I get to work really, really early.

This means I can have my tea without being rushed. It also means there is no time for packing lunch – and that fussing about sleepily in the kitchen has to be done the night before. So here are a couple of things I’ve made at night. Needless to say, the lighting is less than satisfactory at 11.30pm, no matter what they say about summer and daylight saving.

Everyone around here loves digestives but they’re unreasonably expensive – at least $3.50 for a small pack. The taste of these biscuits won’t really remind you much of those cylindrical plastic packets but hopefully you will love them anyway. The texture, on the other hand, is spot on! Crunchy, light, crumbly..

I generally use a 50/50 ratio of whole wheat and white flour because then you have a balance of tenderness and nuttiness. Digestives were originally termed for their high amount of roughage, after all. You could also throw in some oats (whizzed to a fine powder or quick-cooking).

Go according to your taste. We like more savory biscuits with a hint of sweet. It doesn’t have to be plain– add some dried herbs and parmesan or your favorite loose-leaved herbal tea. Apple tea and a pinch of cinnamon. Rosemary and garlic salt. Go crazy!

ALSO!! If you aren’t baking these at an unearthly hour like I was, you could (and should) prick each biscuit with a raw strand of spaghetti before baking, multiple times. Free thrill : )

British digestive biscuits
adapted from She Cooks He Bakes

Makes 13 biscuits.

4 oz / 114 g flour (all white, half, with oats… up to you)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
scant 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons tablespoons icing / confectioners’ sugar
2 oz / 57 g butter, cut into small dice and chilled
~ 2-3 tablespoons of cold milk

Before anything, prepare the butter so that as you work it can get nice and cold.

Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl, whisking or sifting to get some air in. Use a pastry cutter or your fingertips to gently crumble the butter into the mixture. Bring together into a ball with the milk. (You’re essentially making the same dough as an American buttermilk biscuit or pastry dough with a much lower proportion of fat).

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to approximately 3mm in thickness. Cut out circles – doesn’t matter how large, I just use a cup because we don’t have cutters. Be careful not to let the dough stick. Bake on parchment at 325 F for 15 minutes and store in an airtight contained for up to a week.

If you want to get fancy, scatter some chocolate chips over individual biscuits (about 6 per biscuit) during the last minute of baking. Once time is up, the chips will be melty and require just some spreading to completely cover the biscuit in a layer. They do take several hours to harden completely, though, so either you’ll have to wait or eat them with the melty chocolate.. which is not necessarily a bad thing.

This is not a ‘recipe’ but I must share it anyway. It resembles something you’d find in a Nigella book because of how the ease of preparation seems to strengthen rather than weaken the dish. This a great solution to those stressful midnight moments when you wake up and realize you haven’t made lunch for tomorrow yet and need to leave at 6.30 in the morning.

Yummy Five Ingredient Chickpea Salad
Adapted from Orangette

Can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Lug of olive oil – about 2 teaspoons
Juice of quarter-half a lemon (the zest, too, if you can find the zester without turning the kitchen upside down)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Parmesan cheese… even pre-grated, if that’s all you have (and that is, 99% of the time, all we have… nothing wrong with that! Sure, the fresh stuff tastes different and better. But it costs multiple times more)

Mix. Keep tasting and mixing and adjusting. Like most pulse salads, this is best eaten cold.

If you’ve made too large a batch and need help finishing it up, you can throw it into a processor and add olive oil/paprika for some yummy hummus, or you can smoosh it up and fry it as falafel.

Next – World peace cookies!

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