The number one perk of time travel – outside of fraudulently getting lotto numbers – is being able to catch-up with your deceased friends … at optimal points in their life / career.
Obviously since I was travelling back to see Jon-Jon but didn’t want to let on that everything was not alright, I went back to ‘74 while he was starring in Jesus Christ Superstar with my dear gal-pal Marcia Hines.
You see Marce introduced us when she joined the show in ‘73, so it was the perfect way to slot back into my life without alerting him of any issue. Plus, he was hella banging in the 70s.
Anyway, our friendship was instantaneous and after excusing myself from life in Marce’s entourage, I commenced touring with Jon and quickly became his muse / career adviser. As seems to be the way it goes, I had hits and many misses throughout those times – there are only so many hippie, drug-lord murders one can play before it gets old. It wasn’t until the 90s and the classic All Together Now that we really hit our stride professionally.
It truly was such a treat to see Jon-Jon truly in his element like he was while playing Judas, laughing with the band and firing off banter with Marce and I. And then future me after I chloroformed past me.
After a night of hard performing on stage and hard drinking with Marce at her blackmarket, backstage casino, I used to wake up early day in, day out, and whip up fresh Jon English Muffins that we’d have toasted, slathered with butter and vegemite.
Just getting to experience our old tradition once final time was enough to fill my heart with joy, but the taste of a fresh, freshly toasted English Muffin made me feel euphoric.
Fresh, doughy … do you really need me to describe bread? It is bread. Bread is good. Just enjoy, ok?
Jon English Muffins
300g bread flour, plus extra for flouring
7g dried yeast (that should be one sachet. Should be)
pinch of salt
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 egg, lightly beaten
oil, for greasing
polenta, for dusting
Combine the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
Melt the butter into the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until it reaches 40-45C. Remove from heat.
Pour the butter and milk into the flour mix and knead with a dough hook in an electric mixer for a minute or two. Add the egg and knead for a further five minutes.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and prove for two hours.
Dust the bench with polenta and roll the dough out until it is 2cm thick and cut into mug sized rounds. I say mug sized as I can’t be bothered buying 70s cookie cutters, so reached for a mug. Jon-Jon’s kitchen wasn’t well stocked, ok?
Anyway, sprinkle more polenta on the base of a large baking sheet and place the discs of dough on them. Top with another dusting of polenta and leave to prove – again – or half an hour.
Heat a large frying over the lowest possible heat and fry each muffin for about five minutes either side, or until golden, crisp and perfectly cooked.
Serve however you like, but slathered in Vegemite would make you a happy little Vegemite. So … yep.