Baking in protest

I haven’t cooked anything lately.  Absolutely nothing.  I would like to be able to say that it’s because I have been so busy.  But the fact is, I haven’t been doing all that much.  I should be busier, however I’ve been a permanent state of nervous energy.  That kind of insatiable energy you get when you know there are a thousand things you really need to be doing, but you can seem to sit down and get on with any of them.  And unfortunately, cooking is one of the things that I don’t feel like I absolutely need to be doing, so my oven has been neglected.  Cooking isn’t the only casualty of my back-to-school frenzy.  My knitting is untouched, my sewing machine hasn’t escaped its dust cover in weeks.  My sourdough starter has died, and is yet to be replaced.  My kitchen table is, instead of a tablecloth and candles, littered with lecture notes, half read books, articles with random yellow lines over the things that maybe, could be, important to remember.  My notebooks are already, three weeks in, almost full of reading notes.

I have been trying to find some kind of routine by which I can manage all my reading, all my lectures and find the time to cook, but I still haven’t found it.  Today though, after four weeks of reading every day, I can’t face those notebooks.  I refuse to look at those articles, because, today, for the first time, they stir in me nothing but resentment.  It’s not that I don’t love my course, I’ve always enjoyed learning, and reading, but never before have I felt this strongly that you can definitely, definitely have too much of a good thing.

So I went on a walk.  Got a coffee outside.  Sat in the park with a blanket and a novel.  I enjoyed Autumn, my favourite season, the way it should be enjoyed: outdoors.  But as the afternoon chill set in, I set off in order, not to cook, but instead to bake.  To bake some golden, warming biscuits in celebration of the arrival of my beloved Autumn, eat them with a big mug of tea, or perhaps a good glass of wine, some scones made during a burst of energy last night, and refuse to even think about work, at least until tomorrow (the scones were made from this recipe here with golden sultanas).

Just a note: these would be extra good with three to four balls of chopped stem ginger, and a spoonful or two of the syrup from the jar.  Unfortunately, after a long and tiring hunt for stem ginger, the rain defeated me.  But they are delicious without.

Ginger Biscuits
Makes about 24 big biscuits
100g butter
200g light brown muscavado
1 big tablespoonful of golden syrup
300g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 beaten egg
demerera sugar

Preheat the oven to 160°c and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Over a low heat, melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup.
While these are melting, sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate and spices together in a big bowl.
Pour in the melted ingredients and mix well.  It should have a sandy consistency, with no major lumps.  I like to do this with my hands, but I’m sure a wooden spoon would work well too.
When everything’s combined, add the beaten egg and mix until the dough is holding its shape.
Roll ping pong sized bits of dough into balls and flatten slightly on the baking tray.  Sprinkle with a little demerera.
Bake for 13 minutes, or until they are just starting to colour.  They will still be very soft when you take them out, but they’ll firm up as they cool.