Tenses or what happens when I get up early.

Scarf for Elly

Scarf for Elly

I am sorry for the dearth of posting lately. In my defense I have had a significant and much welcome upturn in my career and the previously mentioned less welcome but ultimately beneficial personal tribulations.

As part of my new work situation I have had to adjust my body-clock to a more normal daily routine and leave behind the luxurious freelancer’s world of 8.45am rising. It’s worth it to be doing fun stuff and getting paid for it but it is a bit of a shock. So, on the days when I don’t have to traipse across London at sparrowfart I still wake up in time to do so. (There is an upside which is lots of time to crochet on the train. The project in the blurry photo on the right is a new scarf for the lovely Elly.)

I breakfast bright and fresh… ok… ok… I breakfast grumpy and yawning at 6.45am and by 10 o’clock it’s definitely time for elevenses. Hence the title of this post.

So what am I having for tenses? Cooooookiiiiiies! And tea, lovely, lovely tea.

When I left home for the first time my mum gave me a load of simple recipes for the student kitchen printed on scraps of paper. I have carted them around with me on my wanderings since then and they are many of them battered and stained as all good recipes should be.The cookie recipe has become such a staple that it now lives behind the cereal on the worktop in my kitchen along with the basic sponge cake recipe. There’s no point putting them away because they’d only have to come back out again in no time.

The main reason I love this cookie recipe is its adaptability. Today I share it with you.

You will need:

100g soft margarine

150g dark brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

200g plain flour

1/2  teaspoon baking powder

50g tasty stuff e.g. chopped nuts, raisins, chocolate chunks etc


1.Grease two large baking trays. Pre-heat the oven to 180C

2. Cream together the marge and the sugar until pale.

3. Add the egg and vanilla essence, beat in thoroughly.

4. Sieve in the flour, baking powder and any powdered flavourings such as cocoa powder or spice. Fold in.

5. Stir in the other tasty stuff.

6. Spoon out even-sized teaspoons onto the baking tray and spread the mix slightly leaving a space around each to expand further as they bake.

7. Bake until firm. Personally I like a crunchy cookie so I tend to bake them until the begin to brown. Take them out sooner if you prefer more chewiness.

8. Cool on a wire rack.

Now here comes the cool bit. Although Momma’s original recipe is for a chocolate and nut cookie, I am an inveterate fiddler. I have found that amongst others you can make:

Oatmeal and raisin cookies

Remove 50g of the flour, add 50g of rolled oats and 50g of raisins and a pinch of cinnamon.

Lemon cookies

Add the grated rind and juice of half a lemon plus 50g of candied peel.

And today’s special… sesame cookies

Add a generous pinch of powdered ginger and 50g of  black sesame seeds. (I’m sure white would be just as tasty but black looks prettier.)

Tea and sesame cookies

Tea and sesame cookies

The sesame cookies are ridiculously moreish. I am getting through them at a hitherto unseen rate. (It’s also that time of the month mind.) They had a weird characteristic of being more delicious once they’d cooled than when they were fresh out the oven, which is frankly bizarre. Warm they were somehow odd and disappointing. Now they are cold though they are going down very nicely indeed with a good cuppa cha.