Hi! I'm Liz - an American living in Britain. I've been toying with the idea of starting a food blog for several years, but one thing or another has always gotten in the way. Over the past few months, I've been working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic and have discovered so much extra time in my day that used to be lost to commuting. I decided to finally take the plunge and start putting together a website to share recipes and stories.
As an introduction - a little about me:
I'm originally from a tiny town in rural Maryland - the sort of place that is defined mainly by a crossroads with a gas station, truck dealership and a 7-Eleven. My high school's unofficial mascot was the duck farmer - a tradition, which was rumoured to have begun when a load of ducks got loose on the sports field during a football game. The rival team, from the more suburban town had no idea what to do, but our good ole boys went out and rounded up the ducks just like pros. We had a barn on site, complete with livestock and hosted an annual 'drive your tractor to school day' as part of supporting the large local farming community. I still feel most at home when I can see fields and smell manure.
When I was 17, I found the University of St Andrews in a college guidebook. There was a tiny section on international schools and something about the sound of a medieval Scottish university definitely appealed to me. I decided to apply as a joke more than anything, and when I got accepted, I knew I'd regret it forever if I didn't at least try it out. So, at 18, I moved from a tiny town in Maryland to a tiny town on the east coast of Scotland.
For most of the students, St Andrews, with only three streets and no nightclub, seemed incredibly small. For me, the idea of being able to walk to a grocery store or cinema seemed insanely big! It was a steep learning curve to be living on my own for the first time and to be living abroad - as I'm sure any expat in Britain will tell you, just because they speak English, don't be fooled, its like a completely different language... Despite lots of growing pains along the way, it was an amazing experience and St Andrews will always be a very special place for me.
I lived in Scotland for 8 years, with one gap year in the middle, when I moved south to England (a bit of a blip for the most part, though with one significant benefit in meeting my husband!). My husband's work then took us back to England to the orbit of London. We spent three years trying out the lifestyle of young professionals, living in a flat in zone 4 (only 20 minutes out of central London), but it wasn't for us - such a small space and so many issues navigating leases... So, we decided to move a bit further afield.
In our relationship, I'm the planner and the researcher (at least when it comes to our personal lives), so I was tasked with picking potential places to move. Fortunately/unfortunately for my husband, I tend to focus my research on somewhat peculiar things - like how a name of a place sounds or weird historical facts. I randomly spotted Gravesend on a map and thought it sounded interesting. I then discovered that Pocahontas was buried here and I became hooked. So here we are - living in a random Kentish town, probably at the edge of what would be considered commutable to London, because I was obsessed with Pocahontas as a 9 year old when the Disney movie came out... Perfectly logical in my opinion! Not sure my husband always agrees...
In any case, when I first moved to Britain, I brought with me a blue elephant notebook where I'd written out all of my favourite recipes, collected from my parents and some of my own devising. Over the years, I've added to my notebook and it has always been my trusty companion for tried and tested bakes - comfort foods and classics from my childhood, and new recipes developed from a need to bridge the gap between American and British ingredients. It is these recipes I'd like to share on this blog, as well as new ideas that we come up with along the way!