In this age of technology; despite my weakness for all things Apple, I still love catching moments with pen and paper. I have a penchant for stationery and a particular weakness for notebooks. Maybe this is left over from my days at fashion college when I couldn’t go anywhere without my sketchbook. Not a mere noting of notions but a cornucopia of all things mode. I’d cut and colour, sketch and stick, to catch whatever was my latest thought or that of my current favourite designer. The habit has never left me and I now have a libray of lovely jottings whether it’s my original sketches, a Traveller’s Notebook with maps and memos from my trips or a Smythson leather bound Decorating book with the new colours for the bathroom wall.
Despite now having my food blog and reading as many of your posts as I can fit into the day, I still keep my kitchen notes. A soft moleskine tome of squared paper with recipes, plans for pastry and pies and hints on rescuing kitchen disasters. Cuttings from all sorts of sources. It’s my personal memoir.
The pages are precious and only dishes that I’ve tried and tested are pasted into the book along with scribbles and scraps for recipes. The Glam Teens will often request, “that curry we had last week.” Or the pasta that they really liked and I can’t even remember the starting point. If it wasn’t the same flavour as the original, despite being delicious, the result could be disappointment. So now it all goes in The Recipe Book.
Do you keep a handwritten journal or scrap book?
Mandelflarn (traditional Swedish lacey biscuits)
When I was an Au Pair in Sweden I used to make these biscuits at least once a week. I had to re-construct the recipe from memory, now they’re in the book. I’m happy with the delicate crumbly result.
- 100g Unsalted butter
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 heaped tablespoon flour
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 100g ground almonds
- heat oven to 175 degrees
- melt the butter in a pan, do not let it brown
- Add all the remaining ingredients and warm through, stirring constantly
- Spoon teaspoon size mounds of mixture onto a greased baking sheet, spaced 2 inches apart (these biscuits spread)
- cook for 6 – 8 minutes until just browning around the edges
- remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly on the tray then remove to a cooling rack.
- once cool, care needs to be taken as the biscuits are very brittle, but melt in the mouth