U.S. Ambassador to the U.K.: Why Not Me?

I have started a new blog to indulge my political animal. I promise I will keep This British-American Life for the fun stuff. Feel free to come over and tell me what you think of my first post.

Our Special Relationship

Dear President-Elect Trump,

I would like to submit my application for the position of Ambassador of the United States to the Court of St. James’s. I am sure unsolicited inquiries through blog posts are rather unusual for positions such as this, but proposing governmental policy through social media is the new norm, so I am sure you can grant me a little leeway in this endeavor.

So my qualifications…well, the successful 15-year partnership that is my marriage to a British national. I have gotten him to see the error of his ways with his spelling.  He appreciates baseball and wears khakis with polo shirts. In fact, he came over here legally, obtained his citizenship, and works in the petro-chem industry.  Those three factors alone should please you. Just try to ignore his work on technology to improve the environment, please. That is certainly no reflection on me.

Secondly, my family ancestry is…

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Merry Christmas and the “Magical Macy’s Christmas Tree”

This post is courtesy of Cher from her blog, The Chicago Files.  I thought it was the perfect way to wish everyone a Merry Christmas because this tree is one of the best things about My Fair City during the holidays.

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macys-christmas-tree-2016-2Well isn’t this absolutely spectacular! I took this photo today while strolling around Macy’s Department store in downtown Chicago.  I absolutely love this tree! It is breathtaking and reminds me of a winter wonderland! How beautiful! I had to share it with you of course!

Source: Magical Macy’s Christmas Tree!

A Hotel Hanukkah in Knoxville

Our menorah powers off of a 9-volt battery.  Instead of lighting a candle, The Boffin threw a DIP switch. Dinner was what we could grab at CVS since every place else was closed or closing. That was OK because of our gluttony at Skyline Chili earlier.  No latkes.  Just Stouffer’s or snacks.  Our presents were loaded into reusable grocery bags and lugged in for the evening.

It wasn’t home.  We didn’t have our Furball beating us with her paw and proclaiming her complete and utter starvation by standing pathetically by her bowl.  But we still had the quiet.  The calm.  The three of us.  Still good, though not usual.  I guess it is what you make it.

Here’s to a happy Hanukkah to all those who celebrate.

Skyline Chili…Finally

Lunchtime in West Harrison, Indiana provided an opportunity to check off a box on my national culinary list.  Yes, folks, it was a stop at Skyline Chili.

Of course, The Boffin and The Sprog were most of the way toward the restaurant while I was faffing around with this picture of Horace.  To my pleasant surprise, the manager came out and told me, “Go on!  Get in there!”.  How could I say no?

So, what is special about Skyline Chili?  Skyline Chili is a Cincinnati institution.  Nicholas Lambrinides, a Greek immigrant, opened the first Skyline Chili in 1949 and named the restaurant after the view of the city’s skyline.

And it is not just about the tastiness of the chili.  Of course, you can get a bowl of chili, chili dogs, and chili fries.  But, the grotesquely American dish on offer is a 3-way which is chili and a megaton of cheese on top of spaghetti.  The Sprog and I chose that option after the drug pushers gave us free samples.

The Boffin got the 4-way which means you get the above with the addition of either beans or onions.  He chose beans.  He only mildly hates us. If he truly hated us, he would have gotten the 5-way with beans and onions.

The oyster crackers seen above are a Skyline tradition.  They actually are good at counterbalancing the heat.

This meal will probably kill me, but I will die happy.

Quality Street and the Advantage of the Tall Tin

It’s the time of the year when many people are fortunate enough to receive tins of chocolates.  But the truth of it is that most of us cave and buy them in November even though we have piles of Halloween candy left over.  At least, that is the way it works Stateside.

Well, the Nestlé Quality Street tin is one of the British national favorites and is available year round.  John Mackintosh first started making his toffees in his sweet shop in Halifax, West Yorkshire back in 1890.  His business grew so much that he opened his factory in 1898.  Unfortunately, it burned down in 1909, and Mr. Mackintosh ended up buying an old carpet factory and started again.  To make a long story short, after Mr. Mackintosh’s death, his son, Harold, inherited the business, and rebranded the toffees as Quality Street after a J.M. Barrie play.  It was a play off the words, “Quality Sweet”.  Nestlé bought Rowntree Mackintosh in 1988 and have maintained its deliciousness ever since.

As you can see from the French text, I imported ours from Canada with the custard powder.  There was a reason for this.  They had the tall tin.  The tall tin is very important.  The tall tin has the ever important guide.  We got the wide tin last year, and it didn’t have one.  Being that I am the American, I still don’t have the wrapper colors memorized, and I didn’t want to keep bothering The Boffin.  (“Which one is the green one again?”)

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The only other option is to get this tattooed on my arm.

Secondly, the tall tin is a good lesson in sharing for The Sprog because it forces her not to hog her favorite chocolates and leave the rest for us. As you can see from the opening, it prevents the person from rifling through to hunt for the “good” ones.

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And we can easily catch anyone who dumps the tin out. Because someone who hogs one particular kind of chocolate is a nobhead. And the worst thing is if you are left with the one chocolate that nobody likes because the others hogged the good ones. We don’t want our daughter to be a nobhead.  We are a family.  Family means being kind to each other and sharing the good chocolates.

And with that notion, I hope your friends and family share the good chocolates with you too.