On my return home, I'd often find mum in the kitchen with her apron on preparing dinner. She would always have a bright smile and sparkling eyes and welcome me home with open arms. I loved those moments. It was so good to see mum and be home again. Some afternoons she'd be flipping pikelets which were perfect during the colder months. Simple, hot and comforting after coming inside with freezing cheeks and hands. The kitchen was the place to be. It was warm from the stove or oven and busy during afternoon tea time. Our kitchen was small but we were happy and surprisingly all wanted to be in there at the same time. Mum tells me how I would just tell story after story over afternoon tea, my mum and younger siblings listening in and laughing along.
I was reminded of pikelets by a fellow mum, when breastfeeding my son a few years ago -we were chatting about healthy afternoon tea options. I've made them twice this week and no matter how old you are, nothing beats a simple, hot pikelet! So simple you can enjoy them on their own or with strawberry jam and whipped cream as Margaret suggests. My daughter's reaction to pikelets is 'more peese mummy!'.
On our wedding registry we listed Margaret Fulton's Kitchen. My brother encouraged me. Every Australian home needs one of Margaret's books! She is a national treasure. I read that she buys her birthday cakes from Adriano Zumbo. His original shop is in her home suburb in Balmain, Sydney. I find this detail endearing.
Margaret's recipe is the recipe my mum used and there's no need to change it.
1 cup self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbspn sugar (I use caster)
1 cup milk (with a tspn white vinegar) or buttermilk
30g butter, melted
a little extra butter for cooking
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre. Beat the egg, add the milk and butter and mix well. Pour the egg mixture into the well and, using a wooden spoon, gradually draw in the flour until you have a smooth batter.
Heat a little butter in a girdle or a large heavy based frying pan. Test the mixture by dropping a tablespoon into the pan. If it doesn't drop easily the mixture may need more milk. Drop the batter by the tablespoon into the pan and cook pikelets over a medium heat until the bottoms are golden and the tops covered with bubbles. this should take just 1.5-2 minutes. Turn carefully and cook the other side. Remove and keep warm in a folded tea towel while you cook the rest of the batter, adding more butter to the pan if necessary. Serve warm with butter and honey or a good berry jam and a spoonful of whipped cream.
|"Wait for the bubbles", I hear my mum say when I make them :)|
|Golden and hot!|
|The perfect topping|