Hello, and welcome!
Jammy Chicken is a place where I share my experiences using local and seasonal ingredients from the midwestern US to recreate and reinterpret the best of British food at home.
My name is Ingrid, and I have a bit of an obsession with British food and culture. I was lucky enough to live near London for a few years, and I married one of ‘em and brought him back to the US. We’re both full-time scientists and educators. We like to eat, and I love to cook, and he very tolerantly cleans up all the dirty dishes afterwards.
Why Jammy Chicken?
Jammy is British slang for outrageously lucky. Also, an over-abundance of jam, or preserves.
Well, I just like chickens.
All the recipes I share here have been tested by me, in my home kitchen. I make everything as many times as it takes to have it turn out exactly the way I want. Sometimes, that’s once or twice. Sometimes, it’s a lot more. I try to give very detailed directions so you can make something well, the first time.
Some of the recipes I post are my own, things I have been cooking to meet my daily eating needs. Some of the recipes are drawn from other sources, including my rather large collection of British cookbooks.
British measuring cup sizes are different from those in the US, and sometimes when a recipe calls for a tea spoon or table spoon, they really do mean a spoon you’d use to stir tea or use to eat at the table. Sometimes a cup means your Auntie’s favorite tea cup she passed on to you. Sometimes it doesn’t.
I work through all this when I make these dishes in an American kitchen. I translate quantities, I source alternate ingredients to use instead of those that can only be found in the UK, and I tweak things pretty extensively to fit my tastes and temperament.
Some of my recipes are so modified that they bear little resemblance to the original starting point, but I think we should all give credit where credit is due. I will always mention my original source of inspiration, no matter how far removed my version winds up becoming.
I photograph my food when it looks its best, just after I’ve made it.
What you see is what I eat.
I use a small, old wooden table from my grandmother’s front porch as the base for most pictures. The table’s seen better days, but it has character. This is set up in a south-facing bay window of our living room, which is where I get the best light. I’ve got some large, inexpensive foam boards that I use as background and reflectors. I usually, but not always, move this set-up when company comes to visit.
I use a Nikon D300 SLR. I have 2 lenses that I use almost exclusively: 28-300 mm, and 50 mm. A tripod is absolutely essential to help me frame photos and prevent blurry pictures. I’ve never had any formal photography training, but I like taking pictures and I’ve read a lot of books, particularly John Shaw’s.
I inherited some the kitchen equipment from my grandmother, and my mom is a constant source of implements and tools. I photograph what I use in my kitchen every day. I’ve got a small collection of cheap and funky dishes and glasses from thrift and antique stores to add interest to photos. My acquisition of plates and glasses is limited by storage space, and unfortunately (or fortunately?) most of that is currently filled with jams and jellies, pickles, and funky alcohol concoctions.
I do this for fun, in my spare time, because I like to cook and bake. I enjoy sharing my cooking with you, and I hope that I can inspire you to try British foods, too.
I support local farmers and small producers. I believe that food is meant to be a source of inspiration, delight, and spiritual as well as physical nourishment, and the good vibes it acquires from farmers and producers doing a job they love beats out industrialized mass-production any day.
I think that half the fun is in the process, and there’s no joy as great as making something fantastic for the people you care about, and then sharing it with them.
I believe that you should do it yourself, because homemade is better.
And I believe that you’ll have a great time, just like me.