Yesterday, we were telling our hosts how much Sierra has enjoyed eating crumpets. So they pulled out their old English recipe book to find out how to make them. They have never made them before because they are only about 75 cents to buy in the grocery stores. Needless to say, the recipe was a bit vague about everything from the amount of ingredients to the temperature of the griddle.
Today, since the stores were finally open, we went to the grocery store to gather the ingredients to make them. We needed flour, milk, yeast and a pinch of salt. We deciphered amounts as best we could and had Sierra and Florence help mix the flour, yeast and milk. Somehow we were all covered with flour after the three and four year olds were done mixing it. We proofed the mixture next to the wood burning stove for 30 minutes. The batter doubled and we scooped it into metal rings that were heated on the griddle. After 10 minutes, we had to flip the ring and the crumpet to the other side. (That is quite a trick to master.) Last, we had to wiggle them out of the hot metal rings. The first 5 were doughy and flat. The next 10 were a little bit better but burnt on one side. The next 5 were thicker and had more bubbles in it which is a sign of a good crumpet. The final crumpet was the best looking by far and we joked it took the whole bowl of batter to get it right. Wendy expects me to perfect the recipe in the US and sell it for profit since you can't get crumpets in the US. We'll see....
While we are on culinary topics, I'll add a few more tidbits. Around tea time we headed directly across the street from their house to the coffee and tea shop. We went upstairs to the tea room and had lattes in BOWLS (no handles attached) and scones with clotted cream and conserves. Sierra munched on a shortbread cookie. All of it was wonderful.
For dinner tonight, we were served "Toad in the Hole." Wendy explained you make the same batter as a Yorkshire pudding and place sausages all over the pan. Then you bake it until the pudding puffs up. We had mashed potatoes and peas with it. Everything can be covered with a gravy, which is almost always on any English table for dinner. By the time the meal was done, we were all stuffed. Sierra loved the sausages and peas.
I'll be bringing home recipes for Yorkshire pudding, Toad in the Hole, crumpets and any other tasty things we've sampled here.
Sierra is having great fun playing all day with Florence, but is also realizing what it would mean to have a sister (sometimes ungracefully learning to share and not being the center of attention). I am sure when we go back to Woodbrooke she will be greatly bored.
Tim has spent the last two days working on his dissertation. He has crossed the 60th page, and will take the next three days off. As they say around here - Cheers!