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Friday, February 8, 2008

This Post’s for You

No—not you, you. Yes you. (For my grandma)

I blame the pancakes.

For Shrove Tuesday, everyone here eats pancakes. It’s such a widespread tradition that the first thing my tutor asked when I showed up for my tutorial was “did you have pancakes today?” (ed. note: pancakes here do not have a rising agent in them, so instead of being fluffy, they are flat, like crepes.)

All the talk of pancakes naturally caused my housemates and me to want some (the American “fluffy” kind), so we decided to make breakfast for dinner, and have pancakes, scrambled eggs, fruit, and bacon (for the carnivores). The eggs, fruit, and bacon were easily come by, but after visits to both the local grocery stores, we realized there was no pancake mix or syrup to be had. We were too late getting onto the Shrove Tuesday bandwagon, and all the stores were sold out. So we made our own batter. From scratch. and it worked.

Thus inspired, I decided that I would undertake a family tradition and make Hot Cross Buns for Ash Wednesday. I mean, we’d made pancakes without a mix. Surely I could now take on any culinary challenge, right? (This was a silly thought. Pancake batter only has like 4 ingredients.)

I went online, found a recipe for the buns, decided not to put currants or raisins in them, since I always pick them out, and went to the store for the ingredients. I then commandeered the kitchen (not that there was much competition for it) and began cooking. What followed went something like this: (note: from here on out, my thoughts are in italics, and the recipe is in bold) (note again: the whole recipe is here. This is just some of the steps)

Mix dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.
Mixing bowl? What mixing bowl? We don’t have a mixing bowl, and certainly not a large one. Ah! The spaghetti pot will work.

Heat milk and butter until quite warm, about 125F.
Assuming you have a thermometer? Let’s just heat it until the butter melts.

After kneading for 5 minutes, place dough in buttered bowl, cover in place in warm place until doubled in size.
Buttered bowl? Bowl again. Bowl…bowl…Hey, Will, since you’re washing the dishes, can you clean out the spaghetti pot? I’m going to need it in 5 minutes. Thanks!

Punch down dough.
Got that!

Divide dough into 18 pieces. Roll into balls and place on two 8in square baking pans.
Baking pans? Ummm, well, how about a cookie sheet and a banana bread pan. That’ll work, right?

Let sit, covered, until double in size.
Well, I got that part right, at any rate.

Cook at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Okay- I know how to do this. Look up 375F on our oven temp. converter chart…=190C. Got it. (15 minutes later…You know, I should probably check on the buns, since our oven is different and heats from the sides…good call.) 5 more minutes and I would have had hot burned buns. As it was:

Everyone liked them. A lot.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You make me laugh. A lot. I miss kitchen adventures with you!