|Magic cookie dust|
These days I don't panic, although there is usually quite a lot of swearing involved and occasionally the quaffing of cooking sherry, to aid the recovery process. But usually I don't panic too much.
I had made the dough for some spicy ginger biscuits. The dough was chilling and I had just put my oven on to pre-heat. My wits were wondering again; although to be fair, I think I should be blaming Eddie Mair, the Radio 4 journalist. He has an awful lot to answer for.
Why? Well I had just sat down in the kitchen to listen to the PM Programme, hosted by Eddie. I had my usual cup of strong tea in front of me and was settled in to hear Eddie mildly eviscerating whichever politician, wrong 'un or ne'er-do-well was in need of reacquainting with the actuality. I really like Eddie Mair's interviewing style too - he doesn't harangue or hector, but his gentle reproof seems to get to the truth. And I do so love Eddie's voice. He has a beautiful radio voice; it is so immediate that it sounds as if he is sitting just feet away from you. Even while his is gently verbally filleting his guest, his voice bubbles with humour and dry wit.
It only took a few minutes and I was totally caught up in the interview when I realised that I could smell burning, which was odd since the ginger biscuits had only been in the oven for a few minutes and they were good to go for about another ten. Yikes.
It turned out that my oven should have been at 160C and I had put the biscuits in at 230C. I suspect that this was my King Alfred moment, although unlike the heroic king, I was enthralled by Eddie Mair's quiet reasoning and fabulous sense of humour, combined with a slightly husky Scottish accent to die for.
So after I had stopped cursing, quaffing strong liquor and plastered on a brave face, I put the next batch of biscuits in the oven at the correct temperature. I had even stopped hopping up and down at this point; (it's not panicking, just exercise). Fortunately for me, I was always put a small test batch in the oven before the main one. This is because I have an elderly and temperamental fan oven, which doesn't heat true. So the first batch of biscuits is always an indicator as to how hot the oven is feeling today; this is the baking equivalent of cannon fodder! The next two batches turned out beautifully. The slightly burned batch looked at me reproachfully.
But out of adversity, there is a triumph. Oh yes indeed, because all I had to do was cut off the really bad bits and whizz the rest up in a blender, creating the magic cookie dust.
I have since sprinkled the magic cookie dust over roasted parsnips, pumpkin soup and gingerbread cupcakes. It has been stirred through vanilla ice-cream, refrozen and served as a sort of gingerbread ripple ice-cream. I have rolled little sausages in honey and crumbs and roasted them for a delicious twist on a party favourite. It turns out that I really love my magic cookie dust.
If anyone has any further suggestions for what I can use it for, all ideas will be most gratefully received!