THERE’S AN ART TO BUTTERING CRUMPETS…

The Village Kitchen...

Did you know there is an art to buttering crumpets.

All crumpets should be toasted on both sides, the smooth side first, the holey side last, as this produces a suitable concavity for the butter…Never cut a muffin, snip round the curved side and pull top and bottom apart and insert the butter in thin slices, do not attempt to spread it.

Dorothy Harley Food in England

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7 OF THE BEST WAYS TO STORE YOUR TEA…

  1. It’s best to transfer both loose tea and tea bags from a cardboard or paper packet or tub into an air-tight container.
  2. Tins and caddies with tight-fitting lids are good as they can keep out smells and humidity which can affect the tea.
  3. Storing the jars in a dark cupboard will mean the tea will keep well.
  4. You should never keep it in the fridge as there is always the chance that water will get into the packet.
  5. You should always be careful with flavoured teas, as the added flavourings can be very powerful and easily taint other teas nearby.
  6. For loose tea, it is essential that you check that the spoon or scoop that you use is completely dry.
  7. If there is even a drop of moisture on the spoon, the humidity introduced to the interior of the packet or caddy will have an effect on the quality of flavour.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake — Whiskey & Tea

Growing up I never particularly liked the traditional pineapple upside down cake my mom make. Then when I was a teenager she switched to this recipe, which uses crushed pineapple as opposed to the typical sliced pineapple rings. The texture is much more appealing to me — and the cup of brown sugar you mix […]

via Pineapple Upside Down Cake — Whiskey & Tea

MATCHING YOUR TEA WITH YOUR FOOD…

The Village Kitchen...

With Christmas now well and truly on countdown I thought it might be nice to write a post on tea pairings with some of the festive foods we eat.

When drinking Lapsang have it with chicken or smoked salmon sandwiches or walnut cake or Stilton cheese, to enhance the flavour of the tea and/or food.

Of course, Christmas isn’t Christmas without chocolate but with different strengths of chocolate, this does mean there is a choice of pairings. With dark chocolate, try Assam, Darjeeling, Earl Grey, Gyokuro, or Oolong. With milk or white chocolate try Darjeeling, Dragonwell, or Oolong,

When drinking Earl Grey have it with fine pate or ham and mustard sandwich’s or Crème Brulee or Leicester cheese, to enhance the flavour of the tea and/or food.

When drinking Ceylon tea try having it with cucumber or tomato sandwiches or tarte au citron or mature cheddar cheese.

Fortnum and Mason

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SOME OF THE BEST KEPT SECRETS TO BETTER BAKING…

The Village Kitchen...

Here are some of the best kept secrets to better baking.

Leave your cake on a wire rack in the tin you have baked it in for 5 minutes before you turn it out.

When making your cake, leave the eggs and fat our overnight so that they will be at the same temperature.

For a really moist fruit cake, use marmalade instead of candied peel.

For an extra rich, tasty fruit cake, use cold coffee instead of milk.

Measure all your ingredients accurately.

Bake your cake immediately once mixed as the baking powder begins to act as soon as its combined with liquid.

Leave scones for a minute before you pop them into the oven as resting them allow the baking powder to become active.

To make sure the essence you use adds flavour to the whole cake, mix it into the egg before adding the egg to the…

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THE HISTORY OF THE MINCE PIE…

The Village Kitchen...

According to Why Christmas, mince pies, like Christmas Puddings, were originally filled with meat, such as lamb, rather than the dried fruits and spices mix as they are today. They were also first made in an oval shape to represent the manger that Jesus slept in as a baby, with the top representing his swaddling clothes. Sometimes they even had a ‘pastry baby Jesus’ on the top!

During the Stuart and Georgian times, in the UK, mince pies were a status symbol at Christmas. Very rich people liked to show off at their Christmas parties by having pies made is different shapes (like stars, crescents, hearts, tears, & flowers); they fancy shaped pies could often fit together a bit like a jigsaw! They also looked like the ‘knot gardens’ that were popular during those periods. Having pies like this meant you were rich and could afford to employ…

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