Once upon a time, many moons ago, I would cream butter and sugar by hand.
That’s right, by hand – with an oversized bowl and a wooden spoon.
This is no mean feat and even softening the butter beforehand made little difference to the time taken to achieve the fluffy end result, devoid of all and any sugary grittiness.
Often I’d sit in the lounge room with the bowl between my knees, beating away, swapping from my (dominate) right hand to my (clumsy) left. Sometimes the girls would offer to help and I’d let them have a go just to give my arms a break. They’d get the mixture on their fingers, and sometimes in their hair, and they’d laugh and giggle about it. I even had Dean beating away one day, but the mess he made was far superior to anything the girls did and this precluded him from beating duty ever again.
It would take a considerable amount of time, aching muscles and fraying patience to get there, but the end result was well worth the effort. Sometimes I thought about cheating and adding the other ingredients before the sugar was dissolved. But I knew the biscuits wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t persist, so persist I did.
The mixture would then be measured out, rolled into balls and flattened with a fork before being popped into the oven. Sometimes the girls would sit and watch them cooking and as soon as they came out of the oven they’d plead to have one. I often struggled to make them wait until they had cooled down and sad to say that little fingers often became slightly burnt before they learnt that lesson.
I would do this repeatedly week in and week out, baking biscuits just to ensure one of our daughters got the required amount of oats and bran in her diet. It was akin to pulverising vegetables and hiding them in homemade sausage rolls just to ensure our girls ate a balanced diet. Funny that their dietary preference now leans towards the food I struggled to get them to eat.
– ⋅ o ♥ o ⋅ –
All those years ago, I would have dearly loved an electric mix master. For as long as I can remember, my mother had a Sunbeam Mixmaster. It was heavy and clunky, and somewhat cumbersome, but that didn’t stop me from using it any time I had the chance. I still remember the mess I made once by adding all the flour all at once – thank goodness I was able to clean up before Mum came home 🙂
But I didn’t own one.
They were expensive and beyond the budget. I (we) couldn’t even afford a handheld mixer although I did manage to obtain one eventually and a long time after my butter beating battle when our girls were little.
– ⋅ o ♥ o ⋅ –
Dean spoilt me a couple of years ago and I’m now the very proud owner of a Breville Bakery Chef™ Mixer. It’s my idea of A Little Breville Brilliance in the kitchen and makes so many cumbersome tasks a breeze to accomplish. (Even more so since I broke my wrist.)
It is a wonderful
addition to my kitchen.
Yesterday I ‘whipped up’ a batch of White Chocolate and Macadamia Biscuits.
You know you’re onto a good thing when you can add the butter and sugars to the bowl, set the mixer to beat, go about measuring and weighing all the other ingredients, adding them to the bowl, and having the ‘cookie dough’ ready in less time than it takes to bake the first batch.
I can’t help wonder how quickly I could have made those biscuits had I owned a stand mixer 30 years ago.
Yes, I may well have been able to ‘whip up a batch’ in no time, but I wouldn’t have the lovely memories of the girls helped me do so.