Across the Channel, the Brits are all up in a frenzy about Friday's royal wedding, when Prince William and the lovely Kate Middelton will say "I do". Here in France, there has been no royalty since the Revolution. Liberté, égalité, fraternité are great and all, but this also means no royal weddings and the accompanying national holiday that comes with them. Not only no national holiday, but unlike the Brits who will have a four-day weekend between Friday's wedding and Monday's Labor Day observance, we have no holidays period in May this year since both Labor Day (May 1) and Victory Day (May 8) fall on Sundays and both Ascension and Pentecost fall in June. Quel scandal...a month of May full of work!
To soften the blow and satisfy their oft-denied but very real curiosity for all things British, many French will tune into TF1's live broadcast of the ceremony on Friday morning, while others will celebrate with English-inspired luncheons, apéros and pub visits. Many could care less and will stay as far away from the whole thing as they can.
As for me, I decided to give a nod to tomorrow's festivities with one of my favorite things about England...not tea and crumpets or any fancy puddings, but the good old English breakfast! I have always been a HUGE fan of traditional English breakfasts, ever since enjoying them in the various parts of Anglophone Africa in which I've worked. A weekend in London wouldn't be complete without at least one. Fried or scrambled eggs, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms and of course beans on toast (my favorite!), talk about a great (albeit not so healthy) way to start the day! Many people are disgusted by the idea of beans and other savory foods for breakfast, but not me! Part of my affinity must stem from the fact Indians traditionally eat very filling and savory meals to start the day, rather than just a little coffee and croissant or a bowl of cereal. The upma that I posted yesterday is the perfect example.
Cheers to you, Will and Kate!
BEANS ON TOAST, INDIAN STYLE
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 can (415 grams or 14.5 ounces) baked beans
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon (or to taste) chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
4 slices bread of your choice
1. Heat oil in a small saucepan over a medium flame. Once it is warm, add the cumin seeds.
2. Once the seeds start popping, add the onion, garlic and ginger. Stir well and saute.
3. As the onions become translucent, add the can of beans (undrained).
4. Add the cumin, coriander and chili powders and the garam masala. Stir, reduce heat to low and cook until warmed through (about 5 minutes).
5. Remove from heat and stir in coriander.
6. Toast your bread and serve with the beans and additional coriander as garnish, if desired.