A cup of tea, a biscuit and a book.
Well, normally that would mean happiness, but just lately I have been finding it difficult to find a book which I can really get into.
Time to pull out my old recipe books, especially the ones written by Florence White. A fascinating woman. I have been re-reading her autobiography, A Fire in the Kitchen (the red book) click the link if you would like to read a little of what I wrote about it.
I rarely read just one book at a time, so I have also been dipping into that most appropriately entitled book: Spring Cleaning and How to Avoid it! A quick glance told me that I stand no chance of ever being a good housewife/cleaner. Apparently I should possess a wall broom which should be used every day, to sweep the corners of the rooms, tops of doors, windows and wardrobes, and that is just for starters.
"Only dirty, careless, and untidy housekeepers really need to do a spring-cleaning."
That's me told!
I'll stick with her autobiography and the collections of old English recipes.
|My collection of Florence White books.|
Thank you, Bovey Belle - Codlinsandcream2 blog, you can find her in my sidebar.
I really am enjoying these books!
The biscuit tins were empty. Time to get baking.
Ginger biscuits, but not just any ginger biscuits!
Over recent years I have experimented with several recipes for them, all based on an old Victorian recipe for Hunting Nuts.
This time I used:
8oz dark brown sugar
8oz black treacle
all gently melted together. Then I added 4 oz chopped preserved ginger, 4 oz chopped candied ginger, 4 oz chopped dates, 2 oz powdered ginger, 3 teaspoons of Cayenne Pepper and several decent glugs of cheap brandy.
Stir them altogether, then work in as much plain flour as you can. I didn't weigh how much I put in, but it was approximately one pound. You will know when the consistency is right because it suddenly all comes together and the sides of the pan are left almost clean, the dog will be firm and very glossy.
I used my very small ice cream scoop to measure out the portions (approx 48 this time) roll the balls, flatten them with a fork, then bake them at 180C for approximately 22 minutes, the biscuits firm up as they cool, but adjust timing to suit your taste, and the size of your biscuits.
Dunk and enjoy. Be warned, they are very gingery, very nicely textured with the dates, and two lots of ginger chunks. The Cayenne Pepper gives a wonderful heat, especially with a cup of tea.
Of course you don't have to add all the extra ginger chunks, you could add dried fruit, or chocolate chunks, chopped peel, whatever takes your fancy. Perhaps you would prefer to flavour with cinnamon, or cloves. The possibilities are endless.
Time for tea, biscuits and a good read before I have to stir my stumps and get some tea on for the grandchildren.