In the end, I decided to take a break from every day life. 3 weeks free from the daily routines and the daily stresses that come with it. I decided to relax, clear my head and put all my thoughts and ideas in order. I let it all go for a while and lived very much in the moment. For the first time in my life I lived in the present. In the now. And I can tell you it felt great.
I have a holiday ritual. I look back over the time since my last holiday and take stock. I think about how I have felt in that time. What I have done or not done. What I wanted to achieve and if I have managed it or not. I suppose you could call it an assessment or a review. I gave myself a good score.
Of course there are things that need a bit more tweaking. It will never be perfect (a concept I don’t believe in) but I want to make things the best I want to make them. Not the best they can be or the best I can make them. No, the best I WANT to make them. Usually, CAN and WANT go hand in hand. But sometimes I believe it is better to concentrate on CAN because WANT can easily lead to stress and pressure.
That being said, I have decided to add more posts to my blog that feature other bakers. I have a pile of baking recipe books and a stack of notes/magazine pages/links to other blogs with recipes I want to try but never get round to because of time and because I initially decided to only do my own thing. But now I’ve realised that I need a bit more breathing space in my blog-life. Letting other bakers do some of the work for me every other week will give me that (thank you in advance).
(recipe slightly adapted from “Mary Berry’s Baking Bible” by Mary Berry)
Makes 30 madeleines
1 level tsp baking powder
1.Preheat your oven to 220 degrees C. Grease a madeleine tray with butter, then dust with flour and shake off any excess.
2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and let it cool slightly.
3. In a standmixer with a whisk (or a handmixer) beat the eggs and sugar until the mixture is pale and thick. This will take a while (5-1o minutes).
4. Sift in half of the flour and baking powder. Fold it into the mixture.
5. Pour half the butter around the edge of the mixture and fold it in.
6. Sift in the remaining half of the flour and baking powder and fold it in.
7. Pour the remaining butter around the edge and fold it into the mixture.
8. Spoon the mixture into the moulds. You want the top of the mixture to be level with the top of the mould. Depending on how many madeleines your tray makes, you will have to make several batches.
9. Place the tray in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes. You are looking for a golden colour and that the madeleine springs back when you touch it.
10. Take the tray out of the oven and carefully ease the madeleines out of the trays. Place them on a wire rack to cool completely.