Just a little bit hungry

I had to take a 'cultural snack' to my daughter's preschool today. This is the kind of task that makes me nervous, as I have the ability to even mess up a cake mix (nb.English Muffins were included on their list of ideas from previous years. I hope they were meant to represent American culture, as further research into finding out what on earth they are turned up that they were invented in America).
I decided on scones, as my mum is from Devon (and I took a battenberg cake last time and decided that the likelihood of my making another one turn out as well was poor). Luckily for the preschoolers the import store was out of English flour, so I just bought a scone mix to make the scones with. They look ok. Hopefully they taste ok. I felt a bit daft using a mix to make something as simple as scones.
You might have noticed that I mentioned that the import store sometimes carries English flour. Yes, they are ridiculously tiny bags for a ridiculously high price, but while my search for an American sponge recipe continues, they at least mean that I can produce this
instead of this
See that? There's even a gentle rise there!
And once they are dolled up with some English cake decorations (very generously sent by Ali - what a sweetheart!), they disappear quick...
I made quite a few snacks from my childhood for the kids this summer. I'm not sure what has happened to me, but despite still not enjoying cooking, I've been spending more time in the kitchen lately and, gulp, even trying out a few new recipes for dinners! These are just a few old favourites, though, like chocolate crunchies
and flapjacks
as suggested by my golden syrup can.
I'm not showing you a picture of my Bran Parkin Cookies, mind. I'm still trying to figure out what went wrong there. They turned out looking more like rock cakes...
While on the subject of disasters, I finally tried dyeing. No, not my rapidly appearing grey hairs. Fabric. Luckily I didn't start with the bag and did a trial run on some old t-shirts instead. The process seemed a lot easier (and cleaner) than what I was expecting, but I think that I should have left them in a lot longer. What should have been navy turned out the colour of surgical scrubs. That wouldn't be so bad, except that I chose to dye a loose fitting v-neck t-shirt that, well, now looks like surgical scrubs. Now I'll never be able to wear it in public, for fear of a medical emergency happening in my presence and everyone turning to me with expectation in their eyes. It's probably been about 20 years since I earned my First Aid badge...
My mouse-wielding (the computer variety - not rodents...) arm is still giving me grief. So, I've been spending very little time on the computer. Ah, I miss my blog-reading. I will one day reply to e-mails and comments, but it might not be soon (ask my mum - she hasn't been getting replies to her e-mails to me, either).
Plus I've apparently got arthritis, because the rapidly appearing grey hairs just weren't making me feel ancient enough...
I'm off to eat some leftover scones. All these food pictures are making me a wee bit peckish.
Translation of the day:
UK English: peckish = hungy in US English. Well, moderately hungry. Not starving, just a little bit hungry. That doesn't mean that 2 scones will be enough, of course...


  1. I had no idea flours were different! So would that be why when I, using English flour, attempt an American cupcake recipe they don't rise as I would expect?

    I'm intrigued now and forsee much googling in my future!

  2. Mmmm, chocolate crunchies..... flapjacks.... yum.

    English Muffins aren't an American invention, btw: they are, in fact, British, and date back to the 10th century, but in the UK they're just called muffins, and in my house they are called "proper muffins, not those stupid cake things".

  3. From what I've read, although the British used to refer long ago to a sweet cake thing - a yeasted dough - as muffins, the version that is now referred to as an English Muffin was created by Thomas, an (immigrant from Plymouth) New Yorker in the 1800s. He created a version of the British crumpet that was flatter and easier to toast.

  4. Ah, no - it's those Americans trying to take the credit!

    Muffins (the bready ones, not the cake ones) and crumpets both existed separately in the UK in the 18th century - a recipe for savoury muffins was published in England in 1747 by Hannah Glasse, and a recipe for crumpets was published in 1769 by Elizabeth Raffald.

    Thomas took his mother's recipe for muffins from Britain to the US when he emigrated in 1875.

    There's some good info (with sources for original recipes) on this page: http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodfaq2.html

    All this talk of food is making me hungry!

  5. I remember when we moved to the US and were given English muffins, I was very confused, having never seen one before. I did like them, though I think I preferred biscuits - especially with poached eggs on top. Mmmmmm. Now I'm hungry!

  6. what a great post, glad to have you back and hope your arm continues to improve.
    Ace syrup tin but it states exactly why I can't make flapjacks. To easy to slip into 'one for the pot, one for me' when spooning out golden syrup. Takes me back to childhood when the ultimate treat was sneaking to the larder, prising off the lid and snaffling a teaspoon of syrup. Yummy.
    (does sneaking and snaffling need translating ;o)

  7. Chocolate cornflakes, flapjacks and golden syrup - all good English stuff, delish!

    Nina x

  8. Nevermind where they come from, scones are always a favourite over here. Yum, with some clotted cream and homemade blackberry jam. Not forgetting some English Breakfast tea. Yes, I'm feeling peckish now, and it's all because of your blogpost.

    I'm going to put the kettle on for some Twinning Tea. :D

  9. What's English flour? Do you mean self-raising? Can you not just add baking powder to the American flour?
    Even over here there's confusion with the whole muffin thing! Where we live, North West England, we call then oven bottom muffins and they are large round flattish bread that we use to make butties! (sandwiches)We have a fruity version that we called tea-cakes even more confusing I suppose! Either are delicious toasted with lashings of butter!

  10. Here's a great explanation of muffins http://www.ovenbottommuffins.co.uk/

  11. But have your scones got a short O or a long O? Debate rages long and hard in our house and extended family!

    And don't get me started on bread cakes, tea cakes, barm cakes, baps, rolls, etc.............!

  12. Oh yes now you're talking, cornflake cakes and flapjacks - definitely things of my childhood. Just missing some jam tarts I reckon. Or lemon curd perhaps?!

  13. They all look tasty even the 'molten' fairy cakes ;-)
    I'm a crumpet kind of girl myself never one for a muffin. Especially since I've started to do a Jamie Oliver brekkie of soaking them in beaten egg so all the holes fill up...then fry off in a pan and server with crispy bacon...but I digress.

  14. That's a perfectly decent looking batch of scones you've done there Missus! I was disgusted with a recent attempt to make scones, they were a flippin joke. All flat and like rocks.
    What's the deal with flour then? Can you not get self-raising or plain flour in them Americals?
    (Sorry, I really English up when I write on your blog!)

  15. about your arm trouble...I have had some trouble with my wrist thanks to too much time on the computer, and I finally bought a wrist brace at the drugstore-one with curved metal inside it that would support my wrist. It was a little pricey but made a world of difference.

  16. Oh my, you've created quite a discussion on English baking! I wonder if my scones would pass English muster - they are probably too Americanized what with white chocolate, dried cherries and walnuts.
    Sorry about your arthritis and your gray hairs. I up the ante with my crow's feet and varicose veins!
    Can't wait to use the term peckish in casual conversation.

  17. Glad to see you rustled up a few English classics...ah nothing like a crispy cake!! :o)

    If it makes you feel any better..I got told last week at the doctors that I've got arthritis too. I think in an attempt to prove him wrong about me getting old enough for arthritis I went out and bought some hair dye...if the grey hairs aren't visible then I must be younger :o)

  18. Is that why my baking never works - using my UK cookbooks .....

  19. Thank you so much for explaining "peckish." I've never quite understood the exact meaning. (I always suspected it might mean something a little *dirty* - silly me!) Now, I think I'm feeling a little peckish. . .

  20. cupcakes look sweet! Love the little citrus decorations!

  21. I know from experience what it's like trying to introduce british food to other cultures, and do it justice...

    I think your scones looked very scrumptious! (hope this is how you spell it...)

    I am a follower of yours, and love your ideas, especially the little fabric dollhouse creation! Suuuper cute. Have not yet made one, but it's on my wishlist...

    If you fancy popping by and saying hi, I'll be very chuffed :)


    Thanks and congrats on a v. scrumptious blog!