Thursday, 3 November 2011

Today I shall mostly NOT be Making Scones

I'm sulking.

It's a big pouty-thumb-in-the-mouth-sulk too. 

I like to think that I'm a decent enough cook.  I can follow a recipe. I can make up my own and produce something presentable and palatable at a push.  I can make a mean Vicky Sponge.  Puddings, pies, muffins, brownies - they all turn out ok.   So why can't I make that simplest of fare - that most elementary of cakes - the humble scone?

I've tried.  Lawwwwwd how I've tried.  (cue plaintive Billie Holliday background vocals)  Probably at least 37 (and a half) different recipes.  I've followed allegedly fail safe recipes from friends.  I've attempted those from all of the new young bucks in the culinary world.  I've consulted  the revered tomes of High Priestesses Nigella, Delia and Mary.  And, more latterly, i.e. this morning, I've used the holy grail of all sconish recipes from Richard Hunt, the scone baker extraordinaire who has allegedly made 150,000 of these doughy delicacies in his lifetime and who recently disclosed his top secret method on La Allsop's new programme. 

Well. All I have to say is ...

PAH!!!!  it doesn't ruddy well work!!!

I don't know what I'm doing wrong.  I measure accurately to the very last grain of whatever is required, I handle the dough as little as possible - hey I even hide behind cupboards and merely surprise it a little with a fork rather than over work it. My ingredients are fresh. My oven is correctly set.  I whisper loving incantations to it as the dough comes together.  I offer up silent prayers to the Kitchen Witch as the tray slides into the hot oven.

My culinary nerves are frayed as I chew my nails in anticipation at opening the oven to billowy, well risen pillows of sconishness... only to find what can probably be best described as fat biscuits which sit there in a huddle and snigger at me as if to say... HAHHHH you STILL CAN'T MAKE SCONES!!


Well, scones, you have finally defeated me. My Kitchen Witch has flown out through the cat flap in despair and embarrassment and I'm about to launch another dozen projectiles into the garden for the dog to do with what he will.  I'd throw them to the birds but the RSPB know where I live.

Do you have a fail-safe recipe for the little buggers you'd like to share?   Is there a recipe which constantly defeats you?   I'd love to know!

Thanks to all of you who read my blog and a very warm welcome to my new follower. It's lovely to see you here x

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Making Winter - Location, Location, Location ...

When there's a strong cool breeze whipping the fallen leaves around the garden, you simply need to choose your snoozing space  v e r y carefully....

A sunny windowsill conveniently situated above a radiator.

Or a furry, snuggly, throw on a squashy sofa where you can fade chameleon like into the background and pretend you're not really there.

It's all about the perfect location for winter snoozing.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Making Winter Blog-hop - Winter Warmington

Happy November blogging lovelies - or Bloglies as you're affectionately known on my blog!

A lovely idea for some Wintery themed blog posts has been hatched between Emma and her good friend Mrs TH.   I love this idea - I'm not a big fan of the long gloomy nights to be honest.  I'd rather be outside listening to the chattering of the chickens, pottering around the garden and watching the shadows lengthen across the field.  However as we have absolutely no influence over the seasons then instead of grumbling about the onset of the darker months, I shall attempt to embrace it instead.

My first Making Winter post, therefore, features something I've mentioned a couple of time over the last couple of blog post... a hot toddy - or, as I've re-christened it -  Kim's Winter Warmington.

It's soooo simple, but oh so comforting - particularly when the seasonal sniffle symptoms are beginning to take hold. 

  • Take 2 Pints of cider (any kind - dry/sweet - your preference)
  • 1 pint of Lemonade
  • 2 tablespoons of soft brown sugar (or to your taste)
  • 1 Orange (sliced)
  • 1 Eating Apple (peeled, cored and cut into chunks)
  • 1 Schwartz Mulled Wine sachet  (find in the herbs & spices aisle of your local supermarket)

Add all of the ingredients to a large pan and allow to simmer away for at least 30 minutes for the spices to infuse into the liquid - the longer the better really - before ladling into your favourite mug.  Lock the door, settle down in your big comfy armchair, put your feet up and sip your drink whilst it's still warm.  This is a two hand job mind, both hands need to be around that mug to savour the full effect!

And there you have it - a veritable hug in a mug, a soother for your sore throat and a thaw for frozen fingers all in one.

If you're planning a long walk on a frosty afternoon, why not put the infusion into your slow cooker and allow it to brew away whilst you're out?  What a wonderful welcome home it will be.

If you can't find the sachets, try your own combination of cloves, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.  I guess you could use apple juice if you don't care for cider, but most of the alcohol will be simmered out of the brew anyway.  No scented candle can compete with the aroma this brew gives off!

Now sod's law dictates that my camera batteries ran out this evening.  Gurt big sigh of exasperation!!  So here's a repeat pic from yesterday - sorry bout that!!

Sunlight on the fruit bowl!
Sunshine in the saucepan!


Working from home

I've taken a precious day of annual leave today.  I've really struggled this week with feeling so yuk and I needed the restorative ...