There is no getting away from the fact that I’ve had a rough few days. Please try not to have a stroke, people: the long term health implications of it are really bloody annoying. Sometimes the process of recovery itself can add further problems to the myriad medical issues that follow a brain injury, and this has certainly been the case for me. This particular issue concerns the instability of my pelvis, and my general (in)ability to get about, and as well as being in quite a bit of pain this week I’ve been feeling rather angry and frustrated. Will this shit never leave me alone? Unfortunately, it probably won’t. The only thing for me to do is to properly face up to the fact that a stroke is, in effect, a chronic condition with which I am now living: however determined I am, my mobility is now going to be seriously compromised for the rest of my life, and I have to deal with that. Easier said than done, sometimes. I often find myself thinking of Patricia Neal and her hip replacements.
I’m not keen on myself when I’m maudlin, and I’m quite sure no one else is either, so I find myself with not too much to say today. Here are a couple of cheering things.
I love this so much I can’t stop knitting it. The yarn is the stuff I showed you recently and it is just. so. bloody. tasty. I am making some things from it which will be out in pattern form next month, so I will be able to show you the right side reasonably soon.
Tom baked hazelnut shortbread. When baking anything containing nutz, it is, of course, obligatory to sing several verses of the old Louis Jordan song, Nuts to You. At least it is round here:
“We’ve got walnuts, chestnuts – all the best nuts –
Every kind but donuts
Brazil nuts, peanuts, we will see nuts
Till we really go nuts.”
Where was I? Oh yes, Tom’s hazelnut shortbread. It is very good.
You will find the recipe on p. 948 of Nigel Slater’s Tender, vol 2, or below in an abbreviated variation, rendered without Nigel’s linguistic excesses (“large, unruly balls” being a notable feature of his original).
golden caster sugar 100g
skinned hazelnuts 60g
ground almonds 40g
plain flour 200g
icing sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 160c.
Cream butter and sugar together till fluffy.
Toast hazelnuts in a dry frying pan until golden, then pound with mixer or pestle & mortar until coarse.
Add the nuts & flour to the butter & sugar and stir until the mixture comes together.
Take a teaspoon, and divide mixture into twelve blobs.
Place on non-stick baking sheet and bake for about 25 mins, or until the biscuits have risen and begun to colour.
Remove from oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes, before lifting from the baking sheet and dusting with icing sugar.
Enjoy while still slightly warm, with a nice cup of tea.