Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables Book

This is my first port of call, in the Around the World in 80 Books challenge. Canada is such a great place to start – somewhere I’ve always dreamed of visiting. And at the grand old age of 45, I finally got around to reading this Canadian classic. This book edition is one I picked up secondhand and would not have been my first choice for book covers – the girl from the series just doesn’t have Anne’s ‘titian’ red hair. There are some beautiful editions of this book. (See here for some examples and some lovely quotes too.)

This is the story of orphan girl Anne Shirley who comes to live with Marilla and Matthew at Green Gables on Prince Edward Island. She is a vibrant young eleven year old, bursting with exuberance for life and with an overactive imagination that is both charming and gets her into no end of scrapes: from dying her hair green and accidentally getting her school friend drunk on currant wine to falling off her neighbour’s roof!

The descriptions of the natural world might be thought a little purple in places, but they were a favourite part of the book for me:

‘masses of sweet clover white with its delicate, fragrant, feathery sprays; scarlet lightning that shot its fiery lances over prim white musk flowers; a garden it was where sunshine lingered and bees hummed, and winds, beguiled into loitering, purred and rustled.’

It’s no wonder Anne falls in love with the landscape around her home:

 ‘the frogs were singing silvery-sweet in the marshes about the head of the Lake of Shining Waters, and the air was full of the savour of clover fields, and balsamic fir woods.’

Anne’s personality shines through on every page of the book – I think there is a little bit of Anne in us all. She is presented as a sometimes impulsive, sometimes thoughtful, and often complex young girl who surprises us with the depth of her reflection:

‘There’s such a lot of Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I’m such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn’t be half so interesting.’

It is a sweet tale, of a sweet girl from a different era, and a very different way of life to what we know today. A way of life I’m not even sure actually existed. But still, it was beautifully told. Although the ending is bittersweet, I know there are many more books in the series of Anne Shirley’s adventures, and I may very well continue my reading journey with L.M. Montgomery sequels at some point in the future.

Trawling Swindon’s Used Bookshops

Used Book Haul

It’s funny that once you have in mind a list of books you want, they then start to appear everywhere. This was the case for me when I had a tutorial in Swindon on Saturday. I had a couple of hours to spare before my class so took a wander around the town. Swindon, I’m sorry to say is one of my least favourite places in the world. If you’ve been there, you’ll know what I mean. Say no more. But it does have a couple of redeeming features – especially the few used bookshops.

I bought eight books that day. Not bad for a couple of hours eyeing dusty bookshelves and getting tilt-neck ache. I was thrilled to find a pristine unread copy of Moby Dick for £1.25, and a vintage penguin Rachel Carson for the same price. De Quincey’s Confessions is a book we are studying next year and I’m looking forward to reading The Tulip – the story of a flower. Goethe’s travel journal will be a welcome addition to my around the world in 80 books list and The End of Absence looks like an interesting topical read.

All in all not bad for a day’s book buying – now its time to get reading. I’ve almost finished Anne of Green Gables, so I’ll write a post about that soon. What are you reading right now?

Used Book Haul

Around the World in 80 Books

Around the world in 80 Books

As a single parent for many years, I have not had the opportunity to travel at all. While I hope this will change in the future, for now I will explore the world vicariously through the books in this challenge set up by Lucy and Sarah at one of my favourite book blogs – Hard Book Habit.

The idea is to read your way around the world sampling books from a range of countries along the way.

As you can imagine this affords great list-making opportunities, and I passed a happy few hours deciding on my choices. Thankfully, there is no time limit, which is good as it’ll take me forever to finish this lot!

I have many set books to read on my degree course over the next few years and many of those take place abroad so I have added those to my list, along with others I want to read, and several new ones discovered in my search. So…

My around the world in 80 Books List:

  1. IrelandDubliners, James Joyce
  2. America A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson
  3. SwedenAstrid and Veronika, Linda Olsson
  4. GermanyDiary of a Pilgrimage, Jerome K. Jerome
  5. ItalyVenice, Jan Morris
  6. PatagoniaIn Patagonia, Bruce Chatwin
  7. AntarcticAlone on the Ice, David Roberts
  8. ThailandTouch the Dragon, Karen Connelly
  9. The CaribbeanAn Embarrassment of Mangoes, Ann Vanderhoof
  10. Sea TravelsThe Sea Inside, Philip Hoare
  11. TravelingThe Idle Traveller, Dan Kieran
  12. AmericaOn the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City, Alice Goffman
  13. GreeceEurydice Street: A Place in Athens, Sofka Zinovieff
  14. VariousMagic Bus – On the Hippie Trail from Istanbul to India, Rory Maclean
  15. Andalucia/SpainDriving Over Lemons, Chris Stewart
  16. CambodiaFirst They Killed My Father, Loung Ung
  17. AfghanistanThe Bookseller of Kabul, Asne Seierstad
  18. EgyptLetters from Egypt, Florence Nightingale
  19. AustraliaThe Fatal Shore, Robert Hughes
  20. Ireland Dancing at Lughnasa, Brian Friel
  21. FranceSketchbook from the South of France, Sara Midda
  22. Around BritainTiny Islands, Dixie Wills
  23. Germany Candide, Voltaire
  24. Iraq Talking about Jane Austen in Baghdad, Bee Rowlatt, May Witwit
  25. West Africa and SurinamOroonoko, Aphra Behn
  26. North KoreaEscape from Camp 14, Blaine Harden
  27. Pacific IslandsSouth Sea Tales, Robert Louis Stevenson
  28. ScotlandThe Living Mountain, Nan Shepherd
  29. Wales On Angel Mountain, Brian John
  30. Persia/IranThe Secret Rose Garden, Mahmud Ibn ‘Abd Al-Kar Shabistari
  31. Greece – Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernières
  32. America, India, Europe, ThailandUnaccustomed Earth, Jhumpa Lahiri
  33. PakistanThree Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson
  34. FranceThe Secrets of Pistoulet, Jana Kolpen
  35. ItalyLegend of the Villa della Luna, Jana Kolpen
  36. WalesUnder Milk Wood, Dylan Thomas
  37. IndiaThe God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
  38. JapanHiroshima, John Hersey
  39. ChinaJourneys on the Silk Road, Joyce Morgan, Conrad Walters
  40. ColumbiaOne Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  41. ChileThe House of Spirits, Isabel Allende
  42. NorwaySophie’s World, Jostein Gaarder
  43. Palestine Fast Times in Palestine, Pamela J. Olsen
  44. SudanSeason of Migration to the North, Tayeb Salih
  45. FranceGood Morning, Midnight, Jean Rhys
  46. Canada Anne of Green Gables, L. M. Montgomery
  47. FranceThe Lost Domain, Alain-Fournier
  48. EgyptIndigo: Egyptian Mummies to Blue Jeans, Jenny Balfour-Paul
  49. NorwayA Death in the Family, Karl Ove Knausgaard
  50. JapanThe Book of Tea, Kakuzo Okakura
  51. AlaskaIf you Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name, Heather Lende
  52. Ethiopia, Sweden, AmericaYes, Chef, Marcus Samuelsson
  53. ScotlandThe Scottish Himalayan Expedition, W. H. Murray
  54. ItalyThe Land Where Lemons Grow, Helena Attlee
  55. EnglandMeadowland, John Lewis-Stempel
  56. FranceIn Search of Lost Time Vol 1: Swann’s Way, Marcel Proust
  57. RussiaThe Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  58. HollandThe Black Tulip, Alexandre Dumas
  59. AmericaPilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard
  60. IndiaMidnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie
  61. SamoaComing of Age in Samoa, Margaret Mead
  62. RussiaSpeak, Memory, Vladimir Nabokov
  63. Various Atlas of Remote Islands, Judith Schalansky
  64. America Walden, Henry David Thoreau
  65. New ZealandLand of the Long White Cloud, Lesley Gould
  66. Peru Turn right at Machu Picchu, Mark Adams
  67. SiberiaTravels in Siberia, Ian Frazier
  68. NepalDon’t Let the Goats Eat the Loquat Trees, Thomas Hale
  69. Various Darwin’s Notebook, Jonathan Clement
  70. Various The Geography of Bliss, Eric Weiner
  71. SeasThe Sea Around Us, Rachel Carson
  72. TravelThe Art of Travel, Alain de Botton
  73. TravelCruising Attitude, Heather Poole
  74. ItalyDriving Over Lemons, Chris Stewart
  75. GreenlandAn African in Greenland, Kpomassie Tete-Michel
  76. IndiaOriginal Letters from India, Eliza Fay
  77. AustraliaTracks, Robyn Davidson
  78. VariousDestinations: Essays from Rolling Stone, Jan Morris
  79. Rwanda We wish to inform you…, Philip Gourevitch
  80. VariousA Writer’s World: Travels 1950-2000, Jan Morris

There are light reads along with heavier subject matter. I hope to stretch my reading horizons by reading books that I might not usually reach for straight away and learn about places in the world which I am not familiar with. This list is not set in stone, and I reserve the right to swap out a few along the way. I’ll post about each book as I read it, and link back here as well.

To find out more about the challenge do pop over to Hard Book Habit where I’m sure you’ll find some great ideas as well as at the other blogs taking part.

My suitcases are packed (with books) – off I go!

Nature Book Finds

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Well, I think Christmas came early for me this year. I occasionally browse the nine (nine!) charity shops in our local town in the hope of finding a forgotten treasure. If I’m lucky I’ll find a book to add to my collection. Last week however, I was delighted to discover all these for just a few pounds.

Matt Sewell’s adorable illustrations in Our Songbirds, an old copy of Nature’s Playground, Nature through the Seasons by Peter A. Gerrard, Bird Sense by Tim Birkhead, Caught by the River – a collection of words on water, and Jeffrey Sachs, The Price of Civilisation.

I’m especially looking forward to Bird Sense. My children are always asking me questions like ‘if you could be an animal, which one would you choose?’. I usually say some kind of bird – an eagle or an owl. Solitary creatures with immense freedom. I do wonder what it would be like to soar over land and sea as they do. In his book, animal behaviour scientist Tim Birkhead explores what it is like to be a bird…

‘Our affinity for birds is often said to be the result of shared senses – vision, and hearing – but how exactly do their senses compare with our own? And what about a bird’s sense of taste, or smell, or touch, or the ability to detect the earth’s magnetic field?’

 Not sure when I’m going to find time to read all of these, along with the other books on my reading list, but I hope to eventually get around to doing a post about each of them. If you could be any animal, I wonder which you would choose to be and why?

Spiders, a Penguin Book by W. S. Bristowe

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‘Swallowing a spider gently bruised and wrapped up in a raisin or spread on bread and butter.’

~ Dr Watson’s remedy for fevers

Most of my life I have had an extreme phobia of spiders. As I grew up my mum would love to torture me by buying me spider-related presents. Books about the different varieties and little creepy-crawly gifts would invariably end up in my christmas stocking.

When I became a single mother in 2006, one of my worries was how I was going to deal with the multiple eight-legged fiends that find their way into our home. I tried hard not to pass on my phobia to my children, but they were not too keen about having to catch them either. But you know, when you have no alternative, you have to be a big girl and deal with things yourself. Consequently, over time, I have learnt to catch and put outside all but the largest and most scary looking (for those I am sorry to say, I resort to the vacuum).

I have actually become quite a fan of these fascinating creatures. Now, if I see a spidery book in a shop, I usually add it to my collection.

This 1947 penguin one was on my Pinterest board for years, and when I saw it in the local Oxfam shop, I could not resist. It is by the English naturalist and arachnologist W. S. Bristowe. The cover is exquisite, designed by Mary W. Duncan. And inside are beautiful plates of some British spiders painted by A. T. Hollick in 1867-70.

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There is also a written section in homage to the spider.  Little anecdotes, stories, and medicinal cures such as Dr Watson’s remedy for fevers at the top of this post. According to the book there are over 500 varieties of British spiders. These creatures are an essential link in the food chain, consuming billions of insects. They are ingenious in their design, methods of camouflage, and web-weaving.

Not least of all the forty different kinds of Aranae – or garden spider – that is so visible in hedgerows and gardens at this time of year:

‘When starting to build a web the Aranae stands on tiptoe, raises her body, squeezes out some silk and allows the air currents to waft the silk whither the spider knows not. On the thread getting attached to a neighbouring object, she pulls it tight, walks across her bridge, and strengthens it. Next she makes the rest of the frame and then lays down her spokes or radii. After the radii the spider builds three distinct sets of spiral threads. First, a few very close together in order to strengthen the hub. Then a widely spaced spiral to the outside margin. And third, starting from the outside, the evenly measured spirals which give the web its characteristic appearance. The second set, the widely spaced spirals, were used merely as temporary bridges and the spider destroys them as she lays down the last set. The last spirals to be spun are the only threads in the web which are sticky. The thin film of gum with which each thread is coated is broken up by surface tension into evenly spaced globules and the appearance under a microscope is of a lovely bead necklace. The feet of the Aranea are slightly oily and in that way she avoids getting trapped in her own web.

Daily in summer, these superb craftswomen destroy their old webs, except for the frame, and then build a new one in the space of about half an hour.’

The Life-changing Magic of Tidying

The life-changing magic of tidying up

Yes, I am a little late jumping on this bandwagon, I know. I don’t usually pay much attention to the popular or bestseller lists, preferring instead to follow my nose, especially when it comes to books. They usually jump off the shop-shelf into my hand and shout “buy me, buy me”. But in the end my good intentions to be ‘an organised person’ compelled me to read this book, so I reserved it from my local library.

A much sought after book, this has been on international bestseller lists for yonks; its popularity has yet to wane as I had to wait several weeks for it in a reservation queue. I was curious as to why a book about tidying-up could be so popular? The Life-changing Magic of Tidying-upThe Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organising has obviously touched a sensitive nerve in the heart of our consumerist culture.

Maria’s method is very simple. Tidy once properly and you’ll never have to do it again.

Take one category at a time such as books, clothing, paperwork, komono (miscellaneous items), and place all of it in the middle of a room. Then take each possession individually and ask yourself “does this spark joy?”. If it does, find a place for it to go, if not, discard or donate it. Her no-nonsense quirky tone will leave you motivated to act immediately. Luckily it is a fast and easy read, and I read it in just a few hours.

Now, you don’t have to agree with everything Maria says to find value in her method. I think some of her advice is extreme. I don’t think it’s possible to keep only those things that ‘spark joy’ – some things are merely necessary. For example, I do not like most of my poor quality furniture, but until I am able to replace it with better, it will have to do. And emptying my handbag every day is never going to happen.

The ideal for me is finding balance; your own version of balance, whatever that is. I was once a bit of a hoarder and about ten years ago got rid of an entire lorry load of junk from my loft space. And over the years since have cleared out even more. Sadly, I discarded a few things that I now regret, so it is important that you consider each item carefully and find what works for you.

As a result of all this clearing out, I no longer buy stuff I don’t need. When I do buy something it is because I love it or really need it. Having less things, means less to tidy, less to clean, less to fuss about. Hurrah! Uncluttered surroundings help to produce uncluttered minds. It’s definitely had a calming effect on my life. And an interesting side effect is that my children have become more tidy just from living in a tidier home.

However, I think there is more to this decluttering lark than just having a tidy, organised house. For me it is a spiritual exercise. Material culture is a growing research field in the arts and humanities. Our museums are full of trinkets, art, books, sacred icons, fashions and other artifacts of days gone by – the remains of things that were held in esteem by our forebears and which tell us so much about those people and their times.

It is, then, very interesting to note the things we keep in our homes. What do they tell us about ourselves and our values? That’s what makes it potentially ‘life-changing’. Through sorting through our things and carefully deciding what to keep and what to discard, we come to know and understand ourselves more clearly. And in turn this helps us to see our place in the world and the action we may need to take next.

Following an intuitional approach sparks a closer, deeper relationship with your possessions; learning to identify what is truly precious to you.

Some of my favourite possessions include my books (of which I have several hundred), a few pieces of jewellery that are meaningful to me, notebooks and journals, photographs, a few favourite pictures and crafts made by my children, handmade knits, a wooden sewing box given to my mum on her wedding day, a concert t-shirt, my computer, and some christmas ornaments. What stood out for me among these things are the values I hold dear – the natural world, creativity, home, family, handmade – all those things that nourish the soul.

This book is a useful read, especially if you feel you need a kick up the backside to get you going in life, there’s nothing like a sort and a sift to discover a little more about who you really are.

The Outsider ~ Colin Wilson

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This is a book from my TBR 2015 challenge pile. It has been sat on my bookshelf for years, so I was glad to finally get around to reading it.

Colin Wilson takes the theme of ‘the Outsider’ – one who feels separate and alienated from society – and tracks the use of this character through some of the greatest literature and the lives of artists, in the hope of learning more about the problems of the Outsider.

Reading this book, it was interesting to see how authors have characterised the outsider in different circumstances. Wilson considers the works of artists such as Kafka, Camus, Hemingway, Nijinsky, Hesse, Lawrence, Van Gogh and Dostoevsky, the teachings of the Buddha and George Gurdjieff. Curiously, the outsider in these works is almost always a male. Perhaps this is due to the entirely male authorship, though Wilson seemed to believe that outsiders are almost always male. I would not agree. My view is that women who might consider themselves outsiders, tend to make more effort to at least give the appearance of fitting in.

Wilson views the outsider as one who is less willing to put up with the futility of everyday life. They are often like trains ‘in danger of going off the rails’. They have questions for which they need to seek the answers to – and it is imperative that they do seek these answers if they are not to destroy themselves. Wilson speculates that it may be a question of perception. The outsider may perceive life differently, and that this is to their advantage if they can learn to perceive effectively:

“The Outsider’s problem amounts to a way of seeing the world that can be termed ‘pessimistic’… I have tried to argue that this pessimism is true and valid. It therefore discounts the humanistic ideals of ‘man rising on stepping stones of dead selves to higher things, etc.’, and criticizes philosophy by saying that there is no point in the philosopher’s trying to get to know the world if he doesn’t know himself. It says flatly that the ideal ‘objective philosophy’ will not be constructed by mere thinkers, but by men who combine the thinker, the poet and the man of action. The first question of philosophy is not ‘What is the Universe all about?’ but ‘What should we do with our lives?’; i.e. its aim is not a System that shall be intellectually consistent, but the salvation of the individual.”

This book was not a particularly easy read, though I  did enjoy the challenge. I did get the feeling as I was reading that Wilson was cherry picking the examples which best suited his particular theory of the Outsider, and could perhaps have been argued in any number of ways. In spite of this it was still an interesting and worthwhile read.

Zen and the Art of Making a Living

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“This is a career guide for human beings. It’s really a book about love in action, about joy, about beauty, about caring. It’s for people who want to express their talents in meaningful ways that serve others. Its purpose is not to cram you into some category or stuff you into a gray flannel box. Its aim is to assist you in developing what you need to express, what’s in you in the outer world. In other words, it’s designed to help you do your thing. If you don’t know what your thing is, it will even help you find it.”

…these are the words from the preface of this behemoth of a book. Seriously, I have never encountered a more comprehensive guide for finding the right career for you. Though it was written in 1999, the information it contains is valuable today. It is very well researched, with a wealth of resources… it is everything it says it is, and more. I’m glad to have had this chance to clarify a lot of issues I have been fuzzy on for ages.

I have spoken to so many people over the years who are not doing work that they even like, never mind their ideal vocation. There are many reasons for this, and this book is an excellent guide for getting to the crux of the reasons, and finding your way around or through your personal obstacles. I think we all have an obligation to make good use of our natural talents and skills, though in this complex world it is difficult. To often we sell ourselves short and settle for less than we are capable of, but it is never too late to make changes or even start anew.

What Doesn’t Work

  1. Being discouraged, reactive, and depressed.
  2. Hating your job and doing it poorly.
  3. Hoping it will get better and fearing it won’t.
  4. Complaining, blaming, or procrastinating and staying where you are.
  5. Feeling inferior because you lack training, experience, or connections — and doing nothing.

What Works

  1. Staying positive, objective, and motivated.
  2. Loving what you’re doing and putting your best into it.
  3. Having a plan and making it work.
  4. Accepting responsibility for where you are now and for putting yourself where you want to be.
  5. Believing in yourself and doing what it takes.

Laurence G. Boldt looks at the subject of career through many lenses. He views work as Art, Quest, Game, Battle, and School. He looks at traditional and non-traditional options. He guides the reader to assess their values, talents and skills and identify those they might need to work on. The chapter on Myth, drawing from the work of Joseph Campbell, is fascinating, and the chapter on Economics was especially enlightening to me.

There is some repetition and overlap between the chapters, and I did skim over many paragraphs which weren’t particularly relevant to my situation. This is bound to be the case in a book which attempts (and succeeds) to do so much.

Boldt asserts that if we are to live true to ourselves, we must embark on a hero’s journey, and build a vision not only for our own life, but to see our part in the bigger picture too.

To Kill a Mockingbird ~ Harper Lee

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This is a book from my TBR 2015 challenge. A well-loved classic, particularly in the US, less so in the UK, that I had never read, but which was recommended to me by many people. I picked it up in a charity shop a few years ago and this month finally got the chance to read it. There is little I can say about it that hasn’t been said before, but my personal reaction was that I loved it.

I loved the way Harper Lee painted the characters, especially Scout and Jem and their antics, so clearly it was as if I had watched a film of them. You don’t feel like you are reading a book, so seamlessly does the author transition from one scene to the next. I was completely immersed. Even as if I had been there playing in the dust, snipping the tops of Mrs Dubose’s Camellias, or struggling along in the dark dressed as a joint of ham.

I could relate to the childhood pain and confusion at having to witness the often incomprehensible choices that humans make. Of learning to live in a world where bad things happen. But also where good things happen too. The value of community struck me – as well as its petty prejudices.

There are many miles in distance and time between the setting of this book and my life here in contemporary Britain. Despite this, To Kill a Mockingbird gets to the essence of the human condition in such a realistic and warm way, that I know it is a book that will stay with me for a very long time.

Deliciously Vintage

P1020868   This is a book from the library chosen by Emily. The two of us generally can’t go into the library without coming home with some kind of cookery book. This one – Deliciously Vintage by Victoria Glass

“Sixty beloved cakes and bakes that stand the test of time”

There are a lot of tempting sweet treats in this book. So many familiar names like the jammie dodgers pictured on the cover, butterfly cakes, madeleines, battenburg, florentines, and all kinds of cookies and muffins and more. There are beautiful pictures of every recipe throughout this book (an essential in any cookery book to my thinking). Just browsing through it is a treat in itself. I have been trying to cut down on the number of sugary desserts we consume in this house, but I can’t  resist making a home-made cake or cookie once in a while. Emily recently made pineapple upside-down cake (not in this book) in a school cookery lesson and brought it home for us to share. It took me back to the experience of making it myself at school – many years ago – that was probably the last time I ate it. It’s a typical 1970’s pudding popular here in the UK – easy and cheap to make. You’d think times would’ve moved on in school cookery classes, but apparently not. For a few minutes I was right back there in the old classroom with the crowded tables and the heat of several ovens, and us children banging pots and pans and inadvertently showering the floor and each other with flour. It’s a strange thing how the taste of a certain food can take you back to a very particular time and place. Food is a very connecting thing. Shared by us all. The way it engages our senses of touch, taste and smell, it connects us with our memories and with each other in a special way, particularly when we are involved in the cooking itself. I chose the recipe for ‘snickerdoodles’. A traditional American cookie with a cinnamon sugar coating. I’ve never made or tasted them before, but they were easy to make and melt in the mouth delicious. Crispy on the outside and soft and chewy in the centre. And the added bonus of a house filled with the fragrance of baked cinnamon cookies which lingered until the next day 🙂

Snickerdoodles

300g/1½ cups caster/granulated sugar

225g/15 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2 eggs

345g/2⅔ cups plain/all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

For the cinnamon coating:

50g/¼ cup caster/granulated sugar

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

(2 large baking sheets, line with baking parchment) Makes about 60 Cookies

– Preheat oven to 200ºC (400ºF) GAs 6.

Cream the sugar and butter together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Gradually whisk in the eggs and sift over the flour, cream of tartar, baking powder and salt. Mix until the mixture starts to come together, then use your hands to bring the mixture together to form a dough. Put the cookie dough in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.

Dust your hands with flour and roll the dough between your hands into hazelnut-size pieces. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl and roll each ball in the sugar until thoroughly coated. Place the balls of dough on to the baking sheets with about 5 cm/2 in. between each one. Flatten each ball slightly with a palette knife.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until firm. Leave the cookies to cool for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

And try not to eat them all at once 😉

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