One of our weekend family favourites, especially in the winter months, is Yorkshire Pudding. There is a light, crisp warmth to it that, if food could speak, would say, family. Not just my family, but many families. Partly, I think, because it is a shared dish, but partly because there is something synonymous with the anticipation of sitting around the table awaiting Sunday dinner, invariably the one meal of the week when people still do sit round a table to eat.
Referring to, once again, my touchstone of food history, The Food Timeline, the phrase that catches my attention the most, is the following, as it describes the first known mention of Yorkshire Pudding:
In 1737 the recipe for ‘A dripping pudding’ was published in The Whole Duty of a Woman.
As I’m reading it, I begin to wonder, were there prequels to such a book? Perhaps, ‘The Occasional Duty of a Woman’ or ‘Can’t be Arsed Jobs of a Woman’ don’t, I suppose, have the grand sweeping statement which encapsulates in one title, just exactly where womankind was placed in the pecking order of life.
We’ll never know. They were probably all burnt at the stake with the women who dared to look at life differently.
*Steps down from miniature soap box*
Cracking on. My favourite recipe for said pudding is by Delia Smith, mainly because it never, and I mean never, tastes rubbish. And I say this with experience of many a Yorkshire Pudding I have made looking as though it fought two battles to get there.
The magic ingredient though, is not whether you use dripping, lard or vegetable oil, but how hot it gets before you pour in the batter mix. If it isn’t smoking, it’s not hot enough.
The ingredients for a large pudding are as follows:
150g Plain Flour, 150ml Semi-skimmed milk, 110ml Water, 2 large eggs, salt and pepper.
And don’t make the mistake of thinking that adding more milk and less water will make it more luxurious. You need the balance of water and milk to keep it light.
Whisk all ingredients together until smooth and pour into your piping hot oil.
Now then, here’s a wee tip: did you know you can keep the oil hot by placing the dish over a turned on hob ring, or two? No, neither did I until recently, and to be honest I still often forget this little trick until I’ve put the pudding back in the oven, but hey ho, you can’t have everything.
My beautiful man’s grandma used to put onion in the bottom of the pan with the oil whilst it was heating, before adding the Yorkshire Pudding mixture. That’s delicious, especially with gravy. And here’s another thing to tickle your fancy, were you aware that Yorkshire Pudding was often served before the main meal in order to fill everyone up so they didn’t need as much meat? I know, a fount of information, that’s me…
Anyway, onto other things. This week the wee boy and I were driving home one night when he said:
Mummy, guess where Poppy (his friend) lives?
Me: I don’t know darling, where does she live?
W.B: In the future…
Me: And where do you live darling?
W.B: (Indignantly) In a house, with you and daddy, etc, etc…