“Inspire a Generation” – the 30th Olympic Games

Yeah!  The Olympics are finally here!  What a great Opening ceremony!  The Queen (and James Bond) stole the show, and the orchestra’s performance of “Chariots of Fire” was fabulous, thanks to the quirky antics of Mr. Beane.  The slogan of this year’s games, “Inspire a Generation” rang true as several young athletes lit the Olympic torch at the conclusion of the evening.

What better way to celebrate the UK games than to partake in a little British cuisine.  Although my Mom prepared several of the classic dishes for us growing up, I never got my hands on any of her recipes in writing.  Enter the world wide web – there are several foodie sites from England that feature versions of the traditional dishes of the UK.

I stopped by SPROUTS today for some of their fresh chicken basil sausage (lovely grilled J).  That is when I saw the English bangers and knew exactly what I was going to fix this evening – Toads in a Hole. 

A pretty simple dish of sausage and Yorkshire Pudding.  For those of you who have never tried Yorkshire pudding, it is very similar to a popover – an “eggy”, spongy bread.  It poofs up when it is cooked, and then deflates pretty quickly after you take it out of the oven.  Of course, Yorkshire pudding is best when it is cooked in roast beef drippings, but for this dish, you’ll just use vegetable oil.  One suggestion I would make, however, is to brown the sausages briefly in a little oil before popping them in the oven.  If you don’t have a metal pan that can go from stovetop to oven, use a frying/sauté pan to brown the sausages, then add a little extra vegetable oil in the pan and pour those drippings in the dish that will go in the oven.  This will add just a tad more flavor to your dish.

I also had some fresh sage in my garden, so I sprinkled sage leaves over the pudding before putting it back in the oven to finish the cooking process.

Here is the recipe I followed: http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/221/toad-in-the-hole.aspx

Here is another good British food site to take a look at: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com

Although we will not be adding this dish to our regular dinner rotation, it was extremely tasty – just not enough redeeming “health” benefits.  It did bring a smile to my face and sweet memories of my Mom’s cooking.

Classic Cream Scones, Cornish pasties and a Victorian Sponge Cake are on my short list of recipes to enjoy during the remainder of the Olympics.  We will definitely be watching lots of soccer.  I am also hoping to catch some gymnastics, diving and the trampoline.  Archery is on the TV right now.

What Olympic sports are your favorites to watch?

What young person will you inspire this week?

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