Happy Valentine’s and a tray of Friands for Friends!

Friands for afternoon tea

Happy Valentine’s Day to me.

It is hard to put into words what a wonderful early morning I have just had: but let me start by telling you that I have had not 1, but 2 cups of tea …. and both while they were still hot. Now anyone with children will attest to what a treat that is!

It is 10am and I am still in my nightie. Outrageous!

I have enjoyed a lovely cuddle with my adorable puppy dog while laying outside staring at the sky and thinking of nothing at all.

Puppy Love. Slippers by Ruby and Ed.
Puppy Love. Slippers by Ruby and Ed.

I have read several letters from The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society, a book that I am in no hurry to finish as I don’t think I can bear to leave the wonderful characters. Worse still, knowing that the author Mary Ann Schaffer has passed away, as such there can definitely be no more.

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society
The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society

My chidren have made the most outrageously clever cards.

Happy Valentine's Day
Happy Valentine’s Day

And I have baked. Baking reminded me of a dear friend back in my previous home, half way around the world in a land as different from the tropical island of Antigua as you can be. I am talking about the landlocked snowy mountains of Switzerland in a region known as the Val de Bagnes, where many people do not even have a ray of sunshine in their homes for 4 months of the year.

Seven years ago I met a girlfriend. I heard her before I saw her. She is Australian, the best and the loudest. I was pregnant, she had a little baby girl. We bonded like Bondi Beach, bathed in sunshine and full of dreams.

She is the greatest entertainer, with a calendar constantly filled with appointments. Her repertoire is perfect and I always beg for recipes for the ultimate chocolate cake, or the lime mayonnaise to go with the prawn tortillas.

She invites guests for Sunday brunch: when the rest of our gang can barely make ourselves a cup of tea, she is flipping ricotta pancakes and making fresh juice.

On my birthday she held a 70’s themed fancy dress party for the girls and made avocados filled with prawn cocktail and chicken vol-au-vents. It was amazing. We shared red lipstick and swapped stories about how great our Mum’s are.

One day she made Friands, an Australian treat. I have never forgotten, as I ate them uncontrollably and would have stuffed a few spare into my handbag if I could have without being noticed.

Friends stay friends forever. Even when you miss each other for years, there comes that day when you meet again and it is as if time has stopped and you are right back where you began.

“In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things, the heart finds its morning and is refreshed” Kahlil Gibran.

Friands for friends
Friands for friends

Mmmmmmmm! You have got to taste these …. but then you’ve got to make these. No problem! They are SO easy to make, they take minutes to whip up and then fill your house with the most delectable scent. If you want to sell your house, bake these – not bread! Light, moist and delectable these little treats are a winner every time.

Thank you my dear friend for your boundless enthusiasm and love x.

Ingredients

190g butter

60g plain flour

200g icing sugar

120g ground almonds / almond meal

5 egg whites, lightly whisked with a fork

Flavouring – zest of a lemon / vanilla / berries

Method

Preheat oven to 180C /350F. Melt the butter and add a little to grease a 12 hole friand / muffin pan. Dust the pan and shake out the excess.

Sift the flour and sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the almond meal. Add the melted butter and the egg whites and the lemon zest.

I like to put the mixture in a measuring jug and then simply pour it into the prepafed pan, filling each hole 3/4 way up.

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan before removing to cool on a wire rack.

Dust with icing sugar and serve with tea or coffee.

Friands for afternoon tea
Friands for afternoon tea

Happy Valentine’s Day dear readers, with love x

 

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