Thursday, June 23, 2016

Crumpets, Bug Update, Bowling. Cedardale Farm,

Funny, Stacey at Veggie Mama was talking about crumpets on Tuesday and I mentioned that my father used to own a crumpet factory. I then started remembering. I was at boarding school at the time and on school holidays would hang around the factory and maybe help out. I remember when he first started he employed an old Scotsman (well he was old to me) who knew all about the way of doing it. There were lots of hot plates and we used to have rings for the crumpets. We would grease the rings by wearing an old greased sock on our arms and running the rings up and down it. Then placing the rings on the hot plates and pouring in the crumpet batter. When the crumpets were done, we would punch them out and pushing the rings on our arm sock once again. If we touched something hot and dropped it, the Scotsman would enquire "too heavy?". To this day if I accidentally burn myself and drop an item, I say it's because it was too heavy.  A good crumpet should be supple enough that you can fold it in four and it will spring back to shape. Mostly we ate them toasted with lashings of butter, but they were also delicious fried in bacon fat. Really good diet food which is why, I guess, I haven't eaten a crumpet in many a year. Apart from which, the ones available to me would certainly not stand the folding test. Stacey gave a recipe for crumpets if you want to try making your own. Just make sure they aren't too heavy! Had to go to the grocery store this afternoon and had a good look round, not a crumpet in sight. Nobody in the bakery so couldn't ask.

I arranged to have a specialist cleaning group come in and help pack up and vacuum everything before the pest control people come to do their job. Gonna cost me of course, but we just cannot do as thorough a job as is required, especially as this is their fourth visit. In my opinion, not being an expert, all that is really required is to put a new protective cover over Matt's box spring. Nobody takes any notice of me though. Before this cleaning group come, I hope to have all the clothes dried or washed and dried - whatever is required - and then packed in plastic bags removed from the affected areas. So they can help do lots of other things which take more effort. My back has been causing me a lot of problems lately, and things like vacuuming and dusting are virtually impossible. I hope this works because we cannot keep shelling out money like this.

Wonder of wonders, today being Wednesday, it was league bowling and I actually bowled well. I had one particularly good game. We were actually paired against the top team - we being the bottom team - and gained a couple of points. One of the women on the other team, was bowling strike after strike or spare. I think in the first game she only missed out twice, ended up with a 247 score. I should be so lucky. Very intimidating although maybe it spurred us on. Whatever the reason, our second game was one of our best for a while.

One of the guys we bowl with is a cook and was telling me about a family argument he had had about snapping off the ends of the asparagus. I explained to him that it was unnecessary with farm fresh product although I agreed that with store bought it was something you had to do. Apparently his relative argued that you didn't have to do it. Our friend told him, if you like chewing wood, you are welcome to do so. To me, woody ends just proves how old the asparagus is since I found Barrie's Asparagus Farm and discovered just what asparagus should be like. This is a painting of the farm which was done by one of the customers. The farm itself is actually called Cedardale Farm, Barrie's Asparagus is their trading name. Just by the front steps there is a stone which has a notice "Please Turn me Over" the other day, for the first time, someone had done so and it said "Thanks, that's so much better". I wonder who thought that one up.

Penne with Chicken and Asparagus

"A light but super-tasty pasta dish, with fresh asparagus cooked in broth with sautéed garlic and
seasoned chicken."

1 (16 ounce) package dried penne pasta
5 Tbs olive oil, divided
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into cubes salt and pepper to taste garlic powder to taste
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 bunch slender asparagus spears, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, and set aside.

2. Warm 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in chicken, and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook until chicken is cooked through and browned, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken to paper towels.

3. Pour chicken broth into the skillet. Then stir in asparagus, garlic, and a pinch more garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cover, and steam until the asparagus is just tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Return chicken to the skillet, and warm through.

4. Stir chicken mixture into pasta, and mix well. Let sit about 5 minutes. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, stir again, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Servings: 8

Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Author: LAUREL B

Have a great day


  1. Sorry you had to hire someone, but at least you guys won't hurt yourselves trying to prepare for the bug guys.
    I can only imagine the fat content of a crumpet, especially if it can be folded.

    1. Not ourselves, just our wallets Alex. However, needs must.

      The crumpet itself is not so bad Alex, it's the lashings of butter that really make it baaad if delicious.

  2. I'm glad you have someone to do the hard cleaning and fingers crossed this treatment works.
    I grew up with using lashings of butter on crumpets, too. These days I'm a little more restrained but adding anything else except butter and maybe a bit of freshly ground black pepper still feels wrong.

    1. Thanks Helen, I hope so too.

      Have you ever tried frying them in bacon fat. I love them Matt doesn't. Never tried adding pepper.

    2. I hadn't heard about frying them before. In my meat eating days I would probably have enjoyed that.

    3. I wonder what they would be like fried in olive oil Helen.

  3. I actually have everything in the house to make that recipe. I am going to have to defrost the chicken! Although I prefer using cutlets to the larger breasts. As for the crumpets, I had no idea they looked like that. Over here, years ago, there were 'crumpets' sold commercially and they were hard cookies. When I was little I loved tea & crumpets in the afternoon after school. I would dunk the cookies in the tea to soften them.

    1. I hope you enjoy it JoJo. Crumpets sure aren't cookies - more like muffins or something. They are a dough product and made with yeast. You have to put something on them, such as butter, though

  4. Never had a crumpet, but they sound delicious, as does that recipe with the pasta, chicken, and asparagus. Might make it this weekend.


    1. One does find them in Ontario Betty, but it's more of a winter thing I guess. Hope you enjoy it. Maybe I will too.

  5. That crumpet with the butter looks sooooo good....yummy. I hope this will be the end of it for you because it is not only expensive but so tiring for you

  6. I have Paul Hollywood's crumpets but have not made them yet. Today, after this actually, I'm headed offline to make dough for our morning mini flatbreads with homemade peanut butter.

    Sorry you had to hire someone but glad that you were able to. Be happy for you when this mess is over.

    Okay, you are my last post for right now. I'm logging out to go prep dough and then get started. Tim wants to go through his office today. He wants to sort and sell some books he has and rid himself of anything he doesn't want.

    Works for me.

    I'll catch you later, Jo!

    1. Don't know Paul Hollywood Ivy, never actually made crumpets at home. Your flatbreads sound good.

      So will I Ivy, it has been going on way too long. Another friend said when they had them it went on for a year, I seem to be heading that way.

      You really are doing a lot of clearing out the pair of you.

    2. A year, yikes. Hope not. Hollywood is from the UK. Yes, lots of good work here. Tim wanted to do his office this weekend. Got a lot done, gonna work a wee bit more on it today.

    3. Good for you Ivy. I really need to have a go at my office too.