Saturday, January 14, 2012

Oatcakes and Orange Flower Water

Greetings, Friends.
The ship may no longer be going Full Steam Ahead, BUT it is not idling away in dry-dock, either.
For all you non-nautical types out there (including me), please refer to my disclaimer about overworked metaphors. While I do have a broken right arm, I'm planning on sneaking my way around that obstacle at least a few times over the course of the next 3-5 weeks. Probably with the help of my friends.
As for my two main goals for the beginning of 2012- training for the 10-miler and increased pace of writing- they will both be put on hold. Tuesday I get fitted for my cast, and I plan to pepper the orthopedic surgeon with questions about what I can do to promote healing and what I shouldn't do to prevent further problems. I dunno, team, do we think I can ramp from nothing to 10 miles in 5 weeks?
Since I am right-handed, typing cack-handed severely slows down the flow of words. I suppose I could still invest the same amount of time and just get half the anticipated output, but I kind of don't want to slog through that. Or am I really just scared that nothing will come if the spigot isn't all the way open? Could be.
I guess we'll find out in the coming weeks!
But now to think back to a time when I had two working arms, when I could multitask like nobody's business, when I could pump out three recipes a night... 
That's right, more Scottish food! I actually made these the week before Christmas, as a balance to all the Cookie Swap sweetness. I found a link to the Leftover Queen's recipe, and found that she was quite the blogging queen, coming much belatedly to that party. The dough was quick to come together, easy to manage, simple to scale. The oatcakes' texture was nubbly, toast-y. The flavor was mild and wheat-y and heartland-y, if that makes sense. Pretty great! It made me think more on what a culture's food says about its people... fascinating speculative exercise...

The same day, I thought I'd better get my mojo going on the cookie swap recipes I'd bookmarked. Two that I was closest to having all the ingredients for shot to the top of the list: HungrySquirrelCakes' Chocolate Orange Chunk Cookies and Mrs. Galvan's Dark Chocolate Cafenelas. Here I've got the first one, which got more oooh's and ahhh's from the officemates (even though they were both fab, I think this one was more unique).
Standard mix-and-drop cookie, with one out-of-the-ordinary ingredient (orange flower water, which can be found in Middle Eastern/ Lebanese groceries or near syrups and jams in a Whole Foods), and the need to keep a close eye on the oven exposure- you want to nab these guys before they're fully cooked to avoid going to the Crispy Side.
**Helpful Note for Americans looking to convert this recipe from metric measurements: 225g = ~3/4c butter; 200g = 1 1/4c sugar; 175g = 5/6c sugar; 350g = 3c flour; 175g = ~5/6c dark chocolate; 170 deg C = ~338 deg F ** I think.
Yum. Next up: Cafenelas and what to do with Black Radishes!

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