Good ones bad ones, middling ones, shocked ones, unexpected ones. Epiphany moments, light-bulb moments, throwaway moments and unforgettable moments. Moments that make your hair stand on end and your whole world spin in a dizzying spiral of colour and emotion, moments that make you silent, moments that make you cry with laughter, moments that make you swear, moments that you want to capture on film. Sights smells, tastes, feelings, faces, the weather, the sunlight, the moonlight, the time of day….things you catch/glimpse/experience and want to freeze forever.
There was a moment, early last week, when I realised Fencing Housemate and I had unknowingly danced (metaphorically – it was a slow waltz of a thing) around the kitchen for a good ten minutes making breakfast…in absolute, sleepy silence. I don’t know if he even noticed. He may well have been so engrossed in thought that the silence passed by unnoticed. But I caught it. That moment. Safe in the knowledge that there are only a handful of people that I can comfortably sit/stand/make breakfast with without saying a word. Just sharing air space.
There was a moment, two weeks ago, when my mother called me and confessed that she hadn’t been able to remember our postcode. ‘Never Fear!’ I replied, that happens to the best of us. Only the day before I had been writing thank you letters (cheeky birthday reference there…I’m still not over it!) and had actually stopped to question whether the last three characters were 1HB or 7HB. “Really?”, she had said., ‘That’s funny because that was my problem. About 11am, when I was driving to Nottingham.” ‘How odd”, I replied, “That was when I was struggling…” Silence.
And we immediately had yet ANOTHER moment to add to our list of bizarre mother/daughter telepathic incidents.
There was a moment at a 21st birthday party this month when I looked across a crowded room to catch a best friend of mine defending me against an old foe. Time froze as I looked at him, certain he had no idea I was watching, and I honestly thought I might burst with gratitude and sheer love of his loyalty. An unforgettable moment.
There was a moment last weekend, on learning I was only going to have one and a half hours sleep before starting a twelve hour shift, in which I thought it appropriate to write a note to my housemates. I don’t really remember that moment but I wish I could. Reading the message back I wish I could remember exactly why I felt it appropriate to transcribe a conversation I was having with myself over the angelic properties of stationary. I even added a postscript that declared the kettle was a flirt and that everyone should avoid dancing the tango with the broom. A strange moment.
And then, (I always reach my point eventually) there was a moment of despair when I dropped cornflour from the top of the cupboard all over the unit top, coffee and tea jars, kettle and bread maker. As we started to scrub at the gloopy mess, Desert housemate paused and asked quizzically, “Why do we have cornflour in the house?” I didn’t know… I’ve only ever make clay decorations with cornflour. A gasp, a grin and a gossip later….there was a ‘Christmas Biscuit’ plan in motion.
The ‘Plan’ was the reason I only had one and a half hours sleep at the weekend. Finishing work at 2.30am, I went home, kneading by hand four separate biscuit dough mixes until 5.30am before sleeping until 6.30am and getting up again for work at 8am. It wasn’t sensible, I was delirious and my housemates are concerned for my sanity. HOWEVER, on Sunday night we made around 110 Christmas biscuits of four different flavours and Ninja housemate and I had great fun decorating half the batch with Christmas music playing in the background. A very festive evening.
The lemon batch, the orange and cardamom batch and the vanilla batch were all BBC Good Food recipes however the spiced batch was my own and so that is the one I shall outline today.
P.S. Bermudian Stranger still has that book out…
- 250g Plain Flour
- 140g Butter
- 100g Icing Sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1tsp Mixed Spice
- 1tsp Ginger
-50g Icing Sugar to decorate
- 3tsp of Orange Juice
- Keep the butter cold until the last minute, then chop it into small chunks and add it to the flour. Either blitz this in a fold mixer until you have fine crumbs. Or use your (cool) fingers to rub the butter and flour together. It will take a while to achieve crumb texture and your arms my ache (I know mine did after four batches) but it is achievable!
- Mix the sugar and spices into the mix and then the egg yolk. Knead the mixture until you have a dough ball then place in the fridge to cool for an hour (or longer – mine were in all day on account of my being at work)
- Sprinkle flour on the unit top to prevent your dough getting sticky and then roll the dough to thickness of about 2cm
- Cut into shapes of your choice, lay on a baking tray and bake for 10mins at 200C.
Make the icing for when the biscuits are cool and decorate with sprinkles. If you poke holes in the top of each biscuit before you bake them, you can thread ribbon through them once decorated and hang them on your Christmas tree.