The latest batch of “school biscuits”. Picture: Renee Moodie
Yesterday I made some biscuits.
They’re known in our house as “school biscuits” and are filled with bran (yep, actual bran as in the stuff that no self-respecting kid would ever eat), wholewheat flour and oats.
Plus chocolate chips, and two kinds of sugar, and butter.
The recipe is one by Heidi Swanson and it so nicely combines nutrition with decadence that is has been a lunchbox favourite with both parents and child in our house for years.
But the best thing about them is that you make one huge batch of dough, bake one set of biscuits then and there and freeze the rest of the dough in three or four portions. And that means that on a busy weekend you can knock out a quick batch with minimal effort, remembering as you go to thank your past self for being so nice to you.
I recommend Heidi’s recipe in its entirety, but here are my notes for South African bakers:
Whole wheat flour – I have used both brown bread flour and Nutty Wheat and they both work fine.
I use three eggs instead of two
Unsalted butter – ordinary butter is fine, just cut back to half a teaspoon of salt
The all-important chocolate: we just use plain old Top Deck, cut up. In other words, you can use any chocolate you like, don’t worry about anything fancy.
So – print out the original, add my notes and get baking!
Every day, when I fetch my son from school, I look up. There in the wires in the sky are a pair of shoes. One is brown, one is turquoise. I wonder how they got there, and why they are there. I photograph them and put them on Instagram.
And wish that I was still doing One Beautiful Thing – a project where I tried to photograph one beautiful thing every day for a year. I got to about October before I lost momentum. Perhaps I should start again – I really liked the discipline of looking for something beautiful (even if sometimes it was a mission to find something, and some days I forgot). For now, though, here are those shoes:
I am laid up at home for six week after back surgery.
A lot of that time is going to be spent on a bed. So, a minor photo series is called for – a photo from whatever day bed I happen to be in. To kick off, the drab view in hospital on June 23, and a glorious winter day in Cape Town, warm enough to open the French doors.
Cat On A Warm African Night
Cape Town – A long time ago I bought a painting.
It was hanging in a small shop in Muizenberg village, and was called Cat On A Warm African Night. I fell in love with it instantly but it cost R850, a great deal of money at the time. I hummed and hawed but I had to have it. Eventually I bought it (all this time later I can’t remember where I found the money as it was certainly before I had a credit card). It has hung on the wall of all the places I have lived since, casting its benevolent gaze over my life. Every time I see it, my spirit lifts.
Last weekend, I bought another painting. Continue reading
A dog of uncertain mind and big heart.
Cape Town – A long time ago I copied down something out of Time magazine, from an interview with the Dalai Lama.
This is what he said: “Whenever I leave a hotel room, I always try to switch off the light. In a way, it’s silly. But if another ten persons follow my example, then 100 persons, there is an effect. From that point of view, I believe that constant effort, tireless effort, pursuing clear goals with sincere effort is the only way. It’s the only way! The bigger nations and more powerful leaders are not taking care. And God is also somewhere asleep, I think. So we poor human beings, we must make the attempt.”
This last week I met some people who are making the attempt. Continue reading