Friday, June 8, 2012

The great British Celebration

In honor of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebration and also the upcoming 2012 Olympics in London, British pride and Union Jack paraphernalia has been at an all time high throughout towns, decorating the high streets, and in stores everywhere. In the US, I would say that American pride with stars and stripes is always very pronounced from a merchandising angle around the 4th of July, however we have not seen such an explosion of British pride since we have arrived here in the UK. It has been so festive and fun to see right now!
At our local Sainsbury's grocery store, a union jack outdoor display with Pimm's as the featured product - such a great British summer drink! 
The toilet paper rolls have even gone festive....
Union Jack Wellies!
Instead of a Kit-Kat, you can now buy a Brit-Kat here.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Jubilee street party

Our street hosted a traditional British street party this past Sunday in honor of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebration. Although it was SO soggy and VERY cold, it was really great fun to experience a local tradition for such a joyous country-wide celebratory occasion. We felt like one of the locals this weekend since we were able to participate in all of the festivities, although every time we met a new neighbor the first comments made was always something along the lines of "Well you're not from around here....." Yes, the accent is a dead giveaway!

It was nice to meet more of our neighbors because even after living in our current house for over 3 years, we have not met many of our neighbors on that side of our house. 
The road was closed for our street party.
All of the men on the street went early in the day to set up the tents for the food and dining areas since the rain was really terrible that morning. Even with the overhead cover, we still were soaked from the sideways rain!
There were two food tents - one for savory side dishes and one for "puddings" (desserts). All of the attendees were asked to bring their own meats (most everyone brought British sausages) to grill, and then each family brought one savory side dish and one sweet dessert. 
For our contribution to the dessert table, I made two desserts. One was a large cookie cake with buttercream frosting. I decorated the "cake" with a crown to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's 60 year reign. I found a photo online and just tried to replicate it with the icing. It was fun to make and was a sure highlight to the dessert table! (Plus the Brits seem to go nuts over cookie cakes whenever I make them for events - they are not very common here). I also made brownie with homemade strawberry ice cream and hot fudge sauce cupcakes. Scott found me a fancy disposable union jack cake stand in anticipation of the party.  
Crosby & Mom with the cookie cake and fancy Diamond jubilee sunglasses pre-street party.
Crosby & Dad slightly soggy but enjoying lunch at the street party. 
One neighbor made jacket potatoes for everyone at the party. Such a fitting British side dish - and it was quite warming for the cold windy day outside.
Crosby, aka bubble baby, trying to stay warm and dry under her rain cover for the stroller. I had to turn the heat on inside our house when we got home from the party. So much for the weather being nice for summer but it's a true British Summer now!