Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Scone Also Rises

Pirate is coming home late tonight, and I will see him tomorrow morning. He's been gone for two weeks, and so will have no food in the house when I rock up to his place. Ergo, there needs be baking.

Thanks to Hendrix Cat I have a fabulous new recipe for treacle (molasses) scones. I've been living in England for a total of 2 1/2 years, and have spent the entire time complaining that I couldn't buy molasses anywhere. Then I get this recipe, go to the store, ask the clerk where the treacle is (having no idea what it is), get it home, open it, and voila! It's molasses! Who knew. Damn transAntlantic language breakdowns. Anyway, here's a picture of them:

"And I beheld when he had opened the sixt seale, and loe, there was a great earthquake, and the Sunne became blacke as sackecloth of haire, and the Moone became as blood."
-- Revelation, 6:12

Tonight there was a total lunar eclipse. We were priveledged to see it, not only because it's such a rare occurance, but because this is the first clear night we've had in months. Stargazing is not a popular past time in England for obvious meteorological reasons.

It was beautiful. I've never seen one before. I had no idea the moon would be so red. Now I understand that verse from Revelation. One can only imgane what the ancients must have felt when they saw the moon darkening, disappearing in the sky before their eyes, and emitting that erie, garnet glow. No wonder they thought the world was about to end.


Lorna said...

Oh, the moon! Sadly I was on my way home from the pub as it was happening, with a fair few gin martinis on my inside, and basically managed to miss the whole thing: I passed a load of people staring skywards, and thought, "What's the matter with them, eh? By 'eck, that moon looks a bit odd, though". Three degrees and I'm still a bit dim...

Those scones look very fine!

Warrior Two said...

God, Finally I get one of your posts in almost-real-time. Freakin feedreader...

Timorous Beastie said...

My gosh Bitch, your scones are so shiny! (It's not often one hears an exclamation like this). Sadly, the moon thing did not reach us here in Japan, but I howled anyway.

Keith said...

My browser was shrunk (and it's not even cold out!) so at first I thought that Revelations accompanied your making of scones. I was even thinking, "Ah, yes, brimstone and treacle...." It all made sense that way, actually.

We didn't have a good look at the eclipse either.

This is my favorite blog post title of the week.

Sassy Sundry said...

So that's what treacle is. I had no idea. I'm going to start saying that things are slower than treacle in February.

We missed the eclipse here (it rained). Lovely photo.

Da Nator said...

So, what's the recipe?

For the scones, not the moon.

Homo Escapeons said...

Treacle is molasses? What was that movie that Sting was he was only baking Tantric Scones then?
..and here I thought that it was about Vampires!

You're right about the moon...I understand that the Babylonians had figured out a 365 day calendar centuries before the non-existent year '0'...and they did it all by stargazing.

Five centuries later we still love star gazing, especially the heavenly bodies in LA and NYC.
We've really lowered our sights.

llewtrah said...

You can get molasses in any halfway decent health food shop. I've also found it at major supermarket chains. Some of the ethnic food stores have different types of molassed - date molasses, mulberry molasses, palm molasses etc. I find treacle has amore tar-like consistency, but I love treacle toffee :) And those scones look yummers ....

hendrix said...

Oh, you used black treacle! I didn't mean that sort, I meant treacle treacle (or golden syrup as it's called if you're posh!) but actually your's look fabulous, I'll give black treacle a try next time I make them.

Black treacle (or blackstrap molasses which you can get in Holland and Barretts is brilliant to use when you make bread (or gingerbread it gives it that wonderfully sticky quality)and it's extremely good for you. Mum used to give us a spoonful of blackstrap molasses every morning, I think I remember her saying it was full of B vitamins (or iron? or possibly both)

Recipe is as follows.
225g/8oz of flour (plain) You can also use self-raising flour but then leave out the bicarb and the cream of tartar. (forgot to mention that first time I posted the recipe
1 tsp bicarb
pinch of salt
25g/1oz butter
50g/2oz treacle (warmed)
50ml/2floz milk

Mix first three ingredients together, rub in butter till mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, pour in treacle and milk and mix together till soft dough.
Knead gently for about 3 minutes.
Pat (not roll) dough out to about 1 inch thick then cut out into 5cm circles (I usually just trim round the edge of an upside down plate at this point then cut them into wedges).
Transfer to lightly greased baking sheet, brush tops with a little beaten egg.
Put into hot oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with butter and more treacle.

First Nations said...

so then what's golden treacle?

1. beautiful scones! realy, put up the recipe because i want to make those for my biker.
2. you are the patron saint of 'fuck off and die'. i salute you.
*raises beer eastward*
3. that 'moon turns red' crapola from revelations really used to get my grandmother going, which meant she was het up all summer long when they burnt slash and pasturage. filled the atmosphere with so much particulate that the moon would rise bright crimson and be magnified through the lens of the lower atmosphere about 100 times.

Chaucer's Bitch said...

lorna: we must walk around in the same Golden Haze of Obliviousness.

w2: glad you made it. better late than never.

TB: it's the brushin' 'em wivv egg wot does it. crap, i forgot to howl! will do that tonight to be sure.

keith: thanks. i confess i was rather proud of that one meself.

sassy: good plan. i enjoy confusing people with words they don't know.

'Nator: HC has put it up here, as you can see. Isn't she lovely?

Homo: yes, the only thing we love these days more than star gazing is a good moon. (I'm trying to get as much mileage out of that joke as possible.)

llewtra: not in any of the supermarkets around here, you can't. mulberry molasses? sounds delish! must look for that if i'm ever someplace civilized. like london.

HC: how the hell was I supposed to know that golden syrup is Posh for treacle? I bought the only thing in the store that said "treacle" on the tin!

FN: golden syrup/treacle is sticky yellow stuff. i've never tried it personally, never had need, but my flatmate has some in the cupboard. i'll stick my finger in, see what it tastes like, and report back.

RE: the recipe. FC forgot to type in 1 tsp. of cream of tartar to the ingreds list above. you can also substitue 1 tsp. lemon juice for the cream of tartar if you don't have it.

hendrix_cat said...

You weren't supposed to know! Completely my mistake, I'm the product of a North-East upbringing and assume that everyone else is too!

Treacle/Golden Syrup/Golden Treacle is just about the most gorgeous thing to eat in the entire world (apart from oysters). We were brought up on the stuff. Try it on thick cut toast with loads of butter, or make treacle wells in porridge made with milk... you can't beat it.

llewtrah said...

Oh yes, the north/south treacle/syrup divide. I was once asked to make treacle tart for ex-hub. I used treacle, of course. It was inedible. it took years to train the ignorant fool that the yellow stuff is golden syrup and the black stuff is treacle.

There's a very good ethnic wholesale warehouse (with a shop that does retail as well) near the Bishopston Arches. They do yummy pandanus spread and they might do the fancy molasses. I found the date and muberry varieties of molasses at an Indian-run shop in Shepherd's Bush Market. I'm sure the larger Holland&Barrett stores have molasses.

Pargolo said...

Dear CB - i grew up in HK as a kid, although i'm an american citizen. Boy do I miss golden syrup. Boy do i miss it. I wonder if i can get it in the states? we used to make the best desserts out of it. You lucky girl! rowing and living in the UK!
Stuck in the law library in a grimy eastern seaboard american city.

Da Nator said...

Well, you people made me go do some research. Apparently, if you don't have a store that sells Lyle's in your area of the U.S., you can substitute the following for golden treacle:

1. Cane syrup, which is the Southern U.S. version of treacle. Sold at C.S. Steen Syrup Mill, Inc.

2. Use corn syrup. It doesn't have as much flavour, but is similar. I suppose you could also use honey.

3. Make your own cane syrup/treacle, or simple syrup, by boiling 1-1/4 cups sugar with 1/3 cup of water until syrupy.

4. Do like CB did and just make some damn molasses scones.

llewtrah said...

I use honey when I don't have syrup or molasses. Clear honey has a lovely flavour.