The Jealous Crumpet

A sweet little blog


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Frushi {Fruit + Sushi}

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I was 16 years old the first time I ate sushi. My friend Mandy had a car and with our new-found freedom we did what any rebellious teenagers would do and started experimenting with eating new foods.  I know, super hardcore.  Each weekend we would eat at a different restaurant and one weekend we found ourselves at Bubba’s Sushi Bar.  I have doubts about its authenticity (it was called Bubba’s), but it was Alabama and we had limited options.

We confidently told the waitress that we were here to eat sushi, but that confidence quickly dwindled when the waitress brought us a long list of sushi options and a little red pencil to place our order.  The list was overwhelming with words like and we were confused about how the portion sizes, surely it wasn’t $3.25 for 1 tiny roll.  We muddled through the order, selecting a couple of options that seemed safe.  We tried to watch other people to see how the whole sushi experience worked, but no one in our vicinity seemed to be eating sushi.  Despite being a “sushi bar” Bubba’s also sold burgers and barbecue, which was much more palatable to the North Alabama population.feature2

When our sushi arrived we realized we were out of our element and had no idea how to eat it.  There were all these neatly wrapped rolls, which we expected, but there was also thin, pink slices of some foreign.. vegetable.. maybe a fruit, a strange, green dollop of something, and an inexplicable, tiny, empty bowl.  Mandy and I re-consulted the menu, trying to decipher the various elements and figure out how to eat it.  We decided that the green blob MUST be avocado, like a guacamole for your roll.  I thankfully only tasted a little, but for anyone that has ever gotten a little heavy-handed with the wasabi a little can go a long way.

“That’s NOT avocado,” I choked, as the tears filled my eyes and my sinuses sprang open.Untitled-1

 

 

We finally admitted defeat and asked the waitress how to eat sushi.  She kindly explained each element, and showed us how to mix the soy sauce (THAT’S what the little bowl is for).  Now I eat sushi all the time and it seems ridiculous that I didn’t know how to eat it then.feature4

 

Here is a very lovely recipe for dessert sushi, frushi.  It’s a nice, fresh dessert, perfect for the spring.  The rice has cocoanut milk and is lightly sweetened.  I found it delicious just on its own.  Recipe Below.feature3

 

Fruit Sushi

1 cup uncooked sushi or other short-grain rice

1/3 cup sugar

¼ cup coconut milk

¼ teaspoon salt

Thinly sliced fresh fruit (suggested: kiwi, pineapple, strawberries, blackberries)

¾ cup plain yogurt

2 tablespoons honey

 

1. Bring 1 ¼ cups water and rice to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until water is almost absorbed. Remove from heat; let stand, covered, 15 minutes.

2. Place rice in a large bowl; add sugar, coconut milk, and salt. Cover and let stand 20 minutes.

3. Divide rice into 20 equal portions; shape each portion into an oval. Top with fruit. In a small bowl, stir together yogurt and honey. Serve as a dipping sauce with the sushi.

Can be made ahead. Just cover and chill until ready to serve.feature5

As always enjoy and bon appétit!

 


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RED: Red Velvet Cake Recipe with an Arthropod Twist

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Red Velvet Cake

Cake:

2 ½ cups cake flour

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoons cocoa powder

1 ½ cups vegetable oil

1 cup buttermilk

2 large eggs

1 (1 ounce) bottle red food coloring

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting:

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

4 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Heat oven to 350F. Line the bottom of 3 (8 inch) round baking pans with cooking parchment paper or grease and flour the pans. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. (cake will also slightly pull away from sides of pan. This is a very moist cake so it will not be totally dry when pressed with a finger. My time of 15-20 min is a guess so you may need to check and change it!)

3. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. (this is important. Cakes will be soggy and difficult to remove if they are allowed to completely cool in the pans. However, if you try to remove them from the pans right out of the oven they are more likely to stick to the pan)

4. To make the frosting, beat cream cheese and butter with a mixer on medium speed 1 minute or until creamy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in vanilla. (sometimes I turn the mixer up to high and beat for a minute or two to get out powdered sugar lumps). Use frosting between layers and to frost the outside of the cake. Store, covered, in the refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature at least 1 hour before serving.

To read about Red Food Dyes Click Here!

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More Mushy Peas Please!

Mushy Peas

Mushy Peas

I’ve always been fascinated with British cuisine, as you may have guessed from the title of my blog.

It started as a child.  I loved English fiction, especially the Secret Garden, Oliver Twist, and anything by Roald Dahl.  I loved these books so much that at 8 my life goal was to be an impoverished, English orphan.  Unfortunately for me, I was a middle-class, american child with two living parents.  My mother was quite disturbed when I told her I wanted to be an orphan.

But other than concerning my mother, English literature left me with a fascination of the dishes described in these books. I had no idea what trifles, crumpets, or custards were, but they sounded amazing.  And throughout my life, I have continued to be intrigued with British cuisine despite its stereotypical bad reputation.

In an attempt to separate fact from fiction of English cuisine, I decided to taste test popular British dish, mushy peas (mashed peas, often canned).

Batchelor's Mushy

The green splat on the can gave me flash backs to Nickelodeon in the 1990s.

According the BBC’s recipe website mushy peas are a quintessential British dish, often served with pies and roasts. They are made of marrowfat peas, which is a large pea that is harvested after it has dried out on the vine.  The dried peas are then ground up, rehydrated, seasoned, colored green (otherwise they would be a grayish color) and canned.  You can also enjoy marrowfat peas as the main ingredient in the Asian snack wasabi peas.

In order to have the quintessential British experience, I purchased a can of Bachelor’s brand peas called “Mushy Original”.  I don’t know if “original” means the flavor and there are other flavors like cool ranch OR if “Mushy” is the original brand of mushy pea’s and everything else is a substitute.  Like Dr. Thunder, as oppose to the original Dr. Pepper.

I read instructions on the can and immediately ran into an issue.  The instructions said to cook the peas on a “hob”.  A quick dictionary check revealed that a hob is “a projection or shelf at the back or side of a fireplace, used for keeping food warm”… I definitely don’t have one of those.  Do all British homes have this?!?  Eventually, I found a British-English to American-English translator and discovered a hob can also be a stove top, which I do have.

I poured the contents of the can into a small pan and slowly warmed it on my ‘hob’ as instructed.  I didn’t have a roast or pie to eat the peas with, but I figured I could at least get an idea.

mushonhob

Mushy on the hob. I think that is the most British thing I have ever typed.

My first spoonful tasted exactly as you would have imagine warm, mushy peas from a can to taste like.  I didn’t hate them, and I could almost see if you had grown-up with mushy peas how they could be a comfort food, being warm and mushy like mashed potatoes, but they were a bit hard to enjoy.  I think this was because they were warm, season-less peas out a can and really how could that be a good thing.

I’m going to give them a 4 out of 10, mostly because they were really easy to make.

I think I’ll taste test a dessert (pudding) next.  Maybe a trifle.

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Disclaimer-The surrounding peas in this picture are snap peas, not marrowfat peas, but marrowfat peas are not very pretty, so I cheated. Welcome to the world of food photography.

I purchased my mushy peas at the local grocery story in the international section, but you can also find them on amazon.

If you need more mushy goodness, check out this 1994 advert for Batchelor’s Mushy.