Have you ever thought about how often you use Pillsbury Grands or Crescent Rolls in your regular life? You’ll most likely have some during the holidays at least or see a video recipe about them on Facebook at least once a week. They are so convenient and quick to make! Can you imagine a time in your life when you didn’t have a simple ingredient that was so convenient that you did not even think of it as being just that, a convenience? That is what it is like to go grocery shopping in Northern Ireland.
Don’t get me wrong, they still have common college staples like bread, Nutella, and cup noodles, but for actually making meals, they do not have so many common foods that you would naturally think they do.
For Superbowl Sunday, I wanted to make some of my flat mates some traditional Superbowl foods like Philly cheesesteaks (Go Eagles!), buffalo chicken dip, and a quick dessert like biscuits coated in cinnamon sugar. Easy foods that I could make simultaneously in an hour at two at most. Unfortunately, those 15 minute recipes become 1+ hour recipes in the UK because you have to also make the “pre-made” foods that we don’t consider pre-made. For a Philly cheesesteak I would have to buy a steak and cook it and cut it super thin, there is no Steak-Umm here. Buffalo chicken dip is still fairly easy to make, but the local grocery stores don’t sell canned chicken, and I don’t have a crockpot to use over here. Finally to make a simple dessert, I would need to buy four other ingredients that I will hardly ever use again just to make some biscuits. In the UK they don’t even have what we call biscuits! The closest comparison is a savory scone, but even that is not the same food since scones are more dense.
So next time you go to make pigs in a blanket or when you’re eating buffalo chicken dip this Sunday or you walk into Walmart and see a selection of everything you could really imagine, think of how privileged you are to have so many options.