Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The United Kingdom (01/22/09)
TITLE: TOAD-IN-THE-HOLE OR BUBBLE & SQUEAK
By Emily Blakely
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“It was nice to get a note from Christopher Robin from Scotland, but I will be so happy as when he is very, very near and not so far away,” Pooh sighed.
“I liked the picture he sent of the Royal Palace in London. I wonder how close he got to the changing of the guard,” Owl shared.
Piglet exclaimed, “I hear him coming, I hear his whistle just like always!”
A knock at the door was heard, followed by a very loud chorus of, “Come in, Christopher Robin!”
Questions flew at him from his friends all speaking at once, and he danced around the room hugging each of them in turn.
“Here, here. I say. Everyone settle down so we can listen to Christopher Robin tell us of his adventures in the UK. Pooh, are we to enjoy a cup of tea while we listen,” Owl asked.
“Yes indeed, tea for everyone, and mine with honey of course,” Pooh muttered as he headed to the kitchen.
Kanga followed to help Pooh serve the tea to their friends.
Tigger could not resist one bounce-around-the-room time, nearly upsetting teacups along the way before settling down.
All eyes were fixed on Christopher Robin as he began, “I had never been away from The Hundred Acre Wood before and although it was good to see other places, nothing looked better to me than Pooh Corner, and you of course! I didn’t get to all parts of the UK, but I did see some of London and Scotland.”
“What kind of foods do they eat there,” Roo asked.
“Oh my, there were so many things I had never tried before, like Yorkshire Pudding.”
“That would be served with honey of course,” Pooh quickly added.
“No, Pooh, it isn’t for dessert, it’s served with gravy at the start of a meal. Let me think; oh yes, this one’s really different: Toad-in-the-Hole.”
“They eat a toad?” Heffalump was horrified.
“No, no,” Christopher Robin replied, “not really toad. It’s sausage, beef of course,” he nodded to Piglet. “Sausage covered in batter and roasted.”
“Oh my,” Pooh said, “my stomach is beginning to make hungry sounds.”
Christopher Robin continued, “One day I tried a Ploughman's Lunch consisting of a piece of cheese, a bit of pickle and pickled onion, with a chunk of bread. That’s when I visited the country outside of London, before the changing of the guards.”
Pooh could not help himself, asking, “What good is bread without honey?”
“Pooh, we all know how much you love honey, but there I mainly saw honey served with tea. Okay, here’s one you have to take time to get accustomed to: From Scotland, a meal called ‘Haggis’ that is made from...well, some animal organs among other things.” Faces at once showed there was no likelihood any of this band of friends would ever try to eat Haggis, even if it was sweetened with honey. “But the best I’ve saved for last...Bubble and Squeak. Ever tried that?” Christopher Robin asked.
“I know nothing of it,” Owl replied.
“It’s typically made from cold vegetables that have been left over from a previous meal, often the Sunday roast I was told. Cold chopped vegetables (and cold chopped meat if used) are fried in a pan together with mashed potato until the mixture is well-cooked and brown on the sides. The name is a description of the action and sound made during the cooking process, and I must say it makes for a very satisfying meal indeed.”
“I think I will never leave The Hundred Acre Wood for fear I should starve for the best of all, honey!” Pooh said, rubbing his tummy.
“Well, friends, I think we should leave Pooh to his delectable meal of choice. Let’s meet again tomorrow so you can tell me all that I missed here while I was away, and maybe we will have time to play a game of Poohsticks afterward.” Christopher Robin bowed to them and stepped through the door that lead to the path through the wood to home.
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