Saturday, 16 December 2006

Molasses crisis averted thanks to interwebs

As Helena points out, the citizens of the internet are The Best - not only do they know what molasses is (and that it can easily be obtained in Australian shops, contrary to my ignorance and prejudice about things related to baking) but they Care enough to help, even when asked to do so as rudely as I am afraid I did yesterday. I'm sorry about that; it's been rather hectic here recently. Cristy and Ron both emailed to say that molasses is easy to buy and good for you as well, so how about that. I went to the health food section of our local fancy supermarket and there it was. Molasses! Black stuff in a jar that upon investigation at home proved to taste like something my mother used to feed me when I was small. ThirdCat's suggestion about the dark sugar was also very useful as the gingerbread recipe called for something like that.



Unfortunately I singed the first batch.



These are going to be parcelled up with shortbread (that's next) and given away to various people. This is not something we've ever done before even though I do like home-made presents more than any other kind. As I was cutting them out I realised where the urge to make gingerbread cookies came from; on Thursday I gave a seminar paper on the film of Persuasion...this is Mrs Clay about to make moo cow eyes at the vain and foolish Sir Walter Elliot.



The mind is stronger than we are and it always gets its own way. Try as one might to be clever and interesting and thoughtful about realism and heritage cinema, some tiny barely audible but insistent inner voice is muttering 'Oh. Cookies. Me like Cookies.'

I don't quite know what to do with the burned ones. I've just eaten three or four charred amputee gingerbread Captains of Nelson's fleet and they didn't taste too bad, but, still, burned biscuits....

23 comments:

ThirdCat said...

it is very hard to make biscuits and not singe any...they are more delicate than you ever give them credtit for.

I am very impressed that all of yours have kept such excellent shape. No matter how mine start - people, trees, stars - I always just end up making round ones which we turn into faces.

ThirdCat said...

forget the most important bit...make a cup of tea and a batch of icing (using cocoa), then sit down with your cup of tea and spoon dollops of icing onto the burnt ones, then eat them. Do that for half an hour or so. It is the best thing to do with burnt biscuits.

ThirdCat said...

goodness gracious, what a dreadful load of errors...of course, that should read 'forgot' not 'forget'...the rest of the errors will have to go uncorrected.

I'm going back to the couch now.

Pavlov's Cat said...

That charred heart has got to be one of the most poignant and suggestive images I've ever seen.

Ron said...

Love the Penguin coffee mug!

TimT said...

Another thing you could do is fold them in with some cream to make a kind of ginger-snap (such as one also does with the scraps of Anzac Biscuits)

Mindy said...

Yum! Glad to see you have a full fruit bowl too!

lucy tartan said...

heh, heh, heh.

Brownie said...

the singed heart photo caused me to recall Nora Ephron's hysterically funny novel-with-recipes: Heartburn

and I was gonna say wot ThirdCat did: - ice 'em!
My Gran always said: if you burn a spongecake, make custard for it and call it steamed pudding.

(Ephrons' Heartburn was made into a very UNfunny film and this may have caused her to start directing herself)

JahTeh said...

I love the little men. They look like the aliens with the big eyes that the yanks have hidden in "Area 51" except they're grey and yours are burnt.

You could crumble them up and make ginger/chocolate hedgehog slice and put booze in to disguise the burnt taste. Actually put in enough booze and no-one will care about the taste.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

oooh thirdcat, we do that but we always make a really thin, very tart lemon icing for gingery things.

agree that ginger bikkies w cream is also an extremely fine option. chop some glace or crystallised ginger into it as well!

to add to the molasses debate, I once bought some english molasses, treacle and golden syrup because of the lovely tins. I'm a bit of a tin freak. you can leave the word 'tin' out of that sentence of you want ;-)

anyhoo. the golden syrup had a foul metallic tang and tasted more like treacle. the treacle tasted like molasses. the molasses was nigh inedible. I've never bought UK cane-derived products again, they made me shudder with displeasure.

I find that even Australian brands vary greatly in their intensity and metallicness - including those sold in plastic or glass bottles. the best golden syrup flavour for me is Sunny Cane. some of that on fresh bread and butter... thankyouverymuch

smiles and drools slightly

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

'Oh. Cookies. Me like Cookies.'

this gave me such a giggle :-)


btw, let's start the biscuit/cookie debate. I've always said biscuit, or bikkie. never used cookie, as it seems to be ubiquitous USA-speak.

a friend said once that you could classify biscuits and cookies according to the method - anything you roll and/or shape (eg, with a cutter) is one, and anything dropped by the spoonful onto a tray is the other. but I can't remember which is which. I think rolled and/or shaped is biscuit, and dropped onto tray is cookie.

any suggestions?

mind you, I'm still just going to call them all biscuits, regardless ;-)

Kate said...

It always takes me a few goes to get the shortbread just right. I find I have a man and a dog here who are quite willing to dispose of the imperfect ones which solves that problem.

I think I need to make gingerbread men too...

cristy said...

They look delicious!

I am now sitting here contemplating whether it is too late at night to start baking...

lucy tartan said...

biscuit/cookie debate:

I would generally call them all biscuits or bikkies but when they're cut out with a cookie cutter it's hard to resist calling them cookies. Also chocolate chip cookies. Chocolate chip biscuits makes no sense whatsoever.

I know biscuits means something completely different on America but to me that is not relevant.

lucy tartan said...

Jahteh, yes they do look like little aliens - or spirit figures possibly.

Fyodor said...

Quite a few foodie moments in that mooofy. I always feel like a ham sandwich [thickly cut, with hot english mustard and some red leicester cheese] when watching Mary Musgrove tuck in to her grub after recovering from her "illness".

Mikhela said...

you'll be needing all our postal addresses then?
for our bikkie deliveries?

kate(2) said...

technically, a biscuit is twice cooked (hence the name) but I tend to call everything a bikkie.

so, technically, a biscuit is made like almond bread - a loaf of mixture is baked, then sliced up and baked again to make them crisp.

audrey said...

Oh that's how you make biscuits crispy!

Meanwhile, I'm surprised no one's picked up on the Persuasion reference to say that Persuasion is undoubtedly Austen's best novel(much as I am a fan of P&P). Ann and Captain Wentworth's mature love affair is full of longing, regret and an understanding that is absent in P&P. Tres romantic.

lucy tartan said...

I just assumed they were all sick of hearing about it Audrey (except Fyodor, who's always an excellently dependable source of Janeite gossip.)

jo(e) said...

They look delicious! And I bet the house smelled great while they were baking.

Jane Dark said...

What jahteh said about the little men looking like aliens.

Ginger biscuits and gingerbread are my favorite holiday treats.