Monday, 26 May 2014

homemade yeasted crumpets

i really understood the whole battery hen thing when my children and i raised baby chooks in our laundry..light on, they'd start pecking mechanically at their food, lights off, they'd was quite cute but also confronting because i could see how their instinct to feed in lit surroundings left them open to abuse..

i saw similarities between battery hens and humans recently when i went on long plane trip..there we all were jammed into too small seats pecking away at food while the light was on and then nodding off when it was dark..well..some of us were..not me though..i've never been able to sleep sitting up..even when i was young..for instance, when i was in my twenties travelling with friends by overnight train from san sebastian to paris (it was free because the ticket sales staff were on strike) my friends had no trouble nodding off to sleep but i recall staying awake the whole night puffing on too many cigarettes and staring into the the time we got to london (several days and more sleepless nights later) i was really sick with a middle ear infection and a swallowing razor blade like throat took a trip to a hospital emergency department, antibiotics and several weeks of rest to three score and more it's the same for me with flying..yeah i know..first world one made me go..not like the poor battery hens that have no choice..

one thing i longed to do as soon as i returned home was make sourdough bread but my starter had gone into a neglect based make matters worse it developed a cheesy smell and black mould on the surface after i took it out of the fridge, with a view to feeding it, but then forgot about it..resuscitative strategies have paid off and it's looking a bit perkier today..not me though..four days later and i'm still feeling jet lagged..the fact that i'm not enjoying coffee from my favourite cafe after two weeks of not so good coffee says it all!

it doesn't matter that i can't make sourdough though because i've had crumpets on my mind ever since i came across 'the crumpet shop' in seattle washington..anyone who makes yeasted and sourdough things will understand how excited i was when i came across a shop dedicated to making organic crumpets on the premises in full view of the customer..the other thing that got me excited was the great way tea was offered was drink as much thermos tea as you like for about $1.50 from a range of four hot teas and one iced tea..why can't we do that here? oh&s issues?

the only other attempt i've had a making crumpets was decades ago and i have a hazy recollection of the crumpet mix sticking to the egg rings and them not being very crumpetty i used a masterchef recipe..the minor changes i made are noted below..they're much better than my last lot but there's room for improvement..

crumpet with butter and maple syrup

one of six red rimmed enamel and six blue rimmed enamel bowls i bought
from a wharehouse in los angeles

$13 for maple syrup from trader
joe's in los angeles


~ i only used 1 teaspoon of time i make them i'll use the full amount stated in the recipe
~ i thinned the mixture by adding about 30 mls of extra water to help bubbles develop on the surface
~ i used egg rings rather than the larger crumpet rings so my crumpets were smaller than traditional ones..the mix makes about 20 egg ring sized crumpets
~ i cooked them in batches of four in a preheated cast iron frying pan that i very lightly greased
~ i found that it was best to liberally grease the inside of cold rings with butter, place them in the frying pan, and immediately fill them with the crumpet batter..i tried heating the rings, greasing them with olive oil, and then filling them but the mixture stuck to the rings
~ in 'the crumpet shop' they cooked their crumpets in a semi enclosed environment so to replicate their method i put a baking tray over most of the top of the frying pan
~ i found the crumpets needed 10 minutes on a low heat on the first side and a further 5 minutes on the second side (i didn't grill mine on the second side as per the masterchef recipe)
~ i plan to make the next batch with sourdough

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

milk glass

atop the mantle piece is my milk glass collection
soothing me
with white soft light whispers 
exhausting me
brash red, green, orange and blue enamel teapots gone
for now

a gift from my girl kat..because i love chooks

photo bombed by sourdough baguettes! 

it has 'avon' on the base but i don't hold that against it

large cake stand (too big for the mantle piece)

my bread needs to get over itself!