Nurturing cross-cultural kids
For those looking for American food products in England, this post is for you. My children love it when we get a delivery of American food. Unfortunately because of the escalated prices and high delivery fees, I only order these indulgences (in the States they would be staples!) once or twice a year. The children are now familiar with many of the products I order, but I sometimes get something they’ve never had before just for fun and as a special treat for me.
It is amazing what you can get, for a price, and I really have to restrain myself from spending a fortune. I still cannot get dried chow mein noodles which I lOVE on salads instead of croutons. If anyone knows where to get these here in Engand, please tell me!
Luckily, over the years, I have found a few tolerable substitues. The only British peanut butter that doesn’t taste like cardboard is M&S peanut butter. However, it comes in teeny tiny jars so I have to buy at least 4 at a time! I recently discovered that Sainsbury’s do a cracker very similar to saltines. I use them to make my green bean bake so now i can use the Sainsbury’s crackers instead of paying over the odds for crackers. And I’ve forced myself to stop being lazy so now I buy a whole pumpkin in order to make pumpkin pie instead of ordering canned pumpkin from www.americanfooddirect.com. It takes longer but it also means i can make pumpkin bread and pumpkin soup, both of which the children love. Their friends often comment on the ‘different’ foods they eat when they come to play. I’m probably embarassing my children – when they grow up I’m sure they will make fun of me!
Anyway, these are some American things I make and bake for them which they love:
Chocolate chip cookies
mac & cheese
pancakes with maple syrup
chocolate silk pie
green bean casserole
I do also try and make/prepare traditional British food for them. Pie and chips is pretty popular in our household as well as traditional ‘puddings’ (dessert in America). My daughter loves victoria sponge cake. I really haven’t mastered how to make this and my attempts have been so bad I just resort to buying them at the store. My husband loves trifle. There is no way in hell i’m ever going to attempt to make trifle, so they are always store bought. I can make bubble and squeak but the kids despise that and I also like to make bread pudding, which I like. My husband makes a killer ‘Sunday roast’ for the meat eaters in our household. We all love that and I’ll make a veggie lasagne or green bean bake for the veggies. My son often requests shrimp enchiladas for supper. The recipe comes from a South Carolina recipe book and calls for a packet of ranch dressing. Well, you can’t get that here and it’s not sold online – at least I haven’t found it yet.
I really love that my children are experiencing foods from both my childhood and their father’s childhood. It just takes a bit more effort to fix and prepare the American dishes. You can read more about nurturing a cross-cultural family on page 43 in the chapter titled Nurturing Tradition: Creating a multicultural family through food and mealtimes.
I only have one more bag of Fritos and one box of mac & cheese left so I guess it’s time for another American food grocery order! If anyone who reads this knows of other websites or stores that sell American food products, then please reply to this post! The more we know, the better. And, if anyone know good websites for ordering other ethnic foods in Britain, then please reply this post as well.