We’ve only gone and done it. We’ve completely and utterly joined the ranks of the middle classes by booking a camping holiday to France. It’s just so bloody typical I can feel my cheeks reddening as I tell people. Of course we’re not proper middle class or we’d actually be camping, you know, in one of those tents where you can stand up and they have actual rooms and a fridge and everything.
No. That is not for us. We are going for the wimps version. We’re staying in a (gulp) VIP chalet. What that means is we are staying in a static caravan with Ikea style decor and an iPod dock. A total campers cop out, I know. I’m awaiting my sons to ask why we aren’t sleeping in a tent or even one of the treehouses.
We almost did. My hand hovered over the last treehouse available to book. If I’d had one more glass of wine that evening it may have happened. Alas, my husband is the voice of health and safety in this house and pointed out that youngest kamikaze son would probably not return alive such is his sense of ‘adventure.’ So a caravan holiday it is. Only without the penny arcades of the Mablethorpe of my youth.
So if anyone has any tips, advice, thoughts on how best to enjoy a static caravan holiday masquerading as a camping holiday in the Loire Valley please do speak up. In the meantime here are some orange butter biscuits I made for a pal who always holidays in France and always does it in a tent. She is what one calls a proper camper. (She has a trailer.)
Orange butter biscuits
Makes 16 – 25 dependant on the size of the cutters you use
- 240g self raising flour
- 100g vanilla infused caster sugar
- 100g salted butter
- Zest of one orange
- 1 large room temperature egg
Mix the flour and sugar well, then rub in the butter until you have a fine breadcrumb consistency. (You can use your KitchenAid at speed 1 with the flat beater to do this, ensure butter a little soft though.) Then use a blunt knife to mix through the orange zest. Lastly use the egg to bind. Wrap the biscuit mixture in clingfilm and chill for a minimum of 30 minutes. I left mine in the fridge overnight and baked first thing.
Roll onto a lightly floured surface using a floured rolling pin to a thickness of about 3mm. Cut out shapes and bake in a preheated oven at 180C/Gas 4 for about 12 minutes until the biscuits are lightly browned. Leave to cool a little on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. These biscuits would LOVE to be drizzled in chocolate if you had any spare. (Ponders… who has spare chocolate?)
NB: Try to only re-roll the scraps from the first batch of shapes you cut out once more as the more you handle this dough the tougher it becomes. Also, if you’re very worried about the biscuits holding their shape then chill the cut out shapes on the baking tray for 20 minutes before baking them.