So far, I’ve got precisely one resolution, and that is to shake this foul cold I’ve been harbouring for a week. A week of being ill is just a pointless waste of time. I’ve even stopped in tonight because I feel so vile and yuck. It’s back to work tomorrow, so I better feel better. I aint got time for it.
I thought I’d just include a quick recipe for the Christmas Chelsea Buns I made.
I don’t hold with American measurements. Sorry, Americans. Cups are a stupid way to measure things. What if I have a big cup? Or a small cup? Is there a measuring cup you have to buy? If you have to buy equipment, you might as well have scales. I don’t think cooking is that much of an exact science, but a cup seems a very haphazard way of doing business.
So… in grams. Because everyone understands them and they aren’t culturally biased!
500g strong white flour
50g white sugar
15g dried yeast
1 tsp salt
1 jar of Mooreish drunken mincemeat, or whatever substandard product you might have to hand, about 250-300g,
100g icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
Mix the dry ingredients for the dough: bread flour, salt, yeast, sugar. Add the softened butter and work it into breadcrumbs. They don’t have to be very fine, but finer than crumble. Make a well in the middle. Pour in the milk and add two of the eggs. Stir in with a spoon at first until the mixture is less moist, then begin to knead the dough. Knead it for about 5 minutes on a floured surface.
Leave to rise for about an hour and a half.
Knock the air out and roll out to a rectangle about the thickness of a euro/pound coin. Mix the mincemeat with the remaining egg (whisk before you add it) and then spread the mixture over the dough. Make sure you don’t leave any bare bits around the edges. Roll it up like a Swiss roll, then cut into 12 segments. I usually cut it in half, then half, then threes. Put the rounds on their sides in a cake tin lined with parchment. It doesn’t matter if they’re touching. Leave it to rise in a warm place for another hour and a half.
Bake at 220° for 10 mins, then 180° for 20 mins.
When it is cooking, prepare the icing mix. Blend the cinnamon with the icing sugar. Add enough milk (maybe 3 tablespoons) to the icing sugar make a thick drizzle. When the buns are cooked, pour it over the top. Yum.
I’ve not only been busy with the baking, but with my needles. I knitted three scarves, two hats and a little sleeveless jacket. Whoo!
I’ve also made a few more gifts, but you can’t see them yet because they haven’t all been a) completed or b) received.
As for Resolutions 2011 number 61-70…
61. Read two more Dickens novels. Fail.
62. Read some Victor Hugo in French (one of my 10 books!) Fail.
63. Plant a rose bush. Success!
64. Spend a day in Limoges. Fail.
65. Go down to Rocamador. Fail.
66. Go on 10 new long walks. Success!
I like to keep maps of my big walks, though I confess, it’s largely Heston who has spurred me on in pursuit of this goal.
67. Have a proper picnic with a proper picnic blanket. Yay. Had several of these in the summer!
68. See a French film in a French cinema and laugh or hold my breath in all the right places. Okay, not a French film, but an English film. I need to get myself more cultivated.
69. Go to see something at the Carmelite music hall. Even better! It was Jake!
70. Celebrate 14th July in France this year – first time since I was about 8! I even watched fireworks!
I reckon I’ve got 38 out of 70. That’s not too shabby. I wonder what I’ll think of this NYE to keep my brain moving in 2013.
The best part of these lists is the enjoyment I’ve had in doing the things on it. Or in near misses. As anyone who has suffered depression knows, a ticklist like this can sometimes be little more than a seemingly pointless bucketlist. The medical term is anhedonia. A lack of enjoyment. A list like this can just make you feel even more empty and devoid of fun. You just see it as a ticklist of experiences that will be long-forgotten. Japan was on my tick list and I’m sad to say I did not enjoy it as much as I should have done, even though I enjoyed it a lot. Being able to create such a list as the one I made last year, and – even more – being able to enjoy the things on it – is a big change for me.