Early Morning Sun

I haven’t written in a long while, I haven’t really wanted to I suppose, and there hasn’t been a lot of time.
There have been many bakes in this interlude including a three tier graduation cake and cupcakes that looked like ice cream sundaes. There was tiffin that ended up in Amsterdam, a chocolate and lemon Rose Garden, a cake that looked exactly like Fencing Housemate’s published novel and a strawberry cheesecake with homemade strawberry jam.

Results Day

Results Day

Well Travelled Tiffin

Well Travelled Tiffin

Rose Garden

Rose Garden

Sundaes on Sunday

Sundaes on Sunday

Rhubarb makes me happy.

Rhubarb makes me happy.

Cake or Book?

Cake or Book?

There was even a crumble that I specifically meant to write about because the rhubarb was given to me by one of my favourite members…I have decided, very originally to call him Rhubarb Member.

There have been birthdays and weddings, I’ve moved house, left University and worked the Aegon tournament. I have graduated and can talk to you for hours about what ‘I would like to do now…’ but that doesn’t mean I actually believe what I’m saying.

Right now I’m sitting in the garden of my new house. It’s open, light, quiet and warm and it’s 5.30am. There’s a magpie nearby but its character differs greatly from that of the poltergeist magpie at #78. Where he would be stealing tea bags, making the air cold outside the front door, and creating noises that woke Director Housemate and I with shiver…this one appears to be quite amiable.

The light is blurred across the garden, as if bleary eyed. Every twinkle through the trees is a blink, the sun trying to shake star shaped pieces of sleep from its eyes. It creates a glowing haze around the flowers as the dew glistens and reflects the rays, leaving the petals resembling little crystals of many colours. The trunk of the Beech looked particularly inviting to lean against as the dappled light played through the soft purple leaves but to access it I have had to tip toe across a bed of beechnuts. Some are tightly closed and stuck to the bottom of my feet with their soft burs. Others are half open and they offered a sharp mattress to my toes while the tiny kernels crunched under foot. The only sound as I wriggle into a Millie-sized space in the roots and nestle my back into the bark, is the nuts as they drop softly to the moss.

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I often creep out of houses to read in the early morning. The best place for it is the farm where my Nan Nan and Grandad live. When there I have to sneak particularly quietly from the room I share with my sisters and pad down the stairs. From there, I could easily open the garden door, walk to the field gate, across to the abandoned brick barn and climb the steps to the hayloft – my favourite perch.
This however is to easy for an early morning adventure.
The best route requires a different plan of action. From the stairs I glide through the kitchen, out of the back door, around the side of the house and scamper up the rockery. Over the gin-clear water of the newt pond that I will undoubtedly have spent the previous day cleaning I leap, then up and over the goldfish pond and onto the wall. From there it’s an easy walk to the silver birch which requires a little acrobatics to navigate now that the branches are too old to swing from. Hanging from the trellis that leads the pear trees over the bricks I weave on the top of the wall to the yard gate. Here I can jump across the five barred gate if I only have a book in one hand to beat away the barbed wire, but with a cup of tea I am forced to lower myself to the bars and shimmy across the tractor path (I hope you understand that I can never touch the ground…that would break the spell). Here there are no further obstacles but I have to pay attention to my balance as I walk for a few metres along the field wall to the hay loft, scrabbling onto the concrete and leaning against the broken wooden door just in time to see the sun hit the top of the house. The vegetable garden is reflected in the windows of the summer house as the swallows drink from the rain water in the barrel beneath the potting shed and the cows wake at my feet. From here I have a good hour or so with my book in peace before my sisters wake to find me missing and scurry to join me on my perch. Then the day’s play really begins, but for this moment I am alone.

And here, this morning, I am alone. The house sleeps and the dew glistens. The tree drops it’s precious seeds, and the bees lurch like sleepy students, still drunk after a night out, from clover to clover as if from coffee to coffee until they build up the energy to fly to the flowers. It suddenly dawns on me that the open cupules of the beechnuts are sun hats for fairies and I have to text my mum to tell her. She agrees.

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Then it’s all gone. The sun has topped the trees, woken up to the world and is shining clear and bright on the lawn with all the promise of a hot day. The garden is still beautiful, but it’s no longer magical. My book no longer holds quite the same appeal as I hear the world around me waking, the two of us are no longer completely removed from reality. My mind then turns to cakes and to the birthday of my Rhubarb Member last week. He reached a fabulous age that simple had to be celebrated with a splendid garden party. Sunshine, champagne, friends, canapés and 150 cupcakes made for a brilliant day and I’m so glad I could help the Hostess with the Mostess put on such a perfect party. There would be little point in my posting a recipe for cupcakes, there are far too many already out there, but I can share the designs with you and hope that you like their simple, garden-inspired magic.

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Lemon Curd Chaos

The last fortnight has been a little crazy for me. I’m not entirely sure what day it is, I can’t exactly remember when I last had a proper nights sleep and I’m fairly sure the only meal I eat at a regular time every day is breakfast…because I simply don’t function without it!
There have been several moments of finality…
My last seminar
My last lecture
My last shift for Flatpack
My last shift with Espresso Addict Friend
Even the sudden and unexpected loss of a familiar and reassuringly friendly, face.
Moments that have left me feeling a little hollow and uncertain and wary of things.

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Our Last Lecture

 

 

There have however been moments of magic to counterbalance the heaviness of reality.
A wedding in the glorious, hazy sunshine of the Peaks.
A fortnight of film festival experience
A hug that managed to shake me up and then set me straight in seconds.
A singing session at work, unknowingly witnessed by several members.
A random act of kindness carrying luggage for others through New Street.
A parcel.
A present.
A party.
 

Not to mention a baking session with my marvellous mother in mind. Mother’s Day is a fantastic National Awareness Day. It is overpriced and over commercialised and over exposed but we seem to accept these facts (or ignore them) more readily here than on Valentines Day because the object of our affection truly deserves recognition.
I was only able to drop home for a few hours at the weekend, and even then I could only manage it on the Saturday to with my mummy Happy Mothers Day. We spent the morning doing things that the two of us do best. Talking, food shopping and hunting for buried treasure…all of which secure the foundations of our relationship.

 

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Lavender is one of my Mum’s favourite flowers.

 

As a Mother’s Day gift, I attempted to make something. It generally goes down a treat, however much of a mess we make in the process. Thankfully there was no glue, paper, staples or lengths of tinsel involved this time around. I stuck to baking and the results were certainly well received. Whether that’s because they were good or because they were homemade…I’m not sure. I shall share the recipes regardless and you can decide for yourselves. Sadly I have no photographs because everything was eaten/given far too quickly, so I have stolen other peoples photographs from Google. Mine did look good though!

 

Lemon Curd

Best to follow those who know their stuff I think. It works for me perfectly….

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/lemon_curd_68499

 

Lemon curd recipe

 

Lemon and Almond Slices

 Ingredients

- 120g Plain Flour
– 40g Ground Almond
– 100g Icing Sugar
- 400g Caster Sugar
- 4 Large Eggs
- Zest and Juice of Two Lemons
- 1/2 tsp of Baking Powder
- 30g Flaked Almonds (really as many or as few as you fancy)

 

Method

- Preheat the oven to 170C, and grease a baking tray of around 9×13 inches.
– Crumble the butter, 30g ground almonds, 100g plain flour and the icing sugar together until the mixture is of a doughy consistency.
- Press this into the bottom of the pan and bake for around 20 mins until lightly brown.

- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until smooth. Add the caster sugar, lemon juice and zest and mix together.
– Add the remaining 20g of flour and 10g of ground almonds, stir and pour over the hot crust layer once it is baked.
– Sprinkle with flaked almonds and return to the oven for around 25mins, until the filling has set.
– Allow to cool in the pan and then cut into squares for serving.

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Lemon Curd Bars

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Eight.

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I have a new number.

We all have numbers that mean something to us; its an unavoidable cliché.
They are as crucial to us as the very words that explain their meanings.

Lucky numbers and lottery numbers,
Favourite numbers and phone numbers.
Pin numbers, security numbers, ID numbers and insurance numbers.
Ages, notches, achievements and Facebook friends.
Markers in life and calculations of success.
Numbers confine us and condemn us and liberate us and laugh at us.
They are the statistics that warp the news and the scaremongers that measure time.
Numbers overwhelm us and define us and separate us.
And I have a new one.

Eight.

There were seven Crème Eggs on the table. (One person had to buy them)
And seven hot drinks in a row. (One person doesn’t like tea.)
There are seven sets of plates in the dishwasher. (One person prefers to wash up.)
And seven people’s hands sign the card. (One person’s name stands apart.)

There are sixteen shoes on the stairs, sixteen ears for the doorbell and sixteen hands in the biscuit tin.

There are three blondes and five brunettes and there are eleven boxes of cereal on the side.
There are four boys and four girls, nine saucepans, three wooden spoons and a countless number of mugs.

‘Countless’ is an exaggeration that warps my numerical tradition but when there are just under thirty on the rack, half a dozen on the draining board, one holding toothbrushes, several decorating shelves, a few in the lounge, a couple in the flat and goodness knows how many sitting on bedside tables…it’s really quite tricky to add them up.

These numbers are fingerprints on the house. They live and breathe unseen but they are languishing on the taps and conversing on the well-thumbed corners of the newspaper. They make the banister slippery and the door handles sticky… and they are the traces of eight.

My favourite numbers are the ones that symbolise the familial teams I belong to.
I’ve been made one of three and of five. Six and Thirteen.
And now, I am one of eight.

I have a new number, and it’s eight.

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Tomorrow I will get my cast off. Six weeks of frustration, tears, unopened jars, and one handed showering. Not to mention fabulously messy baking, giggles over getting stuck in dresses, quality time spent with my friends and family and a release from doing too much washing up.
I have been supported by everybody dear to me and though it’s been a rollercoaster, (sickening on occasions) it’s up there with Air as one of the most enjoyable rollercoasters I’ve been on. For those of you who aren’t aware, I really don’t like rollercoasters, only Air, so it’s a half decent compliment!

The sun is glorious today, my housemates are all as fantastic as ever, I’ve been into work and have my first shifts next week, The Biscuit Monster has just been given her ideal job, The Little One is on her way to Birmingham, the girls and I have spent all afternoon having lunch and England won the rugby….the day is just perfect.
A world away from where I was three weeks ago.

As my last bake before freedom, I chose a Lemon Drizzle Cake with a lemon butter cream. I actually think it’s one of the best cakes I’ve ever made. I was very proud of it and half was gone within ten minutes of it coming out of the oven.
Scrumdiddlyumptious.

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Ingredients
-For the Cake

275g Self Raising Flour
275g Butter
275g Caster Sugar

4 Eggs
20g Ground Almonds
Zest of one large lemon
Drop of Vanilla Essence

 

-For the Buttercream

75g Butter
200g Icing Sugar
Dash of Lemon Juice and any left over zest you may have.

 

-For the Drizzle

Juice of  one Lemon
200g Icing Sugar

 

IMG_2066Method
- Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy
– Alternate adding the eggs and flour until everything is mixed together.
– Add the lemon zest and vanilla essence, stir through and put in a 20cm cake tin and bake at 180C for 40mins, until soft and only slightly moist in the middle.
-While the cake bakes, mix up the buttercream and drizzle ingredients in separate bowls and cover to stop them drying out.
-Once the cake is cooled you can cut it in half and spread the buttercream in the middle.
-Drizzle this icing on top and decorate with mini eggs or other Easter Treats :D

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Some People Inspire Pretty Things

‘Some people inspire pretty things.’
That was the caption to the Instagram post of this photo…

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It’s a hybrid Lemon Shortbread-Cake, covered in fondant birds and blossom, which rest softly on a cherry tree. You wouldn’t exactly be aware that it was a cherry tree but I’m just letting you know that it is. Though, having said that, ‘Mad in Pursuit’ Friend (who gets his name from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 129, one of the first pieces I ever heard him perform) guessed correctly without being prompted which I though was pretty impressive.

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The hybrid cake was for Choc-o-holic Friend (I know, I didn’t make her a chocolate cake, but everyone needs a little change!!) and her kind, generous, loving nature inspired hearts and flowers and birds…all very girly really.

I haven’t baked in quite a while but I was having a bad morning and the process of rolling out mini pink petals and blossom restored all lost patience. A glass of wine helped matters later in the evening and today has been massively productive as a result. I never thought baking would become a calming task for me but I think it’s the mindless pattern of activity that does the trick. Measuring and whisking and stirring repetitively in the silence of the kitchen (maybe with the radio on) without having to focus my mind on anything in particular. Forgetting the day I suppose. Any activity would do the trick, drawing is a favourite of Gym Monkey Friend, something to just unwind to. Gym Monkey Friend is drawing my face at the moment, she’s not the first person to attempt it and I’m rather looking forward to the result.

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This is likely to be the last bake I do with my cast on! I’m contemplating a super bake on Sunday but there’s a chance I might have to do some dissertation work. Then again, she says as she thinks aloud, Espresso Addict Friend has just been offered her dream job and as I’m seeing her Monday, the super-bake may have to wait while a celebratory bake takes place…. Who knows, I’ll decide when I get that far! In the mean time, my hybrid cake takes no time to make, only to decorate, it’s very simple and tastes scrumptious…well worth the effort.

Ingredients
-275g Flour
-225g Butter
-100g Caster Sugar
-25g of Ground Almonds
-Zest of one large lemon
-Juice of half a lemon

 

Method
– Preheat the oven to 180C

- Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy
– Add the rest of the ingredients and mix to a doughy consistency
– Bake for 20minutes in a dish or tray of your choosing, you want the mixture to turn golden on top but still be soft in the middle.
– Leave to cool in the tin for five minutes and then move to a rack.
– Leave as a cake as a whole or cut into think shortbread fingers for friends and family to pinch with ease.

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The Toadstool

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There’s a toadstool in my garden at home.

It pops up from time to time, just beyond the cluster of daffodils that grow beneath the Willows. Behind it there is a tree, two trees actually, that danced around each other as they grew and are now inseparable. One is a Plum tree, the other a Greengage and their branches form a cascading waterfall of leaves and succulent purple and green fruit.
Beyond that is the open orchard, a wide expanse unsuited for toadstools. It is framed with bright rhododendron bushes that lead down to the meadow and finally to the brook.
The brook flows into the river, which caresses the land just beyond the rhododendron bushes, marking the end of the garden…almost.
For then there is the Faerie Bridge.
The twisted trunk of a willow that chose not only to grow up to the sky but also across the water, bridging the gap between our meadow and the farmers fields….a connection between two worlds. 

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Here Be Faeries.
Gnomes, Pixies, Elves, Brownies, Trolls, Sprites, Will-o’-the-Wisps…
You name it, we’ve got it.
Here our childhood was made.
Weeks it would take us, to set up a Faerie Ball. Invitations had to be made and tied to trees with ribbon or hidden in the rockery, pinned to the giant Oak or folded and squashed into the gnarled trunks of the Apple Trees. Then a stage had to be made from cut grass and twigs, instruments created from play-dough, a menu designed and food found…acorns and raisins and small items we thought wouldn’t be missed from the pantry. Perfume was made from fallen rose petals under the careful watch of our mother (who, between you and I, is definitely has faerie in her blood) and wine was made from dew.

The Balls we threw were famed in Elfland and little folk would arrive from all over the country on the wings of the birds and the backs of small creatures. Some would even travel with the otters, downstream and upstream through the waterways of the countryside. My Tooth Fairy told me that in one of her letters. 

Yes, I do mean ‘my’ Tooth Fairy, not ‘the’ Tooth Fairy. We all have our own, you know. Or at least, my sisters and I do. I wont tell you their names though; they might not want you to know who they are.

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For as long as I can remember, and a few millennia before that, Elfland has always been waiting just at the end of our garden.
But recently the boundary has started to flicker and more and more magic is seeping across the Bridge. The bright light of eternal summer is filtering through to the fields we know, making the flowers flush and brushing the leaves with a layer of gold that glitters as they twirl to the ground. Music is coming in on the breeze which no longer seems to whistle but more…whispers through the house, sharing secrets and stories and inciting laughter that takes the giggler by surprise.

But it is the toadstool that provides solid evidence.
Shocking red in the shade of the trees, it appears spontaneously.
Maybe when the wind changes direction, or there’s a subtle shift in the seasons.
I’m not sure.
And I don’t really need to know.
I just like to see it, and be reassured that Elfland is still there.
Some times, when the moon is hidden for a moment and only the stars are mirrored in the river, I’m sure I can seen lights flickering through tiny windows in the toadstool’s stalk.
I think it’s an outpost, a lodge, to welcome little people to Elfland on important occasions…weddings and coronations and birthdays…but it’s only a thought. 

We have a toadstool in the garden, and that’s really the most important thing.

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I’m frustrated with my wrist this week, I have no motivation to work, to exercise, to sleep…I’m even bored of films and I’ve only watched four.
Yesterday I was soaked to the skin walking home from Sainsbury’s when the bottom of my bag broke and everything tumbled to the floor.


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Today has been irritatingly slow for me too, I haven’t found a way to motivate myself.
Which is how I ended up doodling in my lecture…a toadstool… our toadstool.
It made nostalgic for rose petal perfume and fairy food.

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Creme Egg Cupcakes for Director Housemate’s Birthday

So I started to bake and then started to write, both of which have been hugely therapeutic.
I’ve been sat cross-legged on the kitchen floor for an hour writing and feel calmer than I have in days…all I need is an Aga for the hum and a Lab to tuck my feet under and I’d be perfectly content.

My faerie food has been made from things I had in the house and is being saved for Valentine’s evening when Bournbrook is going to be filled with guys and girls eating junk food and watching films.

Exceptionally Gooey Brownies

Ingredients
200g Unsalted Butter
150g Milk Chocolate
275g Demerara Sugar
85g Plain Flour
30g Cocoa Powder
3 Eggs
75g Dried Apricots

Method
-Line a 20cm baking tray with parchment or greaseproof paper and set the oven to 160C
-Place the apricots in a bowl of lukewarm water and leave them to soak.
-Melt the butter and chocolate together in a bowl over a saucepan of water and then leave to one side to cool
-Whisk the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is light and has risen in volume, then add the butter and chocolate mix.
-Stir this together thoroughly before folding in the flour and cocoa powder
-Chop the apricots into small pieces. You wont actually taste them but the moisture will make the brownies more gooey. Add these in, stir well and then pour the mixture into the baking tray.
-Bake for around 35 -45 minutes, until the hard on the outside but still soft in the middle. -Leave to cool in the tray before removing and cutting into squares.

That was my basic, invented recipe…
However I went one step further and tried to create a marbled top. This didn’t work visually for me, but it might for you, and either way it adds flavour…

The Marble Top

Ingredients
1 Egg White
100g of Cream Cheese
50g Icing Sugar

1 Egg Yolk
50g Nutella

Method
-In one bowl, mix together the cheese, sugar and egg yolk
-In a second bowl, mix together the Nutella and egg white.
-Spoon these alternately onto the brownie mix before you put it into the oven and swirl them together to create a marble effect.

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The Roses are made with fondant icing and my best advice would be to find a YouTube tutorial to follow if you would like to make them.

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Mayhem

Things change very, very quickly around here.
An hour ago, rain was lashing against the windows and the wind was whistling down the chimney, and now it is beautifully calm outside. Even the gallons of floodwater flowing past our front door have hushed their swirling and raging and rushing and seem to be gliding with slightly less menace.
Yesterday, The Priory as I knew it was safe and sound but one email has rattled the cage of the sleeping beast and our team is falling to pieces. We’re not going to collapse in the face of such inconsiderate battering but we’re a little shaken to say the least.
A week ago I was fast asleep in the lounge, heavily medicated and caring little for anything but my dreams. Now I am more active, light-hearted and on no medication at all (though I still care hugely for my dreams).

“Why was I on medication?”, I hear you cry.
If you didn’t cry then I’m afraid you’re going to be told anyway, but let’s face it, you knew that was going to happen.
Well, one week and five hours ago I had full use of both of my forearms, wrists, fingers and thumbs.  And then I shut my left hand in the function room door at work and broke my wrist, clean through. While I did continue to work for five hours in pure denial of the fact that I heard the bone crunch…it did hurt a fair amount.

Much to the annoyance of Ninja Housemate, I’ve been very lucky with my doctors. In A&E a very attractive male Nurse and a dashing male Paramedic treated me. My radiographer is a tall dark and handsome student and my doctor must have been a heartbreaker as a student before he married. I will counter balance my lechery with an honest appreciation of the many beautiful female medical staff who have a hand in my recovery, but it’s really a materialistic, shallow approach to future romance that I’m taking just this second with regards to doctors. My radiographer and I have exchanged comments over our shared surname, laughed at the madness of final year (he immediately guessed I was a UoB student though I genuinely don’t know how) and engaged in small talk on poor signposting in the QE…yep, I hear wedding bells too!
Okay, I’m not that obsessed, or deluded, but it was fun at the time and this is a Valentine’s issue.

The last week has been one long learning curve, from washing my hair with my left hand to writing with my left hand, typing with my left hand and dressing with my left hand. Doing zips up the back of dresses is interesting, as is tying shoelaces, buttoning shirts, opening jars, cutting up food and sleeping on my right side…all of the things that I’m normally so blasé about.
The drugs have been the worst part I think. They didn’t agree with me and I’ve done my best to avoid them ever since.
I missed Fantasy Friend’s birthday and a couple of lectures (the latter because I wanted to sleep and the former because I can’t drink) which was a shame but I shall no doubt make up for them before long.
Ninja Housemate has been my live-in nurse, fetching carrying and telling me off for all sorts of things that I know full well I shouldn’t be doing yet simply can’t help but try.

Cake’s are going to be tricky but there are birthday’s ahead that I simply cannot miss. I had Gym Monkey Friend to make Fantasy Friend’s chocolate and raspberry cake, but these next few are going to take days to create and I really do want to do sections of them by myself. I am that stubborn.
Biscuits however, I can manage at the moment. They take some one handed weighing, some one handed rolling and some one handed cutting, but they’re really very simple!
I need to practise on my shortbread mixture, it’s not quite right and I actually think that has more to do with my oven than anything else…
So, while my creative companions were out, speaking and listening to poetry under the eaves of the Bristol Pear, I scurried about the house in earnest to make Strawberry Shortbread Stars….40 of which were consumed in fifteen minutes when they returned, suddenly hungry for more than culture. At least I always have confirmation of a good bake!

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Ingredients

300g Plain Flour
200g Unsalted Butter
120g Icing Sugar
6 or 7 large Strawberries sliced and then chopped in to small cubes
2 egg yolks
½ tsp. Vanilla Essence

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. Take the butter straight from the fridge and using your hands mix it  with the flour until you have bread crumbs
  3. Add the sugar, eggs and essence (if you have a spoonful of strawberry jam that will help the flavour) and finally the strawberries.
  4. Continue to work the mixture until you have a dough and then chill for at least half an hour, wrapped in cling film, in the fridge.
  5. Once chilled, dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour and proceed to roll the mixture as thin as you would like (1/2 inch works well for me). The thicker the biscuit, the softer it will be. Beware this mixture is very sticky and full  of moisture whivh makes it  more difficult to work with but keep throwing the flour down and preserve, I promise they turn out beautifully.
  6. Cut the dough into shapes of your choice and reroll any excess until you have exhausted it. Or until Desert Housemate can wait no longer to eat dough.
  7.  Bake for around 8mins, or until you first suspect they may be turning brown. They will continue to harden if you leave them to cool on the tray so have them looking a little squidgy as you pull them out.    
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Spontaneous Flapjack Making

Ninja Housemate and I have just made these…

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In a move reminiscent of my first ever post, we had banana’s going spare. They had once belonged to Microwave Maestro housemate but he doesn’t like them once they turn brown.
So we decided to make something with them.

I used to make the most divine Banana and Date Flapjack but we ate so much of it as a family that I had to stop to save our waistlines. Plus, I’m fairly sure our dentist suspected that we were addicted to something excessively sugary.

Unfortunately however, we had no dates in the house.
There were none in my cupboard, a lover of the sticky fruit. Not even in the little box where I hid mixed peel and sugar shapes at Christmas.
Nor were there any behind the oats and rice and flour and sugar on the top on of the cupboards.
Nor were there any beside the bags of dried fruit, stacked with the boxes of cereal that sit above the little fridge and beneath the microwave.
There weren’t even any hiding between bags of seeds and jars of honey and boxes of tea in the cupboards of our other housemates.

The variety of tea is a marvel though. If you ever fancy going travelling but can’t afford to leave Selly Oak, come over to ours…
We’ll lead you on a tour of the Far East, through dewy fields that lie beneath misty mountains lined with trees bearing fruits of shapes and colours you couldn’t possibly imagine.
We’ll fly over villages where the smoke spirals from coal-fuelled stoves fill your senses with spices. Flavours that calm and excite and inspire…
We’ll meander along paths through jungles until we’re sticky with the sap of the trees we’re swinging from and emerge onto a lawn, edged with flowers and filled with linen-clad nobility sipping sweet liquid to keep them cool in the sweltering heat…
We’ll join these gentlemen and gentlewomen and accept delicately patterned cups balanced on delicately patterned saucers, filled with tea that sends your mind on a journey to the far east, through dewy fields the lie beneath misty mountains…
I’m getting carried away.
The point I’m trying to get to is that we had no dates and so we used peanut butter instead.
Banana and Peanut Butter Flapjacks drizzled with Cadbury’s milk chocolate.
They were moreish and salty sweet and simply delicious.
I enjoyed mine with a Chai Tea.

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Ingredients
250g Oats
70g Butter
4 tbsp. Golden Syrup
2 tbsp. Peanut Butter
3 small, overripe bananas

 

Method
1. Melt the butter, syrup and peanut butter in a saucepan
2. Mash the banana’s and add them to the mix
3. Stir in the oats until every single one is coated, place on a lined baking tray and bake for around half an hour at 160C.

Flapjack consistency is a matter of preference; we like ours soft but leave yours in longer if you prefer a more firm texture.

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