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Things I miss…A bit…

December 10, 2008
This Guardian Post made me slightly Nostalgic for winter food back home. Its getting steadily colder here. At the moment its about 9 degrees which is nothing compared to what I’m used to – I remember this time last year I was working for Nestle and I used to walk past a duck pond-come-water feature which was always frozen over. Thank goodness the little duckies had enough foresight to get out of the pond for a kip I used to think.

Compared to the 39 degree heat it was in August, its a bloody big difference and I’m freezing 90% of the time. My poor work colleague is from Minnesota where I gather it gets much colder and he passes out from heat exhaustion every time he enters I room I’m teaching in. Ah well.

So…the combination of winter weather and guardian nostalgia made me wonder what food I miss from back home. SO here is a list:

1. Stew and Dumplings

My own, or my Mum’s – not school’s which was always rank and greasy and left a fat scum on the roof of your mouth. Steak stewed for a good few hours over a low heat with plenty of black pepper and nutmeg. mmmm. Plus fluffy white dumplings with crisp little tops.

2. Meat and Potato Pie

Basically the same as stew and dumplings, but roll the dumpling mix out into a pie crust. Heaven 2.0

3. Beef Casserole and Mashed Potatoes

Oh God….I’m craving beef so much writing this.  Its the mashed potatoes that do it – Butter, Milk and oodles of black pepper.

4. Baked potatoes with: beans’n’cheese/cabbage and bacon even bloody Chilli Con Carne…

I ate so many plates of toast with beans and cheese, baked potato with beans and cheese or Soda with beans and cheese whilst at University I never thought I would want to lay eyes on the ruddy things ever again. But I have a soft spot for a can of Heinz it must be said. Cold Turkey has been harsh at times.

The cabbage/bacon combo is a Northern Irish classic. I loved my exes Mum’s version – ah it was simple and blissful. White cabbage and bacon…From a pig I had probably seen at one point roaming around Ballymoney. I also loved my own version with Savoy Cabbage, chili and crispy bacon and once again…more black pepper than you could shake a stick at. And what made it? Probably the Irish butter. 

5. Soda Farls and Wheaten Bread.

This is actually making me rather sad to think of it – There was a magical restorative power in Soda Bread. It was pure magic – Toasted with butter it was as filling as an entire meal. I used to eat it with Jam and Butter and with a cup of tea before struggling to class on cold Belfast mornings.  I used to keep a special knife for buttering that I kept hidden because i lived with some punks at the time who were rather lovely but had a slight predilection for throwing glue parties. I’d come home to find all the knives stuck to the ceiling or something. But that special hidden knife got me through.

For old times’ sake a photograph taken by the rather lovely Eva Ménétrier:

Botanic Garden Belfast

Botanic Garden Belfast

I promise to go out and take a photo of my favorite Ramen shop to make up for this unabashed nostalgia.

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