Sunday, December 10, 2017

Ploughman's Lunch

(Painting from Pinterest: Stephen Darbyshire. Check his online store for purchase)

Hello Ladies,

On Friday there was supposed to be a Ladies Tea here, to let some of my friends come and sing in lieu of our weekly Ladies  Bible Class. Because I knew that a couple of the husbands were coming, I decided to serve a Ploughmans Lunch instead of a delicate ladies tea.

It was actually good that the men came, because we loved hearing them sing the bass and tenor in the old hymns. 

You can read more about this kind of lunch, online or in English cook books or check on Pinterest. I think, in the US and Canada these are called meat and cheese boards, but I like the historical implication that it was a hearty meal suitable for a laborer. 

Generally, it is the kind of food a ploughman would eat after coming in from hard work in the field. It consists of very thick slices of home baked bread, and butter,  served on a wooden cutting board along with cheese, pickles, meat, and maybe fruit such as grapes and sliced apples.  It is delicious when taken with hot tea.

To eat it, the bread is buttered and the other things are eaten separately. I have given up on trying to get Americans to understand that the reason you can't make sandwiches from this meal is because the bread is supposed to be too thick. I found it falls on deaf ears, (because we are centuries away from British culture), so if they want to go ahead and make sandwiches from it, I don't mind; just as long as they do not ask me for mayonnaise. 

It is not too easy eating those thick sandwiches though, and to infinite my delight, the ladies didn't attempt it. They happily buttered the bread, sipped tea and helped themselves to every morsel of the accompaniments on the board.  I was right when I thought it would all go well with tea, because I filled the teapots several times with Yorkshire Gold, and the tisane ladies made themselves multiple cups of home made herbal teas. I have lemon mint, berries and a few other things.

One of my grandchildren had baked some French braided bread, and it was dense and hearty enough for Ploughmans Lunch:

One of the platters:

An individual serving:

I got the plaid plastic tray at a local grocery store:
That tea cup is a Grace's Teaware brand found at Home Goods, a "seconds" store of new merchandise with wonderful bargains.

I found that these paper doilies worked effectively to keep the saucers dry, amd it was much appreciated by the ladies. It's so annoying to lift up a tea cup that is wet.

Before I say goodbye, I want to share one of my mismatched cup sets that I used at the ploughmans lunch:
The cup is new (Grace's Teaware from Home Goods which is a discount store. Some flaws are usually on the cups. This one had no saucer and there is a black mark inside near the floral)  but the saucer is very old, having broken the cup that matched it. 
In another post I'll show you some of the mismatch combos that I have in my China cabinent. 
I like Grace's Teaware and Gracie China, because they are so hearty and  dishwasher safe.

I understand there are four of these in a set, with the outside of the cup being pink (the one I have) blue, yellow and green.  I got cup this for $3.99 because it had no saucer and because there was a small mark on it.   The prices on the new sets are astronomical so O was happy to get this one.  Gradually I am wearing out the tea cups I have, and am going to retire some of them and replace with Grace's Teaware and Gracie China.

In another post I will update you on my seasonal decor. I never join the blog home tours because I am too busy and can't make the deadline, but I will be happy to host my own tour.

Here is the recipe for the bread. We thought it taste a lot like the fresh pretzels they sell here.

I do not know what cookbook this is in.

Ploughmans Lunch from Pinterest:


Laura Jeanne said...

The ploughman's lunch looks delicious! I love simple food like that and when I have homemade bread available I often make something very similar for my children for lunch.

Lynn said...

Hi Lydia,
As I have that same little electric fireplace, it was fun to see the tea setting on the top of it...I must do that here , too! And I love the plaid tray...where did that come from?

Lynn said...

Your granddaughter's French bread looks out of this world delicious! I would have to prepare it on my cutting table as I don't have enough space for making big pieces of dough as this makes.

Lynn said... was great to know you had some male voices in your group... making music is always such a fine thing to do with others. I used to be able to that with a group at a friends' who would play the piano with great expertise. How I miss it all.

Christine said...

I always enjoy learning something new. Today, Ploughman’s Lunch is my discovery. How fun!

Irish Girl said...

Dear Lydia,

I loved this new post! I have enjoyed your blog for many years now but have never commented. But I just had to comment when I saw the picture of the recipie used by your granddaughter. I thought I recognized where it came from right away and confirmed it when I pulled the cookbook off my shelf. The recipie comes from the “More With Less Cookbook”; a Mennonite cookbook by Doris Jansen Longacre published in 1976.

My Mother-in-Law gave this cookbook as a birthday gift many years ago to my now husband when he was a young man. We were married a couple of years later and I used this cookbook often in our early years of marriage. Now I am inspired to revisit this cookbook. Some of the nutritional information may be a bit outdated, but the recipes are delicious as I recall. Thank you for this lovely post that brought to mind sweet memories of newlywed life.

A Blessed Christmas to you and yours! Constance

Kath Mattus said...

The french bread recipe looks to be from the More With Less Cookbook. One of my favorites! Thanks for sharing about your Ploughman's Lunch with us. Looks yummy. :)

Kristin_Texas said...

I do love a pretty teacup. (Any painted china for that matter).

Once upon a time my mother and I went through a happy spell of purchasing pretty teacups and plates, but we had to do a self-intervention because there was nowhere to store the little beauties. (*cry*)

Justme said...

How lovely that you enjoyed a 'ploughmans lunch.
I have to say that English cookery is much maligned by our European neighbours, not justified really. It certainly not miniscule portions of artfully arranged morsels but it is at its finest when providing simple meals of high quality ingredients.
A good homemade loaf, some Sharpe tangy cheddar, rich hand carved ham and fruity spicy chutney is a fine meal for a hungry man!
A charming post as always Mrs Sherman.
Blessings from England
Mrs Hawkins

Dawn said...

I'd heard the term "ploughman's lunch" but I had no idea what it was. I must say it's very appetizing. The loaf of bread is a work of art!

I like the idea of taking a bite of buttered bread, then a morsel of this cheese, a bite of ham, now pop a grape into my mouth, now a morsel of that cheese. I suppose you really get to savor each individual taste vs. eating a sandwich.

Your teacups and saucers are all so pretty. It must be hard to choose which one you'd like to use.

Unknown said...

ANOTHER WONDERFUL POST...I love all your posts...there is something about them that will touch my heart...give me a challenge...make me teary eyed...and some make me happy with memories. Anyway they awaken me is awesome....THANK always make my day! LOVE, NORMA

MrsSM said...

What a beautiful idea--I will have to educate my family on the idea of a ploughman's lunch. I'm sure your guests were so blessed and felt appreciated and cared for.

We attended a tea over the weekend, and the hostess went over a few etiquette items before it began. You could do this, too, and delicately explain about the thick slices of bread. :)

Lydia said...

Dawn, good point ypu make about how the tastes are more individually distinct when eaten outside of a sandwich. It does make a difference in satisfaction.

Janet said...

A luscious-looking set-up. What a wonderful idea to serve guests. That is my type of lunch--making it pretty and easy and definitely with homemade bread! Thank you for this post.

Shamassy Monica said...

Please consider editing this post to include the name of the cookbook. Thank you!