Tomorrow is my birthday and I'll be one step closer to being as old as I feel - based on tonight's performance my memory is already going, although that could just possibly be wine related. I've spent all afternoon making crazy attempts to impose order on my surroundings whilst baking like a thing possessed. The baking bit was by way of being a treat for me, I've made bread, Santa Lucia buns (tomorrow is Saint Lucy's day) and a cake which I'm now a bit worried about as I forgot to add the 100g of ground almonds the recipe calls for (annoying, I've made this cake a few times so there's no excuse, fingers crossed it will still taste good). I love baking and it was fun but my kitchen looks far worse than I could have imagined, there is a mountain of washing up and even hot tea and rum cocktails aren't making it look any better.
Even so there is something both cathartic and comforting for me in spending an afternoon in the kitchen. Work has been hectic and demanding, between writing cards and planning presents home hasn't felt much better, so taking an afternoon out just to mess about making things for my own pleasure has been a welcome pause, I'm certainly a calmer person than I was at lunch time (though again that might be due to wine and rum) and probably much nicer to be around. It's also been good to play with my cookbooks (even if I wasn't paying as much attention as I should have).
Hope and Greenwood's Fireside Rum Tea - serves 4
4 tablespoons of maple syrup mixed up with half a tea spoon of ground cinnamon and the finely ground seeds of a cardamom pod should be set aside in a bowl whilst the kettle boils. Make a pot of tea, and let it steep for a couple of minutes (a light brew is better). Pour a good splash of rum in the bottom of a cup, add the tea and a tablespoon of syrup and drink up.