Tuesday, April 29, 2014

crêpes écossaises

Or drop scones to those of us brought up in the British Isles!  There was a time in my life, not so long ago, when I made these at least twice a day - yes really! Breakfast and 4 o'clock gouter. All the  children who came to this house knew them as Crêpes Ecossaises as I wasn't about to try and translate drop scone!

Every baking book has a recipe for these but many of them aren't simple enough. You only need four ingredients: self raising flour, egg, milk and sugar.

First of all take a frying pan, add the merest dot of oil and set over a low to medium heat. Take a bowl and add 4 ounces s.r. flour, one egg, up to a tablespoon of sugar and enough milk to give a dropping consistancy (probably between 2 and 3 fl. ounces).  Whisk with a spoon or preferably a balloon whisk.  Drop spoonfuls into your pan and when bubbles rise to the surface of each pancake flip them over and give them another 15 or 20 seconds.

Eat with jam, honey butter (roughly equal quantities of honey and butter melted - very good) or if you're a 15 year old boy... Nutella.  Breakfast in under 10 minutes.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

eggs and greens

Hello!  Welcome to A Brown Paper Parcel.  Another blog I hear you say? When I don't post very much on my original one? Well, what I would like to post here just doesn't seem to fit over on my weaving blog. I feel that that one - even if I don't post much - should stay a tapestry weaving blog.

When we first moved to France I took lots and lots of photos but over the years seem to have got out of the habit even though there is so much that is photo worthy around here. Only the other day I was in Villefranche and said to Warb that I want to make an effort to photograph all the fading painted signs in town before they disappear for ever. France is changing fast - has changed a lot in the 10 years since we moved here and so much is being cleared away and gussied up. I want to photograph the worn and faded before it's too late. Just an example, our village mairie had a lovely old front door with a rough textured surface and many, many coats of blue grey paint with an old iron door handle. A few weeks ago I went to drop off some papers and found an aluminium and frosted glass door in it's place. I don't know where the old one went or even if anyone thought to rescue the door furniture... At least the mayor and his secretary will be warmer but it still makes me sad.

Anyone who knows me will know that one of my great passions is cooking (and eating!).  I love to make good simple food, I read cookery books the way other people read fiction. When I went away to college and phoned home my Dad and I would have long conversations about what we'd been eating that week.  I grew up in a hotel and have vivid memories of the dry stores - sugar, flour, tea in wooden tea chests and the huge walk in fridge with hanging carcasses and milk churns as tall as I was (and which the milkman used to smuggle out sausages until he was caught!)   It's long been on my mind to have a food blog but exclusively food didn't feel right. So how about France and food - not an inappropriate pairing!  

In February I started an etsy shop, A Brown Paper Parcel,  stocked with old French glass, china, kitchenwares and whatever takes my fancy. Not antiques just honest, handsome old wares. The other day as I was putting together the first salad of the year from the vegetable patch  I thought how the photographs for my shop would be so much more fun if at least some of them showed the items being used. I dug out a lovely oval, yellow rimmed serving dish from my stock cupboard which matched the salad and our sunny mood and used it. Forgot to actually take a photo but the idea was born!

So there you have it - food, France and the flea market! If any of that sounds fun to you I'll look forward to seeing you back here again soon!


ps - oh yes - the eggs and greens! Our farmer neighbours are the most generous people.  We had coffee with them yesterday and came away with that huge box of chard and salad and not one but two dozen eggs.  I feel chard soup and HFW's chard and potato curry coming on!