I've just come from a domestic little scene in the kitchen, having rustled up caramel shortbread and rock cakes. I love baking, but it doesn't tend to go entirely smoothly - often because I don't have the exact ingredients and utensils required, and tend to assume that it won't make too much of a difference. Today's caramel shortbread required a shallow baking tin... two candidates stepped forward; a casserole dish and a grill pan. Hmm. Not, as I mentioned, the exact utensils required. In the end I plumped for the correct depth - the grill pan - and realised that this would need rather more shortbread than the recipe stipulated. So far, so good. Made twice the amount, pressed it into an even layer across the greased grill pan (firmly cleaned beforehand, fear not)... and discovered that the grill pan's handle was non-detachable. I.e. the oven door wouldn't close. Quickly scooped up the mixture and put it in the, quite small, casserole dish. Which could only really fit the original recipe, not twice the amount, as I'd made. Ho-hum. Despite charitably eating quite a lot of raw mixture, the shortbread filled the dish when cooked, and had to have the top cut out. And somehow it's not very shortbready - more like a crunchy cake. Good enough. The caramel worked, which is the hardest bit, so I daresay it'll be edible enough.
ANYWAY, can't offer a photo as my camera is still very blurry - as exemplified by the blurry pictures today. Karen, at Cornflower, wrote the other day about notebooks and diaires and the beauty to be found there. Completely agree - there is something indefinably gorgeous about a really lovely notebook, because it's not just beautiful in and of itself - it also speaks of possiblities, potential. My latest notebook, though, is not space for a novel or blueprints for a cathedral etc, but rather 2008's diary. I blogged about diarising aaages ago, and the past few years I've tried to find beautiful books in which to write, rather than the bog standard ones you can get from The Works. Have experimented with dated/undated; lined/blank; white/coloured pages, and have settled upon blank/undated/white as my favourite. My latest has lines, but wait til you see the outside...
That, ladies and gentlemen, is Mr. William Shakespeare's signature on the front. He missed out the first 'e', but we'll let it slide. The cover of this faux-leather notebook is Shakespeare's writing of the play 'Sir Thomas More' (ok, academics argue that he might not have written the bit commonly attributed to him, but it's the only way we're going to get a self-handwritten copy of any of his writing). Had to buy it, really. Stole that picture from Amazon, but will make up for it by letting you know that you can purchase the notebook from them here. From January, I shall be writing my daily ramblings in there, purging out the dull stuff and keeping the best and most bookish for you lot!
So, if you haven't already commented on Cornflower, and even if you have - do you have this notebook addiction? What is it that links the bookish with notebooks - do we just love books in whatever shape or size they come? And, if you keep a journal, what sort of diary/notebook do you find is best?