- Food & Drink
At the Gin & Crumpets homestead, Pa G&C is known for his breakfasts. It’s the meal he has most control over, as Ma G&C is medically unable to get up before she has eaten. She received strict instructions from her doctor when she was pregnant with me that she must eat something nutritious before she puts a toe out of bed. And who is she to question a doctor’s advice? So breakfast in bed it has been for 30 something years.
Mostly Dad takes up trays with cereal or toast or boiled eggs, and I think I probably learned to pour my own Coco Pops at a reasonably early age, but on weekends there would be cooked breakfasts. Not full fry-ups. Those would fall under Ma G&C’s domain. She would rise up and come downstairs to make them if we had guests. Pa G&C concentrates on the smaller cooked breakfast. Sausages or bacon grilled in a smoky kitchen and sandwiched between sticky white bread with a dribble of ketchup to sweeten them up. On Sundays, sometimes, there would be drop scones.
Pa G&C used a recipe from a 1970s edition of Mrs Beeton. This is a variation on those drop scones, gently fried in butter and then topped with an extra knife stroke of the good stuff and a pool of golden syrup.
Serves 4 people 3 drop scones each
225g plain flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
25g caster sugar
175ml whole milk
Butter, for frying
1 Sift the flour, cream of tartar and bicarbonate into a bowl. Stir in the sugar. Make a well in the centre and crack in the egg. Whisk into the flour, drawing more and more flour into the egg. It’ll make a thick lump and you’ll use about 1/3–1/2 the flour. Slowly whisk in the milk, a dribble at a time, until you have a smooth, thick batter. Stir in the raisins.
2 Place a frying pan over a low heat and rub about 1 tsp butter over the pan to coat it. Spoon 3 tbsp batter into the pan to make 3 round drop scones (similar in looks to American pancakes). Fry for 2–3 minutes until they’re golden underneath and there are bubbles bursting in the batter. Turn, using a palette knife or small spatula, and fry for 2–3 more minutes, or until golden and cooked through. If, while you’re doing this, the pan begins to smoke, it’s too hot. Move the pan to a smaller hob or reduce the heat even more.
3 Slide the drop scones out of the frying pan and wrap them in a clean kitchen towel to keep them warm and soft. Wipe the pan clean with kitchen paper and melt another tsp of butter in the pan. Make 9 more pancakes, wiping the pan and adding more butter as you cook. Serve the warm pancakes with butter and syrup.