I think decorating is like the sea. The ebb and the flow. The high tides and low tides. Of inspiration and of willingness. I'll binge in Homebase and Toast and scour the internet for the perfect dressing table mirror. Some days, I'll stare at the Ikea catalogue and then toddle off to make a cup of tea and play video games. If you're wallowing in wallpaper, tile and curtain samples, there is one thing you can do make it more interesting.
Jim and I have slowly been repairing and decorating the cottage. Ripping up carpets, laying wooden floors, fixing those dodgy DIY coverups from the last owners and painting.
But if you feel you are in an ebb, just grab some paint charts and laugh at the ridiculous names given to some paints.
They go from the obvious like Buttercup and Barely Beige to the downright crazy. Some of the best are Whisper of Rodeo Drive, Mizzle, Fluffy Bunny and Almost Oyster.
But there is one. One that stands out about all of the rest. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you:
Another problem is that you can run your finger across the paint charts and hit things like Rum & Raisin, and rather than sway me into buying brown paint, it just made me hungry.
Adapted from this recipe
600gr plain flour (plus a little more)
Pinch of salt
1 x 7gr sachet of easy blend dried yeast
250ml semi skimmed milk
70gr caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
2tbsp boiling water
2tsbp melted butter
30gr caster sugar
Icing sugar for dusting
1, Sift the flour into the bowl of your stand mixer. Rub in the butter until fully combined and stir through the salt and yeast.
2, In a medium saucepan over a low heat, stir the milk and sugar together until the sugar has dissolved and it has come to a lukewarm consistency.
3, Pour this into the flour and using a dough hook attachment, combine together.
4, Add in the rum, vanilla extract and crack in the eggs.
5, Knead the dough for a couple of minutes, you're aiming for a smooth dough that isnt sticky to the touch so you might need to add in more flour at this point. Add it slowly, spoonful by spoonful. When you've banished the stickiness, knead for a few more minutes or until your dough is stretchy and elastic.
6, Remove the dough from the mixer and place in a bowl. Cover with clingfilm and pop somewhere warm for an hour or until the dough had doubled in size.
7, Whilst the dough is proving, you need to make the filling. Ideally, if you can soak the raisins with the rum and hot water overnight that would be awesome but I'm not the most organised so we'll go with popping the raisins, rum and hot water in a small saucepan and setting over a really low heat. Stir until the raisins have plumped up a bit but you still have a little liquid in the pan. Let this go completely cold.
8, Knock the dough back with your fist and roll into a 30cm squareish shape.
9, Brush with the melted bitter and sprinkled on the caster sugar. Spread the rum and raisin mix all over the dough and press it in lightly with your hands.
10, Roll the dough up, trim off the edges and cut into 10 rolls.
11, I baked mine off in two batches, I put seven of my rolls in an 10 inch round tin and the remaining three in a 7 inch round tin. If you want to bake them on the same day you make them then simply cover with clingfilm, leave to rise for 30 minutes and then bake at 190o/c for 20-25minutes. If you want soft, raisin studded buns for the morning, cover with clingfilm and put in the fridge. You can leave these for up to 24 hours. To bake from the fridge, leave to stand for 30minutes at room temperature before baking as above.
12, Leave to cool slightly before dusting with icing sugar.