Friday, January 1, 2021

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has such a long and complicated history that spans the entire globe, not to mention the fact that it is comprised of four member countries, fourteen British Overseas Territories, and three Crown dependencies.  There is a lot to dive into and learn about, but we tried to keep it contained so we can get to more countries in a shorter amount of time - we still have so many to go! 

Unfortunately, our favorite geography resource - YouTube's Geography Now! channel - has not made it to United Kingdom yet in their videos, as they are working on them alphabetically.  Luckily, we had the next best thing - CGP Grey!  While not strictly a geography channel, CGP Grey tackles lot of interesting questions in a very engaging way, and he has done a number of explanatory videos on political aspects of the UK.  We watched two of them as part of our study, as well as a brief history video we found elsewhere:

We also found these videos interesting in learning about the foods, sites, and culture of the UK:
We also tried to do a bit of a dive into a couple of the four countries that comprise the larger United Kingdom:


I feel like we only scratched the surface of learning about the United Kingdom, but it solidified our family's desire to travel there!

We have a restaurant nearby - The Lion and Rose - that advertises itself as a traditional British pub.  So we had to try it out!  We tried to pick out the types of dishes we had been learning about: scotch eggs, the Tour of Britain (fish & chips, shepherd's pie, Irish banger sausages, and broiled tomatoes), bangers and mash (with English pork banger sausages), bubble & squeak (mashed potatoes with cabbage), and the king's bread pudding and English trifle for dessert.

Scotch eggs - hard-boiled eggs, coated in sausage and bread crumbs and then fried

bubble and squeak, front and center, with breaded and fried mushrooms
(shepherd's pie is in the styrofoam cups, with fish & chips on the left and bangers & mash on the right)

Maybe it was just our kids' moods that night, but they actually complained more about this meal than they have for any of our past meals.  Maybe it was that it was so close to being familiar that they didn't care for the change in textures or flavors?  I have to admit that the items aren't quite as ... savory as we are used to in American cooking.  Fewer spices are used.  But Dave & I enjoyed it, and the desserts were both a hit (of course).  And we tried to turn it into a good lesson on having an open mind and good attitude when we travel or experience new places and foods.

Twelve countries down, only 184+ more to go!

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