Wednesday, September 3, 2008


There comes a time when a body craves something more substantial than aspirins. And it was just this time last Sunday that I read an article about baking biscuits.

Grandmothers bake biscuits. I don't. I don't even have a tin to fill.

But the article featured a recipe for gingernuts. I love gingernuts. Bite into a dry one and it's even money which will break first, a tooth or the biscuit. Dunk a gingernut in coffee though and it becomes something that can raise a a holler. I read the recipe. I salivated and decided I would bake.

Having gone through the pantry for ingredients, I rang a woman who knows. She told me that no, I couldn't really do without eggs or ginger. Nor could I substitute noodles for flour or beer for golden syrup.

I had to have baking soda too apparently, but she reassured me that even if I never baked another biscuit my baking soda would not go to waste. I could clean the bath with it.

She clearly does not read this blog. The woman who knows doesn't know my bath. Anything that can clean my bath has no business being in a biscuit. It would be more at home on a warhead.

Measuring 100 grams of butter on the bathroom scales proved to be inconclusive, but all great cooks are innovators. On the 16th of March 1985 I took 6 wickets for forty-two against the lesser talents of Saint Kents Intermediate school, and was presented with the ball. Like my piano, that ball has travelled everywhere with me.

A cricket ball weighs five and a half ounces (according to my 1976 Wisdon Cricket World Almanac). I googled furiously and discovered I needed two thirds of a cricket ball of butter, one and a half cricket balls of sugar and one and three quarters of flour.

After that it was simply a matter of placing the cricket ball in a bowl in one hand and the ingredients in a bowl in the other and seeing which way I leaned.

Then I moved on to creaming the butter and sugar. Little known baking fact... Creaming ingredients is a very effective method of bending forks.

After many minutes of flying ingredients around the kitchen all that was left was to put the lovies in the oven and watch my ginger balls become ginger nuts.

And they did. I laughed. I called the woman who knows. She was out. I bit. I broke a tooth. I went to the dentist.

Total cost of baking... One thousand four hundred dollars. Good bikkies though.


Ju said...

I'm proud you baked, I am sorry bout the tooth and I don't beleive the cricket story.
Leave the baking to the grannies....I don't want you to forget your talent in creamy chicken risotto making

Anonymous said...

I have the perfect name for your biccies - Silly Mid Off Ginger Nuts. Very funny story.

Kate said...

I think you made it all up.

Similar Simian said...

I thnk you might be right...

the projectivist said...

i never liked gingernuts.
you should stick to honey jumbles.
they are incapable of breaking teeth, with their soft, cakey centres and cheery fake pinkyness.
i've recently rediscovered my love of them.
gingernuts contaminate all of the other biscuits with their gingery scent.
they are demanding.
they require their very own biscuit container.
gingernuts are high maintenance.
as your dental bill proves.

Similar Simian said...

I have no idea what on earth Honey Jumbles are. But colour me intrigued!

Anonymous said...

In reply to Kate - well, no, he didn't make it ALL up. The format and, indeed, most of the text appears to be lifted from Joe Bennett's regular newspaper column. Originally titled "Baking nuts", it has been reprinted in 'Laugh? I Could Have Cried.'