Thursday, March 22

Simple sea salt & olive oil crackers

Ok so not the most exciting of bakes, but who doesn't love crackers, breadsticks, crisps and dips? I have an extensive and lifelong love for houmous (mixing a shop bought tub with some lemon juice and tahini is how we usually roll) but I'm also of the opinion that crackers, breadsticks etc shouldn't be viewed merely as the vehicle for dips. These olive oil crackers are nice enough to eat on their own and are some of the quickest and easiest things I've ever baked - it's a case of mix, roll, cut, oven. (You can let the dough rest before baking, if you really want to.) And they're so much better than dry old Jacobs cream crackers. They're crisp little morsels of deliciousness with just one flaw - they won't last long. 

Ingredients (makes 8 big crackers or 16 - 24 smaller ones)

80g plain white flour
45g plain wholemeal flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
60ml water
Herbs (optional) e.g. rosemary
extra olive oil, to brush
coarse sea salt/poppy seeds/sesame seeds/anything which takes your fancy, for topping


Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius. Line a baking tray with baking paper (no need to grease).

Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper together in a bowl, as well as the herbs if you are using. Add the olive oil and water, and mix to form a slightly sticky dough.

Flour a work surface and lightly knead the dough. Then roll out as thin as possible without it breaking apart.

Cut into squares/triangles/blobs (a pizza wheel works really well for this bit) and place on the baking tray.

Brush each cracker with olive oil then sprinkle over your seeds/salt etc.

Bake in the oven for about 8-10 minutes until lightly golden brown.

Let them cool, then eat!

Here are some I made at Christmas - I made 8 large ones and used sea salt and dried rosemary. Yum!

Next I want to try making my own salt & pepper breadsticks!

Monday, March 19

Just a minute in March

I just finished The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins which was annoyingly gripping and resulted in several late nights because I didn't want to put it down! Next on the list are Lark Rise by Flora Thompson and Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee. Two lovely countryside books!

Listening to...
Michael Kiwanuka, The Black Keys, The Rolling Stones and Simon & Garfunkel

Homeland (also annoyingly gripping), White Heat and the University Challenge final (come on Manchester!)

Pink lipstick and a Miffy calendar on sale. I want to get some new jeans and a new pair of Converse, both much needed, and some moringa body butter

Rose tea, the sunny mornings, and taking lots of blossom photos

(Hopefully I'll remember to do this each month - I found this idea on Peas and Needles, originally from Daydream Lily, and it looked fun.)

Wednesday, March 7

A Devon break

Last week I went to Devon (and Cornwall) for a couple of nights to stay with my Gran. The weather was a bit wet but we still had a wonderful time. We explored Exeter, had many cups of tea/coffee, lingered in cafes to escape the rain, talked about all kinds of things, fussed over Tessa (her cat), enjoyed a very blustery beach walk, played a lot of Scrabble and ate big bowls of soup in front of the telly.

(Instagram photos - homemade bramble jelly using my gran's old jam kettle; my gran's cat Tessa who has the softest fur imaginable; feeling refreshed and rosy-cheeked after a beach walk; my reading material for the train ride home)

She may be 64 years older than me but I get on really well with my Gran. I love hearing her stories about being young in the forties and fifties, going to lots of dances (including one where she met my grandpa), and then becoming a farmer's wife and raising four daughters in rural Devon. I think this is where my love of the countryside must stem from.

It felt great to see the sea again, even if it was raining and blowing a gale. There were only a few brave souls out walking their dogs; so different to the sunny busy holiday place of August. But I find it just as beautiful on a wet February day. One of my dreams in life is to live close to the sea - there's just something so captivating and life-affirming about it. 

 (Summerleaze beach, Bude)

"I want to know what it says, the sea. What it is that it keeps on saying."