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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Resistance is useless...

Is is October already? How did that happen? I feel this year has really run away from me as I look down the barrel of birthday celebrations (so many!), ballet concerts, a much anticipated visit from my sister and preparations for Christmas. My ongoing struggle to balance domestic and intellectual creativity continues to occupy my days but I've come to realise it's not a battle I can ever win outright so I've started my own resistance unit of one and read, think, write guerilla-style whenever I can.

With that in mind, this extract from Sylvia Plath's journal which popped up in my Twitter feed this week had special resonance. Written in 1957, Plath admits she is worried about 'becoming too happily, stodgily practical: instead of studying Locke, for instance, or writing --- I go make an apple pie, or study the Joy of Cooking, reading it like a rare novel.' She finds consolation, however, in the diary of Virginia Woolf where she finds Woolf cleaning out the kitchen and cooking haddock and sausages to overcome her depresssion at being rejected by Harper's! (There's another good piece about Plath and her cooking here).

What is it about cooking especially baking that makes it so diverting? I know I still get a kick from the strange alchemical reactions in cooking - putting together ingredients that seem like strange bedfellows yet happily co-exist in the finished product (see recipe below - where's the flour?). I often find it difficult to 'stick to the script' so there's also an element of uncertainty to my cooking which adds a certain frisson.

So although 'La Resistance Lives On', I'm the first to concede that even revolutionaries need snacks (and the odd burst of procrastibaking) so if you are just depleted from the battle (any battle) you might like to whip up a batch of these Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are ludicrously easy and gluten-free to boot but be warned - one will not be enough.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies


400g (14 oz) crunchy peanut butter
200g (7 oz) caster sugar
1 egg
180g (6.5 oz) chocolate chips


1.  Preheat oven to 160C (320F) and line two baking trays with baking paper.

2.  Mix peanut butter, sugar and egg with an electric mixer. Add chocolate chips and stir with a spoon to distribute.

3.  Place walnut sized, slightly flattened balls on the tray and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

That's it. No flour. Not much mess and ready in a flash. You can thank me later...


  1. Ah, I used to cook for pleasure and distraction, but now it always feels like a chore (after having a family and cooking every day) - so my current escape/procrastination tool is looking at blogs and twitter!

    1. I do know what you mean. I sometimes really struggle with the evening meal now but that's what I like so much about baking - it never seems like a chore because I do it for pleasure rather than necessity. That being said, blogs and Twitter are also a wonderful way to procrastinate and be inspired!

  2. Ah, I made a similar recipe once, thinking how wonderfully easy it sounded...ended up with an incredibly sugary-sweet confection more than a bikky, which no-one wanted to eat....I think that recipe called for equal amounts of PB and sugar though, brr.

    Nice to see your blog still gets a look-in occasionally. :-)
    Bit like mine, really...I do keep trying to add one entry a month though!

    1. They are fairly sweet but as the kids can't take them to school (no nut policy) I don't make them very often:) Looking forward to seeing you soon...

  3. Really, they can't take anything nutty to school, just in case a nut-allergy kid nicks it off them? Aren't the allergic kids taught to be good and not eat anything they don't know? Weird. And sad, depriving everyone else for the sake of a handful of kids who can't have something. :-/

    Yes, will be seeing you in a week! You won't be able to miss me, I kinda stick out now, hoho...:-)

    1. You'll have to get used to the no-nut policies as thery're pretty universal now. Drives me craazy but I understand the need for them and would certainly be grateful for them if my child had a nut allergy.

  4. Just made them and they are very nice. I agree about the difference in thinking about dinner and cooking for fun.

    1. Hi Helen. You're pretty quick of the mark! I've actually just made another batch too by special request. Hope things are well in your world:)

  5. I would find it difficult to resist these too Caz...They don't look like flour-less cookies...amazing.

    Your struggle sounds familiar. It is a really hard balance to strike...I think like me you are a bit of a perfectionist. It's so hard to do everything. I find I seem to half-do a million things. I am trying to concentrate on one thing at a time properly. But then find myself like one of the Bronte sisters a book in one hand stirring a pan of soup with the other...or heaven forfend forgetting about the soup until I the smell of burning brings it back to my attention!

    I loved the bit about Woolf cooking haddock and seems out of character with the person I thought she was.

    Thanks for sharing this lovely post with us.

  6. Oh wow. Yum, these look delicious.
    Funnily enough, this week I'll be posting about trying to find balance in my life ... and more often than not failing at it. I think we're all sometimes too hard on ourselves, so whenever I'm feeling guilty about what I should be doing or where I should be spending my time ... perhaps I should hit the kitchen instead?