Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Cornbread in UK

My family and friends always like it when I make cornbread. It's just one of those things that you can't really get here unless you make it homemade. That and corndogs! But that is a whole other post.   It took me a while to source the right kind of cornmeal for my cornbread. I initially tried some polenta that was partially cooked and that really didn't work.  Finally, I came across Natco brand cornmeal (sold in ASDA & Tesco). They sell both yellow and white cornmeal and it is quite reasonable.  I started doing a little baking for the Country markets in my area.  I mostly make brownies but I have sold some of my cornbread as well. I have had to rebrand it here as Polenta, though when I do sell it, to get the British to even try it! 

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Snowshill Lavender Farm

Tucked a bit out of Oxfordshire but nearby popular tourist stops, Stow on the Wold and Bourton on the Water.  The Farm is worth going to for great photographic opportunities and to try their special Lavender teas, Lavender Scones and shortbread. It's not a huge place and can probably be done in 1-2 hours or less depending on how far you want to walk around the fields. A good place to bring a picnic lunch.   It was interesting to see all the different varieties of lavender some of which they sell at the giftshop. I bought some lavender essential oil (great to put on bruises) and culinary lavender oil.  This year the fields are suppose to be at their finest the first couple of weeks in July.  They also have a small field where sunflowers grow in August. 

Saturday, 25 June 2011

TKMaxx and Homesense

I recently discovered TkMaxx does online and has a sister store called Homesense.  It has been around for 3 years and only has about 24 stores in the U.K.  None in Oxfordshire yet. Our closest ones are Gloucester and Reading. It is just like the home section of TKMaxx, only bigger.   I recently went to one at the Trafford Centre and found myself a bit delighted coming away with American Laundry Detergent and a ice cream sandwich mold.  

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Updates on American Food Chains

I seem to have a common theme of food going on here. Subway keeps growing and growing and I heard there are more subway chains in the world now than McDonalds! There are over 1399 subway restaurants alone in UK.  We have 10 of them now in Oxfordshire.  I am in West Oxfordshire and we just recently had one open here in the Carterton/Brize Norton area, inside a BP petrol (gas) station. I really love their salads. I also noticed that Papa John's Pizza has arrived in the area and there is now one in Rose Hill, Oxford.   Outside of Oxfordshire area,  in the Milton Keynes Shopping Center, they have Quiznos Subs and Annies Pretzels. Also, heard there is a couple of Outback steak houses just outside of London.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Aldi special American product week starts June 23

Aldi likes to help us celebrate 4th of July with American Food Specials.  Some of these products are bad imitations of what we know and love but it is still worth taking a look if there is an Aldi near you. 
You can follow this link to see what they have on offer-

Sunday, 19 June 2011

American Food news

ASDA has started carrying Pepperidge Farm Cookies and Goldfish crackers (called Finz). My kids love them.  There is one ASDA in Birmingham off the M6, that carries Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, but haven't seen it in any others. Shame we have Kraft up in Banbury and they can't stock it more. ASDA also has Carters Root beer which is bliss to me, although it something my kids and husband can't stand. TESCO in Abingdon and Cowley, stocking USDA beef, although not all Tescos in the area seem to carry it.

My Dad is retired military and he recently came to visit.  We decided to go to the Air Force Base in Croughton, near Brackley for a shop.  I could get on the base as his guest and could even go into the Commissary/Exchange but retired military not allowed to shop here, unless they are resident and have registered  to do so.

New Social networking site for Americans living in Oxfordshire England

I have been wanting to start an Americans Womens Club in Oxfordshire, for a while now.   Before living in Oxfordshire for 6 years, I lived in The Hague, Netherlands for 6 years.  I belonged and worked at the Americans Womens Club of the Hague.  It was wonderful to have a little piece of America in a foreign country.  We had a clubhouse with all the bells and whistles (reception, library,giftshop) and I worked   part-time as the office manager there.  I hope this blog can be a forum for American Women in the Oxfordshire Area to get together either online or in person socially to support and guide each other.  I love a lot of things in the U.K.  My husband is British and my children have British accents but I do still love most things American and am always seeking out American food, shops and especially American Friends.