Celebrating being in a place of our own

Well to say it has been a while since my last blog is a gross understatement. having been in transit for just over a year, my partner and I have finally moved into a place of our own. It feels great to have all my cookware and books around me instead of them all being in a far off place called “storage”.

I have cooked a few dishes since I moved in a few weeks ago but failed to take photos of most of them. I have read a lot of books in the past year as well. So I will slowly have to update my blog with what I can pull from my memory.

Yesterday was a complete domestic day. After a few hours of study I went into the front garden and planted bulbs for the first time in my life. Then into the kitchen to bake scones, lemonade scones to be exact. They were the lightest, fluffiest scones I have ever eaten. You could say I am biased, well yes I am, but my husband ate four in a row and obviously loved them. So here is the recipe

Lemonade scones

3 cups of self-raising flour

1 cup of cream (I used thickened as it was what I had on hand)

1 cup of lemonade

1 pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients together lightly with a knife. (don’t mix too much or you will have hard scones, just pull it together lightly). Then tip onto a floured surface and ever so lightly and gently knead (I just pushed it around a few times), gently flatten out with hands until around 3cm, grab scone cutter or something of similar shape and size (ensure you keep dipping in flour) and cut out. combine all the bits & bobs of dough left and flatten and cut until you have used all your dough. place in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius and in around twenty minutes light fluffy delicious scones will emerge.

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Spice fruit loaf

The last baking sensation I experienced before packing my rolling pin away was a spiced fruit loaf. I used a bread recipe I have had for many years and added ground cinnamon, grated nutmeg, diced apricots, currants and slivered almonds and a glaze. The aroma of the spiced bread through the house was comforting like being wrapped in a quilt lounging with a good book on a rainy day. The above ingredients were not measured, I have a habit of being a bit freehand with my cooking, pretty much to my taste and smell. However the basic bread recipe I did follow. Over the years I have substituted wholemeal and white bread flour in different ratios as well as following it to the tee. I would love to hear if anyone tries it and their spin on it.

11/4 Cup of warm water

2 tsp dried yeast

1 tsp castor sugar

3 cups plain flour

2 tsps bread improver

1 tsp salt

30gms butter, chopped

Combine water, yeast and sugar, set aside until it gets frothy. Rub flour and butter together to get a crumb texture then add bread improver and salt. (add cinnamon, nutmeg and dried fruits). Make a well in the centre and add yeast mixture stir. Once it comes together knead dough until smooth. Set aside to rise. Once risen punch down knead for a short time and shape. preheat oven to 220 degrees celcius. Place on a lined tray cover with damp tea towel and let rise again. Once risen, place slivered almonds on top, I dig them in a little so they don’t slide off. Then glaze (whisked egg and a touch of milk) and bake.

Perfect with a mug of Imagehot chocolate!

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Latest read

Browsing online through my local library’s catalogue the other week I came across a new addition to the libraries non-fiction collection. ‘The Riddle of the Labyrinth – the quest to crack an ancient code and the uncovering of a lost civilisation By Margalit Fox. Instantly catching my attention I immediately placed it on hold and I am glad I did.
Fox tells the history of the deciphering of the Linear B tablets which were found at Knossos and contain an unknown script. ¬†The story is told from when the tablets were found to after they have been decoded.¬†Credit is given to Alice Kober whose full involvement had been unnoted in previous texts. Reading the section on Kober gave me a strange sense of pride for a woman I didn’t even know. Kober planned her life around decoding the script, the script was not fitted into her life plan. In the end it takes the involvement of a number of people who Fox tells us about to break the code.
If you have an interest in language and history this should definitely satisfy a hunger for both, it did for me.

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The beginning of my blog

Like most people I have a large number of varied interests in life. The two that are closest to my heart are Books and Food, which both have brought around the idea of this blog. Book wise I will be sharing what I have read recently and what I have read in the past that has impacted on me. Food wise it will be my cooking adventures, new food cravings, ingredients I love as well as food that provides a pleasurable eating out experience. (That could be from a burger place to a fine dining restaurant, my tastes are varied).

The next few weeks will be slow as I am in the process of moving house and those who have had to suffer the frustrations of moving before will be able to understand my dilemmas. I have already packed most of my house up, including all my books and most of my kitchenware. Returned all the library books I had out and I am going on my gut feeling and not going to borrow anymore until I’m settled again (the horror of losing a library book is not one I wish to endure).

Therefore my posts in the food area will be on trying to cook with limited resources and any memorable eating out experience I believe is worth mentioning.

On the book and reading subject I will be sharing the joy of my latest read with you all in my next post.

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