Tuesday, 6 May 2014

'Send A Cow' and the importance of breakfast

Last week, the charity Send A Cow sent me a copy of their new cookery eBook, which contains recipes for breakfasts actually eaten by important historical figures; the likes of Einstein, Mandela, Churchill and Gandhi.

Winston Churchill's Poached egg, cold meats, toast and grapefruit

Now obviously, I love eating, and I love cooking and I very rarely skip breakfast, so this book was really interesting to me.  Not least because it has been launched in a bid to help raise awareness of the importance of breakfast in helping children achieve their full potential - in particular, in the poorest parts of Africa.

The free downloadable book, entitled The Most Important Meals Of Their Liveshas been launched by charity Send a Cow as part of its new Break… Fast appeal.  It follows research highlighting how up to one in every three (34%) people in Uganda and almost a third (29%) in Rwanda are gravely undernourished- an estimated 15 million people. 

Without full stomachs youngsters struggle focus on their school lessons and are prevented from realising their individual potential. Send a Cow’s Break… Fast appeal aims to raise £500,000 to give children in Africa a better start, and every £1 donated will be doubled by the UK government.

Albert Einstein's Fried eggs and honey

The 18 breakfasts included in the book have been thoroughly researched and then recreated by a team of professional chefs and food historians.  The recipes are really interesting, as is the history behind them.  I will definitely be giving Florence Nightingale's Kedgeree a try, as well as Rosa Parks' 'featherlite' pancakes.

But, as I am sure will come as a surprise to exactly nobody, the first recipe on the list for me to try was Jane Austen's 'Pound Cake, Tea, Toast and Cocoa'.  I have heard of pound cake often, primarily through american blogs, but have never made one.  I rectified that today.  All in the name of a good cause, you understand.

Jane Austen's Pound cake, tea, toast and cocoa

For once, I followed this recipe to the letter.  It's not often that I do that - I do like to fiddle with a recipe!  But in this instance I thought I should be as authentic as possible.  Although, not authentic enough not to use my trusty, hot pink Kitchen Aid!

My homage to Jane Austen's breakfast

My version looked a little different to Jane's.  The bread didn't quite fit in the toaster, so there were some burnt corners, and I used chocolate spread on the toast, in replacement of the cocoa (which I don't fancy very often, and certainly not at breakfast time!) But I did get the loose leaf tea out, and a proper cup and saucer - it only felt right that I make an effort!   The cake was very yummy, but dense in the middle - not like the one in Send a Cow's book.  I need to have another go, I think my oven's thermometer may be playing up, as it was browning on top much sooner that expected, so I suspect the oven temp was too high.

So, cake, toast with orange curd and chocolate spread, loose leaf tea, cup and saucer …. oh, the hardships I go to, just to write a blog post!

If you'd like to try Jane Austen's breakfast, or any of the other 18 recipes, you can download the eBook for free.  There is a suggested donation of £2.50 to the Break….Fast appeal, which, when doubled by the UK government, will be enough to support an African child for a month.  The government is matching all donations until 30th June 2014, so don't hang around, get your eBook and make a donation today.  Then do yourself a favour and make Jane Austen's cake.  Or Thomas Edison's apple dumplings …

Thomas Edison's Apple dumplings

For more information on the Break… Fast Appeal please visit www.sendacow.org.uk or tweet @Sendacow with the hashtag #BestStart