A kitchen bible in many Australian homes is The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander. It’s a book I turn to when I have an ingredient which I don’t know how to cook or when I simply want to revisit the food of my childhood in Australia. Stephanie’s recipe for pikelets is one which I now make from memory, especially since it was one of the few things my little one would eat when he was going through a fussy stage recently. You can find the recipe here and here.
After what was the longest winter here in Europe, spring finally arrived. Although it disappeared after a brief visit and summer has now suddenly pounced upon us. I wasn’t planning on doing much gardening this year, especially since the little one has been keeping me busy and I still feel guilty for abandoning some plants during the first few months after coming home from the hospital. But once the warm weather made its long-awaited return, so did a glimmer of green-thumbed enthusiasm.
One of the best things about having a blog and sharing recipes with like-minded foodies is receiving all of the wonderful comments and emails from readers all over the world. So many of the emails I have received are so touching with kind compliments, and many with individual recounts of how something I have posted on my blog has triggered memories of an old family favourite or of simply how a recipe has turned out. Whether these messages are just a few words or longer narratives, I enjoy reading them all
A frequent question which has popped up a few times from my American readers is: what on earth is “cream of tartar” and where can it be purchased in the US? I have to admit that I also searched high and low for cream of tartar whenever I was working in the US and had no luck in finding it. I had a craving for honeycomb one day and as neither Crunchie bars nor Violet Crumbles are available in the US, I was motivated to try and make honeycomb at home using Nigella’s recipe from Nigella Express. Alas, there was no cream of tartar to be found (but a giant Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup ultimately satisfied the sugar craving :-)).
Growing up in Australia, I loved eating pikelets for afternoon tea. My earliest memory of pikelets was when I was in primary school, perhaps about 8 years old, when our teacher made pikelets one afternoon and cooked them on an electric frying pan, with eager little bodies “helping” her with various tasks like measuring, stirring, flipping. Being young children, we were often always quite hungry and cooking classes like these were always met with much enthusiasm. As soon as the pikelets were cooked, we would spread them with butter and jam and eat them more quickly than they could be made.
Pikelets are essentially little pancakes. In some parts of the world, they are called “drop scones”.