There is a kind of beauty in imperfection – Conrad Hall
Thriftea. See what I did there? *snort*
I stumbled across this quirky trio in an op-shop. What is it even doing? It gabbled several languages in its haphazard green, orange, black and gold paint. I was confused and transfixed. I didn’t quite know what I thought of the assemblage, but I knew it was coming home with me.
Adequately inadequate, this tea set has an abundance of flaws. The bleeding colours beneath the glaze wash down the cup like mascara tears. The capricious design, bound in an obsessed kind of symmetry. Imperfections deep in the porcelain, like rubble, shrapnel.
Yet, despite its flaws there is something energetic and ineffable about it. What do you think?
Teaview: T2 – French Earl Grey.
I don’t get it. I just simply do not get why this is one of the most popular T2 teas available. Though admittedly I am a bit picky where it comes to Earl Grey. As I opened the sachet I was hit in the face by a jarring, artificial aroma of citrus mashed with perfume. Those who love a very perfumey Earl Grey will love this brew. Rose features strongly and from what I could see through the bag there was an abundance of different textures, indicating dried flowers. For me this is just a lot like drinking pot pouri.
Who doesn’t adore a jam dot?
No one, that’s who.
Some people call them “Jam Drops” or “Jam Fancies”. My version involves a smaller, petite-sized bickie, maximising the jam in the biscuit-to-jam ratio. They’re ridiculously simple and if you’re a “rustic” baker *cough*…. the squiffiness around the edges even ads a little charm to this homemade fancy. Fit for the Queen, I say.
This is how you do it:
125 g softened butter
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/3 cup caster (fine) sugar
An egg yolk
1 1/4 cups of self-raising (maybe a litte more if you use a big egg, add it if the mix is too wet and sticky)
Jam! Strawberry, raspberry, blueberry… whatever takes your fancy!
Preheat oven to 170°C (fan-forced) and cover a couple of baking trays with baking paper
Use a mixer to beat the butter, essence and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the yolk and beat until combined.
Add sifted flour and stir with a wooden spoon.
If it’s a hot day (because Australia) then you might benefit from popping the dough into the fridge for a bit to firm it up and make it easier to work with.
Try to resist eating all of the cookie dough.
Roll remaining, uneaten dough into balls about the diameter of a 10 cent piece. Then gently squish the ball between your palms, pop it on the baking paper and use either your finger or like me, use the handle end of your spatula to make an indent in the centre of your bickie. Don’t make a hole all the way through, but a bigger well holds more jam!
Use a teaspoon to
fork spoon jam into wells. Try to resist overfilling them, as when they are cooking the jam will melt and perhaps overflow.
Bake for 6 minutes then turn the trays around and bake for another 6 minutes. It’s important to keep an eye on them because your oven might differ from mine.
Serve them on something pretty, if you have any left by the time guests come.
What’s your favourite homemade bickie?