Lemon Biscuits

Lemon Biscuits

I adapted this recipe for Lemon Biscuits from an old recipe book which was a fund raiser for the Cobden Pre-School Centre, from July 1968. I’ve also added lemon juice for a stronger lemon flavour, however this can be left out if you prefer a plainer biscuit.

The tea set was part of Nana C’s every day set (more about her in the post for Milo Biscuits).

60 gm butter
1 Tblspn golden syrup
grated rind of one lemon
1 egg
2 Tblspns white sugar
1 and 1/4 Cups self raising flour
1 Tblspn lemon juice

Cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the egg, then the golden syrup and lemon rind.

Fold in the sifted flour using a metal spoon, then mix in the lemon juice.

Roll the mixture into teaspoon sized balls, then flatten.

Bake at 160 degrees Celsius for approximately ten minutes. Let the biscuits cool on the tray for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack.

Makes about 30 biscuits.

The Interruption of Everything by Terry McMillan

Imagine you are in your forties, peri-menopausal and bored with your husband, your children have left home but your mother in law and her dog have been living with you and your husband for over a year.

What would be your worst nightmare in this situation?

Whatever scenario you imagine, Terry McMillan puts Marilyn, the heroine of ‘The Interruption of Everything’, through much worse.

At the beginning of the book, Marilyn has spent years looking after her family at the expense of her own needs and can’t remember when her “dreams stopped being real and reality wiped out the dreams.”
Marilyn’s husband, Leon, is going through a mid life crisis of his own (which reminds me of an old joke. What’s the difference between a clown and a man having a mid-life crisis? The clown knows he’s wearing ludicrous clothes).

Her mother in law, Arthurine, regularly self diagnoses herself with an assortment of illnesses, and according to Marilyn, has “voluntary amnesia” which prevents her from being of any use around the house. Marilyn’s mother appears to be in the early to mid stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, and to further complicate things, Marilyn’s drug addicted sister and her neglected children live with her mother in a increasing state of disarray. Luckily she has strength, good friends, a hunky ex-husband sniffing around and loads of attitude to cope with the seemingly endless trials that come her way.

This is a funny book, not in a laugh out loud way, but in an ‘I can identify with that kind of way’. Marilyn, her family and friends are all good people and even though Marilyn is abrasive and has it in for everyone at times, she is very likeable and I felt as if I was on her side while I was reading ‘The Interruption of Everything’.

Custard and White Chocolate Chip Biscuits

Custard and White Chocolate Chip Biscuits

Custard and White Chocolate Chip Biscuits are a favourite with my neices and nephew.

125gm butter
1C caster sugar
1 egg
1/2 tspn vanilla extract
1 and a half C self raising flour
1/2 C custard powder
3/4 C white chocolate chips
1 Tblsn milk

Cream the butter and sugar together and then beat in the vanilla extract and the egg.

Fold in the flour and custard powder using a metal spoon, then mix in the chocolate chips and milk.

Roll the mixture into teaspoon sized balls, then bake at 160.C for approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Make sure you leave room on the trays for these biscuits to spread. Let the biscuits cool on the tray for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack.

Makes about 40 biscuits.

Poco Artisan Icecream at Port Fairy, Victoria Australia

Imagine if the internet was able to give users a taste of a recipe. If it could, I would send a taste of the Fig Cheesecake Icecream I had from Poco Artisan Icecream at Port Fairy, in western Victoria, Australia recently. It was wonderful.

I can’t even post a photo as I was too busy gobbling down my icecream to take one.

We heard about Poco from friends who had been indulging daily while on holiday in Port Fairy. They recommeded Salted Caramel, however the flavours change daily and it wasn’t on the menu when we were there. I wasn’t disappointed though, as I’m sure I’ll go back!

The line was out the door when we arrived, and it took us about 15 minutes to be served. There were hordes of people sitting around on the grass at the front of the shop eating their icecreams in perfect happiness. The shop is tiny, but there was a choice of about 20 flavours. On the day we were there the flavours included Kinder Suprise, Panna Cotta, Pistachio and Limoncello icecreams. A medium serve was around $5.

I expect the recipes are very closely guarded secrets.

Potato Salad

The forecast for Melbourne, Australia is 43 degrees Celsius today. Perfect weather for potato salad.

6 medium potatoes
310 gm tin of corn kernels
1/4 C mayonnaise
1 Tblspn Red Kelly Tasmania’s Basil and Garlic dressing (you could use French dressing, or another flavoured dressing if you prefer).
Chopped spring onions, chives and salt and pepper to taste

Boil the potoatoes in their skins until tender.

Once cool, peel the potatoes and roughly dice them into a large bowl. Add the drained corn and remaining ingredients and stir.

Serves six.

What Women Want by Nellie Thomas

What do women want?

I can only speak for myself, although I suppose ‘What People Want’ wouldn’t have been as catchy a title, and as the cover of the book says, “According to a barmaid with a library card…”

Regardless of the title, I really enjoyed this book. Nellie Thomas is an Australian comedian whose book ‘What Women Want’ is funny and clever and talks about all sorts of topics in a common sense way. When Thomas believes something is wrong, she points it out (“That’s Bull****, Mate”). No room for confusion there.

The chapter about Thomas’ childhood speak to me. She and I are the same generation and the experiences she describes of growing up in a country town in Australia surrounded by her extended family, are very familiar to me. Legwarmers, tadpoling, rural racism…

Thomas continues with chapters covering her education at university, her work history and how she became a comedian. More seriously, and just as interestingly, she discusses contemporary problems in chapters about sex (issues in general, not necessarily her personal experiences), work, relationships, health and raising children in ways that made me laugh even as she made me think about these topics in new ways. To her credit, not only does Thomas point out problems, but she offers possible solutions.

My favourite example was her description of how frustrating she found working in the welfare sector, where according to Thomas, issues were talked over and over and over and over and over, reseach reports were requested and re-requested etc, and endless symposiums held. Thomas describes wanting to force an actual decision by saying, and I quote, “LET’S JUST IMPLEMENT THE RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE LAST F***ING REPORT”.

If you have delicate ears, be warned that Thomas swears a lot in her book (it’s the Aussie way, mate) but a lot of her arguments make sense to me and made me laugh. And as someone who had her hair permed back in the day, I couldn’t agree more with the advice Nellie Thomas gives her daughter on the dedication page, “never get a spiral perm.”

Flavours Haiku

Lemon, Vanilla.
Caramel, Orange, Cinnamon.
Ginger, Chocolate.

The Bride Hunter by Amy Appleton

I nearly wasn’t going to review ‘The Bride Hunter’ by Amy Appleton, as being seen to read romance novel novels doesn’t necessarily fit with the image of myself I want others to have, which is more of a big words, Penguin published, literary type of book reader. 

However, as Jane Austen herself pointed out the joys of novel reading in ‘Northanger Abbey’, I decided to be honest with myself and admit to reading nearly everything that comes my way, light romance and chick lit included. (For the record, Jane Austen is my favourite author).

The heroine of Amy Appleton’s book ‘The Bride Hunter’ Becca, is a modern day matchmaker, who finds suitable wives for rich men. Due to having had her own heart broken in the past, Becca is unable to see that the hero is her own Mr Right, even though his suitability for this role is blindingly obvious to the reader from his first appearance in the novel. (Although to be fair, another two characters, including an old flame also have the potential to end up happily ever after with Becca by the last page too).

The plot is predictable, but enjoyable anyway. Becca has a loving family and good friends, and lives a glamorous life in London setting up romantic dates for her clients at the Tower of London, the London Eye and other tourist spots, plus, she eats the most gorgeous sounding things.

There are detailed descriptions of goodies from a bakery in the shadow of the Monument, exotic sounding Lebabese food at a hidden restaurant, her mother’s home made shepherd’s pies and apple crumble, and my absolute favourite, afternoon tea at a London hotel with a three tiered tray containing sandwiches, fruit tarts, chocolate brownies, scones and cream, with Earl Grey Tea and Champagne. I don’t drink, but the description of a Brandy Alexander recipe makes me want to try one of them too.

Even though I don’t expect to remember a thing about the storyline in a month’s time, while I was reading The Bride Hunter I was really happy. I like descriptions of good food and the chance to experience another life and romance and place through reading. I like happy endings. I like romance. This is a great book to read on a rainy afternoon, while lying on the couch and eating chocolate.

Reverse Chocolate Biscuits with White Chocolate Chips

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The first time I made Reverse Chocolate Biscuits with White Chocolate Chips, a member of the family who will remain nameless asked me where I bought them. Before tasting these, Nameless turned up his nose at home made goodies, preferring mass produced biscuits from the supermarket. Now Nameless is a convert to all things baked at home and often pops a few of these biscuits into his lunchbox for a treat.

125 gm butter

1/2 C brown sugar

1/3 C caster sugar

1 egg

1 tspn vanilla extract

1 and a half C self raising flour

1/2 C cocoa

3/4 C white chocolate chips

1 Tblspn milk

Cream the butter and sugars together and then beat in the vanilla extract and the egg.

Fold in the flour and cocoa using a metal spoon, then mix in the chocolate chips and milk.

Roll the mixture into teaspoon sized balls, then bake at 160.C for approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Let the biscuits cool on the tray for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack.

Makes about 40 biscuits.

Why Didn’t Anyone Warn Me?

I’m new to blogging.

I’ve been reading and enjoying blogs for a while, but wasn’t sure if I had something to say or not. I also have to admit to being something of a Luddite, and wasn’t confident that I would be able to manage the technical side of having my own blog.

However, two weeks ago, I read a book (suprise, suprise), called ‘Create Your Own Blog’ by Tris Hussey, which not only gave me the courage to join the WordPress community (Hussey says everyone has a story to tell), but gave me simple step by step instructions how to go about the scary technical bits – go to WordPress.com, join up, write…
Actually, ‘Create Your Own Blog’ contains instructions for a lot more than the basics of blogging. There are also sections suited to people wanting to use a blog for business purposes, how to use multimedia (two weeks ago I did not know the meaning of the word multimedia, let alone the existance of things called ‘widgets’) and much more. I’m sure I’ll be referring back to this book as my questions become more sophisticated.

I’m also reading and enjoying more blogs than I’ve ever read before, and am learning and feeling awed and inspired and amused and provoked and suprised and any number of other emotions, which I suppose is the whole point of telling stories.

So, this is my 12th blog, and I have one complaint.

Why didn’t anyone warn me before I started that blogging is addictive?

Now that I’ve started telling my stories, I don’t know if I will be able to stop. My mind is ticking over constantly. I’m waking up in the middle of the night to write things down that I want to blog about.

So, thank you Tris Hussey (I think) for your book which gave me the courage to start and thank you WordPress for providing this amazing community and platform.