Cornish Splits, some very exciting news and a thank-you

In Cornwall, a cream tea was traditionally served with 'Cornish Splits' rather than scones. Cornish splits are little yeast-leavened bread rolls, they are split when still warm and first buttered, then spread with jam before topping it with a generous dollop of clotted cream. Sometimes Treacle would be used instead of jam, this combination goes by the name of a 'Thunder and lightning' and although I'm not a big fan of treacle straight from the tin, it tasted -and the name sounded- rather good!
The splits are only baked for a short while and when removed from the hot oven, the little warm splits are then piled up in a tea towel, rubbed with a little butter before being covered by another tea towel so they don't develop a crust.
I haven't found any earlier reference to a Cornish split than the receipt in on of my favourite books 'Good things in England' published in 1932 by Florence White, a delightful collection of 853 regional English recipes dating back as far as the 14th century. 

With findings of evidence at Tavistock Abbey in Devon it is believed that the tradition of eating bread with cream and jam existed in the 11th century. In Devon a similar bun is served with cream and jam, going traditionally by the name of a Devon Chudleigh as noted by Florence White and Elisabeth David Chudleighs are made the same manner as the Cornish split, only smaller. Devonians however tell me that the 'Devon split' -as it is called now- is in fact a lighter and more luxurious white bun rather than heavy scone-like bread as the Cornish version.
The Cornish split is a rare treat these days but as they are best eaten while still a little warm from the oven, you get the best split by baking them at home. 

I have another thing to share with you today, my beloved blog has been nominated for the Saveur Magazine 2013 Best Food Blog Award in the 'Best Regional Cuisine Blog' category.
I am still pinching myself, to be a finalist and especially to be selected by the judges in this respected international competition is a great honor. The other four blogs that are nominated have all been blogging quite a while longer than I have and are all gorgeous.

A farmers life for me.

I have a dream... I live in a limestone cottage in rural England that catches the golden color of the sun in its walls and I have a small rare breed pig farm. In my dream I would be getting up early in the morning, jump into my morning clothes, run down the stairs to turn on the fire and slip into my boots to head outside to bring the pigs their breakfast. On my return I will jump in the shower and then do some work on my blog and photography, just after lunch I would check on the pigs again and spend some time with them. Of course pens need to be cleaned and housework needs to be done, but I'm not getting hung up on the less enjoyable things. In the evening I will know that I have yet another day taken care of beautiful creatures, help them give birth, rub their bellies and keep them happy before delivering the best meat to feed a small number of people who respect the work that went into producing this meat. I would have shortened the food chain, I will have made a difference. That is what I want, I keep asking myself  'what am I doing to make things better' Sitting behind my desk designing and creating layouts isn't going to make a difference in the bigger picture of it all. I have the need to do more.

Mahatma Gandhi put my feeling into words perfectly “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

So a few weeks ago I went on a rare/native breed pig keeping course in West-Sussex, because you have to start somewhere ...

Middle Whites, one of the rarest British breeds.
It was a freezing day, my cloths as it appears aren't nearly warm enough to be running around on a farm all day. My pretty red wellies are too small for thick woolen socks or even a triple pair to keep my feet from turning into ice cubes.
Luckily I had a lot of excitement keeping me warm, the cold didn't bother me at all.

The day started by waking up the pigs and giving them their first feed, we walked up the field where the paddocks were divided by gender, breed and age. The pigs were eager to tuck in and it became instantly clear they have a pecking order, if you aren't careful to keep an eye out when you feed them, one pig would be very a very happy bunny and the others would go hungry. Every pig reacted to his or her name when called out, a lovely sight to behold and it shows how clever these animals are.