Saturday, June 30, 2012

A bit o' crumpet, please!

Of the many life dilemmas I ponder, it's the culinary variety that yield the biggest payoff. "What exactly," I asked myself, "is a crumpet?" The closest thing we have in America are Thomas's English Muffins, which just don't sing out "tea with the Queen, please!" An academic at heart, I did some serious researching (typed "crumpet" in google), and found this definition:
A thick, flat, savory cake with a soft, porous texture, made from a yeast mixture cooked on a griddle and eaten toasted and buttered.
Or, in other words, it's a cross between an English muffin and a pancake, more spongy and light than a gluteny muffin, pale and soft, the perfect mechanism to trap large quantities of melted butter in its cavernous crags.

But where to find such a beauty? Well, some days the gods smile on the Babe. And this week, not only did I find a bag of crumpets at Shaws (in their bakery/bread section, not in the regular bread aisle), but Bonne Maman jam was half off. "Hello, hot cheeks!" I shouted and snagged a bottle of apricot and a bottle of raspberry. Well, what can I say, the bakery babe gets a little heated about subjects like quality jam, and Bonne Maman really is one of the nicest. If you ever have a chance to try their cherry preserves, it is heavenly.  But taking what they had, back to my toaster I ran, and proceeded to slather my crumpet with inordinant quantities of butter and apricot.

The payoff was spectacular. Or, as I imagine Prince Charles would say, they were bloody good!  Even plain, they make a cup of tea into an event. And lately, as you can see from past entries, I've been pondering the beauty of the afternoon tea ritual. Most of the world has moved on to grabbing a cafe latte at Starbucks for their afternoon pick-me-up. And goodness knows, I often do so myself. But there is something very comforting, in this life of calorie counting and scrambling up the corporate ladder, to spending half an hour with a pot of tea and a buttery crumpet. Call it gentility. Call it a sure fire plan to gain weight. But whatever it is, the Babe is in favor of it. Plus, need I say, there is a certain joy in simply saying "Crumpets!" in a loud voice. I guarantee that if you invite your friends over for crumpets, nobody will turn you down (warning: "crumpet" is slang for an attractive girl on the other side of the pond). So get thee to Shaws, Bostonians, and unleash the crumpets!

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you made a good find. I've never eaten a crumpet.