Friday, 7 September 2007
Today the kids were home from school because of Typhoon 9, which ripped straight up the middle of honshu. While the winds outside gusted up to 54.6 metres per second (about 196km/hr!) and the torrential rain pelted on the storm shutters, I made dropscones for breakfast. Dropscones get called "pancakes", "hotcakes" and a variety of other names by other families. This has occasionally been cause for confusion in breakfast decisions with non family members! Mum passed away before I was able to get her dropscone recipe, but over the years I have developed my own.
The local green grocer had lemons from the neighbouring town for sale the other day. I didn't know we could grow lemons in this climate, but now that I do we plan to plant some in the near future! We had lemons in the garden in Australia when I was young and Mum taught me how to make Lemon Butter (some people call it Lemon Curd). It's only right that I should pass this on to my children. Of course I needed to teach them how to make butter first!
500ml pure cream, preferably a few days old
Put the cream into an airtight jar with plenty of space to spare. Shake it like crazy until it separates into butter and buttermilk. This is a perfect job for children! Drain the buttermilk off through a cloth and save it for later use. Wash the remaining buttermilk out of the butter by "squodging" it in a bowl of fresh water. Drain off the water again through a cloth, then return the butter to the bowl and add the salt, mixing thoroughly. Store in the fridge. This quantity should yeild 200gm of butter and 280ml of buttermilk, as some is lost in the draining, washing and tasting process.
3 large lemons
3 large eggs
Finely grate the rind of the lemons. Put this in a double basin over a low heat with the juice of the three lemons, the butter and the sugar and stir till all the sugar is dissolved. Beat the eggs and add them to the mixture over the heat, stirring constantly. When the mixture thickens pour it into warm sterilized jars and, when cool, store in the fridge.
3 large eggs
50ml olive oil
200gm plain flour
8gm Royal baking powder
Separate the eggs into two bowls. Into the bowl with the yolks mix the sugar, oil and buttermilk, beating it till the sugar is dissolved. Beat in the flour and the baking powder. I specify Royal baking powder as some other brands contain Alum.
Beat the egg whites until they form peaks. Fold the beaten egg whites gently into the rest of the batter mixture.
Grease a large non stick frypan with a little olive oil and heat it over a low flame. Drop about 30ml of the mixture per dropscone into the frypan and cook till golden on the underside. Flip the dropscone and cook the other side until it is golden. Serve with a dollop of Lemon Butter and a curl of chilled butter.
Being completely self sufficient just isn't practical for us, but that's not really my objective. What I want to share with my family is a simple, wholesome, healthy and sustainable lifestyle. The kids get a real buzz out of enjoying food that they have made themselves, and todays breakfast was a classic example. Home made butter, lemon butter and dropscones, served on my own plates, safe and sheltered from the storm outside.