I get it; this is a food and travel column, not a history lesson. But due to the amount of incessant, 24-hour news coverage afforded the recent death of Queen Elizabeth II by American media outlets, I have to mention a few things.
First, a 62-year-old pancake recipe from Buckingham Palace's kitchen resurfaced. Then came the scintillating tidbit that the queen enjoyed tiny jam “pennies,” or crustless sandwiches, every afternoon with tea. The backstory? She was fed the same snack in the nursery as a child. Wow! I can't believe I never knew this fact...sarcasm intended.
Food tidbits aside, here’s something else that almost everyone seems to have forgotten.
The pilgrims left England in 1620 on the Mayflower in search of a place to practice religious freedom, settling in what would become the United States. England then invaded America not once, but twice; first in the Revolutionary War, followed by the War of 1812. The British obviously had a hard time letting go, judging from the massive death and destruction they wrought on our fledgling nation.
But how soon we forget…judging, at least, from 10 days of non-stop news detailing every detail of the Queen’s long, drawn-out wake and funeral.
In case you haven’t guessed - I’m not an Anglophile. Sure, I admired the late Princess Diana for her humanitarian work, style and beauty and ability to relate to ordinary people, especially those who were suffering.
And Prince William’s dashing good looks, especially when in uniform or piloting a helicopter, always holds my attention. Most notably, his ability to create a seemingly-normal family with Kate and their children in spite of loads of royal family dysfunction is admirable.
But I haven’t really followed or admired the rest of them, including the new and somewhat lackluster King Charles. Seeing news coverage of the new king throwing tantrums over a cluttered desk and a leaking pen just hours after assuming the crown reinforced my belief that William needs to move to the head of the line.
But, to borrow an English term…enough grousing. I was somewhat intrigued when the pancake recipe Elizabeth presented to then-President Dwight Eisenhower in 1960 came to light. It was the most interesting thing that happened during the long, painful wait for her funeral to actually take place. According to the story, Elizabeth mentioned her love of pancakes, or “dropped scones,” during the Eisenhowers’ visit to England. She promised to give the president the recipe, doing so in a follow-up letter after their visit. The recipe in the accompanying photo was obviously typed by a staffer. However, the queen added a note at the bottom in her own handwriting that the recipe was “enough for 16 people.”
If you tackle the old-school recipe, take note of the fact that a “teacup,” equals approximately ¾ cup. Therefore, the recipe requires 3 cups of flour and 1-1/2 cups of milk.
I probably won’t get around to trying the recipe and not due to my lack of Anglophilia. My mornings tend to be a little rushed, so creating a labor-intensive breakfast like pancakes is something I rarely do.
However, I recently found that fresh-baked muffins in the mornings are attainable by dumping all ingredients in a blender, mixing together then simply pouring the batter into lined muffin tins.
Last, I’m tuning out all further news from across the pond…at least until King William takes the throne.
Easy & Healthy Breakfast Muffins
2 large eggs
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal (not quick cook)
2 ripe bananas
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a regular 12-cup muffin tin or large 6-cup tin with paper liners.
2. Pour or spoon all ingredients into a high-speed blender. Blend until all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
3. Pour batter directly from blender among the lined cups of the muffin tin. Bake for 17-20 minutes until muffin tops are slightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer the muffins to a wire rack.
Kara Kimbrough is a food and travel writer from Mississippi. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.