pear chocolate almond scones

 

 

scone + coffee = breakfast of championsscones, scones, scones

I really love scones. They’re quick, they’re easy, they’re versatile and they’re absolutely delicious.

Stephanie Alexander’s sister once told her that when she heard the sound of a visitor at the gate, she should be able to get a batch of scones in the oven by the time they were at the front door. I’m fairly sure I’ve mentioned that before, but I love it so much, I’m saying it again. I don’t think I’m at that stage yet, but I can definitely make you scones for breakfast when I get back from my morning run.

pair of pears

chocolate + almonds = delicious

Scones take next to no effort, especially if you’re using a food processor. I don’t tend to these days, as I’m living at a house that doesn’t have a dishwasher. When you’re faced with three extra dishes or one to clean, always choose one.

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coconut bread

the cripple

You’ve got to know where your towel is.

Towels are important, in life.

baked

“A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value – you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to- hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you – daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.”

From The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

eggs

vanilla

The most ridiculous thing happened to me last week, which is why I now need a towel around my neck at all times. My alarm went off at 6.30 am (yes, it’s a ridiculous hour of the morning. I’m experimenting with running. It was going well, until) I went to turn it off and somehow injured my neck. Continue reading

lemon cranberry scones

I decided not to do NaNoWriMo this year.

It makes me a little sad, because I really really really enjoyed the whole process last year of discovering a whole book within me and trying, teeth gritted, white-knuckled, to extricate it and put it on paper. It’s still in unfinished, unedited, partially untyped form. Continue reading

buttermilk scones

I have been moving around a lot lately, I think I’ve mentioned it before. I counted recently and if you count all the times I’ve moved in the last three years, I’ve moved twelve times in the last three years.

Twelve.

Twelve is a lot of times. Twelve moves is twenty four cars packed forty eight times. Twelve moves is twelve times I’ve forgotten little pieces of my life, bits of me scattered all over eastern Victoria.

Twelve moves is twelve times I’ve had to say goodbye. Continue reading

soft pretzels

Last night*, we watched Midnight in Paris, ate cheese and baguettes and sipped on alcoholic beverages. Last night, a vision of a fromagerie was born, where artisan cheeses would be served to customers who love food as much as we do. Last night, a storm was born and raged for a short while. Continue reading

breakfast

I went home this past weekend to visit my family and ooh and aah over my sister’s wedding photos. I don’t always get home as often as I’d like to, despite the fact that my family only live a 2 1/2 hour drive away. Our lives get busy, work doesn’t always co operate and sometimes, there just isn’t the time.

However, I did get to drive home after work on Saturday, listening to the Joy the Baker podcast and finally wearing a light, summery dress – the weather is warming up, people! Despite my penchant for winter and all the fun it brings, there’s something undeniably uplifting about a warm, sunny day, light sandals and country air.

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spring sunday

On Sunday, I went to the farmer’s market, baked bread, planted seeds to start a veggie garden and made chocolate yogurt muffins. It was a pretty productive day all around, except for the fact that I did not work on the essay that is due this Friday that I specifically stayed home to do. Ah well.

So this post will be pretty photo heavy. But they’re pretty! Look:

I didn’t write this yesterday because I was having a bit of a hard time finding words. My brain’s been a bit muddled up recently; I’ve been busy and stressed and I just can’t wait till uni’s over and I have a break.

In the meantime, I take time out from not studying to go to farmer’s markets and gobble up the amazing produce and products they have on offer. I start a garden. I run. I read. And I spend more time than I should on the internet.

I also have been spending time with some amazing friends recently and it’s been so good to catch up with people and really feel supported and loved. Sometimes, although I live in a house with a lot of people, it gets lonely and I start to descend into a bit of a funk.

Sometimes it’s worse than others, sometimes it lasts longer than others, sometimes I don’t admit it to myself and sometimes I do. Sometimes I’m a little bummed out for no reason, other times I’m a lot bummed out for no particular reason.

Sometimes there is a reason. It doesn’t really matter; what matters is that I push through, that there is light at the end of the road, that there is chocolate cake and homemade bread and good friends to laugh and hang out with.

And so, to bread!

As I’ve mentioned before, bread is an amazing food to make yourself. It really brings you to the essence of food – this most basic of sustenances is such a miracle to behold. I’m serious.

This bread I adapted from Jamie Oliver’s The Naked Chef and while it’s not bad, I probably preferred the peasant loaf I made a little while ago. Still, I’m not really one of those people who will stick to one amazing recipe – I have to try them all!

This is better, I think, than bread you make in a bread machine. For starters, you get to get your hands dirty. Secondly, the texture is much nicer .

I had this with roasted tomato jam from jam lady jam and sharp cheddar cheese. It was divine. If you are in Healsville or about the area, you have to find jam lady jam or handmade in Healsville products. They are amazing.

This has been a kinda jumpy-aroundy post again and I do apologise for my erratic thought patterns and complete randomness. I hope to be much more organised in the future (namely, when uni has finished) although I’m not promising anything.

Bread

Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s The Naked Chef

325ml tepid water

10g active dry yeast

15g sugar

15g salt

250g bread flour

250g plain flour

olive oil

polenta

Whisk together sugar, yeast and water. Set aside.

Whisk together salt and flours in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in wet ingredients. Stir together using a wooden spoon or your hands. When incorporated, flour your bench and dump dough on it. Knead for 5-10 minutes, then form into a ball.

Lightly brush oil all over your large bowl and place your ball of dough in and lightly brush oil over it so it’s covered. Cover the bowl with glad wrap or a damp tea towel and leave in a warm spot to rise for about an hour to an hour and a half.

Gently deflate and knead another minute or so. Shape into the type of loaf you want and sprinkle polenta over your baking tray (or the bottom of your loaf tin) and place dough on the tray. Let rise till doubled, about another hour. You can preheat your oven now to about 225 degrees celsius.

When dough has risen, slash a few cuts in the top with a sharp knife and place in oven for about half an hour. To check if it’s ready, when it’s deep golden brown, tap the bottom of the loaf and if it sounds hollow, it’s ready. Let cool for about twenty minutes before ripping into it with your bare hands like a heathen slicing into it and scarfing it down.