Friday, 28 January 2011


i had to learn a new vocabulary when i moved here. there are still times when i am utterly lost in a conversation because of a turn of phrase or an unfamiliar word. and now that i'm engaged to a kiwi, there's just no hope. i probably ask at least once a week for clarification. but that's been good, because of course, it means that we try not to jump to conclusions about what the other is saying - although we've had a few close calls! and don't even start me on the peculiarities of differently-accented english. all i really can do is to pray that our future children aren't too confused...

what do you call the last meal of the day? growing up it was always either dinner or supper, usually used interchangeably, but dinner was always the more formal of the two.  i've learned from the oracle of knowledge (aka wikipedia) that 'supper' is related to the french-canadian term 'souper.' perhaps this explains why for me, the words are synonyms? the english tend to refer to supper as 'tea' - particularly those from the north of england, wales and scotland. can i please tell you this caused all sorts of confusion for me - previously 'tea,' had only ever referred to a hot beverage. and just to keep things ultimately confusing, british children have "school-dinners" - meaning lunch!

this is what i love about living abroad - these are small cultural differences you only really start to appreciate over years. and i am beginning to think there is a lack of appreciation for the very real cultural differences that exist between english-speaking nations - le boy and i can attest that a common language, does not mean a common culture. learning this lesson has been incredibly important to our relationship!

so whether you call this tea or supper or dinner - this particular 'evening meal' will be a winner regardless!

broccoli raab with sausage and grapes
(adapted from how to cook everything - mark bittman)

described as a simple italian dish, i was initially sceptical of the grapes - and completely unsure of how they'd fare with my dinner companion. but the grapes add a slightly sweet-tart, cleansing quality to the dish, and balance the potential heaviness of the pork - much like apples can.

1 1/2 lb broccoli raab (or any substituted green vegetable - i used tenderstem broccoli)
1 lb sweet garlicky sausage
2 cloves garlic - slivered
1/2 lb seedless grapes
salt and freshly ground pepper

  • over medium heat, in a deep frying pan, brown sausages on all sides (10-15 min), piecing with a knife to release juices
  • remove from pan, slice into bite sized chunks and return to pan to continue cooking (5 min)
    • steam broccoli (i used a microwave steamer for 3 min) until just 'under-done' 
  • add broccoli and slivered garlic to pan, continue cooking for 3-4 minutes
  • add grapes and heat through, check for seasoning 
  • serve immediately
this went nicely with a freshly baked loaf of crusty bread, but would be equally good with a salad or served over mashed potatoes.

No comments:

Post a Comment