Cinnamon Scrolls For The Victorian Heroine
A few nights ago I awoke to find myself the heroine in a Victorian Gothic novel. The wind howled menacingly outside and rain slashed angrily at the windows. Somewhere in the distance a rhythmic banging could be heard, and I immediately turned to thoughts of murder most foul: specifically, that of a deranged murderer and a headless victim! No sooner had these thoughts crossed my mind when a scratching, faint at first, then growing steadily louder, began outside my window. Most people would have quickly hidden under the covers and waited for the worst to be over. Not me! I had to go and investigate. Not so much out of bravery, but out of practicality, for had I not discovered the source of the scratching I’d never have been able to fall back to sleep. In the end, it turned out to be harmless enough. Nothing but the branch of a rose bush thrown against the window by the wind, and luckily for me, not a murderer in sight.
But it did get me to thinking - not about what I'd do if faced with a knife wielding maniac, but about food, because standing outside in the unforgiving elements of a winter's night, I suddenly realised I was very, very hungry. I ran back inside and contemplated whether or not to ignore the greedy grumblings of my stomach. After a few seconds of indecision, helped along by freezing feet, I jumped back into bed and firmly decided to overlook my hunger, close my eyes and try to get back to sleep. Those of you who ever experience pangs of hunger in the middle of the night will know this is no easy feat, and it wasn’t. But resolved not to give in, and much too lazy to actually get up and make anything, I tucked myself further into the blankets and allowed my mind to drift. My thoughts at this moment much more Enid Blyton than Ann Radcliffe, I started to think about what my perfect midnight feast, if I were ever bothered to get up and have one, would consist of. I couldn’t help but think of the feasts that fuelled the adventures of the Famous Five or the girls in St Clare’s. So despite the storm raging outside and the one in my stomach, I fell back to sleep feeling very nostalgic for potted meat sandwiches (actually not as disgusting as it sounds and a very good way to preserve meat), marmalade and sponge cake.
The next morning I couldn’t get the idea of the perfect midnight feast out of my mind. Over breakfast my thoughts again turned to Enid Blyton’s descriptive feasts and I decided that my midnight feast would have to include some of her more savoury foods. That is to say, not salty, but devoid of anything containing sardines. I can’t imagine waking up in the middle of the night and being tempted by a sardine. Can you?
And so, in paying homage to the great storyteller, who captured my imagination as a child and continues to inspire my midnight feasts in adulthood, I decided that, to achieve the height of midnight feasting, one would have to include marmalade, pies, sandwiches, chocolate, something gooey with cinnamon and some sort of cake. Oh, and there must, of course, be ginger beer! And a hot flask of tea. Plus, lots of warm blankets, candles and good company is a must, too, for one should never feast alone in the middle of the night. Especially if it happens to be an uncanny, stormy night, where anything might happen. It’s always best to be prepared with a reliable friend or two.
So, my advice is, on the off chance you happen to wake up in the middle of a wild and stormy night, that you relish the opportunity to have yourself a midnight feast! At least, that’s what I’m determined to do the next time I happen to find myself the vulnerable heroine. I will not give in to gothic sensibilities, but rise to the occasion and make Mrs Blyton proud by channelling the gumption and enthusiasm of her beloved characters, venture out and have myself a jolly good midnight feast! In the event that this should happen, my feast would consist of creamy chicken sandwiches, beef and mushroom pie, sticky cinnamon scrolls, a chocolate sponge cake and strong hot tea. And definitely ginger beer to wash it all down. Here, I give you a quick and easy recipe for cinnamon scrolls that you can whip up in 30 minutes. I am definitely guilty of creeping in to the kitchen and gobbling up one of these very late at night. It doesn't quite count as a midnight feast, but it’s close.
Love and light!