Sunday, October 7, 2012

Baking with Uncle Bob

I subscribe to the Baker's Banter blog from King Arthur Flour.  It is a never-ending source of baking deliciousness and many of our favorite recipes are from the blog or the KA baking books I own.  The King Arthur store in Norwich, Vermont is always our last stop on the way home whenever we are in the Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont.   The store is a baker's paradise with every kind of ingredient or piece of equipment a baker could ever need want.   They also have a bakery, so after we do our shopping for nonedibles, we load up with bread, sticky buns and cookies to take home and freeze.  (Much of this booty never makes it home, let alone into the freezer.)   We always say that if we lived nearby, we would each weigh considerably more than we do now!

The newest blog entry was a recipe for Fresh Appe Cinnamon Scones, and since our trip last week to an orchard to get apples (and apple cider donuts!) I have several quarts of homemade applesauce and a bin of apples.  This recipe arrived at the perfect time.  The scones were delicious and this recipe is certainly a keeper.

But a great recipe wasn't the only thing I learned from the author and KA Baker Par Excellence PJ Hamel.   Here's a quote:
 Make and shape them the night before, stick in the freezer, bake early the next morning, and Bob’s your uncle – by the time your house guests emerge from their respective beds, breakfast is ready.

Bob's your uncle?  I have never heard or read that expression before, but I love it!  It's clear from the context that it means "there you are" or even--en Francais--"voila"  but it is so much more colorful.  I went so far as to look it up on Michael Quinion's wonderful site World Wide Words where Mr. Quinion writes about the English language from a British perspective.  I won't recount his research into the origin of "Bob's your uncle"--you can read it here--except to say that it may have come from an expression "all is bob" that is documented in the Dicionary of the Vulgar Tongue of 1785.  What fun.

So forget "voila" and "there you have it," and all those other similar idioms.  From now on, for me, Bob's (my) uncle!

Thanks, PJ, for your recipes and for your colorful writing!


  1. Ah, see, you don't watch BBC America enough! We heard this phrase many years ago on a gardening show called Ground Force and it's been part of our lexicon ever since. PS the scones look delicious!

  2. your scone looks yummy! perfect for a autumn coffee or tea break.
    I remember "bobs your uncle" from the 101 dalmations animated movie - fun is right!

  3. I'm Irish, and Bob's your Uncle is usually used when explaining how to do something or how something happened, its like the exclamation mark at the end of a sentence but is used mid-sentence to give some oomph to what you are explaining! So use Bob's your Uncle when you need to say something like.. "there you go, in a blink of an eye, I have literally pulled a rabbit out of the hat and have made the impossible possible!! ie I have made Bob my Uncle lol! Thanks for link to all that baking goodness. Just visiting from Grandmothers Choice!