Thursday, 29 October 2015

A Mermaid Legends How-To: Make Nana's Seaweed Buns

 As some of you will know, I recently spent a year blogging about the making the yummy food within classic children's stories.

Now, a brand new story for children has been published, with my illustrations in. Estella and the Falling Star. And I couldn't resist trying to make the seaweed buns that young mermaid Merina enjoys eating at her Nana's house. 

The book describes them as seaweed buns, and I had to draw Nana carrying a plateful of them. I pictured them as a bit like scones. A nice soft doughy bun that I could imagine Nana patting out roughly, rather than rolling the dough and using a cutter.

For the dough, I use my favourite scone recipe, shared with me by a friend whose scones I  have admired and enjoyed at many lovely teatimes. I've added seaweed, cheese, herbs and spcies. Feel free to use your own scone recipe and tweak the extras if you like. 


8oz self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder 
1 1/2 oz soft butter
1/4 pint milk (you may not use all of this)
pepper (to your taste)
pinch salt
pinch or two or paprika
pinch of cayenne papper
big handful or two grated cheese (I used Parmesan, but cheddar will be fine.)
a generous sprinkling of dried oregano
a pinch of dried thyme
A big handful of seaweed (Make sure it's edible. I bought a packet of dried seaweed on ebay, because my supermarket was out of stock. Put it in a bowl of water for a few minutes until soft. Then squeeze out the water and use scissors to snip into little pieces.)

Place flour and baking powder in bowl.
Add butter and rub in to make a breadcrumb texture. Then add all the extras - salt and pepper, oregano, thyme, cheese and seaweed. Gradually add milk to make soft dough.

Squidge into a ball, without squeezing it too tight or handling it too long. Chuck onto lightly floured surface. Pull off evenly sized lumps, about the size of a plum, lightly roll in your palm to make a ball, place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and press down to give it a flat top and bottom.

If you want to give it an extra Mermaid Legends feel, you could press the back of a ribbed shell into the top, before brushing them all with milk.
Bake at 220C for ten to twelve minutes.

Eat while just still warm if possible. They're really yummy with tomato chutney.

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