After lunch, when James had gone for his nap, Chris and I took folding chairs out into the garden and spent a pleasant hour or so reading together and making sandcastles in the sandpit. Later on this afternoon, I got the baking urge, so with a little help from Christopher, who loves switching on the KitchenAid and from James, who was simply in a very good mood and happy to play, I made some coconut biscuits. This is one of my select group of regular biscuit recipes – we don’t go long without these in the biscuit tin. They’re lovely, sweet and crisp, plus they keep very well and pack into Karl’s lunch bag for work without disintegrating into a mass of crumbs.
175g golden caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
80g sweetened desiccated coconut
175g self-raising flour
Preheat the oven to 180°c. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, half the coconut and the flour. Form about 30 little balls with the mixture and roll these in the remaining coconut. Place well apart on baking trays, and then bake for 12-14 minutes until golden brown. Leave them briefly on the sheets to firm up, then transfer the biscuits to cooling racks with a palette knife.
Supper tonight was some chicken pieces, simply cooked in the oven, with some herbs, lemon and black pepper. I stirred more herbs and lemon through a big bowl of (150g) couscous made up with some (300ml) of yesterday’s enormous batch of chicken stock, took a portion out for James, and then added sultanas and flaked almonds for the rest of us. With some green salad, the only other thing needed was a bowl of this lemony sauce to drizzle over.
Lemon Crème Fraîche Sauce
200ml crème fraîche
zest 1 lemon
juice ½ - 1 lemon (use enough to get the consistency you want)
fresh parsley, finely chopped
Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl, along with a fine grinding of black pepper. That’s it. I also add a pinch of sea salt (I use Maldon) if the baby’s not having any, but tonight he was, so I didn’t.
Very simple and very tasty. It goes with so many things, too. We have it most often with chicken, but it also goes very well with fish (in fact, I first came up with it as an accompaniment to salmon steaks). Almost best of all, though, I like it, thinned down with a little more lemon juice, as a salad dressing or, left nice and thick, as a dip for crudités. To be honest, I'd eat it with a spoon if I got half a chance, but sadly there are rarely any leftovers.