How is it that when you decide to make something, say a cake or a curry with an unusual ingredient you know you bought some time ago, you just can’t find it, even though you take everything out of the cupboard? Or if you’re making say, biscuits, or bread and you find that the full bag of something is actually half empty, or there are only two eggs and you need three? And then… and then when you do a major clear out of cupboards to tidy, clean and organise you find three or four of the same item (sometimes the very one you couldn’t find when you needed it!)
In my clearing and downsizing of stuff campaign (following on from my chuck-out-a-thing-everyday-for-a-year effort in 2016), I have been through all the food cupboards. First it was the pasta/pulses/grains box, then it was the cans and bottles, last week it was the herbs and spices, this week it is sweet spices and baking ingredients including flour.
- three full bags of almonds plus 1½ open bags of flaked almonds
- more dried fruit than I will need to make a huge Christmas cake (sultanas, raisins, dates, prunes, apricots, cherries)
- 23 bottles of flavourings and colourings (some duplicates)
- 1½ icing bags of sugar, plus two glass coffee jars with icing sugar, and a plastic tub and several small sandwich bags
- half a dozen tubs of baking powder, cream of tartar and bicarbonate of soda
- sugar Christmas decorations from two years ago (they had gone yellow)
- four jars of ground ginger, 1 plastic pot of ground ginger, plus allspice and mixed spice and cinnamon
- ingredients I am not sure I will ever use including glucose syrup, gelatin and oil of cassia – I had five bottle of oil of cassia – I only ever use a couple of drops when I’m making Easter biscuits which I occasionally do at Easter – which is once a year
- an empty bottle of rose-water – the contents had spread themselves everywhere and turned a few things at the far distant corners of the cupboard mouldy…
- lots of single items of stuff
Many of these things are incompatible with my diet – I mean my losing weight diet; I haven’t got any writing classes until September, so no making cakes and biscuits for the people who come… so my dilemma is should I throw some of these perfectly usable items away (not wasting is ingrained in me) or should I try and make some unusual and not to fattening things to use them up… A dilemma!
I know it’s not Easter, but here is a recipe for Easter biscuits:
- 10 oz plain flour
- 7 oz butter
- 5 oz castor sugar (plus extra for sprinkling)
- 2 oz currants
- 2 egg yolks
- a little milk (optional)
- 8 drops oil of Cassia (add more if you like, but be careful, it can make them taste like the dentist’s)
- mix all of the ingredients together adding a little milk if it’s too dry.
- roll out thinly – between ¼ – ½ inch thick
- cut out using a large fluted cutter.
- put them in the oven at 160˚C, 325˚F, gas mark 3 for 10-15 minutes, until very lightly browned – they should be really pale
- take out of the oven and sprinkle with castor sugar while still hot