S1, Ep 9: Annabelle applauds mediocrity and a poem, while Gillian talks about hygge and shares a proverb for life.


 

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It seems like I am not the only one who loves condensed milk. We've had quite a bit of correspondence from listeners about their favourite recipes and here I have included one from Lindsay Cameron Wilson, host of the brilliant The Food Podcast (on instagram @thefoodpodcast) for some classic New Zealand condensed milk choc chip cookies. The recipe comes from a book she wrote with Pippa Cuthbert called Cookies! Thank you Lindsay.

Annabelle xx

Lindsay's Condensed Milk Cookies

 Lindsay's condensed milk cookies - from the book Cookies! by Pippa Cuthbert and Lindsay Cameron Wilson

Lindsay's condensed milk cookies - from the book Cookies! by Pippa Cuthbert and Lindsay Cameron Wilson

 

200g (1 cup) salted butter, softened

75g (1/2 cup) white sugar

125ml (1/2 cup) condensed milk (typically half the can - save the rest for stolen spoonfuls)

250g (2 1/4 cups) plain flour 

1 tsp baking powder

300g (1 1/2 cups) chopped chocolate or chocolate chips

 

Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

Beat butter and sugar together until soft and creamy. Pour in the condensed milk and beat to combine. 

In a separate bowl, sift together flour and baking powder. Stir into butter mixture, add the chopped chocolate and stir to combine. 

Roll dough into tablespoon-sized balls and place on baking sheets. Press down gently with a fork and bake for 10 minutes, or so, until lightly golden. 

 

Anne's Orange and Pecan Thins

And another recipe in from my friend and neighbour across the river, Anne, who delivered these very moreish biscuits wrapped up in brown paper and tied up with string - the perfect little something for with my coffee. Thank you Anne, I shared them with absolutely nobody. It's a David Herbert recipe and the logs of biscuit mix will be the perfect thing to put in the freezer for my babysitting parents while I am away in Scotland with Gillian.

 
 
 Orange and pecan thins

Orange and pecan thins

 

450g butter, softened at room temp

300g caster sugar

250g plain flour, sifted

250g self-raising flour, sifted

2 eggs, lightly beaten

175g pecans, chopped

zest of 1 orange

 

Mix all the ingredients in an electric mixer on low speed until combined.

Divide the mixture into two or three portions, and roll each into a log about 5cm in diameter. Wrap in baking paper, twisting the ends to seal and chill until just firm. Remove from fridge and roll the log along the bench top a couple of times to refine the log shape. Return to the fridge for at least 2 hours or until very firm.

Preheat oven 180C and line a baking sheet with paper. Unwrap the log and cut into thin slices (3-4mm). Place onto baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

You can keep the remaining logs in the freezer until you next feel like putting some biscuits in the oven. You'll just need to let the log thaw a little before slicing.

 

Stephen Dunn's poem The Inheritance

You shouldn’t be surprised that the place
you always sought, and now have been given,
carries with it a certain disappointment.
Here you are, finally inside, and not a friend
in sight. The only gaiety that exists
is the gaiety you’ve brought with you,
and how little you had to bring.
The bougainvillea outside your front window,
like the gardener himself, has the look
of something that wants constant praise.
And the exposed wooden beams,
once a main attraction, now feel pretentious,
fit for someone other than you.
But it’s yours now and you suspect
you’ll be known by the paintings you hang,
the books you shelve, and no doubt
your need to speak about the wallpaper
as if it weren’t your fault. Perhaps that’s why
wherever you go these days
vanity has followed you like a clownish dog.
You’re thinking that with a house like this
you should throw a big party and invite
a Nick Carraway and ask him to bring
your dream girl, and would he please also
referee the uncertainties of the night?
You’re thinking that some fictional
characters can be better friends
than real friends can ever be.
For weeks now your dreams have been
offering you their fractured truths.
You don’t know how to inhabit them yet,
and it might cost another fortune to find out.
Why not just try to settle in,
take your place, however undeserved,
among the fortunate? Why not trust
that almost everyone, even in
his own house, is a troubled guest?

 

Links

Pulitzer Prize winning poet Stephen Dunn's website 

An article written by Alain de Botton on romantic realism in The Guardian  here

And a terrific, in-depth interview with Alain de Botton via the Lit Up podcast here

Writer Elizabeth Gilbert speaks about creativity on the On Being podcast here


Gillian's postcard from England

 
 
 Sunday morning market. Arundel, Sussex

Sunday morning market. Arundel, Sussex

 My friend  @felicity_lock 's allotment in Arundel. It wins the prettiest allotment with best view award from me.

My friend  @felicity_lock 's allotment in Arundel. It wins the prettiest allotment with best view award from me.

 
 
 Fiona and Malcolm H, members of I Zingari cricket club (established 1845), watching I Zingari play the Duke of Norfolk's X!, Arundel cricket ground.

Fiona and Malcolm H, members of I Zingari cricket club (established 1845), watching I Zingari play the Duke of Norfolk's X!, Arundel cricket ground.

 Another view from Felicity's allotment. I want to live there.

Another view from Felicity's allotment. I want to live there.

 
 
 A serendipitous find in Brighton, Sussex. Old stamps that are still legal tender. Just the ticket for my dispatches to Annabelle! 

A serendipitous find in Brighton, Sussex. Old stamps that are still legal tender. Just the ticket for my dispatches to Annabelle! 

 
 
IMG_6008.jpg

Annie, just dropping you a quick postcard so I can share these lovely stamps.