Thursday, September 22, 2011

More Things I Love in England

I've heard several people comment that Harrogate sometimes gets all four seasons in one day.  So far, I'd say it's true!  Yesterday, for example, was absolutely beautiful in the morning.  It was bright and sunny and basically the perfect fall day.  Then, a couple of hours later, it got a bit breezy and started just sprinkling.  Then the torrential downpour with the hurricane-strength winds came.  How do you really dress for that kind of day?  Good thing I just got my brand-new rain jacket!

So, first thing I love:
  • My new rain jacket!  It is perfect!  It's the Merrell Aberdeen Ladies' Jacket.  It is deep purple and has a great belt to keep me from looking like a giant stuffed marshmallow.  It has a hood that will keep me dry when umbrellas are useless--which, by the way, is all the time here.  It's way too windy for an umbrella to function.  It has really nice, warm, fleece pockets and a soft lining.  I just got it yesterday and already had a chance to try it out.  Love it!

When the weather is kind of gross out, it helps to have a nice, warm, home-cooked meal.  That's why the second thing I love is:
  • Having a kitchen!  Even though the appliances are all tiny and the fridge is basically a college dorm mini-fridge, it is really nice to be able to cook again.  Our new house has a much more modern, American style kitchen (hooray!), but our temporary housing is definitely British.  For the next month I am definitely going to have to get used to making much smaller portions.  I'm used to making a lot of food and then freezing it for lunches.  Three problems with that.  Firstly, we don't have a freezer here!  Can you believe it?  What kind of kitchen doesn't have a freezer?!  Secondly, even if we put leftovers in the fridge instead of the freezer, there just wouldn't be enough room.  Thirdly, the pots and pans are so small that I can't really make larger portions because they don't fit!  I made a shephard's pie yesterday (see favorite item number 3) and had to do it in two batches because the filling couldn't all fit in the pot!  This will all be fixed when I get my pots and pans from home though.  I'm just so happy to be able to make my own food that I can definitely deal with the Barbie-sized kitchen.
  • Veggie Shephard's Pie.  Other than salads and pre-made pasta, this is the first real meal I've cooked since we've been in England.  I thought I'd go traditional for the first meal so I found a recipe for shepherd's pie.  This has a slight twist because it uses sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes.  It is really hearty and comforting.  Definitely something you want to eat on a rainy day.  The lentils fill you up, the sweet potatoes add creaminess and sweetness, and, do I even need to say the benefits of hot, melty cheese?  I think this recipe might become a regular in our house.
Photo courtesy of BBC Good Food


  1. I love the jacket...especially the color. Shephard's Pie sounds you think that I can get Dad to eat it (and, of course, make it?)

  2. Dad would certainly eat it and make it. It is best that you do not have bigger pots and pans right now. why would you look like a stuffed marshmellow unless you wre stuffed with scones, fish and chips and ice cream?
    We expect that by the time we get there you will have vetted out all the places to eat and drink<s..

  3. Oh, don't worry! We've scoped out all the best places to eat and drink!