With an alleged average consumption of four cups a day, the Irish are apparently the world’s greatest tea drinkers. We’re picky about how it’s made (loose or bag? china pot or metal?), about how we drink it (milk first or second? cup warmed or not?), and even if we bring tea away with us, it just tastes different abroad.
There’s something grounding in a pot of tea, something that reaches back into our collective childhood, when the kettle was always on and the biscuits were always digestives. Perhaps this is why we’re so fond of tea cosies – what could be more comforting than a knitted coat to keep the tea warm?
Tea cosies come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. There’s felted ones and striped ones and completely mad ones with feathers. Cables are good, because they act like ribbing to hug the pot. Easy to put on is good too, so buttons make sense. So the Little Cupcake Tea Cosy (Rav link) has both.
Why, you ask, the lemon? One reason is that this Ravelry pattern was just too tempting. The other is that it’s Shrove Tuesday, when lemon-and-sugary pancakes issue stickily from kitchens all over the country.
You don’t have to have lemon on your pancakes, of course. Some favour orange, and there’s a vocal and persuasive Nutella lobby. We’re not going to make any suggestions for the flavour, but here’s a pancake recipe that’s a little unusual. Apologies for the lack of metric quantities, but this is from family archives.
4oz sifted flour
2 eggs, separated
pinch of salt
generous half pint of milk
Â½ teaspoon sugar
Combine flour, salt, egg yolks and one third of the milk, stirring until smooth. Gradually add the rest of milk to make a batter the consistency of heavy, sweet cream. Beat egg whites stiff but not dry, and fold into batter. Stir again before the making of each pancake.
These should be baked one at a time on a very hot skillet. Grease with unsalted butter before baking each pancake. Pancake should be very thin. Brown the pancakes only lightly. If you’re keeping them warm for any length of time, an extra pancake over the dish of rolled ones will keep them moist until served. Remove the extra one before serving.
We make no claims as to how Austrian these really are, but they’re very good. Ah go on, go on….