This week's UK news: 19 September 2011
19 September 2011

The secret of British mums' cooking

Lots of people think that most British mums serve lots of ready meals to their families. But new research shows that women now can prepare 25 per cent more dishes than their own mothers did.
Most mothers know 21 recipes without looking in a book and they are happy to serve international foods as well as British classics. In the 1970s most mothers regularly cooked 17 different meals.
Meals made regularly by younger British mothers now include stir fry, Mexican fajitas, chicken tikka masala, home-made pizza, and lasagne. The most popular meal is spaghetti bolognaise. Classic British meals include roast dinner, sausage and mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, fish and chips and fish fingers.
The most popular meals 30 years ago were roast dinners, meat, vegetables and potatoes, shepherd's pie (cooked minced meat with a mashed potato topping), toad in the hole (sausages baked in a tray of batter) and chicken casserole.

Argument over a garden building

Some of the most popular children's stories were written by Roald Dahl. The British writer created Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (filmed as Willy Wonka), James and the Giant Peach, and other strange stories.
Roald Dahl used to write his stories in a shed in his garden. The shed has been kept as it was when he died, but is now falling down. The Dahl family want to move the shed to the Roald Dahl museum, and started asking for financial donations on a morning radio news programme.
But they were surprised by the reactions. Listeners started to contact the programme to ask why the Dahl family could not pay for the work to be done themselves. Roald Dahl's books still sell well and make millions of pounds each year.

The 21st Century heater

James Dyson is a British engineer who has devoted his life to upgrading boring household equipment. He became famous for vacuum cleaners which were brightly coloured, looked good and worked well. Since then he has come up with fans which cool rooms without blowing air everywhere and hand-dryers which work quickly.
This week Dyson launched its latest product. It is a heater which cannot burn people and doesn't smell of burning dust. It is called Hot, but it can cool rooms as well. And it costs GBP270.

We like watching people bake

It's surprising but true. One of the most popular TV programmes in the UK now is a baking competition. The Great British Bake Off gets contestants to bake something different each week, whether cakes, bread, or pies. Contestants include a Rugby coach, a photographer and a student.

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