Our Family UK Dinner

A few months ago, my brother and his wife (Devin and Chrissy) had the great idea of having a big family get together, where we would all bring dishes that are themed around the UK. So, where did this idea start? When Chrissy made a figgy pudding for Christmas then realized too late that it needed a million years to cook, and wouldn’t be ready in time for dinner!

Like many Americans, our family loves to talk about our ancestry. I am second and third generation on my mother’s side, and their foodways have been kept pretty tightly in our family. My ancestry is all huddled up in a little corner of the world apparently.

Broken down, I am 48% Irish and Scottish, 33% English, Welsh, and Northwestern European, 10% French, 7% Italian, and 2% Norwegian. My ancestors didn’t seem to stray that far from home. Homebodies I guess, like me.

Anyway, back to dinner! We were all really excited about this get together. The winter is so long and this gave us something to really look forward to. And we had so many different dishes to try! We all ate so darn much! I have to apologize for a lack of photos, I took really poor food photos – I guess it is not my forte. I did take a few humorous ones….

Chrissy and Devin really put a lot of work into this gathering! They made Rumbledthumps, which was absolutely delicious and my very favorite dish of the day! They also made potato stovies, and yes, that figgy pudding!

Chrissy’s sister made Corned Beef and Cabbage, and her mother made a vegetarian Irish Stew. My cousin worked hard on Yorkshire Pudding, which was a huge undertaking in our family, as my grandmother was the only one to really make it for almost our whole lives, and none of us have been able to replicate it since. He also made Irish Soda Bread, his signature bake. Chrissy’s father made an Irish Lentil soup, and my Uncle Art made meat pies. My mom chimed in with butter tarts and a custard pie, and Billy and I? Well ours failed. We were the weakest link! I had planned on making Cullen Skink, but could not find smoked haddock anywhere! I wasn’t sure if I could substitute another type of smoked fish, so I was scrambling at the end to find a different dish. I thought of Colcannon, but that is way too similar to rumbledthumps (which has the better name to be sure!). I thought of a beef stew, but felt like there were already a lot of stews and then the corned beef as well. So we ended up making Scottish macaroni pies – are these really a thing? I decided on them eventually because I thought maybe the kids would eat them.

We looked at old photos, and listened to bagpipe music – a fixture in our family, as my mom and aunt were Highland Dancers and my uncle was the drum major in St. Andrew’s Band in Detroit.

We had some drinks and some laughs and all in all, it was a wonderful way to spend a February evening, close together as a family, enjoying food, and reminiscing. I am looking forward to next year – and planning my dish now!

19 thoughts on “Our Family UK Dinner

  1. What a fun event! I have always wanted to eat Yorkshire Pudding, but haven’t yet had the opportunity.

    I love anything lentil…and Corned Beef and Cabbage is something I’m looking forward to again this year. My ex-husband’s family is primarily Irish and Scottish, but their Irish “side” comes out a lot. It was a fun experience visiting their dinners.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My grandma’s yorkshire pudding… is like Proust’s Madelines to me. It was so good! The second best I ever had was at Churchill’s restaurant in Savannah Georgia, of all places! Lol.

      I am excited for corned beef and cabbage this year too! Since I recently started eating meat after like 20 years, it will fun to have it on St. Patrick’s Day! I would say our Scottish “side” is what is most prevalent, then English. Lol.

      Thanks for sharing your stories too!

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  2. This looks like more fun than anything. I love the idea of a themed dinner and especially when it connects to family like this one does. And don’t you just love the names of the recipes? It’s like they had to come up with the most offbeat, fun names! England does that better than anyplace in the world. So much sounds really delicious. I’m impressed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was so fun! I grew up listening to bagpipe music – it gets a bad rap but it’s not bad!! Lol. Just don’t play Amazing Grace or Scotland the Brave around my family, we will all slowly dissolve into tears lolol. And how cool that your cousin plays!!

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  3. I feel like I may need a life, but I was actually wondering when you might write about this dinner. I found it so interesting that you were doing it but also that you had family who gets together and does this type of thing! I think that’s wonderful. Our family is pretty fractured and small now – partially just because of distance – so I love to read about families getting and staying together.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol! I like that you were thinking about it – it makes me feel better about blabbing to the internet about my life. πŸ™‚ I was super bummed out though that I didn’t have any good photos of the food. Our family is pretty close – last year was a terrible year for our family, we lost my aunt and my stepfather to cancer and my cousin got divorced (not his idea) and I think that as a result we are actively trying to do more things together. πŸ™‚ I am glad though that you wanted to read about it! Thank you! πŸ™‚

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  4. Pingback: My Sunday-Monday Post – Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs..

  5. We are no doubt family!! Until a recent Ancestry.com DNA update, I was like 98% British Isles. The update has our family spread out a little more to encompass Germanic Europe.

    England, Wales & Northwestern Europe
    61%
    Ireland & Scotland
    37%
    Germanic Europe
    2%

    My youngest daughter would think this dinner idea was great…as do I! Maybe we will follow your links and recipes and give it a go. Thank you for the inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOLOL! It does sound like we are probably related!!! Before a recent update, I was like 98% as well. Italy and France were recently updated and added! I see you have a little 2% Germanic Europe in there. LOL. The small band of wanderers in your family. πŸ™‚ We had such a great time with it, I highly recommend it!!

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