Today’s 12 Days of Oscar film is the 1964 film My Fair Lady. Professor and phonetics scholar Henry Higgins boasts to Colonel Pickering that he can teach any person to speak in such a way that the person could pass for a duke or duchess at an embassy ball. He chooses to teach Eliza Doolittle, who’s thick Cockney accent keeps her from her dream of working in a flower shop. Pickering agrees to cover all expenses if this experiment is successful. Eliza endures both Higgins’ poor treatment and several lessons and as Higgins is about to give up, Eliza finally gets it and begins to speak with a proper upper-class accent. When Higgins takes all of the credit for Eliza passing as a Hungarian princess at a ball, Eliza is enraged and walks out on Henry. Based on Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, My Fair Lady won eight Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Color Cinematography, Best Art Direction- Set Decoration, Best Costume Design, Best Sound, Best Score, and Best Actor (for Rex Harrison as Higgins). My Fair Lady was nominated for an additional four Oscars: Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Editing, and Best Screenplay (Based on Material from Another Medium).
As Eliza is leaving Henry, the two perform the musical number “Without You,” in which Eliza essentially points out to Henry that he isn’t the center of the universe as he seems to think he is, and he repeatedly tells her that he made her who she is. My favorite part of the number is where she informs Henry that England will still be there without him, and “there’ll be crumpets and tea without you.” With or without Henry Higgins, crumpets are delicious. The difference between crumpets and English muffins is that crumpets have milk in the batter. They are made much the same way, but crumpets have way more of those “nooks and crannies” you hear about on a certain English muffin commercial.
- 1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp. active dry yeast
- 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
- 3/4 C. milk
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 C. warm water
- softened unsalted butter for brushing
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, yeast, and salt.
In a small saucepan heat the milk and sugar until warm (about 85 degrees).
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the warmed milk into the well.
Stir until dough is evenly moistened (dough will be fairly stiff).
Cover and let the dough sit in a draft-free area for about 2 hours.
In a small bowl, stir the baking soda into the warm water until dissolved.
Using a handheld mixer at low speed, beat the water mixture into the dough until smooth.
Let the batter rest for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat a cast iron griddle or large nonstick pan over medium heat.
Brush the pan with softened butter. If the butter browns right away, turn the heat down.
Brush the insides of shallow ring molds (about 2 1/2-3 inches in diameter) with butter and set them on the prepared griddle.
Spoon 2 1/2 tablespoons of batter into each ring and allow it to flow to the edges of the ring.
Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until the bottoms are golden and bubbles appear on the surface.
Brush the tops with butter and flip the molded crumpets.
Cook about 2 minutes longer, until golden on the bottom.
Transfer the crumpets to a wire rack and repeat the cooking process with the remaining batter.
If desired, slice carefully using a serrated knife and toast the crumpets. Serve with butter and your favorite jam.
Makes 12 crumpets.
Source: King Arthur Flour