One of those objects that never made the cut when we packed our cases and left Canada for England was my somewhat cracked rolling pin. Easily replaced.
Amazingly I made do without it for a couple of years. As the holiday approached I began to fret over its absence, but with all the snow the one my sweetheart sent for showed up in the post long after we’d resigned ourselves to using a bottle to roll out our holiday cookies. The cookery course has revived my interest in many recipes requiring a good pin. A friend gave us one of the rod types, without handles. I’m grateful for it, as it’s very useful for hammering cabbage for sauerkraut, encouraging crumbly things along, and generally bashing things up.
Gideon, our teacher for our day devoted to bread, recommended a large pin with handles for any vigorous rolling; he says your hands are protected from bruising and I quite agree. Thanks Gideon.
I now have an extremely serious and hefty roller, which I expect never, ever to crack, and used for the first time today. I had a little shortcrust pastry ready, and floured the wonderful spot in my kitchen that is my baking corner: a marble countertop, always cool to the touch and very smooth. I keep my scales there, a bowl of eggs, jars of flour. Rolling dough reminds me of my little grandmother, it seems to me that she was always doing this. My family once built her a low wooden counter dedicated to her baking. I shall have to try some of the old Finnish recipes now that I have my own dedicated spot.
Today I made another version of the savoury tart, this time with cheddar and chicken, for my mild children. It was popular.
Some of the other River Cottage folks were kind enough to tell me their best tried & true objects, I’ll share them next week.