Saturday, December 1, 2007

Traditional Shortbread and Sharing Recipes

How many of you have found people out there who simply hate sharing recipes? I have found many many such folk. I have had strange experiences in this. When you taste something that a good cook has made and ask them for the recipe, they prevaricate. For instance, once I had the most amazing fried rice at a friend's place. So I asked her how she made it. She said ( these are her words and I quote) " Oh, so easy, just take cooked rice, add some salt and whatever vegetables you have on hand and toss it all together" She simply refused to elaborate beyond that. Obviously I got the message and did not probe further.

Then another friend who is a fabulous baker said she did not like to share her recipes because we work hard at it, try out many different variations before we strike gold ( the analogy is like kissing a number of frogs before finding the prince). She said that we do all the hard work and people simply enjoy the fruit of our labour. So she is particular about sharing recipes only with friends who share their recipes with her.

Now as a blogger, that goes completely against the grain. Don't you agree? Here we are, happy to share (for absolutely no fee) all our hard work over the years. Not just our hard work but even that of our mothers and mothers in law and grandmothers also. It is simply for the joy of giving and sharing. Each of us brings to the table, foods and recipes that we have tried and tested and perfected. Much blood and sweat and tears has gone into it. I cannot imagine not sharing a recipe.
Anyway, now for Shortbread...
Shortbread is traditionally a Scottish cookie which is now synonymous with Christmas. It has a deliciously crumbly buttery texture which simply melts in the mouth.
Shortbread is a type of biscuit/cookie which is traditionally made from one part sugar, two parts butter, and three parts all purpose flour although other ingredients like ground rice or cornflour are sometimes added to alter the texture. Shortbread is so named because of its crumbly texture(from an old meaning of the word short). The cause of this texture is its high fat content, provided by the butter. The related word shortening refers to any fat that may be added to produce a short (crumbly) texture. The term "short" is used in reference to the fact that the fat molecules inhibit the formation of long gluten strands, making it "short". (source - Wikipedia)
This is an easy recipe that I learnt when in college.
100 grams Butter
1 cup All purpose flour
1/2 cup Rice flour
3/4 cup icing sugar/ confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Sift all the dry ingredients together.
Cut in the butter into the flour mixture and mix well till a stiff dough forms.
press out into a 9 inch circle.
Score into wedges and bake at 170 deg C for about 20 minutes until golden brown.


Srivalli said...

What you say is so true..I have met many people who are like I said in my previous post, Amma's friend was like this. She even told me, Valli you should never share the correct recipe to anybody. Even if they force you to tell, miss out something so that they don't get the correct dish..we used to laugh at things she tell us...Mom had never denied any information, still some wouldn't get it correct, I used to tell them its in the hand and Amma serves with extra dollop of love...:D

thanks for the shortbread..looks good...

Asha said...

Love the short bread Kamini, I make it sometimes.Looks delicious. Have fun!:)
My recipes are always 100% genuine, do not miss anything because I want others to enjoy too!:))

Seema Bhat said...

Your post is 100% true. There are so many people who hesitate to share their recipes and think they are great cook. I always feel a great cook is a person who can help a person to cook and by sharing recipes and tips. Anyways world is filled with both kinda people right? Short bread cookies look yummy and perfect.

Namratha said...

I totally understand what you mean Kamini, I've had a lot many such experiences as well! It really is annoying in a way isn't it, when they just snub you and pretend nothing is in the dish...hmph.. Sharing recipes is truly one's generous modest nature.

Shortbread looks yummy!

Happy cook said...

Really true what you are saying, i too know even friends who never want to give their secrets away.
It is always a little if this or that but never the full recipie.
Shirtbread looks delicious

remya said...

love those breads...i totally agree wid u dear...i too such bitter experience.Even friends n beloved ones hesitiate to respond or give vague ideas so that we will flop in making that dish.i improved my cooking after started blogging...y asking others for recipes...we have a blogsphere wid grt cooks n grt recipes...who r free to help anytime ....

Mansi Desai said...

kamini, a great and inspiring write-up for the people who have doubts about how much more fun food is when it is shared!!! loved your shortbread..looks very authentic and has that home-made touch:)


TBC said...

That is very true, Kamini!
That not only applies to cooking and recipies. I have seen that happening with pictures too!... like when u ask someone how exactly they have photographed something 'cos u really would like to know & hopefully learn, they're really vague or don't bother to answer!( & I'm talking blog world here).
Shortbread looks fab:-)

Dhivya Karthik said...

Ur words are BINGO! on mark! Although I do give respect to the reasoning of having to work so hard for it, there is also one concept in life of doing something cos U love/like and not for jus credit. Ok even someone has taken away the credit, its fine. Hard work and genuine effort always pays I feel if not in one way, it will in some other way! Good Karma/Bad Karma!

Guess went too philosophical in my comment.will shut it :-) before U curse me..he he. The shortbreads are awesome Kamini :)

curryinkadai said...

Kamini, evry word you penned down is so true, i really enjoy shraing my recipes, serving my food to people, it bring in so much joy and satisfaction.. I am sure everyone agrees that!!

PASSIONATE BAKER....and beyond. said...

Hi Kamini. Thanks for droppoing by my blog so I could get to yours. Absolutely true...what you say about vague answers to recipe requests. Blogging is another kettle of fish altogether. I am pretty new to blogging, & am enjoying it tremendously.
Love shortbread & your recipe. Very nice indeed!

Suganya said...

And the best part is,here, in the blogging world, even though you give a little, you receive a lot more.