Simple Things

The start of the summer holidays has begun for me, rather strangely, in total peace and quiet and I am riding on a wave of calm. The tsunami will hit the house children will be home on Wednesday, so for two days I have me, myself and I to deal with.  My girls have gone off with their brilliant granny and grandad in their camper van for a couple of days to the coast.  I felt a pang of envy as I waved them off this morning and then a wave of selfish joy at the prospect of peace.

There’s lots to do of course; a pile of writing work to be completed before our family holiday to Italy on Friday, a house that’s exploded over the course of the weekend and a passport to pick up in GLASGOW on Thursday morning – just a mere 350 miles from where I live. GLASGOW! Let that be a lesson in not checking if your children’s passports are up to date. And naively thinking, in these times of cuts to the bone in the civil service, that you can call up and get an appointment at the nearest passport office for a fast track passport. You can’t, and we’re lucky to be going on holiday at all – I got the last appointment available in the UK before we were due to travel.  So Glasgow it is. Lucky indeed.

Keeping life simple is my aim, it never, or very rarely happens though.  Such is life.  John Lennon said that “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making plans” and that man knew what he was talking about.

Keeping it simple in the kitchen is easy though, maybe that’s why I love cooking, because I have total (ish) control over what happens there, unlike in most other aspects of life.  Hmmm, something to ponder en route to GLASGOW !!!  Sorry, om… om… lucky, lucky, lucky..

I kept my calm vibe going the whole last week of term and made simple biscuits to give to various teachers, class room assistants and pre-school workers while my girls made cards.  Come on, it’s expensive enough staring down the barrel of holidays etc and a little homemade goes a long way in my book.

Double Choc Melting Moments
My mum used to make these all the time, still does, and they are the simplest of biscuits but so damn good.  I’ve added chocolate to pimp them up a bit but it’s not necessary.  I tripled the recipe which is so easy even I can remember it (3, 4, 5 – 3oz sugar, 4oz butter, 5 oz SR flour, dash of vanilla) as they had to go a long way.
(Makes 24 good size biscuits)
9oz / 225g caster sugar
12oz / 340g butter (softened)
15oz / 425g SR flour
2-3 tsp vanilla
50g each of white and dark chocolate (either choc chips or chopped from a bar – I prefer chopped from a bar as I like the less uniform texture)
  • Preheat the oven to 160oC Fan / 180oC / Gas 4
  • Line a baking sheet with grease-proof paper
  • Blend the softened butter and sugar together and add the vanilla
  • Stir in the flour and the chocolate (if using)
  • Mix well to form a thick dough
  • Take a tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball
  • Place it on the baking tray and press down gently with the back of a fork. Repeat remembering to leave enough space for the biscuits to spread
  • Cook for around 12-15 minutes or until golden
  • Leave for a couple of minutes to cool on the tray before removing to cool completely on a wire rack
When they were all cool we put them in little plastic display bags and sealed them with lengths of spare ribbon.  It was so manic on Friday morning that I forgot to take a photo though.


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