In many European countries it is normal to have a long break in the middle of the day when all members of the family return to their house to eat together, however, this is not very common in Britain because it is normally a long way from school or work to home. Therefore British people tend to have a large breakfast.
Although everyone understands that "breakfast" is the first meal of the day, there are several other words for meals that are less clear such as "dinner, lunch, tea, high tea, elevenses (a traditional English requirement for a hot beverage, usually tea or coffee and a light, sweet snack to go with it, usually biscuits. The urge arrives around 11am, hence the name.) brunch and supper".
Sunday lunch is usually considered the best meal of the week with many foods that are considered typically British, for example roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, are eaten for Sunday lunch. Typically British foods include:
- Bangers and Mash - mashed potatoes with sausages
- Black Pudding - a thick sausage made with blood and fat
- Yorkshire pudding - a batter made with flour eggs and milk and cooked in the oven.
- Pie (also known as pasties) - A pie is some food surrounded by pastry and baked in the oven. It can be sweet (like in the U.S.) or savory like steak and kidney pie. Pasties were originally invented so that working men could easily take their food to work.
- Fish and Chips - chips are fried potatoes and usually accompanied with fried fish, pies or mushy peas. Yes, that's right, mushy peas!
(a solid cake with a slightly elastic texture and small holes that is eaten toasted with butter). This English Crumpet is sweet and simple.
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of sugar or honey
- 2 teaspoons of dry yeast
- 1 pinch of bicarb of soda
- 4 ounces of bread white flour
- 3/8 cup of milk
Sift the flour into a bowl.
Add the salt.
Warm the milk and sprinkle onto the dry yeast. Let stand for 15 minutes.
Add the yeast mixture to the flour and beat into a batter.
Place a damp cloth over the mixture for 45 minutes.
Dissolve bicarb into 14 milliliters of water. Whisk the dissolved bicarb into the batter.
Cover and let stand for 15 minutes.
Place a round pastry cutter into a hot, greased pan. Pour 1 tablespoon of batter into the pastry cutter. Cook one side until browned (bubbles should burst on top) and then cook the other side by removing the ring and turning over.
Let cool prior to eating.
Beans on Toast
Maybe the thought of actually eating beans on a piece of toast is a little hard to swallow, but it is a tasty and nutritious meal. This will provide a meal for two:
- 1 - 14oz tin of Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce
- 2 - Large Eggs
- 1 Large Loaf of Bread (suitable for toasting)
- Plenty of Butter (or equivalent if you prefer)
Empty the Baked Beans into a small saucepan.
Prepare a pan to poach or fry the eggs (poached is better) you can also poach an egg in the microwave. Check online for a recipe!
Toast slices of bread.
Gently warm the beans and start to cook the eggs.
As the toast is completed place it on pre-warmed plates and butter to taste.
Pour the warmed beans over the 2 slices of toast.
Place the cooked eggs on top of the beans, sprinkle a little pepper and enjoy!
Afternoon Tea is the name given to the British meal taken mid-afternoon, comprising finger sandwiches, scones cakes and pastries accompanied by tea. The 7th Duchess of Bedford is reputed to have given birth to afternoon tea, early in the 19th century, when she decided to take tea to stave off the pangs of hunger she suffered between lunch and dinner. As the century progressed, afternoon tea became increasingly elaborate. By the 1880s, ladies were changing into long tea gowns for the occasion and appetites were sharpened by the customary afternoon drive in a carriage. Tea service had also kept pace with side plates, bread and butter plates, cake stands and every conceivable accompaniment advancing across the drawing room. By Edwardian times, the smart hour for afternoon tea was five o'clock or later.
Still today, Afternoon Tea is an integral part of life in Britain. It brings people together for a brief hour of pleasure and refreshment everyday.
- Hothouse Cucumbers
- Thinly Sliced White Bread
- Whipped Cream Cheese OR Unsalted, softened butter
Peel cucumbers and slice very thin.
Sprinkle the slices with a little salt and lay on paper towels to drain.
For each sandwich spread a little cream cheese or butter on two slices of bread. Layer the cucumber slices on one slice (no thicker than 1/4 inch).
Cut the crust off of the sandwiches and then cut into squares or triangles.