Thursday, January 20, 2011

Griddle Cakes,Continued.

This brief story comes to you from flood-damaged Brisbane. My home (which stayed dry) is still without power. I am, however, indisputably one of the lucky ones. I am staying with family for the duration, and working outside of my familiar home office and references, so my stories may be shorter than usual for a little longer.

It may be hard to believe, but the griddle cake story is far from over. I give you a nineteenth recipe from Australia which uses an unequivocally ‘American’ ingredient.

From The Queenslander (Brisbane) of February 7, 1880, I give you a recipe for ‘Umbiram’ cakes. Umbiram is a small town in SE Queensland, not far from Toowoomba on the Darling Downs. Toowoomba suffered badly in the recent flooding, with what has been called ‘an inland tsunami’ sweeping the main street and continuing down through the Lockyer valley, leaving devastation and death in its wake.

Umbiram Cakes.
EIGHT tablespoonfuls of maize meal, two of sugar, half a tablespoonful of butter, half a tea- spoonful of cinnamon, half a cup of milk, two eggs, a little soda. Mix together and drop into a frying-pan of hot dripping, and bake a nice brown on both sides. These cakes to be tried on any child that does not like Indian meal.

Quotation for the Day.
Even when freshly washed and relieved of all obvious confections, children tend to be sticky.
Fran Lebowitz


Les said...

I'm confused. Is maize meal the same thing as corn meal or is it flour made from sorghum? In the U.S. we call sorghum maize and zea mays is corn. I'm guessing Indian meal is corn meal?

Hope you get your electricity back soon. It took months before some people got their power back in Galveston. It took two years before some of my friends could move back into their houses since everything had to be gutted and rebuilt in the brick shell.

Les said...

Have you checked your apartment yet? If you can try to go back in and make sure water has not gotten in around the windows and vents. The apartment will be very hot since there is no air conditioning making perfect mold growing conditions. Mold is a problem for people living in upper floor apartments if the lower floors or basement floods since water will wick up the sheetrock walls, wood frames and insulation into the next floor up depending on the type of material the building is made of. Remove any clothing or articles that could mold that are valuable to you until you are certain the electricity is back on.

The Old Foodie said...

Hi Les, I am very lucky. No water got into any of the apartments, even those on the ground floor. The garage was pretty well filled up but is dry now.I have been able to get into it since 24 hours after the flood peak. I go each day and open it up - it is very bright and breezy and it is hot and sunny here at present. I can't wait to move back in !!

SharleneT said...

I am so glad you are with family and that your home is dry. This has to be such a trying time for all of you. I've posted the access information for help on my blog and hope everyone will do their part. Take care of yourself and do check for mold...

The Old Foodie said...

Hi Les: maize meal in this context is definitely zea maize, not sorghum.
I am hoping the power will be returned today, but fear it may not be until early next week. In the meanwhile I am safe and dry with family, who dont seem to be tired of me yet!
My apartment is fine - only the garage was flooded and the building is quite dry now.