Cooked and consumed before Alex’s and my wedding, this special supper included several British foods and sauces found at Northern California markets.
“Hold on. Don’t Mushy Peas belong with Bangers & Mash?” asked my loved one. “And shouldn’t we eat the Cromwell Somerdale cheese with the most common British bread?”
“Yes,” I replied. “But we, as nothing but poor and unlucky Americans, need to eat the local beef and the frozen dinner rolls before they go bad.” (In this instance, I was half joking and half serious. I may not be lucky, but God provides me with many blessings.)
And so Alex, my parents, and I ate a sirloin steak dinner with British-style side dishes and sauces. Please allow me to detail the scrumptious meal.
Small Sirloin Steaks Completely Covered in HP Sauce
Sirloin steaks bought from a store fall somewhere between “tasty” and “merely acceptable” most of the time. On this night, Alex and I cooked the evening meal. Later we learned the steaks we served fell right dab in the middle.
To help flavor everyone’s steak, I placed HP Sauce on the table. Browsing through Cost Plus World Market earlier in the week had enabled me to find this popular British sauce. Squealing with delight, I had snatched it quickly off the shelf.
Before tasting the sauce, I slathered it on my small sirloin. I was sure I would like it, and I was right. To me, who grew up with Worcestershire Sauce and A1 Sauce, it tasted like a mix between these two popular American sauces. How would my UK friends describe this sauce?
Mushy Peas Served as the Required Greens
Earlier in the year, Alex and I had cooked, eaten, and posted about home-cooked British Bangers and Mash. When Alex re-posted the blog post on Facebook, one friend said in mock-outrage, “What about the Mushy Peas?” We were confused.
So, after a little research, we realized either Heinz Beans or Mushy Peas could serve as a side dish to the popular dish. We decided to try the Mushy Peas, and found them at both Cost Plus World Market and Nugget Markets. If I remember correctly, the product was slightly cheaper at Nugget Markets.
On the night we cooked, I heated the Mushy Peas over the stove-top until the wooden spoon glided through the mush. Serving them in a simple dish, I scooped some unto my dinner plate to try. They tasted like……peas. More accurately, they tasted like my mother’s split-pea soup. Alex enjoyed them, and I found them tolerably good.
Cromwell Somerdale Cheese because We Wanted to Cut the Cheese
Granted, serving cheese as a main side dish seems odd. However, Alex and I had found the cheese section at Nugget Markets. And among this grocer’s cheese selection were many, many imported cheeses, including French, German, Mexican, Irish, Scottish, and British! We had to try some.
After picking through the selection, we settled on the Cromwell Somerdale cheese. This looked particularly good because of the chives and onions within the cheddar cheese. According to a UK website selling the cheese, we should have grilled it. Regardless, Cromwell Somerdale cheese is good straight from the block as well.
Non-Alcoholic British Drinks for an American Soda-Drinking Family
Lastly comes the British beverages we found at Cost Plus World Market. While the store had a large alcoholic beverage selection, my family chooses to abstain from alcohol to prevent giving a bad example to others in our faith. So, I picked up four different flavors of the British soda beverages.
Looking at the picture now, I remember that I drank the Fentimans Curiosity Cola while everyone else drank the Barr’s sodas. The predominant feature I remember about the Curiosity Cola was how flat the beverage tasted. Whereas American soda pop has ample amounts of carbonation, this drink had none.
The flavor evades description. Again, I wonder how my British friends would describe the flavor? As for me, I recommend my American readers to go out, buy, and try this mystery drink for themselves!
This likely isn’t a traditional British meal. However, my family and I enjoyed the British flavoring found within the dishes. All it needs is some sort of potato, and it would be a British-style meat and potato supper!