Thursday, July 3

The First....

This morning, I decided to treat myself to poached eggs on Crumpets. I really like poached eggs, & hardly ever have them. I do enjoy crumpets, preferrable to bread or toast, somehow.

Not liking butter, I use margarine, but I rarely have Crumpets as a sweet treat.




As I enjoyed my breakfast, I was reminded of the "magic" first time I ever had Crumpets.
I would have been perhaps 5 or 6. My mother took me with her, on a trip to our nearest City, to do some shopping. She promised me a 'special Treat'. It was to be a 'surprise'.

Of course I was so excited, I could barely contain myself. Having learnt that nagging or persistant questions tended to dull the promised delight, I carefully kept quiet.

To set the scene, you must remember that this was post War New Zealand. (WW2). New Zealand was a small country, on the 'bottom' of the world. The 'Treats' were few & far between, & very plain fare was the order of the day. I suppose the Americans may have introduced new ideas (ketchup??) & new foods to the country, as they were stationed in New Zealand periodically, the war having progressed to the South Pacific Region, with the involvement of America, through the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbour.

My mother says I owe my life to an American Serviceman, who caught my very pregnant mother, as she fell, on a steep set of steps, leading up to the Central Post Office, in Auckland. She felt forever grateful, & was sure, that, had she fallen, I would have been no more!

Here I digress. Back to Crumpets- & not the American version either!

Having completed shopping requirements, my mother declared we were going to have lunch. It was a cold day, with cold winds off the harbour. A small Cafe, facing the Harbour. We entered the warm Cafe, steamy windows attesting the cold outside temperatures. Seated at a small table. My mother ordering Crumpets & Honey. A pot of tea for her, a 'Soft drink' for me. I have forgotten what the drink was, probably orange. Fizzy Orange. Or 'Creaming Soda', perhaps an American addition, to the bottled, aerated drink selection.

What, I wondered, were "Crumpets"? I had never heard of them.

When they arrived I looked in astonishment at the round shapes, full of holes! Glistening with butter, & the Honey, fallen through the holes.

But,- Oh! the blissful magic of that first taste!! It will never leave my memory. I had never before encountered such a lovely, exotic, strange, unusual, thing! The holes, perfect for soaking the honey! The wonderful light texture! Surely a magic gift!

Today, when I eat Crumpets, I tend to like them savoury, such as with poached eggs. Or Baked Beans. Or Eggs & Bacon.

Every time I see them though, I am transported back, to my first taste of Crumpets, with the magic!! I can never recapture that first bliss, but I can still recall the memory of the bliss!

**********

The posting of the gift quilts is accomplished. Now I have to wait to hear of their arrival.

I am working on another gift quilt.

My Son sent me a link to a discourse on possession as a 'habit'. Or a state of being. It discusses the idea of an article 'being', as opposed to an article as 'being mine'. It discusses the idea of monkeys & possession. If something is gifted, it becomes the property of the 'owner'. If it is not gifted, it remains the property of the maker, or previous or original owner.

I have often pondered this, as I have made various items I have, & various items I have made, knowing I am gifting them. I don't feel any sense of 'mourning' or 'loss' if I have specifically made those articles for giving.

Is this confusing? Gom just came racing in, read some of the text, & told me it is 'crap', to use one of his technical terms, haha!

Does anyone else know what I mean? I feel quite detached to an item I have decided to make as a gift, whereas, if I make it for me, I feel very attached. Mind you, some things I make, to give away, I find I feel very attached to, in spite of knowing that item will be a gift!

Roy Orbison, Blue Bayou.



25 comments:

rhubarbwhine said...

I still love crumpets with honey. I don't have them rgularly either, maybe once a year? But for me, it's case of having some crumpet with the butter and honey, I go a bit overboard... :)

Knot Garden said...

Your post brings back memories of crumpets my brother and I used to sometimes have at home when we we little. They were an occasional treat and we had ours with butter.

I can't help feeling attached to everything I make, including items intended for gifts. I think it's something about all the thought and planning that goes into making something for a specific person. For me it all adds up to emotional investment.

The Sagittarian said...

My kids love crumpets too, with honey (older daughter) and with golden syrup (younger daughter). I've never thought of having them with eggs...but might give it a go this weekend!

Pauline said...

I never had a crumpet until I visited England. The ones we get here in the US are not the same...

I know what you mean about not getting really attached to something you're gifting; I also know the desire to keep some of those things! If I make it on purpose to give, whatever it is seems already gone in my mind. If I make it because it is beautiful and satisfying to make and THEN decide to gift it, I'm already attached!

Reluctant Blogger said...

Oh boy did you make me feel hungry. I too love crumpets and yes with egg and bacon is the best. I am craving some now. do I go out to the shop and buy some or do I beat the craving?

The gift thing is interesting. I get quite cross when people still feel ownership of things have have given you. I remember a friend giving me a book. I read it and enjoyed it and then passed it on to another friend. The first friend was aggrieved about this which seemed a little unreasonable. My MIL used to trail around the house checking up on all the gifts she had bestowed upon us and woe and betide if any were missing or broken - then there would be trouble!!!

But yes, I think I would feel as you - if you know it is a gift you see it as given away from the very start and do not get attached to it.

Joyce said...

For me it depends who is getting the gift. If it's family I still feel that I am close to the item. It also depends on how many mistakes and re-doing there was. If I had problems making it, I'm usually glad to see it go even if it's really nice. I just recall the frustration, esp with clothes.

Bren said...

The crumpet story is one for your book. I have never had a crumpet, but felt as though I shared your first one with you! Even the "quiet" anticipation of it. You are really a gifted writer, Meggie.
As for giving away quilts, I have a hard time keeping them....I make one intended for me and if someone likes it, I give it to them. The knowledge of someone wrapped in something I made is so wonderful. Better than the visual of the quilt, in fact.

Tanya said...

Do you know, I have no idea what a crumpet is! After reading your post it makes me feel like I've missed out on something special in life! I'll put that on my list of things to do in my lifetime!

Stomper Girl said...

Oh I LOVE crumpets. My calorie-informed friends tell me they are 97% fat-free, but not the way I eat them - slathered in butter and jam, honey or sometimes vegemite. Yum!

Kellie said...

Oh crumpets! Yummy! I eat mine with vegimite & margarine.
I know exactly what you mean re. things that you know you are going to give away, somehow they belong to the intended before the making begins.

Ian Lidster said...

The first time I had crumpets was at Vancouver's Stanley Park Pavillion with my very English grandmother. I thought they were wonderful. I still do and still buy them on occasion, and always think of her when I do. In fact, I think I'll buy some today. Thank you for the reminder.

Thimbleanna said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean about possessions and making them for gifts Meggie and you're description is just how I feel. Loved your discussion of crumpets. I've heard of them a lot but never seen or eaten one as we don't have them here. Now I want one LOL!

ancient one said...

I have never had a crumpet, that I know of. When I worked in a factory, a woman from England trained me and brought something that resembled a biscuit to me... but I thought she called it an English muffin... wonder if that could be a crumpet? Probably not, as I didn't get the satisfaction that you did from your first bite of the crumpet...??

Yes, I understood your explanation of the gift and the attachment to it...

I remember my mom saying something about a present I was going to give to my aunt...(implying that she wouldn't treasure it)... and I replied, once I give someone something it is theirs to do with as they will...it doesn't matter to me... And my cousin once told me... Just because I make you something, I don't expect you to have to display it forever...(but I'm more sentimental than that... even if its not on display it is in this house somewhere.. LOL)

Molly said...

I wonder if your crumpets are the same as our English Muffins?
I become very attached to things I make, but I'm usually making it for someone I love, and knowing the pleasure they'll get from it gives me even more pleasure--does that make any sense??

Tanya Brown said...

I read this post, went to the library for a bit, and now I'm back. During my drive, I passed a coffee place advertising immense tankards of a candy-ice cream drink concoction. After mentally chewing over your post, it hit me wrong: that sort of thing isn't food. It should be an occasional treat, taken sparingly and appreciated fully. What on earth would Meggie think?

Your ability to fully appreciate the miracle of a simple crumpet adorned with egg is a blessing, an admirable one at that.

bluemountainsmary said...

Oh my - I have read this post before breakfast and am starving now! Your skill with words had me salivating.

I believe I feel the same as you about gifts and do not agree with GOM at all !!!!!

Linds said...

Crumpets abound here. Well, they would. This is England. I have never really loved them though. I will have to try them with eggs!

I love giving things away and have no problem of "ownership" at all. If someone loves something I have made, that is enough. If I am making something as a gift, there is a lot of mental energy going into it too - I think a great deal about who it is for when I am hand quilting, or stitching. I call it sewing in the love with the stitches. It is a gift. They can do what they want with it once it is theirs!

Have a great weekend, Meggie!

Ali Honey said...

Crumpets were a part of my NZ childhood too Meg. I don't have them now but not ever having tried them with poached egg - just might tempt me.

I loved Creaming Soda!

I think when I know I am making a gift, I keep reminding myself it is not for me and so don't become emotionally attached to it - a bit like minding someone else's pet; you know you have to give it back, even if you like it.
Putting a label on a quilt or similar with the maker's name, suggests some sort of link to the item if given away.

Ali Honey said...

More thoughts on that. When we write a letter or an author writes a book or an artist paints a picture etc; it is that persons' creation even if owned by someone else or bought by many others. ( It is giving of yourself to others. ) We all do it all the time!

Jorja's Nanna said...

I love crumpets also. But can't bear to eat margarine. I have to have real butter (and not the spread from the fridge variety either) My grandmother used to buy them for afternoon tea in the winter. We would sit by the fire and toast them on a very long handled fork. No taste in the world like crumpets toasted on an open fire.

Lucy said...

My mum had a story of when she was little she asked for crumpets, her mum sent her to the shop but the snooty lady there said 'Crumpets are off the tarif in summer!'. And for a long time you could only get them in winter. With poached eggs is just fab. 'English' muffins are excellent too, but not the same - no holes!

Tom gave a wooden model boat he started and never finished to some friends' children; now it's in their toy box, has been in the bath and is generally used as a toy, which I think is fine, but he was a little miffed when he saw it rattling around apparently uncherished. I told him you can't be like that when you've given something, and anyway I think it's better things are used than kept too precious...

Kitty said...

Crumpets remind me of my grandma - she always cooked them for tea when my brother and I went there on a Saturday. Ahhhh, happy memories! x

Rosie said...

can you eat crumpets without butter? I thought thats what they were for...to stuff trhe holes with butter and then eat them before it all leaks out onto your hand

Working mum said...

Now you've made me want crumpets and there aren't any in the house! Toasted, buttered and cut in half remind me of Sunday tea when I was little.

Fairlie said...

My youngest duaghter has just discovered the delight of crumpets - although she calls them crumplets.