Friday, 6 March 2009

Wholemeal Shortbread

This recipe produced accusing cries of "Why have you never made this before?" so I reckon it is worth sharing.

8 oz wholemeal flour
6 oz butter
5 oz demerara sugar
pinch of salt

Rub the butter into the salted flour (I softened the butter for 30 seconds in the microwave first - check how powerful your microwave is first though!). Then add the sugar and knead with the hands until the mixture is soft. You are then supposed to roll it out to 1/2 inch thick, but I just pressed it into a baking tray, and I think it would be crisper if you made it less than 1/2 inch thick. Back at 375 degrees F/190 degrees C for 20 minutes, then cut into slices and cool on a rack.

The Guardian Book of English Language edited by David Marsh and Amelia Hodson

Is it sad to like reading guides to grammar and spelling? Probably!

This one is a 100-page extract from Guardian Style, as used by the paper's journalists. Wisely, the editors admit to the "Grauniad" image of misprints and misspellings straight away, and then get on with the job of giving guidelines to their journalists. Fifers will be happy to know that the correct spelling of Kirkcaldy is included (thanks to Gordon Brown, we presume). This isn't as easy to read as The Elements of Style, but it does have some funny moments. For example there's this entry (which I should probably heed) for Exclamation marks: Do not use! Or when spelling this singer's name: Meat Loaf sings, meatloaf doesn't. They also reckon that the prejudice against split infinitives goes back to 19th century Latin teachers who felt that as the Latin infinitive was all one word, the English one shouldn't be split by another word inbetween. They give another couple of examples then say, "As the Guardian is written in English, rather than Latin, do not worry about any of this even slightly".

Day 149; Book 147