“All the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey…” The words of that evocative song keep going around my head and really resonate with me at the moment. It feels that winter is snatching the last glorious colours of autumn and the grey skies are making themselves comfortable. Earlier this month, I spent a couple [...]
“All the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey…” The words of that evocative song keep going around my head and really resonate with me at the moment. It feels that winter is snatching the last glorious colours of autumn and the grey skies are making themselves comfortable. Earlier this month, I spent a couple of weeks in California, and now home, I’m dreaming of the West Coast sunshine – the light, colours and mood. Still, there is a beauty too in the muted tones of an English November, and what better to cheer a gloomy day than a cup of tea and a home baked biscuit? A shortbread biscuit, with Californian pistachio nuts.
Look at the extraordinary colour of these ground pistachios! I bought a big bag of these Californian Pistachios (ground to a fine flour/meal) in my beloved Santa Monica Farmers’ Market to bring back. I say ‘my’ market because for the many years I lived in Santa Monica, my twice weekly market shop was a steadfast ritual and I have never stopped missing it since I moved away. Fruits, nuts, honey, shellfish, wild mushrooms, flowers -a true cornucopia of the region – all found at this market. So my pistachio nuts, what will I do with them? To start, these very tasty little shortbread biscuits I think.
Pistachio Shortbread Biscuits
50g caster sugar
125g plain flour
75g ground pistachios
a few drops of vanilla (optional)
Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Sir in the flour and pistachio nuts, and vanilla if using. Divide the mix into about 20 small balls and place evenly spaced on a large, lined baking sheet. Flatten each ball gently. Bake at 190 degrees centigrade for 10-12 minutes, until golden. Cool on a rack. Dust with golden icing sugar if you wish.
Now I thought I would share a few photographs from my travels, from San Francisco down the coast to Santa Monica. I’ve driven that route a few times and every time it just seems more beautiful. And the pumpkin patches and farm stands were in full swing.
Santa Barbara was celebrating the Dia de los Muertos when we were there. It’s the day when many people honour and celebrate the lives of ancestors and loved ones who have passed away. Favourite foods and drinks are enjoyed and presented in shrine, along with bright decorations,bunting and intricate sugar skulls. The festivities are joyful and we were so happy to join in the craft making, eating and drinking.
To finish, a most wonderful plate of carnitas and carne asada, tortillas and salsa. I miss that Californian Mexican food – but at least I brought home lots of corn tortillas too!
Thanks for visiting. A Christmas post next, I think.