Literary Foods: A Cottage Picnic on the Moors


“From that time the exercises were part of the day’s duties as much as the Magic was. It became possible for both Colin and Mary to do more of them each time they tried, and such appetites were the results that but for the basket Dickon put down behind the bush each morning when he arrived they would have been lost.

A Childhood Classic That Should Be Read Again and Again | Off the Shelf:

But the little oven in the hollow and Mrs. Sowerby’s bounties were so satisfying that Mrs. Medlock and the nurse and Dr. Craven became mystified again. You can trifle with your breakfast and seem to disdain your dinner if you are full to the brim with roasted eggs and potatoes and richly frothed new milk and oat-cakes and buns and heather honey and clotted cream.”
The Secret Garden, Chapter 24


I don’t know about you, but roasted potatoes with butter, oat-cakes and buns with clotted cream and honey and with milk to drink sounds like a wonderful picnic to me! Perhaps a breakfast picnic. Especially on the windswept, foggy moors of an English manor house.

Though there are several delicious sounding items in the above list, I decided to make currant buns, something I have always wanted to try. I used this recipe here for Oaty-Currant Buns . It reminded me of just the type of rustic bun that Mrs. Sowerby might have made. They came out really well considering the fact that I had to convert the metric units while baking! 🙂

Currant buns have a long history in England and the Netherlands. They are very similar to hot cross buns and chelsea buns and were most often eaten at tea time. They are mentioned over and over again in literature. Anyone remember the five currant buns rhyme or Beatrix Potter mentioning them as what Peter’s sisters, Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottantail ate?

How about you? Have you made currant buns before?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s