Monday, April 12, 2010

England's Stony Mystery

Who doesn’t love a great mystery? Our planet has so many: crop circles, the Bermuda Triangle, the Lost City of Atlantis, the Loch Ness Monster and of course, England’s claim to mystery fame, Stonehenge. Theories abound, ranging from scientific and somewhat believable to completely outrageous. It has been excavated, surveyed, measured and x-rayed, yet no solid explanation for its existence has been forthcoming. Maybe a group of prehistoric people simply created Stonehenge for the sole purpose of making future generations endlessly ponder its meaning.

Want to visit this famous site? It is located in the county of Wiltshire in southwest England. Imagine driving for miles through the rolling hills of England’s countryside, then suddenly encountering this strange and somewhat eerie sight. The large standing stones and earthen mounds were set in a circular pattern approximately 5,000 years ago, causing some to believe its purpose was for religious rites, while others think it is tied to astronomy.

Okay…enough about Stonehenge. Here’s one last English recipe before we move on to another country (as yet to be determined!) I couldn’t finish England without a recipe for crumpets – what could be more English than that? And exactly what is a crumpet? By definition, “a porous England bread snack made from flour and yeast.” But check out the picture – it’s just what we call an England muffin, right?


1 (.25 oz.) package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 tsp. sugar
1/3 cup warm milk (110 to 115 degrees F)
4 Tbs. butter or margarine, melted, divided
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt

In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar; let stand for 5 minutes. Add the milk, 1 tablespoon butter and egg; mix well. Add flour and salt; beat until smooth. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Brush griddle and 3-in. metal rings or open-topped metal cookie cutters with remaining butter. Place rings on griddle; heat over low heat. Pour 3 tablespoons of batter into each ring. Cook for 7 minutes or until bubbles begin to pop and the top appears dry. Remove rings. Turn crumpets; cook 1-2 minutes longer or until the second side is golden brown. Serve warm or let cool on a wire rack and toast before serving.

1 comment:

  1. Stonehenge is on my "list" - awesome. Not sure about the crumpets, but definitely doing the meat and mushroom thing, but probably with venison.
    mmm--thanks for sharing!