A very happy, healthy and prosperous Chinese year of the Rat to you and your family.
With my brother and sisters in Malaysia and Australia, it is a quiet day indeed. Only on Saturday will we throw a party for a few friends who have volunteered to provide some CNY cuisine while I, as usual, make a fav curry of the moment, carrot-celery-head pickles and biryani rice.
There's no holiday here and the other half was out of town for work, so I went to visit a friend up in a village 10km away for lunch. The dog I'm dog-sitting was left at home to mind the floor. (Didn't think she'd appreciate the twisty bus ride up some mountain roads.)
Dog-ward for five weeks Tigi says: 'Call me Sister Tigi. I was self-ordained. Did you say Year of the Rat? Yikes, bats without hats! Now be a dear and pass me one of those fragrant cats.'
I have made two batches of cookies for fun. Here is the recipe which I adapted from a nice square book called 'Big, Soft, Chewy Cookies':
Poppyseed Honey Soft Cookies
4/5 cup honey (that's almost a cup!)
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs poppy seeds
Place honey and butter in a medium saucepan and boil for a minute. Remove from heat and stir baking soda into it. Set aside to cool.
Heat oven to 175 degrees Celsius (350 degrees F). Beat eggs in butter mix. Mix baking powder and salt with flour, adding salt and poppy seeds. Stir flour mix into butter mix till dough stiffens.
Line cookie tray with baking paper. Drop a tablespoon of dough for each cookie, leaving 5cm space in between. Bake cookies for about 10 minutes, or when they're firm to the touch. Be careful not to overbake. Use spatula to transfer cookies to wire rack for cooling.
This soft, tender cookie has the lovely subtle taste of honey and the light crunch of poppy seeds - perfect for teatime or coffee!