Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Bless Us, Every One

We wanted to do something festive and Christmasy today, and ended up hitting a home run. Two home runs.
First, we stopped at our fabulous garden shop to spend the check my parents had presented us with as a housewarming gift. Mom wanted me to buy a nice pot for the patio, but she was almost certain the check wouldn't cover the whole cost of whatever we picked out. Surprise, mom! We made a nickel off the deal! Got a nice, big, pretty one, as well as a plant I'll be talking about later this week.
The unexpected treat was that this venerable nursery sets up a Christmas House, filled with decorated trees, gifts to buy, ornaments, you name it. We hadn't known about their tradition since this is our first Christmas in town. Beautiful.
After that we wanted lunch. Chinese? Thai? This city has all the ethnicities covered. But, wait! Stop the car! Sure enough, there was a parking space on the street in front of a beckoning English pub. Would there be food?
Yes. I had a most superb steak, ale and mushroom pie. Seriously. It was better than it had to be. Why don't Americans make this dish? Cranky had a zingy banger sandwich, which he drowned in steak sauce. He drowned his French fries in malt vinegar. He drowned his sorrows in a pint of Newcastle Brown Ale.
I had a glass of Boddington's Pub Ale, first time I've tried it. It struck me as very creamy. Then I came home and Googled for images, and guess what.

20 comments:

Sam said...

Lordy lord, what a coincidence, I had a Boddingtons yesterday for lunch at Kennedy's

Sam said...

were you at the Mayflower perchance?

cookiecrumb said...

Oh, that place! I've still got that on my list of places to try. Fun.
Actually, I learned about Boddington's from you.
Do you think you know where I was ? (No fair peeking!)

cookiecrumb said...

Oh, crap, we overlapped.
Yes.

johng said...

Hey CC - was it canned or draft? I've only had Boddingtons in the can and it's seemed a bit flat -- but maybe that's cause I like more bite and less creamy in beer.

Thanks for coming by and sorry, but I have not had time to even look at that darn WordPress / Safari issue. I've barely had time to jot down any tasting notes. For sure when things calm down next year. But I felt bad so I answered your question as best I can about green / raisins.

Jack said...

I was practically force-fed Boddingtons Bitters 15-20 years ago in Blackpool. I hope you were drinking the draft. Those I know who love Boddingtons hate the bottled version.

I much prefer Newcastle.

b'gina said...

I covet that glass. Gorgeous. The pie sounds yummy, too. And you just cannot beat fries with malt vinegar. I'm drooling just thinking of them, and I'm not even hungry!

Monkey Gland said...

Boddies is a bit creamy for my tastes it has to be said, and Newcastle a bit burnt in flavour. If you get a chance go for a Spitfire or an Old Speckled Hen. Like the other two they are quite commercial beer so will probably make it out to the states but are more upright and honest in their general demeanour. ;-)

Jamie said...

Mmm, Boddington's! Although usually I rate beers by how good of a fish batter they make. Newcastle is the current fave. :-)

P.S. English food has been on the menu here, too, as you will see.

cookiecrumb said...

John and Jack: Draft! Even so, it seemed a little flat to me too.
MG: Neither of those two you recommend is on the menu at the Mayflower, alas, but I've written them down and am carrying the slip of paper in my bodice. Perfumed. :D
b'gina and Jamie: Let's cook Brittily for Christmas! I know I am: roast beef and yorkie pud.

Mona said...

Ha that's great! I love boddington's !! Could go for one right now..or is it too early....

Jamie said...

Definitely, cc. I will be making a roast goose, brussels sprouts, etc. And probably some kind of pudding.

Sam said...

mona - it is never too early for a drink

i am going to invent stuff for christmas.

no traditions for me.
i am fgoing to forge my own.

though maybe mini yorkshires like last year.

cookiecrumb said...

Sam: We Yanks are forging our own new traditions by imitating the Christmases we read about in our children's literature. You think our moms ever cooked a goose or a Yorkshire pudding? Ha ha. Instant mashed potatoes was more like it. We're playing out a fantasy!
Jamie: I did a goose once. Gaw, so much spattering fat!
Mona: Cheers!

mrs d said...

Mmm.... Boddington's....

Chopper and I are all about the Brit foods lately. He made some kickass meat pies the other night, and we've been talking up puddings as well. I think it's from all the Patrick O'Brian we've been reading. Makes me long for taking a sea voyage, chowing down suet pie, and then ralphing over the rail. Okay, maybe not so much the last part. Or the suet pie. But dang there are some great Brit pub foods to be had if you know where to look (or how to cook 'em!) :-)

cookiecrumb said...

Lit ref for Mrs. D:
--When shall we get to land? captain--they have hearts like stones--O I am deadly sick!--reach me that thing, boy--'tis the most discomfiting sickness--I wish I was at the bottom--Madam! how is it with you? Undone! undone! un. . .--O! undone! sir--What the first time?--No, 'tis the second, third, sixth, tenth time, sir,--hey-day!--what a trampling over head!-- hollo! cabin boy! what's the matter?
~Tristram Shandy

bobbiebum said...

D-crumb; 'member in '71 when we did a duck up for what--Thanksgiving or Christmas? I'm sure we had my homebrew lager along with it. Folks, that place was almost a brewery that year!

cookiecrumb said...

That must have been the year I sat on the kitchen counter while the food was cooking and knocked the pumpkin pie onto the floor. Glass dish. Shards. We ate the OK "safe" half of it anyway. Too much homebrew? y - e - s
(bobbiebum is cookiecrumb's brother, BTW.)

b'gina said...

Ploughman's Lunch! It opened up a whole new range of flavor combinations for me. I love that Branston Pickle. Yummm. Not for Christmas, of course, but yum all the same.

My grandmother always made a carrot pudding that was very like an English Plum Pudding. I haven't made that in years. It's sooo good and sooo rich. And the brandy hard sauce or custard sauce...I could become inebriated just thinking about it.

cookiecrumb said...

I love a ploughman's lunch. Oddly, it's not on the menu at the Mayflower. Did you know that, if you had access to a black walnut tree, this is the DAY you would pick walnuts for pickling? One week before Christmas is the rule. (But then it takes three weeks to cure.)