I've been taking it easy the last few days. I'm trying to save myself for thanksgiving. We're having a couple of friends over on Thursday and they will be helping make the sides. Today I'm making stuffing, pie crust and parkin (gingerbread).
It is interesting blending British winter traditions with American thanksgiving. They do seem to fit somehow. I'm adding parkin and my family's tradition of covering the turkey with bacon and sausage. The bacon and sausage add fat to the bird, they make the house smell great and they finish cooking really early so you get to eat them as you wait for everything else to cook.
The flare I had in my back has relented a little although I still feel twinges and I'm no longer eager to lift potting soil or move furniture for fear of a repeat performance. The turkey only weighs 11lbs so I think I'm in the clear lifting it. I treated myself to a new electric heating pad and a couple of boxes of thermacare 8 hour back warmer things. They look a little like a diaper when they stick about the waistband of your jeans, but the relief and mobility they offer is worth the fashion sacrifice!
I promised tntlamb the recipe for (gluten free) parkin. I can highly recommend this whether or not you are GF. It is a thick, dense gingerbread, and if you are willing to delay gratification this bread is best served after you've stored it in a tin for a few days--or even weeks. It just gets better and better... I can never wait.
Parkin is a tradition from the north of England. The ginger was imported into Liverpool. The cane sugar was imported and processed there too and turned into treacle (dark molasses) and golden syrup (I hope I'm not the only Brit with fond memories of syrup on toast as a kid). And the oats were likely from Scotland. A note on oats: as you know, oats are gluten free, but most oatmeal you buy isn't. For some reason in the process of making oatmeal the oats are often tossed in flour. Look for GF oats such as Bob's Red Mill. They say GF on the packet. These are usually whole oats and this recipe calls for medium. My solution--a food processor or blender. Just chop 'em up!
8oz GF medium oatmeal
4oz GF flour
7oz golden syrup (light-colored molasses)
1oz plus 1 teaspoon treacle (dark molasses)
4oz soft brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger (add more if you like a stronger flavor)
1 large beaten egg
1 tablespoon milk
Preheat oven to 275F
8" square cake tin (metal) lightly greased (or better yet, lined)
Weigh your saucepan then add the treacle and syrup into it. Add butter and sugar to saucepan and warm over gentle heat to melt butter--do NOT allow to boil.
Measure (and cut if necessary) oatmeal, flour, ginger, salt into a mixing bowl. Gradually stir in warm syrup mixture and mix until thoroughly blended.
Now add the beaten egg and milk. Pour into the greased/lined tin and bake in the center of the oven for 1hour 45 mins to 2 hours.
Cool the parkin in the tin for half an hour before turning out. The parkin might sink a little in the middle. Store in a tin for a week before eating (if you can)
Try with sharp (white) cheddar cheese (my grandpa liked it that way). I like it with pumpkin ice cream and salted caramel drizzled over. I also like it plain with a good strong cup of black tea.