Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Crumpets For Me!

Tea and crumpets
I love reading books that have great food descriptions in them. I love food and it is one of the details I love to see in the background of a story. Growing up I read many English literature books and was always interested in what the people had for "tea". I was especially interested in crumpets since I had never seen or had them before. I imagined all kinds of cookies, cakes and such when I heard the word. I was very disappointed when I finally had one and found that they were like English muffins. Not one of my favorites.

Then I was reading one of Anne Perry's William Monk books. In it Hester was snatching a precious moment to herself and got to eat a hot crumpet with her tea. This was a rare treat for her. She described the crumpet with it's crispness and softness and the hot, melted butter that was in danger of running down her elbows if she didn't hold it just right and eat it quickly enough. I was sold on crumpets right there.
Now, after some searching, I have found a recipe that I like and I can enjoy a crumpet to myself (or with my kids). I hold it just right and eat it quickly to prevent the pool of melted butter from dripping on my hand and running down to my elbow.
I did have to do some searching.
The first recipe I found to way too much time, 3 hours from start to first crumpet.
When I want a crumpet I want it now not at next meal time.
Then I found the baking powder versions and was so excited.
However, I found that many of these sacrificed flavor and many of them tasted like flour paste. That is NOT good eats.
I have found some medium ground though.
I found some recipes that use both yeast and baking powder.
The time is cut down to 15 minutes and the flavor is fabulous.
I have found that those that call for eggs taste the very best.
Here is my recipe for crumpet, whole wheat crumpets no less.
(white flour can be substituted or mixed half and half with the wheat.)

Miss Lucy's
Whole Wheat Crumpets

4 cups flour
(whole wheat, white, or a mix of both)
3 cups hot water
2 tsp yeast
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp baking powder
6 eggs
9 Tbsp Non-instant powdered milk (1 cup instant)
2 Tbsp oil or melted butter

In the hot water (not too hot or you will kill the yeast) add the sugar, eggs, oil and yeast. Mix well and set aside.
In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder, salt and powdered milk.
Add to the water mixture and mix well.
Let the mixture stand for 15 minutes.

Prepare your griddle or large frying pan by heating it on medium for several minutes.
Oil your crumpet rings. I do this by pouring some oil into a small bowl and dipping or rolling the rings in the oil to coat. Set the rings on the hot griddle for a few seconds before adding the batter.
When the time is up, add a scoop of batter to each oiled ring. The rings should be half filled.
Cook at medium heat until the edges start to look "dry" and they have holes in them.

Crumptes 001

Remove the rings with tongs or pliers.
crumpets 002
Flip the crumpets and bake on the other side.
Serve hot with butter and jam.

crumpets 005

** Hot milk can be substituted for the hot water and powdered milk. (It is winter here now and fresh milk is not as abundant as it is in the summertime. We don't buy milk from sthe store, only the dairy.)

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Sneaker Saver Tip

Yay for a new year. I am hoping to post some more tips and tutorials this year. Here's to hoping.
sneaker saver
Does anyone in your house have a very loved but very stinky pair of old (or new) sneakers? Well someone at my has does or did I should say. One of my kids has had the stinkiest shoes and it doesn't seem to matter what we do they just stink. I have washed them, soaked them, treated them and nothing worked.
Then I found a scribbled note in one of my many folders of random info. It was for a stinky shoe treatment that is all natural. Yay! for my random note taking. So here is the recipe I found:

Sneaker Saver
1 small box baking soda (doesn't really matter what size)
several drops of Eucalyptus Essential oil (I would maybe use 1/2 tsp per pound of soda)

Mix the baking soda and essential oil in a bag or container with a lid. Mix well and let it sit for a couple of days. This lets the oil get evenly distributed through the soda. Shake every now and then to make sure it is mixed.
Pour some of the baking soda mix into the bottom of the shoes to cover the bottom. Let it sit for a day or two. Then dump it out and check the shoes. If they don't smell sweet enough for you, do it again. One reluctant pair of shoes I tried it on took two treatments. You will be amazed at how scent free they become.
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