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» Listings for January 2015

  1. In the last month or so I’ve applied for the two main shows that we’ll be doing (fingers crossed) this year – Fibre East and Yarndale. We’re still debating the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate. It’s very local, but it’s late enough in the year that we’ll already thinking 2016.

    There’s always a lot to do to get ready for shows and I’m very guilty of underestimating how long things will take to do and having a few very late nights. I have got better though, and one of the things I make sure I do is to have some time to putter about in the kitchen before we go. It’s a chance to relax a little and to give my brain time to remember anything essential that’s been forgotten.

    Even though space in the car can be tight (there are moments when I do think that trying to cram a stall into a Fiesta is not the best plan ever) there’s always space for a tin of biscuits – and for the last few shows I’ve been making peanut biscuits. They’re perfect for shows. They don’t melt. They’re not especially crumbly. They work beautifully with dairy free spread and gluten free flour so most people can eat them. It’s very obvious that they contain peanuts, so no one with a peanut allergy is going to tuck in by mistake.

    photo

    These biscuits are absolutely foolproof. The recipe comes from one of my favourite cookbooks – Short & Sweet by Dan Lepard. I love this book partly for the fantastic recipes and partly because Dan explains what ingredients do. There’s also information on what you can change and what rules you need to follow.

    I’ve changed the recipe a little – the original uses wholemeal or spelt flour and some bicarb of soda. I tried using self raising flour when I realised I’d used the last of our bicarb for something else and I preferred the result. We usually have wholemeal self raising flour but white will work too.

    I’ve doubled the quantity given in the recipe as these keep really well – and because we tend to get through lots of biscuits at shows.

    This should make about 60 – 80 biscuits.

    400g crunchy peanut butter

    250g butter (or dairy free spread)

    300g caster sugar

    350g muscovado sugar (or soft brown sugar if that’s what you have)

    2 teaspoons vanilla essence

    2 medium eggs

    200g self raising flour. Wholemeal self raising flour is even better if you happen to have any.

    200g rolled oats

    250g salted peanuts, roughly chopped- I don’t rinse the salt off as I like the sweet and salty contrast, but the original recipe suggests removing most of the salt.

    Method

    Preheat your oven to 170 degrees C, 150 degrees fan, gas mark 3

    Line a couple of baking sheets with non stick baking paper.

    Beat the peanut butter,  butter, sugars, vanilla essence and eggs until creamy and well combined. Beat in the flour, then the oats and finally the peanuts.

    The original recipe suggests unshelled walnut size balls of dough – I tend to make these a little smaller.

    Place balls of biscuit dough on the baking sheets, allowing 3 cm between each biscuit as the dough will spread. Bake for 13-15 minutes (original recipe says 20 minutes) until lightly coloured on the top. Remove from the oven, leave to cool for a few minutes then transfer to a cooling tray.

    If you’re not making these to take somewhere where sticky fingers are less than desirable they work beautifully with 250g of dark chocolate chunks in place of the salted peanut

  2. We’ve spent the last few days in London, meeting the latest addition to the family and seeing a few exhibitions and shows.

    Whenever we’re in London we try to visit the V&A museum, as there’s always something inspiring to see.

    On this visit we saw the Disobedient Objects exhibition.It’s a real mix of things, and what links a lot of it is the hand crafted nature of lots of the exhibits.

    nike-blanket

    The Nike Blanket Project is a crocheted granny square blanket. It was impossible to photograph!

    The most immediately eye catching exhibit is the Tiki Love Truck

    tiki-love-truck

    Image Copyright V&A Museum

    There are different slogans and sayings in the tiles, and this one seemed especially worthy of note.

    photo 1

    There’s no shop update this week as we’ve been away.

    Joy