i remember doing the same with my grandmother, even as the first warplanes* droned overhead in the heat of a summer morning. she took such a fright she spilled them all over the floor and i clung onto the hilarity of the image to exorcise the fear.
here: a. practicing on some beans last summer with her father.
other activities during the virus-induced 'quarantine' included baking cats and moons. from darina allen's 'ballymaloe cookery course' (donated by favourite aunt) ::
175g white flour
50g caster sugar
preheat oven to 180c
put flour and sugar in a bowl and rub in butter as for shortcrust pastry. gather the mixture together and knead it lightly. roll out to 5mm thick. cut into shapes with cutters. arrange on silicone (or parchment) paper on a baking tray and bake until pale brown, 10-15 minutes.
cool on a rack.
[makes a tinful]
A sweet, yeast-free 'bread' enjoyed yesterday, 'Green Monday', when Greeks everywhere mark the beginning of Lent by flying kites and eating greens in the open air.
The recipe is by Evi Voutsina, unrivalled doyenne of Greek traditional cuisine, tinkered only slightly by me. Minimum labour, maximum pleasure.
300ml olive oil (I use half olive oil, half corn oil for a lighter version)
180ml fresh orange juice
150ml red wine
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp cinnamon
750g plain flour (I use 1/3 wholemeal)
3 tbsp sesame seeds
For the syrup:
½ kg sugar
1 ½ cups water
(I use 250g sugar : 1 cup water)
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- Mix all ingredients except sesame seeds together in a bowl to amalgamate. Press ‘dough’ down into a rectangular baking tin that has been oiled and sprinkled with sesame seeds. Even the surface out and sprinkle with more sesame seeds.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 40-45 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.
- When the ‘bread’ has cooled completely, boil the syrup ingredients for a few minutes until sugar has dissolved and pour over the bread. Cover with a tea towel and leave to cool. Cut into pieces.