vendredi 24 avril 2009

Moomin bicuits...and a few questions

I've just returned from holiday to find a Berlin full of springtime. I had forgotten how beautiful the school yard behind my room is with the pink and purple lilacs and the radiance of the fresh green leaves in the evening sun. My street is lined with horse chestnut trees which seem to have sprung up from nowhere and it's so wonderful to see their flickering shadows on the pavement as they dance in the breeze. From the my balcony, I can see the bellydancing classes in the dance studio opposite and the distant strains of oriental music mingle with the gentle conversations of the people in their gardens. Sometimes I feel that anything is possible and it makes me want to explore the city for hours on end.
I'll write more about my holiday soon but first, Abbie asked me to answer a few questions. Apparently, you're supposed to delete one and add another of your own so here goes...

Who was your childhood hero or person you most admired and why?
From about the age of seven, Steffi Graf. I was tennis obsessed for a really long time and used to try and get the last week of Wimbledon off school. Later on, probably Simone de Beauvoir. Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter had a huge influence on me and made me want to move to Paris and live in scruffy hotels. I was heartbroken when Zaza died too.

Who was the last person you hugged?
My flatmate.

Do you nap a lot?
Sometimes. I generally try to avoid it because if I sleep too long, I wake up not knowing who or where I am but if I feel really sleepy, I don't fight the need for a snooze.

What is your current obsession?

Watching and collecting Ingmar Bergman films. I first became a fan when our Marxist General Studies teacher showed us bits of the Seventh Seal. People are often shocked I like him because his films are often pretty bleak and everyone thinks I'm very cheerful but deep down, I'm quite melancholy and pensive. Also Woody Allen is huge admirer and his films are generally comedies so that doesn't mean anything in my opinion.

What’s for dinner?
Probably pasta with roast vegetables. I'm pretty tired and feel like just watching a film and crashing out. Tomorrow will be better though and a bit more creative.

What was the last thing you bought?
A purple mug from Penguin classic books with a Room of One's Own written on it which makes a lovely cuppa and If This is a Man by Primo Levi which I've been meaning to read for ages.

What are you listening to right now?

The new Kitty Hoff album. She's one of my favourite singers who I discovered thanks to Chrissi. She's amazingly talented, beautiful and can also sing in at least three languages perfectly.

What is your favorite weather?

A crisp autumn day when the trees still have their red, gold and orange leaves and the sun is shining.

Say something to the person who tagged you:
Hello Abbie. I wish you'd write more on your blog as it's so nice to read about what you're doing. Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday.

What would you like to have in your hands right now?

A big piece of warm apple pie with double cream please.

If you could have a house, fully furnished and paid for, anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I wouldn't mind a large apartment in Paris or Vienna just for me. There'd be a large room for books and films and it'd be in good reach of lovely parks and museums. Or then again a house by the sea would be wonderful with the sound of the waves crashing as I went to sleep. I think I could be creative there.

Favorite vacation spot?
Perhaps Haute-Savoie in France because it has everything - great food, mountains, lakes. Then again, I haven't seen so much of the world. I find travelling quite stressful but want to see Rome and Scandinavia sometime.

What would you like to get rid of?

Death. The worst thing about life is that it all has to end sometime

What is your favorite tea flavor?

English breakfast, preferably Twinings.

What is your favorite snack?

Chocolate - preferably dark. Well, at least it's low G.I.

Dog or cat?
Definitely cat. I like dogs but big ones scare me. I'd love two cats to cuddle and keep me company and miss those at my parents' place.

What do you always fail to do, even though you think you should be doing it?
Cleaning and being tidy. It's a losing battle I'm afraid. Each time I try to sort things out, my room looks good for about an hour and hten it's chaos again. I like to delude myself, that's just because I've only got one room but deep down, I know if I had a bigger place, it'd still always be a mess.

When did you last start a book and fail to finish it?
I frequently start books and then start reading other things before I've finished it because I want to read everything. I think the last one I didn't finish at all was Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften by Musil because I found it was too hard for me but I hope one day to have the intellectual capacities necessary to get through it.

If you could change places with anyone alive or dead for a day, who would it be?
Probably one of those lovely New Wave actresses like Anna Karina or Jeanne Moreau. They were beautiful and vivacious but always brought warmth and intelligence to all the roles they played.

Last, but not least, the change in the weather should be the perfect excuse to enjoy afternoon tea and a biscuit. I've been longing for moomin cutters for ages to receive these and a baking tin for Easter but feel free to use other cutters to suit your interests.

Biscuit dough for cutting out (from How to be a Domestic Goddess from Nigella Lawson):

175g soft butter
125g sugar
2 large eggs
A little vanilla essence
1 sachet of baking powder
200g flour
A pinch of salt

Pre-heat the oven to 170°C

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar togther until mooselike. Then add the eggs one by one and the vanilla and blend carefully. In another bowl, sift together the baking powder, flour and salt and add to the egg mixture a little at a time. Go carefully here as you don't want the mixture too dry. Just use as much flour as needed so the dough won't be too sticky to roll out.

Divide the mixture into two section and wrap in clingfilm. Leave to chill in the fridge for at least an hour. After that, take the first bag out of the fridge and roll out the dough on a surface dusted with flour until approx. half a centimetre thick. Then cut out as many shapes as possible with your cutters and place them on a lined baking sheet a little apart from one another. Bake in the oven for around 12 mins but keep an eye on them. They should be lovely and golden around the edges.

Leave the to cool and enjoy with a cup of tea or better still with some raspberries and cream as Abbie suggested.

2 commentaires:

  1. Nice cookies and interesting answers! I also love autumn!



  2. Thanks once again for the compliment. Autumn is so nice because it's not so hot, yet you still have fairly long evenings and the most wonderful colours.