Monday 28 September 2009: Ginger hollows
Or Cavern Cakes as Corin calls them.
My favourite homemade biscuit. These were another treat from Sunday afternoons that Mum used to make.
I have modified the recipe ever so slightly from the one my mum gave me - partly because it works better this way in my fan oven. The recipe is at the end.
Blip of the Day - from Brickmaker - its stunning
In other news
I feel a lot better today - more like my normal self in that I am not moping about - its been a busy day at work. I am still sore, but thats what painkillers and chocolate are there to sort out!
I have also found myself pondering on my work over the the last few days. I think this is a reaction to political chunnerings coming out to do with cutting spending in education, restructuring schools and an increasing frustration in my mind that the system I am in is not an education system - it is target driven and increasingly schools like ours are being pressured to meet spurious targets and I think that is at the expense of working with young people to make them rounded individuals. I don't think I will see my working life out in this system - my mind is moving towards "what else can I do". The problem I have, of course, is that in my position, I am well paid, there is no doubt (I do work bloody hard for it though) and I seriously have to balance the potential for huge pay cut against finding something that I can do that doesn't compromise my values or my quality of life.
Truly - what would I love to do? I'd love to paint and to take photographs. Honestly, do I see a career there? I'm not so sure - competition, set up costs, my own self doubt....are hurdles I think I am not ready to overcome.
If there was something there to back me up - maybe a lottery win! - then maybe I'd be brave.
But I think for now, I will have to continue to play the numbers game and work my butt off to ensure that I stay in a school that DOES value the young people in it and sees them as more than the numbers that appear on pages produced by external agencies.
How long my soul can continue to be destroyed by those numbers, I am not sure...
Maybe when I am feeling completely better, my perspective will change again?!
Ingredients: (will make 20 - 30 biscuits)
4 oz butter
8 oz Caster sugar
4 oz Light brown muscovado sugar
9 oz self raising flour
3 teaspoons ground ginger
(Optional - the grated zest of 1 lemon)
Beat the sugar (electric mixer is fine!!! don't torture yourself with a wooden spoon, so to speak) and the butter together (and the lemon zest if using) until light and fluffy and completely combined.
Add the egg and beat until the mix is smooth and lump free (Electric mixer)
Sift the flour and the ginger - add this to the mix a few tablespoons at a time. Mix together until a fairly stiff dough has been formed. Try not to handle the dough too much.
Allow the dough to rest for about 15 minutes in the fridge ideally.
Heat your oven to 160 C (or 150 if it's an electric fan oven - my oven runs hot so I leave it just shy of 150)
Grease 2 large baking trays with butter (be liberal)
Take small portions of dough - about the size of a walnut - and roll them into balls. Spread them out on the baking sheets - a normal baking tray will take 6 or 7 - you need to leave room for them to spread out as they bake.
Place the baking trays on the shelves in the oven - set the shelves to the mid section of the oven.
Bake for 18 - 22 minutes - try not to open the oven at all for the first 15 minutes otherwise the biscuits go completely flat!
They are ready when they are still a light golden colour - the surface will crack and they will spread out, but they should look like little domes.
Leave on the tray for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool.
Great eaten warm - better the next day, as the insides go lovely and chewy, whilst the outsides a nicely crunchy.