Sorry for my ghetto title if you’re making an international relocation to London and simply looking for some helpful information for that. Well, I still can’t promise that you’re going to get that in this particular post (please utilize our search tool to find good stuff on London apartments, London neighborhoods, why using a London Relocation agent is so imperative, how to prepare for a London move, etc.), but there’s a topic that I’ve been itching to write about since Thanksgiving, and while I know this is belated, I’m slap-happy today, quite frankly.
Why? Well, allow me to derail the London Relocation Blog to selfishly announce that today I became a NaNoWriMo winner—wooHOO!! NaNoWriMo is a portmanteau for “National Novel Writing Month.” You know from my London Literacy category on this blog that I’m a literary dork who taught high school English before relocating to London from the US, and since then I’ve indulged my passions for reading and writing in London by working freelance as a fiction editor and writing for the London Relocation agency‘s blog and upcoming new website. Well, I also do a lot of fiction writing, and this year was my virgin NaNoWriMo experience, and I was panicked because I’d started the challenge to write 50,000 words of a novel in only one month twelve days late, and, and…as of this afternoon, I did it. And I think I actually managed to not write a bunch of absolute crap. Yay. 🙂
So, in case I lost you at “portmanteau,” that’s a single word that is made of two or more words—similar to the aforementioned “NaNoWriMo,” though the term is probably more intended for words like “smog” that derive from “smoke” and “fog.” Anyway, it’s also like what the media loves to do these days with celebrity couples: Bennifer, Brangelina, etc. *barf*
But sometimes the portmanteau is pretty darn fun. As in the case of what I’ve been dying to write about for a week: Turducken, the portmanteau for turkey + duck + chicken. As in stuffing one right inside the other like Russian dolls. All right, now I had never heard of it, but I do now understand that this has become a known novelty in the States for Thanksgiving. But it’s a relatively recent novelty for us Yankees compared to its centuries-old tradition in Europe. In the UK, the concept of a multi-bird dish is probably most well-known in the form of the historic Yorkshire Christmas Pie. According to Hannah Glasse’s classic recipe in Art of Cookery:
“First make a good standing crust, let the wall and bottom be very thick; bone a turkey, a goose, a fowl, a partridge, and a pidgeon.”
The end result looked like a massive meat pie and weighed several dozen pounds. (If interested in reading more about the history of Britain’s meat pies, see my previous post, “Move to London and Eat Yer Humble Pie“). The turducken, then, is not a far stretch for the Brits to consider as a holiday meal, and I’m already seeing pre-made frozen versions of it advertised by the Iceland grocery store by the name “three bird roast” (http://youtu.be/okCvRGrm0E8). Apparently, another common form of the three-bird roast is duck stuffed with chicken stuffed with pigeon. And there are some folks out in Devon who really go nuts and up the ante by doing it with at least a dozen—this article is four years old, but reports on their TWELVE-bird roast and ambitions to go for twenty-one the following year…I could not find documentation on whether they did this, but figure the BBC would’ve known if so. 🙂 Anyway, here’s the link: http://news.bbc.co.uk.
And if you’re still not grasping just how fun a portmanteau can be, how do ya like this: a vendor at London’s famed Borough Market near London Bridge is selling a variation on the turducken with four different birds. It consists of a goose, pheasant, duck, and chicken…which renders it a “Gophucken.” *blush* (Don’t get it? Try saying it out loud and remember the “ph” = “f”-sound rule from your early reading days. And if you’re offended, blame your own dirty mind and not the London Relocation agency. I’m only reporting on a multi-bird roast, after all; what’s your damage?).
So. If I haven’t made you gag by now with this heart-attack on a platter (I know—I already had you dry-heaving back at “Brangelina”; I’m with ya), here’s to trying new foods as you move to a new country. The turducken might not be regarded as distinctly British, but they seem a lot more open-minded to this sort of thing around here; they still indulge the fruit cake for Christmas, if that’s any indication. A friend of mind is already laboring over this weeks-long process, so perhaps I’ll blog about that next if you’re moving to England in time for the holidays and interested in traditional British Christmas fare.