, but my stomach says yes, yes, yes!

I did make some lovely Guinness Stew the other day, but I can't make that for this important event. You know, on account of the English-Irish hatred.

The other day a super-crotchety old English customer asked me what my name was.

"Kyna," I said.
"What kind of name is that?" he said.
"Irish Gaelic," I said.
"Oh," he shuddered in his warbly old man English voice. "You know how us English feel about the Irish."
"Yes," I laughed. "I do."
"Do you know what we say about the topography of Ireland?" he asked.
"That it's got too many Irish people on it?" I offered.
"No," he said. "that it's above water."

Speaking of Irish, I did finally try Idiot Gardener's Soda bread recipe. Did it all wrong of course. I tried to make sure I was making the right measurements, because he had all of his in metric and I don't use that system when I'm cooking.

I thought I had everything right, but it seemed that I added too much milk for the amount of flour I had in the bowl. How did I fix this? I added more flour. Hence, ended up with an assload of soda bread. With probably not the right amount of baking soda and salt for the extra amount of flour.

Also, IG pointed out that one must use a very sharp knife to cut deep x's in the tops of the loaves. I did not have a sharp knife, I never do, and being too lazy to sharpen one, I cut very lame, wimpy, girly x's into the tops of the loaves.

Not quite authentic, the way I mucked it up. Still very delicious. I think we used a half a stick of butter each on that bread. Butter makes it sing! Chuck's not a bread person, and I didn't think he'd eat much of it, but he loved it. Just think how good it would have been if I'd made it properly!

And the stew....oh the stew!

Amazing how this...

...and this sexy looking carrot here...

....can make beef and potatoes taste so much more awesome.

So, I have about a week and a half to stock up on English essentials. What should be on my list?

Scones? Oh, my kingdom for a scone!

Jam? Jam jam jam, jam jam jam.

Tea? Definitely tea.

Cucumber sandwiches? I don't even like cucumber, but how can I resist eating something so cute and dainty with the crusts cut off?

Marmite? Yes, and lots of butter.


Shit! Where can I find Pimm's in the US??

Guess I don't need to worry about finding Pimm's after all. Looks like that guy's bought it all up for himself.



Shirley said...

Nice legs!!

Alison said...

You need some Branston pickle. Have I ever mentioned that my husband is a Brit? He loves chip butties! Also bacon butties. And cheese and Branston pickle sandwiches. It's sort of chutney-ish. It's very hard to find here in Washington state.

I absolutely love the idea of your Royal Wedding party. I hope you do wear a tiara.

Kyna said...

Shirley: Is that you Mum? You learned how to comment! Everyone, meet my Mum :)

Alison: No, I don't think you've mentioned that :D Chip butties, bacon butties...I love a People who put everything they can think of into a sandwich. With butter, of course.

Is it lame if I admit that it's going to probably be a party of one? A friend of mine expressed interest in joining me, but we'll see if she has the balls to get up in the middle of the night to watch a wedding lol. And another friend of mine who is a die-hard Royal fan lives too far away. We don't know if 18 hours of watching tv together will change our relationship for the worse. And if we decide to cut it short, we'll miss something on tv whilst we're driving home. We decided to just text each other about it. :)

Shirley said...

How about spotted dick or ploughman's lunch for your solo wedding party. I wonder what people who lives in castles eat for snacks?????????

Kyna said...

Mum, I bet the Queen's curled up with a bag of Twiglets as we speak.

Tweedlebug said...

You need Jaffa Cakes. Don't know where you'll find them, but thought I'd add that in. Sean recommends cucumber sandwiches.

There's even a Knit Your own Royal Wedding book. Check out the video:

Kyna said...

Ooh, Jaffa Cakes! I forgot about those. I can't find that brand here, but I can find Pims (not to be confused with Pimm's, of course ;)). I love those little tasty orange-jelly biscuits!

Cucumber sandwiches will be on the menu! I'm gonna be stuffed like a goose.

Ooh, Goose! I wonder if I can find a goose to roast.

I think it must be time for lunch. I'm getting ridiculous now.

Tweedlebug said...

There's a thought; Pimm's garnished with Pims...

Kyna said...

That would be Awesome. Capital A.

Just ordered some Branston pickle online. I heart the internet.

Liz said...


English-Irish hatred? I must be missing something here? Considering the entire country becomes one massive piss-up on st Patrick's day with massive Guinness tents everywhere I find that one hard to believe yet no one bothers to even celebrate St George's day! :D

Anyway yes, scones with clotted cream and jam. You simply must have it. Mmmmmm I'm milk intolerant and my stomach gets very upset when I have this but it's just soooooo goooooooood.
Oh and Marmite on toast with some crumbly cheese like wensleydale is oh so yummy too.

Although I won't be joining in with the Royal Wedding party, I think there will be few here to be honest. At least we get a public holiday!

Kal said...

I am totally like you when it comes to hype. I hate anyone telling me that I have to see something. I just want to run screaming in the other direction.

I have never seen E.T. nor will I ever see it.

I almost never say 'Titanic' but the boat was sinking on TV so I tuned in and I have to admit I liked watching the boat go down.

I will never read or see anything about 'Twilight'. It's just so stupid because the lead actors have ZERO charisma.

I got to Harry Potter even before the hype began so happily I could enjoy that franchise fully.

I waited untill the last season of LOST to watch all the previous years in one sitting. I suppose watching it week to week for years made it great but the way I saw it made me think that I could have trimmed a third of the fat away and had a much better story.

I did the same thing with 'The Wire' and 'The Shield' and they are so much better waiting until they went off the air to enjoy them.

I resisted getting into 'Firefly' and 'Dr Who' but now I shamefully admit that the hype was real and those are fantastic shows.

And now I am getting totally into the spectacle that is the Royal Wedding but not for the reasons you would think. I am sure that people are working overtime to insure that nothing goes wrong. This is a global event afterall. Spectacles like these are all that the Royals have to justify their existence so they better do it up right.

Personally I am hoping for a trainwreck. I would like to see these two sweet kids elope to Vegas or something. If that happened they would be the world's most wanted fugitives.

Maybe Kate will have second thoughts and say NO when she is asked if she takes William Hair Lose as her husband.

Marguerite said...

You reminded me of a Northern Exposure episode where Shelley buys herself a tiara off the shopping network. Her husband can't figure what she'd want a tiara for living in Alaska, where would she wear it? Well here's the answer, for a royal party! Have a blast. oh yes, and I would add cornish pasties to the list.

Al said...

I avoid hype too.
I'll be happy to avoid the wedding too.
Should that be HP sauce with a chip buttie?

Dani James said...

Very English + super simple: Jam tarts!

And you definitely need to have something with custard.

Also maybe try making Yorkshire Pudding, one of my favorite things on earth! Not sure if you're familiar but it's not at all pudding like or even sweet. Just doughy-cooked-in-oil goodness.

Cornish Pasty? CJ seems to like them.

Good luck, keep us posted! :)

Anonymous said...

What about 'bubble and squeak'!!!

love, Pilot x

Anonymous said...

Only 12 days to go!!! I'm still torn about the getting together issue. It would be awfully nice to enjoy the eating, crying, sighing, fashion commentating, more eating (LOL) with a similarly mad friend- namely yourself! But about the food...there must be some real clotted cream for the scones. I'm thinking traditional is the way to go on dinner- Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. Real, hearty English food- although judging from a walk down any high street in London we might decide that if we want a typical English meal we'd better do a curry takeaway!! But no- I prefer to steadfastly believe in an England where everyone still has a picture of the Queen hanging in the sitting room and pensioners in pubs still toast 'the old girl'. Sigh. I do know I'm going to definitely want a full English breakfast, including the essential Heinz baked beans- can't do a fry-up without them. And I'm going to need my favourite Hobnobs biscuits (nobbly, oaty goodness). The beans, clotted cream, and Hobnobs can all be had from World Market. In thinking about English foods, I thought of Henderson's Relish because I was thinking of Sean Bean (made in Sheffield, England just like Henderson's) because today is his birthday!!! Happy Birthday Sean!!! He is 52 extraordinarily HOT years of age! Mmmm...better than clotted cream, pudding, Cadbury chocolate....
*drifts off*


Jayne said...

Don't forget to cut the crusts off the cucumber sandwiches. We have a great grocery store here in Texas called H.E.B and they have a small but decent selection of British foods for expat Brits like myself so we don't get homesick :-)

Kyna said...

Liz: I'm a staunch St George's Day celebrator. I have the whole of next week booked off for the occasion. And the only time English/Irish hatred is put on hold is when there's alcohol involved. St. Patrick is the patron saint of stout, don't ya know? You need to hang out with an older crowd. ;)

And Liz, thank you for your suggestions for my snacks, even though you won't be partaking in the festivities. Wensleydale cheese may be on order very soon...

Kal: Funny that you bring up E.T. I was just telling someone this evening that I didn't see it till I was an adult, and I only saw it because I was forced :P Because of the hype!

I will defend myself on Twilight. The books ARE really like crack when you read them. I'm talking CRACK. Even the Marines were buying them, because they were so 'catchy'. Or 'catching'. Like a disease. The movies are horrible, but the books DO have some good entertainment merit. Trust me. But then, I AM a girl.

Never trust girls.

I've never been into William. I find Harry WAY hotter. I have a thing for gingers that won't behave. Kate though, I love. I'm pulling for her. I hope she has the balls to be a part of that crazy family. She's beautiful and very sweet.

Marguerite: Haha! I've never seen that episode. I used to watch that...

You're one of two people that have put Cornish pasties on the recommend list! They WILL be considered.

Al: You're such a Royal Pooper. :P

HP is delicious! I can actually get that here, but I have to drive an hour away to buy it. I have seen some variations on the chip butty with HP instead of ketchup. To each his own!

Dani: My die-hard Royal Watching friend Elise suggested roast beef with Yorkshire pudding. It's a strong contender! Because if I didn't make the roast beef with it, where else would I get the beef drippings to make the Yorkshire pudding?

Jam tarts make me drool. Thanks for the tip!

Pilot: Bubble and squeak crossed my mind. Little too much cabbage in it for Royal Wedding purposes. It's hard to feel all romantic and princessy when you're farting your ass off. ;)

Elise: I can't wait! I was going to ask you tomorrow where I could get clotted cream. I think I'm going to drive down to Wilmington tomorrow for all the grub. I may kill myself with all the calories. But what a way to go! I do make an awesome curry, but that just won't do for Wills and Kate! I think I'm going to pick up some Heinz 57 beans. Beans on toast! I'll have to make this a Royal Wedding Feast Week! With a toast to the old girl, of course ;)

Sean Bean is 52? With every year, he gets even more sexy. *phwoar* I missed the premiere of 'Game of Thrones' because of work. But I'm going to watch it On Demand tomorrow, Chuck wants to see it too.

Jayne: Crusts will be cut! It would be sacrilege otherwise. I have to travel a bit for foreign gourmet foods, but it's worth it!

Natalie said...

Hello! What about roast beef with all the trimmings, including Yorkshire puddings? They're very easy to make - a lot of my fellow Britons buy them frozen, which is odd.
I agree with Branston pickle - this should be eaten on thick sliced white bread with a lovely strong cheddar cheese.
Also, Cod and chips - you can make a chip butty out of those chips - in fact that's how it's done. Lots of fish and chip shops sell buttered rolls with the fish and chips for exactly that purpose.

I think you should have a trifle for dessert too.

Bangers and mash? Onion gravy?
Goodness, I'm hungry now.

Al said...

I heard about the Tornadoes going through NC and thought about you. Are you and yours OK?

Bub said...

Hell yeah to all the food suggestions, particularly a big fat, dripping with ketchup, chip butty. You'd better dig out your turkey pants though ;)

However, the royal wedding? That would be a big fat MEH as far as I'm concerned. Love love love Kal's idea that they bugger off to Vegas!

I tried IG's soda bread recipe. Totally cocked it up. Even the birds wouldn't eat it when I chucked it outside. Sigh.

Kyna said...

Natalie: Hi there! Nice to meet you :)

I can handle making roast beef, bus as for Yorkshire pudding I've actually heard it was hard to get just right. I think my husband's vote is for bangers and mash with onion gravy. He loves a good sausage. Wonder what Freud would have to say about that...

And I'm ALWAYS hungry. :P

Al: Wow, I knew we made the news in Canada, but I didn't think we'd gone international! Thanks for your concern, Al :)

My house and family are ok. There was some heavy damage in the nearby city where I work though. Some people died across the state. The local weatherman has been in the area doing the weather for 29 years, and he said he's never seen anything like it here. The tv station was getting hit by lightning as they were broadcasting. It was crazy. Where my house is located though, we only got a brush of the storm compared to other areas. I'm glad I came home from work early.

Bub: I was waiting for you to come on over and tell me what a huge twat I was! :D In fact I thought you might ignore the whole post in disgust ;)

Glad I'm not the only one cocking up recipes. That's why I never invite people over for a meal without trying it on Chuckles first.

Natalie said...

Really, Yorkshire puds are very easy to make - and you can't beat the crunchy crispy batter with some gravy.
Here's a link -

Delia is fantastic, follow her recipe exactly and you'll have a mouthwatering Yorkshire pud. That's a big one but you can always make the mixture in small cupcake style pans for lots of little ones.

Bangers and mash is delicious - I don't know if there's any way for you to get them over there but I recommend Lincolnshire sausage with your mash.
They're delicious (I live just outside Lincolnshire so I'm obviously biased), but they're very nice. They have herbs in them which add a fantastic accompaniment to the onion gravy.

I could talk all day about food!

biobabbler said...

Never saw Grease or Titanic, have not read Harry Potter, so I get that "Bandwagon? Feh!" thing. Not always adaptive, but...

I REALLY REALLY want you to wear the tiara. That'd be AWESOME! Got any sparkly shoes? dress with giant fluffy skirt (that makes that shushy sound when you move around)? Def. a day to dress like Grace Kelly.


ps Love that you said (out loud!) Never trust girls. Can be a PROBLEM if you forget this... =)

Bub said...

By my standards, you're definitely not a twat - don't forget, I've met quite a few! As far as you being a royal watcher goes, well, each to their own. We all have our little foibles ;D

I used to have a problem making Yorkshire puds - we ended up calling them Yorkshire biscuits. Then somehow (don't ask me how - beats me), it all clicked and even though I say so myself, I can now make a mean Yorkshire pudding.

Therefore, if I can do it, so can you. Your next mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make Yorkshire pudding!

The Idiot Gardener said...

That soda bread is easy to make, but you do need the sharp knife!

The secret with yorkshire puddings is to beat the hell out of the batter to get pl;enty of air into it, then cover the bowl with clingfilm and stick it in the fridge for 40 minutes. Heat the oil in the trays until it is smoking hot, then get the mixture in quick and into the oven quick so you lose little heat (always overheat the oven a tad to allow for the door opening). Then never, never, ever, ever, never open the door again until they're done.

I shall be shovelling manure on the wedding day, just as I shall be shovelling manure on Good Friday. Two long weekends for things I don't believe in!

Mrs IG will probably watch it until she gets bored.

Good British food for the wedding? Swan, naturally!

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I'm the same, and usually let the bandwagons roll on by. Hate liking something because everyone else does.

Growing up in England, it was all about the Royals. I remember watching Charles and Di get married, then my Dad took me over to a local railway bridge so we could wave at the royal train as they departed for their honeymoon. Then William was in the *$&% was that almost 30 years ago?!?

Can't believe there's a Dummies book...really I can't ;)

As for had me at chip butty...haven't had one in over 20 years! Yum! Marmite is a must. Salt and vinegar crisps. Newcastle Brown. Hula hoops. Jaffa Cakes (NOT Pimms...ahem). Definitely Jammie Dodgers. Oh dear...I've just realized I grew up on a diet of complete and total processed junk food, and loved it! LOL!

Jess said...

Well, as to whether it should be Pimm's or not, you can probably score yourself some at a World Market. Marmite too if you are running low.

I did the exact exact same thing with Harry Potter, even came in on the same book. Did same kicking of self.

Not with you on Twilight, not sure those could get any more ridiculous :) but in general I'm either all avoiding the hype or totally in it.

I definitely will be watching all this myself too. I think cultural traditions are very cool and one of the things that define one people from another.

Levee said...

Olson Johnson: All right. We'll give some land to the niggers and the chinks. But we don't want the Irish.
Townspeople: [Murmuring]
Blazing Saddles

Al said...

I hope you aren't saying Canada isn't international?

That would be like me saying New Zealand was a state of Australia. I'd get lynched by a horde of Kiwis

Russell said...

I can't believe no-one has mentioned strawberries and cream - tres tres English. Apart from that essential you need to start with a fry up - heart clogging I know but how often do you get to watch a royal wedding.

The Garden Ms. S said...

I too am so excited about the wedding! And the dress - the dress! Sounds like your party will be the perfect way to celebrate from "across the pond". :)

Kyna said...

Natalie: I don't know...I went to Delia's site and I'm still leery. I'll try anything once though, I'm not afraid to cock things up! :) I'm going to take a trip down to our 'specialty' food stores, about an hour away and see what I can find for sausage. They don't have anything much here except highly processed domestic ones.

Bio: I DO have sparkly shoes :) As for a flouncy dress, I'm sure I have one kicking around in my closet just waiting to be worn. It's prom time, so I'm sure a tiara can be procured quite easily. Woo-hoo!

Bub: Haha! Yorkshire biscuits :P

"Is it me darling, or do these cookies taste like beef? Let's not ask and just pretend they're delicious...."

IG: I don't know...

Hot grease + hurry up = Kyna getting hot grease burns. Sounds just like making a souffle. Which I have also never attempted. Still, the ingredients are quite cheap so if I fucked it up, it's not a big deal. I'd still have some delicious roast beef to eat. THAT I can cook.

I'm totally going to walk into our local podunk food shop and ask for swan meat. They'll just think I'm drunk.

Clare: I know what all of those things are except Jammie Dodgers. I'll have to look it up :)

What do you can't find a chip butty in California? They're vegetarian! :P

Jess: And boy wizards aren't silly? ;)

There is both a World Market and a Fresh Market in the same outdoor mall in Wilmington. If I don't find something in one, I'm sure the other will have it.

Levee: Thank goodness that you added on the Blazing Saddles part. Just because you and I are educated in the delight that is Mel Brooks, doesn't mean everyone is ;) lol!

Fucking Irish.

Al: Haha! I just meant that Australia is much MORE international that Canada is. You're not even in the same DAY that I'm currently existing in. So there :P

Kiwis...Aussies...same diff, right? O_O

Now who's getting lynched? :P

Russell: My heart can probably stand it for one day. It's already in training. I had gravy in my cereal this morning.

Ms.S: I can't wait to see the dress! And what she wears in her hair. It had better be a tiara dammit!

What's with my obsession with tiaras?

Kyna said...

Clare: Ah, so that's a Jammie Dodger! We had something similar in Canada, just a different name. Cookies with stretchy red jam are AWESOME.

The Idiot Gardener said...

Jammie Dodgers ... are so fucking shit, it's like sucking cripple arse.

Now, a nice digestive ... with blue cheese!!!

Kris said...

Here now, my dear. Let's not forget *my* personal fave ~ Scotch eggs! Use spicy sausage instead of sweet and have plenty of dipping mustard on hand. My friend Mo (from Oxford) made these for me years ago and I've never looked back. I, myself, will not be wearing my tiara during the proceedings, but I will keep my scepter at the ready. Way easier to spear *munch* eggs without effort... (P.S. my word verification is gratin - obviously to remind us to indulge in some good Stilton or Gorgonzola during the event!)

Alison said...

Don't know if you found sausages or if you have time to order them online, but Balson's Bangers are great! And they ship for free in the U.S. My resident Brit vouches for their authenticity.

Kyna said...

IG: Some of us like stretchy red jam biscuits, and some of us don't. I think it's delicious.

Some of us like cripple arse, and some of us don't.

I do. I know your wife must. Because we're both married to a couple of crabby old ones.

Kris: Never had Scotch Eggs before. They look crazy! Doesn't mean I don't think they'd be delicious. I love eggs.

And cheese, oh the cheese...*drool*

Hope that Chuck doesn't come home from work that day, find me dead and bloated on the floor, a half eaten cucumber sandwich clutched in my hand and jam all over my face. But I bet there'd be a smile on my face as well! What a way to go. But I can't die before 5am.

Alison: I think I just might have enough time to order. It says they ship on Mondays, and it'll get to your door in 2-4 days. Might just squeak in under the wire! And if not, I'll make something else and make these when they do come in :D Thanks for the tip!

John Gray said...

you always produce the most ECLECTIC posts!

Kyna said...

Thanks! That's a compliment, isn't it? ;)

Or is it like when you've set up a friend on a blind date?

"Oh, you'll like him/her! Really...'interesting' personality."