Never mind internal comms, how about extraterrestrial comms?

Today was a typical Sunday, cleaning, ironing, baking and cooking. Oh, and keeping up with Chris Hadfield the new chiefie on the International Space Station. He’s been tweeting from space since before he left Earth but interest in him has obviously gone stratospheric since he climbed on board. His photos have been tremendous and today’s were mostly of Ireland to help celebrate St Patrick’s Day. My favourite photo so far was of the Soyuz capsule finally heading for earth with the Russian cosmonauts who had been up there for 5 months. Their departure was postponed because of bad weather in Kazakhstan where they were due to land.

Soyuz leaving the ISS

I don’t know why, but people always sound surprised when I mention that Cmdr_Hadfield is tweeting from space. I mean he’s closer to the satellite so why shouldn’t he?

I didn’t bake cakes today – I tried making rowies, otherwise known as Aberdeen rolls or butteries. They taste fine but they went a bit wrong, probably because I didn’t shape them properly so with all the layers they ended up splitting like puff pastry. I lived in Aberdeen for two years and there are also morning and afternoon versions of rowies, with the morning ones tasting saltier. These were my favourite ones and there definitely wasn’t enough salt in this batch. I have to say, these are very unhealthy and it’s the first time in my life I’ve bought lard. These are definitely just being made only very occasionally.

MiniMe just came to me for help with her maths homework and my heart sank when I realised it was geometry, neither her nor my strong point. Now I don’t know if my complexity course has changed the way I think or if I was always OK at maths I just didn’t have the confidence. Pretty quickly I realised that if you can find an algebraic equation to work something out, you’re pretty much laughing. MiniMe loves algera so once we had made that jump she was back in her comfort zone and whizzed through the rest of her worksheet.

Today I have learned:

  • you can work out just about anything with algebra
  • except the perfect ratio of ingredients for rowies
  • or the perfect way to shape the finished dough

Today’s track

I love this track but when I came across this live version on YouTube which was recorded last year, I was a bit scared to press play because I thought it would be 3 old men trying to hit notes they never would and singing croaky harmonies. How could I possibly have thought that? This is a tremendous version of an already tremendous song.

Today’s recipe

Aberdeen rowies


Makes 16


500g strong bread flour

1 sachet fast action yeast

1 tbsp soft brown sugar

1 tbsp salt

350mls warm water

275g butter

100g lard

oil for greasing

Method: Mix the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and por in the water. Stir with a wooden spoon then mix with your hands until you have a ball of dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Put in a clean bowl, cover with an oiled  piece of clingfilm and leave to rise for 1 hour.

Cream together the butter and lard and divide into 4 portions. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for a minute. Roll out to a rectangle about 20x40cm. Spread 1 portion of the butter on the bottom 2/3rds of the dough. Fold the top third over onto the butter then lift the bottom third over the top of that. Turn the dough a quarter turn and roll out again. Repeat the process till the butter is used up.

Cut the dough into 16 pieces and shape each into a flat roll shape. Place them all on lightly oiled baking trays and leave to rise for 45 minutes.

Heat the oven to 200C/Gas 6 and back the rowies for 18 minutes or until risen slightly and golden. They can be served warm or cold with butter and jam.

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