Recipes Inspired by Musicals: My Fair Lady

Sunday, October 28, 2012



We live about a two-hour drive from Stratford, Ontario, which hosts the Stratford Theatre Festival every year from May to November.  They put on some terrific shows, and my girlfriends and I go once a year to take in a Shakespearean play.  I often go with my family, too, starting the year my youngest daughter was six.  And our family tradition has been to see a musical.

The first show we took the girls to was My Fair Lady.  I’ve been fond of My Fair Lady since my grade five class performed some of the songs in a massed choir performance called “Maytime Melodies”.  I’m not sure why they thought it would be a good idea to have a bunch of ten-year-olds singing lyrics like this:

“The Lord above gave man an arm of iron
So he could do his job and never shirk.
The Lord above gave man an arm of iron, but
With a little bit of luck
With a little bit of luck
Someone else’ll do the blinkin’ work.”

So why did Andrew and I decide to take the girls to this show as their first musical?  The music, as written by the talented team of Lerner and Loewe, really is wonderful.  If you prefer romantic songs, you’ll love “I Could Have Danced All Night” and (sigh) “On the Street Where you Live”.  If you like livelier music, there’s “You Did It” and “Get me to the Church on Time”.  And the aforementioned “With a Little Bit of Luck”.

The other reason we had to see the show was the cast.  Playing Eliza Doolittle was Cynthia Dale, stage performer and erstwhile star of Street Legal.  (Only my Canadian friends will know that reference, but it’s a good one.)  And playing Henry Higgins was Colm Feore, one of the great Canadian actors.  His performance completely defined the misogynistic Higgins for me.


Late in the show, Eliza thinks about life without Higgins and realizes she can live on her own.  She sings,

“There’ll be spring every year without you.
England still will be here without you.
There’ll be fruit on the tree
And a shore by the sea
There’ll be crumpets and tea without you.”

I can’t think of a more traditionally British meal than crumpets and tea.  I found this recipe on the King Arthur Flour website, and we loved these delicious crumpets for breakfast.  I halved the recipe, because I couldn’t imagine the need for 20 crumpets, but you can find the entire recipe on the link below.  Mine didn’t develop as many air holes as theirs, and they were slightly thicker because I used a 3” ring mold rather than a 3 3/4” English muffin ring.  Regardless, they were great.  Try these, and you too will be wondering if the Rain in Spain stays mainly in the Plain.

Crumpets
(adapted from the King Arthur Flour website)

Ingredients:

3/4 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
1 Tbsp melted butter
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and beat vigorously for 2 minutes.

Cover the bowl, and let the batter rest at room temperature for 1 hour.  It will expand and become bubbly.  Toward the end of the rest, preheat a frying pan or griddle to medium heat.

Lightly grease the frying pan, and place well-greased 3” ring mold (or 3 3/4” English muffin mold) in the pan.  Pour sticky batter by the scant 1/4-cupful into each ring.

After about 4 minutes, use a pair of tongs to slip the rings off.  Cook the crumpets for an additional 6 minutes on the first side, until their tops are riddled with small bubbles/holes.  They should be starting to look a bit dry around the edges.

Turn over and cook for an additional 5 minutes, to finish cooking the insides and to brown the tops gently.

Remove from the pan, and repeat with the remaining batter, until all the crumpets are cooked.  Serve warm, with butter, or butter and jam.  If you prefer, cool completely, wrap in plastic and store at room temperature.  To enjoy, warm in the toaster.

Yield: about 10 crumpets.

32 comments:

Barbara said...

Perfect food choice for My Fair Lady, Beth. And a great choice for kids experiencing their first musical. I've not heard of the actors in this particular version, but if you enjoyed the show, that's all that counts.

Gloria said...

I love My fair Lady one of my fsvorite musical and love this recipe!

Carol said...

One of my all-time favorite musicals! The crumpets look wonderful.

Valerie said...

I love crumpets and I adore My Fair Lady! Definitely bookmarking this recipe!


I'd certainly miss the rain if it stayed mainly in the plain of Spain. ;)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Awesome you go with your friends once a year to see a play. I love My Fair Lady and the recipe sounds yummy.

Lizzy Do said...

My Fair Lady was the first musical I saw with my parents and sisters...such memories! I've never made crumpets, but I'd love to give them a shot. Hope you've had a wonderful weekend, Beth :)

bakewithjill.com said...

I've only had store-bought crumpets, and I bet they can't compare to homemade! These sound easy and delicious.

Belinda said...

Adore the movie and adore crumpets...those are what I call nooks & crannies!

The Golden Eagle said...

I've never had crumpets. These sound really good!

Guru Uru said...

Love both the movie and these crumpets would be perfect with it :D

Cheers
CCU

Bonnie said...

I have never thought to make crumpets? I do enjoy playing with yeast. I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

Food Gal said...

I love crumpets, especially with plenty of homemade jam and rich clotted cream. Mmmm!

yummychunklet said...

Very My Fair Lady-esque!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Those crumpets look different to the ones I'm due to. I do love crumpets. I think I'll have to get some (I'm too lazy to make them). :D

I saw My Fair Lady at a dinner theater a few years ago. I loved it.

Kitchen Riffs said...

My Fair Lady is one of the all time best musicals - really excellent. I probably have seen it live at least a half dozen times, probably more. And now, every time I have a crumpet - not all that frequently, I admit! - I'll think of this musical! Really excellent recipe to honor it. And the recipe itself looks really good. Thanks so much.

aplatefulofhappiness said...

Beth, Thanks for stopping by my blog. Coincidentally, we have nearly the same name. My name is Betsy, same last name as you, but spelled with an A. I love your museum and musical theme. My Fair Lady is an old favorite.

Jess said...

Oh fun! As the weather gets colder, a tea and crumpet party could be just the thing! I can't believe it, but I've never actually seen My Fair Lady in any form...must amend that soon :)

Jenn Kendall said...

i've never made crumpets, but now I'm itching to try! these look fantastic!

Julie said...

Wow homemade crumpets, you're amazing!!! I have such fond memories of My Fair Lady, I was 7 when it came out. I went with a friend to the country club for her birthday dinner and then to the theater downtown for the movie. (My parents didn't belong to the country club, so this was a big deal). To this day it's one of my favorite movies.

amy (fearless homemaker) said...

I used to eat crumpets growing up (with butter or jam) but haven't had one in probably 15 years. i've been thinking of making homemade ones + this was just the reminder i needed - thank you!

Katerina said...

Another one musical I simply adore. Audrey Hepburn was so beautiful and fragile and Rex Harrison had this British sense of humor and mentality and the song "I could have danced all night" was so beautiful. I have never eaten crumpets but they look super delicious!

Jemi Fraser said...

I always wondered what crumpets were. They sound yummy - I'll have to try them one day :)

Patty said...

We used to have a tea shop in our town that made crumpets (they were so good baked fresh) but unfortunately they went out of business but I remember watching them bake the crumpets and thinking I wanted to try it at home. Your crumpets look delicious, now you've inspired me again;-)

Joanne said...

I LOVE My Fair Lady! The music is eternally catchy. And crumpets? CLASSIC.

Angie's Recipes said...

I have always want to make crumpets! it looks delish with jam.

grace said...

what a terrific family tradition and what a great way to introduce your kids to musicals! while i haven't ever eaten a crumpet (and while clotted cream will never not sound gross to me...), these look really appetizing!

Claire Davis said...

I love the movie My Fair Lady. Audrey is my fave! I have never made crumpets before, how cool.

artofnaturalliving.com said...

What a nice family tradition! And I'll have to ask my daughter if she ever had crumpets during her junior year abroad...

Cucina49 said...

Your crumpets look so much better than the ones I made earlier this year! And your musicals series is so much fun--"My Fair Lady" has wonderful music, but it really requires great performers. How envious am I that you live so close to Stratford?

Spicie Foodie said...

Oh how perfect! I might have to bake some tomorrow:)

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

Beth, this is the first blog post that I have ever come across that features Crumpets, oh the lovely Crumpets, I adore eating them toasted with butter dripping down my fingers - I have no idea why it never occurred to me to bake them myself. Thanks for the recipe! And My Fair Lady was the very favorite musical of one of my very best girlfriends and it is indeed wonderful! Wonderful post!

Have a nice weekend!

Beth said...

Thanks, Andrea! I was surprised at how easy they were, and how delicious the finished product was! My family loved them too as a breakfast treat. I would definitely make them again.

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