Category Archives: British

Bringing London home

At the being of May, we went to London for a week. Frankly I’m surprised that with all my Anglophile tendencied, it took me this long to get there.

It was lovely. London was louder and bigger than I expected. Something between New York and Time. Not quite Continental Europe, but close. We got out of the city for a day and saw the cliffs of Dover and Canterbury. It was nice to get some fresh air.

Since we were only in London a week, we didn’t see everything. I suppose a trip back must be in my future. In the meantime, here are some scones which Mr. F says are as good as the one we had at afternoon tea!

English Scones

Adapted from Recipes for the Nation’s Favorite Food

330 g flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

40 g sugar

5 tbsp butter

175 ml milk

75 g currants or raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 425F.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cube butter and add to bowl. Place bowl in fridge to chill for at least 15 min. It is very important for your ingredients to remain cold so your scones end up with a flaky texture.

Rub butter cubes into flour mixture, giving it the texture of fine breadcrumbs. Add currants or raisins, if using. If making in advance, stop here.

Gradually add milk and knead gently until mixture forms a smooth dough.

On a floured surface, roll out dough about 1 inch thick. Using a 3 inch cut, press firmly into dough without twisting. Otherwise, you will end up with scones that rise unevenly. Place scones in baking sheet.

Gently knead remaining dough and cut out scones until all dough is used up. Brush tops with milk or eggwash for a shiny finish.

Bake for 12-15 min until golden and risen. Allow to cool slightly before serving but are best consumed on the day they are made.

I like them best with raspberry jam but strawberry is very traditional.

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Filed under Breads & Biscuits, Breakfast, British

Harry Potter and the Gateway to All Things British

14724453_10207958651747733_969458960695394852_nThis post may seem a bit rambling but bear with me and you will be rewarded with cake.

It was summer. I was in elementary school, I think. I sat on the beach, like I did most summers, with two of my friends. Similarly pale, freckled girls, we shared much more than a desperate need to reapply sunscreen on an hourly basis. We shared a love of reading which some might call voracious. I distinctly remember getting in trouble in second grade for reading during class on multiple occasions.

This was the summer of Harry Potter. The first three books must have just come out. I’m not sure how they ended up in my hands but I flew through them. Over the next few years, I would attend midnight book and movie releases and spend afternoons reading through Harry’s latest adventures. So how, my enthusiasm for Harry dropped off as he got more popular.

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Filed under British, Cakes & Tarts, Thoughts

I swear I don’t only make sweets

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Except that maybe I do.

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Filed under British, Misc

Sticky Plum Pudding

sticky plum pudding

I missed posting this for Christmas by a lot. But in my defense, I didn’t decide to make it until Christmas morning after the roast had gone into the oven.However, as it has fruit in it, I am deeming it a “healthy dessert.”

I love a British Christmas. It just seems so ideal to me: Charles Dickens, a roaring fire, steamed pudding, the Queen’s speech, Christmas crackers. Since it was going to be a fairly small celebration at my parents’ house, I decided create something different and special. Standing rib roast, check. Yorkshire pudding, check. Sticky toffee pudding, full of dates and sugar-y goodness, oops.

We had no dates. Continue reading

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Filed under British, Cakes & Tarts, Puddings

Sighting: Elegant Comfort Food

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How can this be? Elegant comfort food. Brisket, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, brownies. Sure, they are all comfort foods but I wouldn’t go so far to say that they are elegant. It takes some pretty fussing piping and arranging to make them look nice. And there is seemingly little point as you will soon demolish them while sitting on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, watching Netflix.

This, like so many of my other recipes, came from a point of necessity. A sad eggplant. An enormous container of mashed potatoes. A few rogue mushrooms. And FMFK’s (future Mr. Fictional Kitchen) burning desire for something called potato cakes which he has never eaten nor has any idea how to make. Since I have a tendency to read cookbooks cover to cover, I did have an idea.

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Filed under British, Italian, Vegetable

Cornish Pasties

Book of the Month: Longbourn by Jo Baker

I have no pictures for you. Not at all. I’m really sorry but they were eaten too fast.

Longbourn is much akin to works by Jane Austin in that the food is described in very little detail. There is a lot of ham and tea consumed. That is about it.

I got to thinking about what servants would be eating during this period. Bread. Cheese? I doubt there was that much meat. It would probably be leftover bits from the family’s meal. And how do we make leftover bits of anything taste better? We put them in a cute hand pie!

In this case, it could be called a Cornish pasty but I took some serious liberties here. I chopped up some baked potatoes, carrots, onion, and leftover stew. This was all sautéed with copious amounts of Worcester sauce and some tomato paste. Wrapped up in darling little hand pies and into the mouths of hungry friends.

This will give you an idea of how tasty they look….

Cornish Pasty by Flickr user Mike_fleming

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Filed under British, Savory Tarts & Quiches

Creamy Lime Pudding

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I love British puddings. Custard-y, creamy puddings are great too. But sometimes a steamed, spongy pudding is in order. I was in the mood for a nice lemon pudding and set about scouring the Internet for a good recipe.

That is how I discovered the lovely blog, Dinner with Julie. I don’t know Julie but her description of her grandmother’s lemon pudding cake had my mouth watering.

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Filed under British, Puddings