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March 15, 2013

there is time, so much time | "in the interests of full disclosure"

The second part of the title of this post is a pun really - because to me, it's almost ludicrous to think that a blog ever could be "full disclosure" in the truest sense of the word. This past week.. well, I hate the word busy as applied to a person's life - isn't busy something to do with lots of colours? - but to be a bit of a hypocrite, it's definitely been busy. In the colour sense maybe, in the literal sense, definitely.

This weekend I am doing nothing. I wrote on Friday into my diary for the weekend "hill time" but then learned that actually hill time can just be lying in the garden with part of a Murakami book and the cat empire playing in your ears.

For a while now I've been meaning to sort through my thousands of pictures from India. It is something that I'm glad it's taken me this long to do. Maybe because India finished abruptly with an illness, I'm not exactly sure. I do know that of C and me, I have the majority of pictures ..and I know she'll remember looking through them too. Not ones of the taj mahal (although it is beautiful) .. not ones of being on a camel (although it is nice) ... but ones like these. So in a way, this post's for her: my maharani. All these pictures are taken in Pushkar.. the place we stayed for a week rather than continue on through. Was it because we were so thankful that rickshaws couldn't make it over the hill? Quite possibly ..

1. View from the walk into town (that one day we had to walk back yelling because it was a bit late and the dogs were out...)
2. The crazy pigments/paints. Especially in Pushkar, it seemed every tourist operator offered pigments to sell..
3. Man reading the paper in the sun, Pushkar's 'main' street.
4. Train to Ajmer, view out the window. It was damp and cold.
5. Chittogarh station. A half an hour stop on the way from Udaipur to Ajmer. On reflection I think that I sometimes take photos to have something to do.
6. We are freezing cold, and I am reading a poem. I'm glad I took this picture because I don't have that book anymore.
7. Pushkar hotel balcony.


I haven't cooked in at least a week - can you tell? Next time... it'll be a recipe. I promise.


title from grizzly bear - fine for now

March 8, 2013

rollin' down the track again | jam drops for autumn

By no means am I the creator of this recipe I'm going to share with you today. Jam drops are something I'm sure my grandmothers would've made, something my own Mum made lots growing up, something I have that instinctual, familiar love of. Sometimes you have to question instinctual love - in the case of jam drops, you do not!

I made my first ever jam, using leftover redcurrants - the ones too squishy to use in this loaf - and raspberries. It made one large jar of sweet jelly-jam. It dripped off toast and was rather sweet - but it was good in unsweetened yoghurt. On the phone to Wellington, I told Mum about it. "Why don't you make jam drops," she said, "I'll send you the recipe." So, courtesy of Mum, potentially from the piece of paper I wrote the recipe out on as a 12 year old .. here's the recipe.

jam drops

200g butter
1/4 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 and 3/4 cups plain flour
1/4 cup cornflour
about 1/4 cup jam - I like berry flavours but I've made them with apricot jam before too.

Preheat oven to 170ºC fan bake.

Cream butter and icing sugar until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add sifted flour and cornflour and mix until the mixture comes together. Mould dough into a soft ball and chill for 10-15 minutes.

Roll mixture into teaspoonful sized balls and place on a lined baking tray. Press an indent in the centre and fill with jam. Bake for 12-15 minutes until pale golden and set.

Note -
One of the key things with jam drops and other buttery biscuits is that you don't make them on a hot day or you try and keep the mixture cold. I made these on a day that felt freezing after summery temperatures - the butter was hard on the bench and the olive oil was going a bit cloudy (as it does when it's cold).

Another is to not fill the indents completely. A smaller amount of jam than you think will be sufficient! They will not look perfect but they will look rustically beautiful.

Our oven does not have fan bake and is usually cooler than what it says - so mine took longer to cook. We did 20 minutes at 180ºC and then 5 minutes at 200ºC.

This recipe made 16, but in retrospect I would make them smaller. They disappeared very quickly - and that was excellent, as with the amount of butter in the recipe makes these a definite treat food! 


Hope you and yours have a happy weeekend! Around these parts I'm looking forward to a quiet Saturday night in, possibly involving scrubbing the bath. Sometimes I can be introverted like that - I think it's good to be a little introverted now and then.


title from neil young - see the sky about to rain.