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Passport & Plate Application: Mother's Yorkshire Pudding

Passport & Plate - Yorkshire Pudding

United Kingdom | Saturday, 7 March 2015 | 5 photos

½ pint milk & water mixed (2/3 milk & 1/3 water)
2 eggs
½ tsp salt
1 cup flour

How to prepare this recipe:
Blend the milk, water, eggs and salt in a blender. Add the flour. Blend for 30 seconds. Refrigerate for one hour. Grease one large tin or muffin tin with drippings from the roast beef. Bake at 350° for twenty minutes.

The story behind this recipe:
Like many Americans, my heritage feels vague. Predominantly English, the only thing that keeps me interested in my lineage is a desire to be interested-- and my mother’s Yorkshire Pudding. In a family with few traditions, Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding on Christmas Day are it. As a child, the only thing that matched the thrill of opening gifts in the morning, was the promise of pudding at dinner. Its mythical status was embedded in our family lore. I bragged to my friends, unable to adequately describe it-- a pudding that isn’t sweet, but savory and buttery rich, with a crispy dome on top, yet delicate and light inside. You just have to try it, I’d say. So when I decided to remove all animal products from my diet--out of concern for my health, the environment, and animal welfare--the loss of Yorkshire Pudding was not insignificant. I felt like I was sacrificing the one thing that kept me English. But to me it embodied everything I worried about-- nutritiously empty unsustainable ingredients from cruelly treated animals. Giving it up seemed like the “right” thing to do. Six years later, I’ve come to think it’s not what you eat, but how you eat that matters. It’s about cultivating a conscientious relationship with food. And it turns out I might have been wrong about Yorkshire Pudding. Recent science suggests that organic, unprocessed animal products are not only healthy, but provide essential fat that help digest vital nutrients. And when I investigated the history of Yorkshire Pudding I learned it was created in order to use the fat drippings from the beef, thus not wasting any part of the animal. Though it tastes decadent, it was peasant fare in the 18th century (a time, needless to say, before factory farming). Conscientious consumption is part of its cultural significance. Therefore, if made with organic, sustainable, local ingredients as I’ve done here, Yorkshire Pudding is actually a profound--and delicious--way to remember my heritage and practice my values.

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