Blog, Enogastronomia, Regno Unito

The history of afternoon tea: an undeniably British tradition

Unbeknownst to many, the ritual of afternoon tea, the most renowned British tradition par excellence,  is a rather new tradition.

Tea drinking dates back to more ancient times, indeed to the 3rd Millennium B.C.  in China but it became popular in England in the 1660s thanks to King Charles II and his Portuguese spouse, the Infanta Catherine de Breganza. However, the concept of having afternoon tea didn’t come on the scene until the mid-19th century.

Source: http://www.justfiveaclocktea.com

It was around this time, more specifically, in 1840, that Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford is said to have complained of  having a “sinking feeling” during the late afternoon. Up until that time, it was customary for people to eat only twice a day, at breakfast and at dinner time, which was at about 8 p.m. This meant that there was a long time between the two meals. The Duchess found a solution in savouring a pot a tea consisted of a tray of tea, with some bread and butter and cake, which she privately indulged in during the afternoon in her private boudoir.  Some time earlier, the Earl of Sandwich came up with the innovative idea of putting a filling between two slices of bread, thus the sandwich as we know it today came to be.  This “afternoon tea ritual”  soon became a regular occurrence at Woburn Abbey and she was known to invite friends around too.

Other social hostesses soon picked up on the idea and afternoon tea became a respectable enough practice to move it the into the drawing room and before long all, it became a fashionable social event where members of the jet set were sipping tea and munching on sandwiches between 4 and 5 p.m. However, it officially became a formal occasion when Queen Victoria started to engage in the ritual of partaking in afternoon tea delicacies.

Source: http://www.afternoontea.co.uk

You can often find hotels and sophisticated coffee houses serving ‘high tea’. Upper class citizens were known to serve a ‘low’ or ‘afternoon’ tea at around four o’clock, prior to the customary walk through Hyde Park that was all the rage at that time. While members of the middle and lower classes indulged in a more substantial ‘high’ tea at about 5-6 p.m. instead of having a dinner later on in the evening. The names of the meals actually originate from the height of the tables on which the meals were served.

Afternoon tea menu

When one thinks of afternoon tea, the first thing that springs to mind is that it involves elements like etiquette, lace and exquisite, dainty food.

An afternoon tea menu is generally very light and consists of crust-less finger sandwiches usually on buttered bread with fine slices of cucumber, smoked salmon or chopped boiled egg and watercress. Scones are also served with clotted cream and preserves such as marmalade or lemon curd.

Popular tea blends for this afternoon break include black teas (made with loose tea leaves and using a tea strainer) such as Earl Grey and Assam or herbal teas like chamomile and mint.

Source: http://www.pinterest.de

Afternoon tea etiquette

Source: http://www.ohhowcivilized.com

Afternoon tea is traditionally served in three courses on a 3-tiered curate stand alongside a pot of tea with one’s finest porcelain crockery . The order in which afternoon tea delicacies should be eaten will be described below.

First Course

Although afternoon tea is considered to be a rather formal affair, it actually requires eating with your fingers and not cutlery.

Tea sandwiches and savoury items should be eaten first in at most 2-3 bites. You shouldn’t touch any food that you are not going to eat, and these should be eaten off your plate.

Finish all the tea sandwiches and savouries prior to passing onto the second course.

Second Course

Scones must be served with clotted cream and jam (usually strawberry) alongside a selection of other preserves including lemon curd. Scones must also be eaten with your fingers.

Select the scone you will be eating from your plate. Using the spoons provided, put a dab of jam and clotted cream onto your plate.

Knives are used to spread the jam and cream onto your scones.

Do not use the same spoon for both the jam and the clotted cream. Most importantly, do not use the serving spoon to put the jam or cream directly onto your scone.

Source: http://www.theheritagecook.com

Third Course

The desserts are the third and final course of the afternoon tea ritual and like the previous courses, this course must be eaten with your fingers.

All pastries and sweets should be dainty delicacies which can be consumed in 2-3 bites.

Although several foreign visitors to the UK still believe that afternoon tea is a customary habit where everyone stops for a cuppa, unfortunately, afternoon tea has now become a luxury for the British too; perhaps savoured during a birthday treat in a hotel out in the country, or a weekend break after going on a spending spree in the city.

Apart from being able to indulge in expensive afternoon tea served at sophisticated restaurants and coffee houses such as The Ritz, or Claridge’s in London to name but a few, there are also many other locations worthy of note throughout the UK in which you can savour this traditional ritual.

A particular way to enjoy afternoon tea in London is the Brigit’s Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus Tour (see https://b-bakery.com/london/bus-tours/afternoon-tea-bus-london) or go to Betty’s Tea Rooms in Harrogate or York (see: https://www.bettys.co.uk/traditional-afternoon-tea ).

Source: http://www.b-bakery.com

Nowadays, afternoon tea is normally savoured within the comfort of your own home with a piping hot cuppa (made with a teabag) and a selection of biscuits to dunk in your tea or perhaps a quick sandwich with a filling of your choice to keep the hunger pangs at bay until your evening meal.

Source: http://www.pinterest.com
Blog, Regno Unito, Turismo

Covid-19 echoes lesson taught by Eyam in the 1665 battle with the Black Death

The Covid-19 crisis is a powerful reminder of how the inhabitants of the Derbyshire village that decided to self-isolate themselves in order to save others.

Between the villages of Eyam and Stoney Middleton, lies a gritstone boulder called the “boundary stone”.

During the 1665-1666 outbreak of the Bubonic Plague, in a famous act of self-sacrifice, the inhabitants of Eyam decided to quarantine themselves, so as to prevent the deadly disease from spreading. The inhabitants of Eyam would come to place money in six holes drilled into the top of the boundary stone, filled with vinegar (believed to kill the infection) in exchange for food supplies and medicine left by their concerned neighbours.

The boundary stone

The Great Plague in Eyam

In August 1665, the Bubonic Plaque (also known as the Black Death) reached the home of village tailor George Vicars, via a parcel of cloth he had ordered from London. As the cloth was damp, it hung out in front of the fire to dry, releasing the plague-infested fleas, claiming George as its first victim, who died of a raging fever on 7th September 1665.

As the number of deaths continued to increase, the village’s newly-ordained priest, William Mompesson, together with his Puritan predecessor Thomas Stanley managed to convince villagers that the only thing to do was quarantine the village, and face almost certain death, rather than spread the plague to neighbouring areas.

The Plague raged through Eyam for the following 14 months, causing at least 260 victims, until 1st November 1666, when it claimed its last victim. By the end of the outbreak, over a ¼ of the local population, amounting to about 1,000 people were dead.

“Social distancing” in 17th-century Eyam, meant not only isolation but also funeral services that were conducted outdoors reducing physical proximity with families forced to bury their own victims in fields and gardens rather than the local graveyard.

Eyam’s selfless villagers, with strong Christian beliefs, showed extreme personal courage and sense of self-sacrifice. Thanks to them, the Plague had been prevented from spreading to other parishes.

Once again, the experience of those villagers has proved to be a rude awakening as families, communities, towns and even countries on a global scale have to tackle the concept of quarantine.

The term originates from the Italian ‘quaranta giorni’, a clear reference to the 14th century practice requiring plague-infected ships from Venice to remain anchored for 40 days prior to landing.

 For modern-day residents of Eyam, the escalating fears provoked by the voracious Coronavirus have caused powerful echoes of those lessons learnt following the imposed self-isolation of those bygone days.

Eyam’s tragic yet courageous story proves to be a clear message to many, remaining an indomitable example not only of how viruses can be transmitted but also how effective social-distancing can actually contain further outbreaks.

A remembrance service is still held every Plague Sunday at Cucklett Delf, on the outskirts of the village.

Interviste e attualità, Regno Unito, Tradurre

Intervista a Ross Marshall, attore e scrittore

di Thérèse Nicola Marshall (*)

Traduzione di Angela Monetta

Oggi abbiamo l’onore e il piacere di intervistare Ross Marshall (*nessuna parentela!), un attore nato a Chesterfield che vive a Sheffield (UK). Lo abbiamo incontrato per parlare della sua interessante carriera!

D.: Ciao Ross, come stai? Prima di tutto vorrei chiederti perché hai deciso di diventare attore e scrittore. Quale delle due professioni è venuta prima?

R: Benissimo! E grazie per avermi invitato. Beh, per rispondere alla prima domanda, ho iniziato prima come scrittore, poi mi sono dedicato alla recitazione come conseguenza della mia attività di scrittore. Uno spettacolo che ho scritto nel 2014 insieme al mio amico Lee Otway dal titolo “Educating Bitchfield – School on Report” è stato finanziato come progetto pilota e ho avuto la possibilità di salire sul set con tanti nomi famosi nel mondo della recitazione. All’inizio volevo solo una piccola parte nello spettacolo e mi sono iscritto alla scuola di recitazione con questo obiettivo. Il contesto in cui mi sono trovato e il successo sul set, mi hanno fatto decidere di andare avanti e mi sono reso conto che era ciò che desideravo.

D.: Dove hai studiato per diventare attore e scrittore? R: Sono stato sempre bravo in recitazione a scuola e ho avuto il voto più alto al corso di scrittura creativa del mio corso di laurea, ma per quanto riguarda la scrittura, posso dire di essere un autodidatta. Dal 2005 al 2008 scrivevo messaggi sulla bacheca della BBC invece di lavorare (non dirò il nome dell’azienda!) e senza volerlo ho finito per creare un personaggio comico che è diventato un cult che non potevi fare a meno di seguire. Sono fiero di dire che facevo intasare la bacheca della BBC regolarmente per la richiesta dei miei post! Hanno poi realizzato un sito web in onore dei personaggi immaginari che avevo creato. Poi ho scritto la mia prima sceneggiatura, dal titolo “Insect in the Trent”, insieme a mio cugino Bjarne Tungland, lo abbiamo proposto alla BabyCow productions che ha mostrato un grande interesse. Ci sono state chieste diverse riscritture, ma non avevamo esperienza all’epoca e quindi si sono spostati su altro. Ho letto dei libri sulla scrittura di sceneggiature in passato. Ho anche seguito un corso sulla scrittura di sceneggiature e sono molto appassionato. Ho letto tanti libri sull’argomento e ancora mi piace. Ho frequentato la Yorkshire School of Acting per la televisione e la Carney Academy per il teatro. Sono stato anche ai “Meisner days” e a diversi laboratori/corsi a Londra. Ho seguito anche delle “equity masterclasses” e un corso alla Inspire Actors Studio di Manchester. Ho frequentato anche un corso di tiro di 2 giorni per i film e la TV.

D.: Facendo ricerche sulla tua versatile carriera, ho letto che hai fatto diverse cose, hai recitato in tanti film, pubblicità, serie televisive, video musicale oltre che per il teatro. Quale tipo di recitazione preferisci?

R: Mi piacciono tutti i tipi di recitazione, ma il mio preferito è per la televisione. Ho fatto parte del cast di diverse commedie e spesso ho recitato la parte di adorabili perdenti o deficienti ed è un po’ preoccupante il fatto che questi ruoli mi vengano così naturali! Ma ho recitato anche in diversi ruoli seri, interpretando soprattutto furfanti. Detto questo mi piace molto recitare a teatro, ma lo trovo molto impegnativo, anche se il successo degli spettacoli dal vivo davanti al pubblico non può essere sostituito da nient’altro! Recitare provoca dipendenza e la considero una forma d’arte.

D.: Se avessi la possibilità di scegliere il ruolo dei tuoi sogni, quale sarebbe?

R: Il ruolo dei miei sogni è Alfie, mi è piaciuta la versione di Michael Caine e anche il remake di Jude Law. Non è solo perché può avere tutte le ragazze che mi piace quel ruolo! Lo trovo un personaggio molto complesso e mi piace il fatto che ha sbagliato tutte le priorità. Mi piace anche che Alfie racconta e spesso rompe la quarta parete parlando direttamente alla telecamera o al pubblico. Penso che quest’aspetto renda il ruolo ancora più interessante.

D.: Ho letto anche che hai ricoperto il ruolo di diversi personaggi che hanno avuto gravi difficoltà nella vita, come difficoltà nel parlare o malati terminali, come ti sei preparato ad affrontare questi ruoli impegnativi?

R: Penso che per ruoli in cui interpreti personaggi con accenti diversi o con difficoltà nel parlare bisogna lavorare sodo per riprodurre l’accento o il modo giusto di parlare, in modo che venga naturale. È importante come imparare bene la parte a memoria. Se diventa un pensiero fisso è perché hai dei dubbi, perché non ti senti sicuro. Ho frequentato corsi di dizione per imparare le tecniche e non sempre è facile! I malati terminali ad esempio richiederanno sempre di interpretare molte scene toccanti. Credo che bisogna immergersi completamente nel personaggio, nella sceneggiatura e nella storia alla base in modo che tutto sembri reale.

D. Parliamo della tua carriera di scrittore. Ho visto che ti sei specializzato nella scrittura di sit-com. Nel 2015, sei stato nominato al premio British Film Industry Royal Television Society Awards per la sitcom per la quale hai collaborato alla stesura, dal titolo “School on Report” che è stata trasmessa su Sky Arts e Now TV, hai nuovi progetti in programma?

R: Sì, in effetti, la LTBL productions ha appena prodotto una sitcom dal titolo “Tea for Three” che ho scritto insieme a Bjarne Tungland e Rita May, in cui recita anche mia nonna. E’ la storia di 2 cugini che fanno visita all’anziana nonna una volta la settimana per cenare insieme e fare quattro chiacchiere, e sorprese e tanta confusione. Interpreto uno dei cugini. Mi piace scrivere di ciò che conosco e la sceneggiatura si basa sulla realtà di quando io e mio cugino andavamo da mia nonna una volta la settimana per il tè. Mia nonna ha 95 anni ed è molto speciale per noi e un po’ un personaggio, diciamo! Non doveva ancora uscire, ma a causa del Covid-19 tutti i fondi per i festival e le serie sono bloccati, perciò l’intero episodio pilota è disponibile su YouTube https://youtu.be/nCnyHvV7vFc

D.: Che consiglio daresti a chi sogna di diventare un attore o uno scrittore?

Penso che bisogna semplicemente avviarsi. L’inizio è spesso la parte più difficile e può essere molto frustrante, costoso e provocare riluttanza. Inoltre, il valore aggiunto sono quei momenti quando devi recitare o mettere in scena un tuo lavoro. Ne vale la pena, scegliere di farlo, di provare e di godersi l’intero viaggio! Sarebbe da pazzi il contrario! Bisogna essere tenaci, lavorare sodo e credere in se stessi. Sembrano dei cliché, ma è così.

D.: Sebbene possa immaginare che tu sia fiero di essere del Nord e di parlare in dialetto, so che hai frequentato diversi laboratori per imparare diverse voci e accenti, incluso il corso Equity ‘Nailing your accent’ per adattare il tuo accento del nord per nuovi ruoli e non rischiare di essere messo in ridicolo, puoi farci un esempio degli accenti che sai imitare?

Quelli che credo mi riescano meglio degli altri con il mio accento del nord sono quello del sud di Londra e del East/West Midlands, anche se il mio inglese standard sta migliorando sempre di più! Vorrei parlare bene con tutti gli accenti e sono adesso molto più sicuro di prima, ma ci è voluto molto lavoro. Ad esempio, all’inizio non mi piaceva per niente il mio accento londinese, ma adesso riesco a imitarlo bene. Ho studiato ancora e ho una app per gli accenti, ho anche seguito diversi corsi solo per imparare le tecniche e per essere preparato se viene richiesto un accento diverso. Preferisco sempre parlare con la mia voce, ma per un attore è possibile riprodurre qualsiasi altro accento se si impegna, anche se alcuni possono essere più naturali di altri. (ecco un esempio: https://vimeo.com/427084796 )

Signore e signori, abbiamo avuto l’onore e il piacere di ospitare oggi un attore e scrittore, nato a Chesterfield, Ross Marshall. Grazie infinite per essere stato con noi oggi!

Chiunque voglia contattare Ross, può farlo ai link riportati di seguito!

Spotlight link – https://www.spotlight.com/0139-6726-6937

E-mailRossi.a.marshall@hotmail.co.uk  Tel – 07985163657

Sito web – https://m.facebook.com/RossMarshallactor/posts/?_rdr

IMDB address – imdb.com/name/nm6892498/

Twitter – @RossMarshall7 

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/rossmarshallactor/

Interviste e attualità, Regno Unito

An interview with actor/writer Ross Marshall

by Thérèse Nicola Marshall (*)

Today, we have the honour and pleasure of interviewing Ross Marshall (*no relation!), an actor who was born in Chesterfield but now lives in Sheffield (UK). Let’s meet him and get to know more about his interestig career!

Q.: Hi Ross, how are you doing? First of all, I’d like to ask you why you decided to become and actor and a writer? Which came first?

A: I’m very well and thanks for inviting me. Well, to answer your first question, the writing came first, and I moved into acting as a result of my writing. A show that I co-wrote back in 2014 with my friend and writing partner Lee Otway called ‘Educating Bitchfield – School on Report’ got funded for a pilot and I had the opportunity to be on set with a lot of established names in the acting world. I initially only wanted a small part in the show and had joined an acting school with that as my only plan but the surroundings and the buzz I got from the experience on set made me want to take it further and I realised it’s what I wanted to do.

Q.: Where did you study to become an actor and a writer? A: I always excelled at drama at school and got my best grade in the creative writing section part of my degree, but in terms of writing I’m self-taught to an extent. I used to write on the BBC message boards for years from 2005 to 2008 when I should’ve been working (I won’t say the name of the company!) and inadvertently ended up creating a comedic character which ended up getting a cult following. I’m proud to say I used to crash the BBC’s message boards on a regular basis due to the demand for my posts! A website was created in honour of all these imaginary characters I’d created. This inadvertently led to my first script being created, this was called ‘Insect in the Trent’ and I co-wrote it with my cousin and writing partner Bjarne Tungland, we pitched it to BabyCow productions and they showed a lot of interest and asked us for numerous re-writes but we were very inexperienced at the time so they went with something else. I have read books on script writing and have studied scripts in the past. I have also been on a master class on script writing and I’m very passionate about it. In terms of acting I am absolutely addicted to it. I have read countless books on it and it is a subject that fascinates me still. I trained at The Yorkshire School of Acting for screen and The Carney Academy for theatre. I have also been on Meisner days and numerous classes/courses in London. I’ve attended equity masterclasses and a class at Inspire Actors Studio in Manchester. I also did a 2- day course in firearm training for film and TV.

Q.: Doing my research into your versatile career, I’ve read that you’ve done so many things, you’ve had lead roles in various films, adverts, comedy series, music videos as well as theatre, which kind of acting do you prefer?

A: I love any type of acting but my favourite is screen acting. I get cast in a lot of comedy roles and often play lovable losers or morons and it’s slightly concerning that I find these roles come very naturally to me! However, I’ve also done a lot of serious parts too, often where I play the villain type characters. Having said that I also really enjoy theatre acting but I find it incredibly demanding, however the buzz generated from performing live in front of a crowd is better than anything else! All acting to me is incredibly addictive and I see it as an art form.

Q.: If you had the opportunity to be able to choose a dream role to play, what would it be?

A: My dream role to play would be Alfie, I loved the Michael Caine version and also enjoyed the Jude Law remake. It’s not just because he gets all the girls why I would enjoy that role! I also find him a very complex character and love the fact that he has got all his priorities wrong. I also like the fact that Alfie also narrates and frequently breaks the fourth wall by speaking directly to the camera/audience. I think this makes the role even more interesting.

Q.: I’ve also read that you have played many roles where your character had extreme difficulties in life, such as speech impediments or being terminally ill, how did you prepare to tackle such demanding parts?

A: I think that for parts where you are playing characters with different accents or speech impediments for example you have to work so hard on getting the accent/way they speak correct, so you aren’t thinking about it. It’s just as important as making sure the lines are well learnt. The moment it becomes a thought in your head is when you’re in trouble, because then it isn’t truthful.  I have attended accent master classes to learn techniques as it isn’t always easy! Terminally ill characters for example will usually require you to have a lot of very emotional scenes, it can help to relate it to similar situations you yourself may have been in to get the required emotional levels needed. I think you have to become so absorbed in the character, the script and his back story that in your own mind it’s real.

Q. Let’s move on to your writing career, I see that you specialise in writing sit-coms. In 2015, you were an award nominee at the British Film Industry Royal Television Society Awards for the sitcom that you co-wrote entitled “School on Report” which has been broadcast on Sky Arts and Now TV, do you have any new projects in the pipeline?

A: I do, in fact, LTBL productions have just released a sitcom called ‘Tea for Three’ that I co-wrote with Bjarne Tungland and Rita May, who also plays my Gran in it. Its about 2 cousins who visit their elderly Gran once a week for dinner debate and bewilderment. I play one of the cousins in it. I always enjoy writing about what I know, and the script is based on reality from when my cousin and I visited our Gran once a week for tea. My Gran is now 95 and is very special to us and a bit of a character to say the least! We weren’t going to release it but due to the Covid-19 situation all festivals and potential funding for a series are on hold, so the full pilot episode is now available to view on YouTube https://youtu.be/nCnyHvV7vFc

Q.: What advice would you give to someone who dreams of becoming either an actor or a writer?

I would say that you just need to go for it. Making a start is often the hardest part and there can be a lot of frustration, cost and rejection. However, the plus side is those moments when you get to perform or have your work performed. This makes it all worthwhile, I would say if you choose to do it, try and enjoy the whole journey otherwise you will go insane! Be tenacious, work hard and believe in yourself. These all sound like cliché’s but they are true.

Q.: Although I can imagine you are proud to be a Northerner and speak the dialect, I know that you attended various voice and accent workshops, including the Equity masterclass ‘Nailing your accent’ in order to adapt your Northern accent to new roles and therefore not risk being typecast,  could you give us a sample of the accents you can speak?

The ones I feel I am best at other than my own northern voice are South London and East/West Midlands, although my RP is getting better all the time! I wish I could do all accents well and I am now a lot more confident than I used to be, but it has taken a lot of hard work. For example, in my earlier days I wasn’t happy at all with my London accent, but I now I feel I can do it. I have again read up on this, I have an app for accents and have attended a couple of classes purely to learn techniques and for being prepared if a different accent is required. I always prefer speaking in my own voice, but I feel it is possible for any actor to do any accent if they are willing to put the work in, some may come more naturally than others of course though. (see an example: https://vimeo.com/427084796 )

Ladies and gentlemen, we have had the honour and pleasure of hosting Chesterfield-born actor and writer, Ross Marshall with us today. Thank you so much for being with us today!

Anyone who wishes to get in touch with Ross, please find his contacts below!

Spotlight link – https://www.spotlight.com/0139-6726-6937

E-mail addressRossi.a.marshall@hotmail.co.uk  Tel – 07985163657

Website address – https://m.facebook.com/RossMarshallactor/posts/?_rdr

IMDB address – imdb.com/name/nm6892498/

Twitter – @RossMarshall7 

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/rossmarshallactor/

Enogastronomia, Regno Unito

Un assaggio di Sheffield

E per chi volesse cimentarsi nella realizzazione di questa ricetta ma non conosce l’inglese, ecco a voi la traduzione in italiano passo passo!

[Per la ricetta originale in inglese seguite il link https://translationandwords.com/2020/06/07/un-assaggio-di-sheffield/ ]

La Meat and Potato Pie con la sua speciale Henderson’s Relish, la “salsa Hendos”: un’altra esclusiva di Sheffield! Eccovi la ricetta, tutta britannica, qui preparata dalla nostra “corrispondente speciale da Sheffield”, Stephanie Patterson. Buon appetito!

Meat and Potato Pie

Per 4 persone

Ingredienti:

600 g di carne di manzo a pezzetti

1 cipolla grande tritata finemente 

3 dadi OXO o dadi di carne 

1 cucchiaio di Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce o Henderson’s relish

1 litro d’acqua

100 g di salsa gravy (salsa di carne) di vitello

600 g o 6 patate medie – pelate e tagliate a quarti 

500 g di pasta brisé pronta all’uso o fatta in casa

½ cucchiaino di sale per le patate

1 uovo sbattuto

Procedimento:

  1. Mettere la carne, la cipolla, il dado, la salsa relish e l’acqua in una padella larga o in una slow cooker.
  1. Portare a ebollizione e abbassare la fiamma per far cuocere lentamente finché la carne non diventa morbida. Aggiungere il mix per la salsa gravy e lasciarla insaporire e addensare. Far raffreddare
  2. Mettere le patate in una casseruola e coprirle con acqua. Aggiungere un pizzico di sale. Far bollire le patate con il sale fino a che non siano cotte, ma senza sfaldarsi. Scolare le patate e lasciarle a raffreddare (se il ripieno non si raffredda, la pasta brisé assorbirà il liquido diventando difficile da lavorare).
  1. Srotolare la pasta brisé e stenderla in uno spessore di circa 1 cm. Foderare con la pasta un piatto da forno. Aggiungere le patate e versarvi sopra la carne, assicurandosi che il composto sia ben omogeneo. Ricoprire tutto abbondantemente con salsa gravy. Coprire l’intera superficie del piatto e ritagliare i bordi per creare una finitura ben definita.
  1. Fare 3 tagli diagonali nella pasta per far fuoriuscire i vapori. Utilizzando un pennello morbido coprire la pasta con un sottile strato di uovo sbattuto. Ciò darà all’impasto un bel colore dorato.
  1. Mettere in forno, preriscaldato a 200° finché la crosta non sia dorata e il ripieno fumante. 
  2. Servire con abbondante salsa gravy ed Henderson’s relish. Buon appetito!

Salsa gravy: salsa della tradizione inglese e americana per accompagnare la carne https://www.agrodolce.it/ricette/salsa-gravy/

Per saperne di più sulla Henderson’s Relish, fare clic qui: https://www.hendersonsrelish.com/the-relish/

Per saperne di più ed acquistare la Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce, fai clic qui: https://www.leaandperrins.co.uk/our-sauce

Enogastronomia, Regno Unito, Tradurre

A taste of Sheffield

E’ domenica: gustate con noi la Meat and Potato Pie con la sua speciale “salsa Hendos”: un’altra esclusiva di Sheffield! Eccovi la ricetta, tutta britannica, qui preparata dalla nostra “corrispondente speciale da Sheffield”, Stephanie Patterson. Buon appetito!

Meat and Potato Pie

Serves 4

Ingredients:

600g diced beef

1 large, finely-chopped onion

3 beef OXO or stock cubes

1 tablespoon Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce or Henderson’s relish

1litre water

100g of beef gravy mix

600g or 6 medium potatoes – peeled and cut into quarters

500g ready-to-roll or homemade shortcrust pastry

½ teaspoon salt for the potatoes

1 beaten egg

Method:

  • Add beef, onions, stock cubes, relish and water to a large pan or slow cooker.
  • Bring to the boil and reduce heat and cook slowly until the beef is tender. Add gravy mix until the gravy is rich and thick. Leave to cool.
  • Put the potatoes in a saucepan and top up with water until it just covers them. Add a pinch of salt to the water. Boil the potatoes with salt until they are just cooked through but still firm. Drain the potatoes and leave with the beef to cool (if the fillings are not left to cool, they will make the pastry soggy and difficult to handle).
  • Roll the pastry to a thickness of approximately 1cm and line the bottom of an ovenproof dish. Add the potatoes and pour over the beef, making sure that the meat pieces are spread evenly. Top up with gravy until both the meat and potatoes are covered. Cover the entire surface of the dish and trim the edges to create a tidy finish.
  • Make 3 diagonal cuts in the pastry to release any steam. Using a soft brush, cover the pastry with a thin wash of beaten egg. This will give the pastry a nice brown finish.
  • Put in the oven, pre-heated to 200° until pastry is browned and the filling is piping hot.
  • Serve with plenty of extra gravy and Henderson’s relish and enjoy!

To find more about and to purchase Henderson’s Relish, click here: https://www.hendersonsrelish.com/the-relish/

To find more about and to purchase Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce, click here: https://www.leaandperrins.co.uk/our-sauce

To find more about and to purchase OXO stock cubes, click here: https://www.oxo.co.uk/#

Regno Unito, Turismo

Benvenuti al Nord… del Regno Unito ovviamente!

scritto da Silvana Collura

Orwell, che di ottimismo se ne intendeva, scrisse “Sheffield, I suppose, could justly claim to be called the ugliest town in the Old World”… Eppure, laggiù, anzi lassù nel South Yorkshire, la classe operaia della capitale dell’acciaio e dei coltelli, proprio quelli dei Racconti di Canterbury, si stava già guadagnando il paradiso, superando prima la crisi dell’acciaio damasco e poi una drammatica alluvione. 

Oggi, Sheffield offre uno splendido quadro dell’Inghilterra del Nord: forte delle esperienze del passato, arricchita dal fermento della storica Università, questa città consente di incontrare un’identità unica e genuina, a metà strada tra Edinburgo e Londra.

Una semplice passeggiata in città vi consentirà di ammirare edifici straordinari come il municipio e la sede dell’Università, di visitare il museo dell’acciaio, rilassarvi in uno dei parchi o al giardino botanico, gustare qualcosa di buono in uno dei pub su London Road e concludere la giornata scegliendo fra gli spettacoli al Crucible Theatre o a bere una straordinaria ale!

Naturalmente, non possiamo non ricordarvi che Sheffield è la città degli eroi di Full Monty… e allora via, a caccia delle location “post-industriali” che hanno partecipato, co-protagoniste a pieno titolo, al film di Peter Cattaneo! Perché non recarsi al Job Centre e cimentarsi nella “Hot stuff” dance?

Infine, Sheffield è indubbiamente una scelta strategica per visitare facilmente e con comodità altre mete imperdibili nello Yorkshire: Manchester, York, Leeds e Nottingham, per chi ama le città, lo splendido Peak District National Park, per chi ama la natura e, con qualche miglio in più, la Spurn National Nature Reserve!

Enjoy!

Welcome to God’s country!

tradotto da Thérèse Nicole Marshall

Orwell, an avowed optimist, wrote, “Sheffield, I suppose, could justly claim to be called the ugliest town in the Old World”… And yet, over there, indeed up there in South Yorkshire, the working class capital of steel and blades, the very knives mentioned in the Canterbury Tales, was already earning its place in heaven, first overcoming the Damascus steel crisis and then a dramatic flood. 

Today, Sheffield provides a splendid picture of the North of England: fortified by experience gained in its bygone years, enriched by the bustling atmosphere at the historic University, this city enables you to encounter a unique yet genuine identity, located halfway between Edinburgh and London.

A simple stroll through the city will allow you to admire extraordinary buildings such as the City Hall and the University headquarters, visit the Steel Museum, relax in one of the parks or at the botanical garden, savour something scrumptious in one of the many pubs on London Road, ending the day by being spoilt for choice at the shows being staged at the Crucible Theatre or sipping an extraordinary ale!

Of course, we could not fail to point out that Sheffield is the city of the Full Monty heroes… and so let’s set off in pursuit of the “post-industrial” locations that were featured in Peter Cattaneo’s film! Why not go to the Job Centre and try your hand at the “Hot stuff” dance?

Finally, Sheffield is undoubtedly a strategic choice to easily and conveniently visit other must-see destinations in Yorkshire including Manchester, York, Leeds and Nottingham to name but a few, for those who love cities, alongside the beautiful Peak District National Park, for nature lovers and, by travelling further afield, the Spurn National Nature Reserve!

Enjoy!

Regno Unito

The evolution of education and long-term effects during lockdown in the UK

by Thérèse N. Marshall

17th May 2020

At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic situation, the outbreak of which took place in Wuhan (China), no-one in the UK would ever have thought that it would have actually come to a true lockdown situation. The real problem seemed so far away, in remote countries such as China, and even Italy was about 2,000 km people thought.

Nobody in the UK seemed to be overly concerned about the situation, even the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, cast Covid-19 aside as a mere flu-like virus that people needed to contract it in order to develop antibodies, coining the term “herd immunity”. So, people continued to frequent schools, cinemas, shopping centres, living life as if nothing was amiss.

When the whole of Italy became a red zone and thousands of people were contracting the dreaded Virus by the day, hundreds of victims dropping like flies were being reported on TV, especially in the northern town of Bergamo. We saw blood-chilling scenes of endless processions of coffins being transported on Italian military trucks to be cremated in other cities as the local cemetery was jam-packed.

Covid-19 was getting closer by the minute, perhaps it could actually affect the UK after all, people started to think.

Although as time passed and numbers of people who had contracted Covid-19 steadily increased, lockdown was officially declared only on 23rd March, far too late as many have complained and should have been enforced much earlier.

Rapidly, almost overnight, our lives changed on a global scale and little did we know, that the world would never be the same again. Things we normally took for granted became things we dearly longed for. Simple things like meeting up with friends, going to the pub, commuting on public transport, shaking hands with colleagues to name but a few, but also the younger members of our families, our children, had to come to terms with and adapt to the new way of behaving if we wanted to survive the pandemic situation.

Most parents realised that perhaps it was better to keep their children at home and gradually lessons moved, like most countries under lockdown, from a classroom environment to one of an online nature having a rather drastic impact on both teaching staff and students alike, especially for mature professionals who were not as computer-savvy as their younger counterparts and had to tackle working online for the very first time.

Over the course of five working days, teachers went from a normal operations to a reduction of services with regard to after-school activities and inter-school events, to a complete closure, with the consequent need to design an online learning curriculum and create an innovative online learning curriculum and to operate with a re-arranged academic calendar.

In the early days of lockdown planning, many teachers proved to be ambitious and trained the whole staff on the use of Microsoft Teams for the visual delivery of lessons, while others tried their hands at working on other platforms so as to guarantee children the continuity of their education even in this unique, surreal situation that has never before been known to Mankind.

As time passed, teachers began to reflect and modify their plans, putting together a whole school approach from Foundation Stage to Year 10 that had teachers create video blogs to support learning whilst being on-line during the scheduled timetable.  Form tutors were expected to go “live” every morning for 15 mins so as to provide some real life contact as it were and ambitions were tempered while effectiveness for learners and teachers, screen time, challenges for parents and indeed child protection issues had to be taken into account.

Where parents did not have the technology to support the envisaged learning and teaching during lockdown, they were allowed to borrow I-pads. Full educational programmes, revised daily timetables were developed for every year group and clear sets of instructions were created for all staff involved.

What many people are unaware of is that certain schools were forced to keep open, either to look after and take care of the education of key workers’ children or that of vulnerable and difficult kids coming from disadvantaged backgrounds. Schools were understaffed and the workforce was, in some case replenished by volunteers, who, often did not have the slightest idea of the risk they were running of contracting the virus under such circumstances.

It strikes home when we realise that for some vulnerable children, school is actually the only safe place for them, to protect them from abuse, for some, it represents the only place they can get proper meals. Thus, it was of paramount importance for teachers for even a small number of these “safe havens” just had to remain open.

By lockdown on 23rd March, updated guidance requested that local authorities and schools had to maintain provision for children in alternative provision settings wherever possible, expecting vulnerable children supervised by a social worker to attend school.

However, there was a catch to this situation: teachers could not force pupils to attend. The result was that teachers were travelling to work, putting themselves at risk, only to find very few children turning up.  The hard work social workers performed over time risked being undone, vulnerable kids risked going back to square one, abandoning the education that perhaps they had just started, realising this proved to be the only way out of the denigrating lifestyle they were enduring and when this support fell through, they risked going back to gangs, juvenile prostitution and drug-pumped environments.

So, as of date, although we can see that many children have adapted really well to this unique yet terrifying predicament and we have witnessed that major efforts on all sides have been made during lockdown, but what will the long-term effects be?

Despite everything, there have been both advantages and disadvantages to Covid-19. Not wishing to minimise the tragedy of the countless victims and economic disaster left in the Coronavirus aftermath,  we must admit that if this situation had not occurred, perhaps such a radical digitalisation would not have taken place on a global scale.

From one day to the next, people were stripped of their freedom and where possible,  were forced to work from home, having to stay cooped up and provide support to their children who, in turn, were facing an unprecedented situation that had turned their whole world upside down. No longer could they meet up with their mates and do all the things that kids normally do, which, to a certain extent,  must have had a detrimental effect on their mental health.

On June 1st, schools will re-open after a lockdown period exceeding  months, starting with primary schools, with Reception and Year 1 as part of Boris Johnson’s “conditional plan” to resume educational activities while learning to live with Covid-19, that is still at large.

Secondary school pupils will be informed in due course of the date on which they can return to a different sort of set up as conditions of safety must be guaranteed, students must adhere to social distancing, frequent use of hand sanitiser and wearing the necessary PPE to boot. Those taking exams next year, may be provided with some time with their teachers before the summer holidays commence.

However, many parents do not agree with the scheduled re-opening of the schools, albeit gradual. A recent poll stated that most would probably not send their children back to school as soon as they open.

A great deal of uncertainty with regards to both the re-commencement of education still looms over the heads of many schoolchildren and their parents, while the long-term effects that this whole craziness has had on their mental health, whatever background they come from, will probably unfold and come to light over the forthcoming months when phase-back plans start to kick in.

Enogastronomia, Regno Unito

Fish and chips!

fish-and-chips-656223_1920

L’altra sera ci siamo cimentati così per gioco nella realizzazione di un adattamento di questa ricetta. Ovviamente l’originale è tutta un’altra cosa… Intanto mi è venuta la curiosità di cercare la ricetta e tradurla! La prossima volta la seguirò alla lettera…

Qualche cenno sulle origini

Nessuno conosce precisamente quando il pesce e le patate si sono unite. Le patate fritte sono arrivate in Gran Bretagna dalla Francia nel diciottesimo secolo dove erano già note come “pommes frites”. La prima volta che le patate fritte sono state nominate risale al 1854 quando uno chef famoso, Shilling Cookery, le ha inserite nel suo libro di cucina definendole come “patate a fette sottili cotte nell’olio”. All’epoca i depositi del pesce vendevano pesce fritto e pane, lo dice anche Charles Dickens in Oliver Twist pubblicato nel 1830.

Fish and chips è diventato famoso durante la Prima Guerra Mondiale, poiché ha rappresentato un valido mezzo di sostentamento per la popolazione. E poiché pesce e patate sono due dei pochi alimenti non razionati nella Seconda Guerra Mondiale, il piatto tradizionale ha mantenuto la sua diffusione.

Ci sono circa 11000 negozi di fish and chips nel Regno Unito e in Irlanda, e altri negozi sparsi per il mondo, perciò è davvero facile trovarlo.

Ingredienti

Per il pesce

55 grammi di farina
55 grammi di amido di mais
1 cucchiaino di bicarbonato
Sale (q.b.)
Pepe nero (q.b.)
59 ml di birra (birra scura)
78 ml di acqua minerale gassata
4 filetti di pesce (pesce bianco, spesso, preferibilmente sostenibile, merluzzo nero, o eglefino)

Per le patate
1 kg di patate circa (pelate)
1 litro di olio vegetale (o strutto o grasso per cucinare)

Preparazione:

In una ciotola grande unire la farina, l’amido di mais e il bicarbonato. Insaporire leggermente con un pizzico di sale e pepe.
Con l’aiuto di una forchetta, e mescolando continuamente, aggiungere la birra e l’acqua al miscuglio di farina e continuare a mescolare fino ad ottenere una pastella densa e omogenea. Porre la pastella in frigo a riposare per circa 30 minuti/un’ora.
Tagliare le patate in fette di circa 1 cm, quindi tagliare le fette ottenute in altre fettine larghe 1 cm. Porre le patate in uno scolapasta e sciacquare sotto acqua fredda corrente.
Mettere le patate lavate in un tegame con acqua fredda e portare lentamente a ebollizione, lasciar cuocere a fuoco lento per 3 o 4 minuti.
Scolare accuratamente con uno scolapasta e asciugare con carta da cucina. Riporre in frigo coperto con carta da cucina fino al momento di utilizzarle.
Nel frattempo mettere i filetti di pesce su un foglio di carta da cucina e assorbire il liquido in eccesso. Insaporire con un pizzico di sale marino.
Riscaldare dell’olio in una padella a 180° in una friggitrice o in una padella ampia e profonda. Cuocere le patate mettendone poche manciate per volta nell’olio per qualche minuto. Non devono diventare scure. Una volta che le patate sono leggermente cotte toglierle dall’olio e farle sgocciolare. Tenere le patate su un solo lato.
Mettere 2 cucchiai di farina che avrete messo precedentemente da parte in una ciotola. Ripassare ogni filetto nella farina e scuotere per eliminare eventuali eccessi.
Immergerli nella pastella.
Quindi porli nell’olio bollente. Friggere per circa 8 minuti, o finché diventino croccanti e dorati, rigirandoli di tanto in tanto con una schiumarola.
Con la stessa schiumarola, togliere il pesce dall’olio una volta cotto, scolare e asciugare con carta da cucina, coprire con carta oleata e mantenere al caldo. Riscaldare l’olio a 200°C e cuocere le patate finché non diventano dorate e croccante per 5 minuti.
Servire immediatamente con il pesce caldo accompagnato dal vostro condimento preferito.

Buon appetito!

[fonte: traduzione e adattamento liberamente tratti dal web]