Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Crumpets and Coffee

Marion Cunningham is a morning person. If you’re not sure who Marion Cunningham is, allow me to introduce her.

Marion is wholesome.

Her picture tells me this. Imagine: side part over a broad forehead,bibbed dress, braided necklace, smile that crinkles the eyes. Here recipes also tell me this. Consider: oatmeal custard, welsh rabbit with beer, cinnamon butter puffs, Creek Bank potatoes, date raisin condiment. Those are just a few.

Marion Cunningham is kind. She bakes for people. Period.

Marion Cunningham is my guru. She will remain my guru for the next two months.

Haley and I have decided to explore various ingredients, cooking styles, flavours, and meals as we blog. For the months of February and March, we will focus on breakfast. Our study goes this way: Haley will jump, leap, dive (actually) into the big beautiful book titled, “A Real American Breakfast.” I will wander through a slimmer volume, Marion Cunningham’s “The Breakfast Book.” As you can imagine, I’m already quite taken with Marion. I also like her opinions on breakfast.

Here are a few:

Breakfast…involves no alcohol and usually consists of grains, dairy products, fruits, and maybe eggs or a little meat or fish.
I agree. Alcohol at breakfast? Marion and I perish the thought.

Gathering at the table for breakfast allows us to weave our lives with others--and that should be a daily pleasure.
Very nice.

I…love eggs…I can only eat one hard-boiled egg, but if I’m soft-boiling them I do it by twos, mash them up in a bowl, sprinkle salt over them and a little bit of pepper, and eat them with toast--and that suffices for hours.
Marion knows her mind, which I love. And pays intense attention to detail, another excellent trait in a guru. Besides, I could use a breakfast that suffices for hours. I'm usually starving by nine.

Lead, Marion I will follow.

Crumpets is the first place Marion led. I thought, I want to try the English Muffins! But Marion explained that crumpets were the ones with all those nice little holes. This is because of the baking soda.

Marion also says that you must split and toast the muffins, even hot off the griddle, and spread them with butter or jam or honey.

Marion was right. Yum.

Interpreted from Marion Cunningham's The Breakfast Book
one dozen round crumpets

1 package dry yeast
¼ cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
1 ½ cups milk, warmed
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
¼ cup warm water

Sprinkle the yeast over the water in a large bowl. Add the sugar, stir, and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the milk, flour, and salt. Beat until smooth. Cover the bowl and let stand for one hour. Stir down. Dissolve the baking soda in the remaining ¼ cup water and stir into the batter. Cover and let rest for 30 min.

Heat a pan, or two pans, (I used a large griddle) and grease some 3 inch rings (Marion says you can use tuna tins with the tops and bottoms removed. I used 2-inch high canning jar lids.) When the griddle is hot, place the rings on it and fill each with three tablespoons of batter. Lower the heat and cook slowly until the crumpets have lost their shine, and are dull and holey. This takes about ten minutes. (Marion says not to flip the crumpets over but to just cook them on one side. I did flip my crumpets and I thought it finished them nicely.)

Toast, slather, and eat.


  1. From Grannys kitchenFebruary 9, 2011 at 9:03 AM

    Love the new look....Look forward to your posts...Love Auntie Judy

  2. Love your writing style.