I have n’t been very good at this blogging thing. It seems I need an outlet to rant more then a way to share what I cook!
I started this blog with the intention of weaving my stories and life through what I cook and feed my family. But honestly the last two years have been really tough and I had living it was difficult enough. It seems like we are still struggling. I wrote about some of those difficult times but they never got published – who wants to read a moan blog? But something has to change and I think on this wet cold blustery morning that perhaps my reality or me sharing my reality may help me deal with the changes that I need to make in my life. In turn they may help another.
We do not have an extravagant lifestyle and have stripped everything back to the bare minimal. I know we are not the only ones finding it hard to make the salary meet the end of the month. But it does n’t help when you have to borrow money off your kids so you can head out the door to work. It does n’t help when you want to take the family somewhere like to the Tall Ships event in Dublin that you are all looking forward to and then you can’t afford to go.
What year are we leaving in 1975? My childhood? No 2012 my reality. I think that’s the biggest piece its so disappointing to be struggling financially and not making ends meet. In the 70’s and 80’s I remember what it felt like not having enough. I thought myself and my husband had moved beyond that.
So what do you do? Have you ever felt like that – what do you do?
Well I go walking to try and deal with the stress or I look in the fridge and press and bake. Yesterday it was soda bread pizza and short change short bread.
Shortbread is one of those things that is simple, easy and quick to make. When I was a teenager I hung around with twins their mother would always have a tray of shortbread emerging from the oven as a gang of us descended on her house. The warm buttery crumble dry sweet biscuit was always delicious. Major kudos in our teenage minds.
Over the years I have tried several recipes. I like Rose Elliot’s version from her recent tome New Complete Vegetarian on page 362. But I like a mix of rice flour as an addition to her flour and cornflour mix. I know some non wheat cooks that only use rice flour when making shortbread and it is possible to make it with a butter substitute like Pura, soya or sunflower.
Most of all it is easy to make by hand and here go try it.
250g Butter, softened
100g caster sugar
150g plain flour
100 rice flour
Oven 150 degrees.
A Swiss roll tin is the best, grease it lightly. If you use a longer tray only press out the shortbread to three quarters length.
Cream the butter and sugar together. Put all the dry ingredients in and mix but don’t over mix.
Press the dough into the tin covering the base evenly. Prick the dough with a fork and sprinkle some sugar over the top.
Bake for 18-22 minutes.
Leave to cool slightly and then cut into squares, diamonds or slender fingers. A little goes along way.