Monday, 10 May 2010

Ginger Biscuits

It shouldn't be a mammoth task, making a batch of biscuits, but somehow it became one.

Firstly, we don't have an oven. As we are planning to go off-grid in the coming few months (alright, it might take a bit longer!), we are loath to buy an appliance which will only be used for a short time. My parents have a little worktop electric oven/hob, and so I borrowed that. It was very heavy, and my impatience meant that I had to carry it myself, squidged against my bump. I won't be doing that again. How stupid - to risk a baby for a biscuit!

Secondly, the work on the polytunnel (Phil and my folks were down there) came to a point where everyone started losing perspective. The problem was that the instructions had not really talked about how to deal with the armfuls of spare plastic at the ends around the doorways. I mean, it was obvious that it needed to be carefully pleated to account for all the extra material coming over the hoops, but how had other people done it so that it look presentable, instead of crumpled and bunched up? That was the question being asked. As the oven heated up, I went down to the field with my laptop to quickly show some pictures of polytunnels I'd found online. They looked tidy, but when you looked closely you could see that every one of them had chosen a different style of pleating and folding. So as long as we did it nicely, it would be good. It took three of us to get the job done, and at least an hour. Needless to say, the oven was nicely warmed by the time I got back to the house.

Thirdly, the recipe asks for golden syrup, but I had none. So I used the equivalent of honey, and when the 'dough' didn't seem to be getting less crumby, I added a couple of tablespoons of water. Not knowing how the dough should feel for this recipe, I wasn't too confident, but must admit that the results are delicious! :)

Fourthly, and finally, the recipe made enough dough to make thirty eight walnut-sized balls and therefore thirty six biscuits (ha ha, just kidding, I ate two before they had a chance to cool!) which somehow meant that the baking tray went into the oven four times. It's a very small oven, and an even smaller tray!

If you'd like to try the recipe, you can find it here. I added a handful of finely chopped crystallised ginger, but next time would add two or three handfuls, and remove the ground ginger altogether. I'm so pleased to not only have the time to make treats like these, but also to have reduced my stress levels so much that I can now easily read a recipe - it may sound stupid, but for a long time I simply couldn't follow them, no matter how simple - now I'm much better!

But then, everybody knows that biscuits make everything better, right? :P


  1. Erm,

    Boy, you are getting this homestead thing DOWN,girl. All you need is a patchwork quilt (and no doubt you're working on that AS I TYPE).

    You have made quite the life for yourself, Miss Emilymach, and I, for one, am very proud of you - who'd a thunk that funny, sassy, fiddle-playing lady would have become an amazing, multiskilled, homemaking, babybearing beauty? (Oh, I did, yay me :)) xxxxxx

  2. Fanks, Klay *blush* :D xxx
    Your encouragement and inspiration certainly helps! Am really pleased to see your recent blog activity - making lush stuff, horray! :D

  3. Mmmm, I'm getting rather jealous. Would dearly love to sack it all off and have our very own smallholding. You're a super-inspiring lady Emily :) As always, I look forward to the next installment.

    Biscuits look ace by the way, mmmm.

  4. Wow, they look fantastic. And baking really is good for the soul. Sorry I haven't been keeping up with your posts but for some reason my "blogs I follow" feed is still showing your previous post and not this one!

  5. saw cookies -> pangs of hunger and salivation! :)