Lyle's Golden Syrup. Glorious glowing substance, vital ingredient in British kitchens, oldest brand in in the country, its green and gold tin unchanged since 1884. I couldn't contemplate life without it.
It is well travelled. Scott took some to the Antarctic. According to Wikipedia it is widely available in Germany, Norway, Sweden, India, The Philippines, Canada and Ireland. Australia and New Zealand have their own brands. Louisiana is, apparently, the only state in America where it is available.
The strange picture of a dead lion surrounded by a swarm of bees and the quotation underneath is a biblical reference. It is something Samson said on finding that bees had made a honeycomb in the carcase of a lion and possibly refers to the Victorian ideals of strength and industry.
Dylan Thomas was clearly thinking of the Lyle's tin when he described Mr Mog Edwards in his play Under Milk Wood as Samson-syrup-gold-maned, whacking thighed and piping hot.
That line always makes me think of the Scotch pancakes my mum used to make for weekend teas. She kept them piping hot wrapped in a tea towel and we ate them spread with butter and golden syrup. I make them for my children but for breakfast not tea.
Gingerbread, Anzac biscuits, gingernuts, flapjacks, treacle tart (no treacle just syrup), hollygog, steamed syrup sponge pudding all require a dose of the golden. Scotch pancakes, porridge, plain bread and butter are all enhanced by it. And most gloriously gorgeous of all - Yorkshire pudding baked in a dish doused liberally with golden syrup and clotted cream.
Watching the thread of syrup form patterns in the tin is part of its charm. Who hasn't drizzled their initials on their porridge?
I'm afraid that unlike its older sibling, black treacle golden syrup has no nutritive worth at all. It's basically just sugar. It rots your teeth and makes you fat.
Am I bothered?
No. And to prove it here is my flapjack recipe.
I've made these so often I can make them in my sleep. A great storecupboard recipe. This recipe makes a lot -4 dozen, this is because I have teenage boys. You can halve the recipe although you will have to experiment with tin sizes etc.
Grease and line three rectangular baking tins. Mine are 13 by 9 inches and 1 inch deep. I have reusable liners cut to fit them but I grease the sides with butter.
Melt together in a large pan:
2 packets of butter (500g). I use this quantity as our butter is sold in 250g packets -
1 lb of butter will work -I think that is four US sticks. I like salted butter. On no account use margarine. For anything.
12 oz demerara sugar I think turbinado sugar is the US equivalent.
4 tablespoons of golden syrup
2 lbs rolled oats
optional -add a handful of sunflower seeds/ pumpkin seeds/chopped nuts/ coconut / dried fruit
Make sure all the oats are coated with the buttery mixture. Divide between the tins and press down.
Bake at 190°c/170°c fan oven for 23 mins. Yes, 23 mins, at least that's what it takes in my fan oven to produce flapjacks with the right degree of chewiness. Experiment with your oven.
Once cool invert the tins and whack smartly with your hand and the flapjack should fall out in one piece.
Cut each into 16 pieces.
These have dried apricots and sunflower seeds.
Store in an airtight container. They keep very well and also freeze well. Brilliant lunch box fodder.