Monday, July 30, 2012

A brief history of England ?!

I have attempted to condense over 500,000 years of history into one post - here it goes...
  • 500,000 BC 1st people arrived from Europe on landbridge.
  • 6500 BC Sea level rises and landbridge flooded - Isle of Britain is formed
  • 2000 BC  Stonehenge is completed
  • wars, wars, wars
  • 43 BC Romans ivade and rule for next 400 years
  • 50 BC  London is founded
  • 410 AD Romans leave but Anglo-Saxons invade
  • wars, wars, wars
  • 1055 AD Westminster Abbey is completed
  • 1348 Black Death (bubonic plague) kills half of population
  • wars, wars,wars
  • 1591 William Shakespeare's 1st play is performed
  • 1620  Pilgrims set sail for America aboard the Mayflower
  • 1652  Tea is introduced.
  • wars, conflicts, strife
  • 1868  NJoseph Lister invents disinfectant
  • 1876  Alexander Graham Bell invents telephone
  • 1991  Sir Tim Berners Lee invents World Wide Web !!!
Ok, now I know I skipped all the kings and queens, and the great wars, and the many, many different invasions and conquests that occurred but I would have had to fill many pages and I just couldn't do that to you (or myself).  If you would like to learn more please visit your library or google "history of England".  England is a country with a rich and diverse background which is probably why so many books, plays, movies and songs have been written about it.  Please accept my apologies for abbreviating it so harshly.
Now let's EAT!!

Project 1: Toad in a Hole

When I told people we were going to eat English food this week I got so many moans and comments about how bad English food is...well, they were wrong!! So far we've had Fish and Chips, which were delicious, and Toad in a Hole :)  When I told my daughter we were making Toad in a Hole, she looked at me and told me straight out that she was NOT going to eat a toad!!  Luckily for her real toad is not part of the recipe.  You will need:

  • 1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 3 eggs beaten (I only have 2 in the picture)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 T melted butter
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 1 lb of Bangers (sausage made with pork and breadcrumbs) or any other good, mild sausage
We live in the SF Bay Area and have access to many international ingredients.  I realize many of you may not so I will try to make recipes that have easily substitutable (sp?) ingredients :)  Now on with the show.
1.  Combine flour, salt and pepper in bowl.  Add beaten eggs, milk and melted butter and stir until everything is smooth.  Cover and let stand 30 mins.
2.  Coat bottom and sides of baking dish with oil and put in bottom third of oven .  Preheat oven and dish to 425'.
3.  Brown sausages in skillet.  I didn't feel like there was going to be enough sausage (and I wasn't sure if we'd like bangers) so I added 3 hot dogs too :)
4.  When oven and pan is preheated, pull rack out slightly and (carefully) add sausages to pan.  Pour batter over the top of the sausages and cook for about 25-30 mis until golden and puffed up!!
Isn't it lovely! It was super yummy too!! The batter cooks up and around the sausages and makes it's own little bun.  The bread part was crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.  The bangers were very good too.  I used this brand but I think it would

work well with any kind of sausage.  The kids ate it and the husband ate it, so it is a recipe I will have to remember!!  Plus the look on your friends' faces when you serve them Toad in a Hole is priceless :)  Enjoy!!   


  1. Once again, fabulous! I really feel like I am right there with you. Lol about Zoe and the toads.

  2. That sounds yummy!! I'm going to have to try that one!