For every blank swathe and mountainous spike there is at least one deep, dark pit. ‘Inability to Keep Up With The Washing’, ‘Ignores Dust For Weeks’, ‘Does Not Regularly Change Sheets’, ‘Does Not Unpack Shopping Bags for Days’. It is because of these domestic chore-related dark pits that I feel an overriding sense of failure when I walk through my front door. And I spend a lot of time behind my front door...not doing the boring chores I'm supposed to be doing and thus feeling like a failure.
It’s not all gloom and doom though, I’m beginning to think that feeling like a failure on a daily basis is a good thing. It means that I have created a fantasy world. This world is a little like the Tardis; it doesn’t take up much space on my brain map, but if you open the door marked ‘Fantasy World’ you’ll be sent hurtling down an Alice In Wonderland-esque hole, and who knows where you may land? Come on, let’s go and see…
The party is in full swing. The enormous, tastefully decorated, tidy, clean and elegant house is looking magnificent. Exotic ornaments hint at a life well travelled, and quite stunning photographs on the walls suggest that the owner could be related to Ansel Adams. You feel a little overawed as you peer into the oak-panelled drawing room; there is an electric hum to the air, beautiful people conversing with knowledge and sophistication. Then your hostess sees you and approaches with a friendly welcoming smile; it’s all ok, no need to stand on ceremony here.
She welcomes you warmly and deftly grabs a glass of champagne from a passing waiter,
‘Here, drink this, I’m so glad you could come, how are the children?’After listening to you attentively she is called away by one of her catering staff, anxious for her to check their work in the kitchen. As she walks gracefully towards the kitchen, you are struck by what a marvellous physique she has. How can a woman who has had four children look so fantastic? She could easily be mistaken for a world-class tennis player, and you feel sure that she must have a live-in hair stylist; the sleek and shining mane could belong to a model.
‘Makes you sick doesn’t it?’ comments a guest, ‘I wouldn’t mind if she were a bitch, but she is simply the kindest, most thoughtful creature I have ever met’.
‘It’s true’ adds another guest, ‘a patient loving mother, so understanding of her husband’s frequent business trips, a real flair for maintaining domestic order and her clothes...! Do you know I’ve never seen her scrape her hair into a slightly greying ponytail, wear ripped jeans, pull on an old duffle coat and then hope she can get away with it if she dabs some lip gloss on her chapped lips!’
Other guests shake their heads in amazement, ‘She really is a unique and special person’.
Then the hostess appears from the kitchen. She is laughing gaily with one of the staff and looks quite simply radiant. She heads towards you bearing a silver platter. As she draws near, you can see a tempting array of bowls; guacamole, salsa, hummus, it’s all begging to be sampled. She smiles at you,
‘Here, try some, and – please – let me know what you think of the breadsticks. They’re a new recipe, so do be honest about what you think, constructive criticism is very valuable to me’.Her lapis lazuli eyes shine with fervour as she adds,
‘It’s so important to be humble in life isn’t it?’You willingly accept the breadsticks and scoop up tasty mouthfuls from the bowls. For an instant your world sways blissfully to a new and exciting culinary beat,
‘Oh, those are delicious’ you breathe.
She smiles simply and a flattering blush colours her smooth, flawless cheeks,
‘Thank-you. Thank-you very much indeed’
As her long slender legs glide away, you are quite simply slack-jawed with amazement; can this woman be for real?
Hope you enjoy these dear readers; in fantasy or in reality, they taste pretty good!
Gluten Free Fantasy Breadsticks
If you are desperate for breadsticks for your grumpy, crimson-cheeked, teething baby to chew on; please don't be put off by the salt and pepper pictured on these breadsticks. The lovely hostess mentioned above added that for her grown up party. You don't have to though; simply leave them naked.
100g / 1 cup cornflour / cornstarch
50g / 1/2 cup of potato flour
100g / 1 cup brown rice flour
1.5tsp dried yeast
0.5 tsp xanthan gum
1 tbsp sugar
0.5 tsp salt
50g / scant 1/4 cup dairy free spread
180ml (approx) tepid water
- Heat the oven to 190 degrees celsius and line a baking tray (or two) with baking parchment
- Put the cornflour, potato flour, rice flour, dried yeast, xanthan gum, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl. Mix with a mini whisk to ensure even distribution of ingredients
- Put the dairy free spread into the bowl, and rub it in to the flours until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs (my eldest daughter came up with that plan; she's so clever)
- Add the tepid water a little at a time, you may not need it all. You should end up with a thick mix, a bit like a thick cake mix. Beat with a wooden spoon for a minute or so, to incorporate all the ingredients and to get rid of any lumps
- Now, take a piping bag and choose a thin nozzle; mine measures about 5mm in diameter
- Dollop some mix into your piping bag and very gently pipe long, elegant breadsticks onto the baking trays
- Pour some olive oil into a bowl and painstakingly brush the surface of each stick with oil. I used my finger, but one of those silicone pastry brushes would probably be quicker. If you want to season the sticks, sprinkle over some sea salt and black pepper
- By the time you've piped out all of the mixture and daubed the sticks in oil, you can put the baking tray straight into the oven - no need to leave them to prove
- Bake for about 10 minutes or until they are golden brown
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool
- Shimmy out to your waiting guests. You are magnificent and you are sumptuous...and you really need to get a housekeeper to maintain order in your house
© Pig in the Kitchen