BAKING YOUR WAY OUT OF A FUNK
Tuesday seems to have become baking morning around here.
Summer holidays are an odd beast. I very much love them, but you can also get a bit lost. There's an adage that if you want something doing, ask a busy person - and the summer holidays sort of by definition make me the opposite of that!
The children are at nursery on Monday and Tuesday which means I get to do all the many things that I don't have time for when I'm chasing their darling persons around the place... except, come Monday, I don't exactly want to do the ironing. Chores are one thing, but baking seems to be another, it makes something rather than unmaking it and seems to lead me into fixing a bunch of other things around the place. Today the kitchen got cleaned and a the lamb bones from dinner with parents this weekend got made into stock. It also lets me get to lunch feeling like I've achieved something and I get tasty snacks - what's not to like about this plan?
I rediscovered the Hairy Biker's Book of Baking - I'm normally pretty good at remembering where most things in this house came from, but I'm drawing a blank on this one. It might have come from my sister in law, but I wouldn't swear to it - it was the book of my summer we moved here, but it seems to have got lost in the back of the bookshelf. I pulled it out last week and rediscovered all the tasty things inside its only slightly flour and egg splattered pages.
The recipe for Amaretti biscuits is quick and weirdly mess free. They are also very tasty. So tasty that I made them again this morning - both times I discovered half way through that I didn't have quite enough ground almonds. Fortunately I know the shops round the corner have them so I get to add a quick 5 minute walk into the baking ritual!
How can you not love whisking egg whites and sugar?
After whisking up the Amaretti biscuits I decided to have a bash at these sweet plaited breads... start with 1kg of flour - what?? Yes, 1kg of flour - half of these loaves are going to keep in the freezer for a bit, my SHINY NEW FRIDGE-FREEZER which is arriving TOMORROW. I am quite excited about this. The one we have at the moment was bought for my brother circa 2001 for the flat in Glasgow. Since then it has travelled to Andover to Ed's old flat, then to Wargrave when we moved in together and then on here back to Reading. The fridge is missing a shelf and one of the freezer drawers gets itself frosted shut about a month after I defrost it, which I hate doing. Replacing it is going to make me a happy person. It also meant that I could get Ed to employ a power tool of his choice to cut through the wires on the top drawer to liberate the last of the Oak Farm lamb for Sunday dinner without feeling too bad at all. Anyway, back to baking...
Yum, yum, yum... They look pretty much like the ones in the book, which is impressive for me as bread is very not my baking forte.
Now I need to do the actual chores. Ed has moved down the garden into #edjail leaving behind a tatty mess in the old office. Much cleaning is needed and organising and a musical cupboards. Yummy sweet bread might keep me going though.