Honest to God I kid you not when I say that I was the shyest person ever when it came to boys. I do have a memory of my first and only boyfriend at middle school. It was as fleeting as it was meaningful and finished after just one morning when at lunchtime he had eaten his Krunchie Puffs without sharing (a common gluttonous thread was already obviously visible) and my friends coincidentally had finished with their beaus too (there’s a thing). My secondary school was an all girls establishment so did not lend itself easily to boy/girl encounters unless you were very committed . There was lots of furtive smoking behind the bike sheds and getting drunk on shots of stolen neat Cinzano whilst listening to the Cure on sleepovers but it was not until I was sixteen that I got a sniff of some lip action and became fully aware of my crippling problem. I had been fixed up with a handsome fatty at a very middle class monthly kids disco and found myself in the girls toilet knowing that he was outside waiting for me to lock lips. It was all about the snog in my day. I’m sure there were others exceedingly more”sophisticated” but it all went on completely under my radar. The closest I had ever come to second base was somebody else’s copy of Judy Blume’s well thumbed Forever smuggled into school. So for the longest time I had just been an avid and wistful witness to my beautiful best friend’s romantic love life. She left a wake of bruised and lovelorn male egos wherever she went……she was simply magnificent. She had/has an inherent style and class that I could only marvel at and aspire to. I loved to listen to her stories of teenage romance and pour over the love letters that she would bring into school. It was exciting and safe as I hid in the shadows unsure of my style, swinging between Siouxie and the Banshees, Billy Idol and Rick Astley for the love of God……… My look was an overweight one with Lady Diana short hair with a flick, yellow eye shadow, white plastic hooped earrings, long black stretch pencil skirt, mans t- shirt and my father’s brown suede smoking jacket and here’s the killer…sometimes I would wear a cravat.So as these much-anticipated discos were full of snogging teenagers in the shadows as soon as Glenn Madeiros hit the decks, I had never joined them. In fact I dreaded that time of the evening with a passion I now reserve for trying on clothes in a fitting room with all surround mirrors. But much like the removal of an errant third nipple I knew that I had to get this thing over and done with in order to keep up with the pack. I welcomed as well as hyperventilated at this opportunity to get myself up to snogging speed. I found myself shaking violently and trying not to vomit as I frantically tried to ascertain how to actually and technically snog from the more sophisticated girls that were hanging out by the sinks. Of course I had practised on my hand in front of the mirror but I needed serious detail. My whole life seemed to be hanging on this next half an hour and my ability to join the pubescent and downy haired ranks of snogger and snogged. After about half an hour of hiding and with a rough idea somewhat established (the plan was to avoid tongues at all costs, god knows it was complicated enough ). I knew I must get this rite of passage over with and walked out of the toilets and towards my tubby kissing Kismet. He must have taken the lead and in a discreet, dark corner, surrounded by like-minded teenagers and to the dulcet tones of Curiosity Killed the Cat, I had my first actual real life snog. History is kind to me here and I can remember no more of the incident but he never spoke to me again so perhaps the no tongues policy was a rookie mistake or perhaps I was just rubbish, either way the deed was done and I was most glad of it. It was not the panacea that I had hoped for and there was to be no rush of young suitors for me. Instead I began my new and lengthy phase of falling in love from afar (becoming completely obsessed with) , involving lots of psycho staring and constantly listening to “Hello”by Lionel Ritchie. My inability to speak to the opposite sex stayed with me too, rendering me a complete weirdo in any social situation that featured a teenage boy that I even vaguely liked. It was Vodka and Orange juice that finally saved me…….nobody puts baby in a corner…………in my psycho dreams.
Food remained my constant and non judgemental companion through my teenage angst and these babies were sold every break time at school. They are the Magnum P.I of Buns. The Chocolate Cracknell was seriously good too but these were something else. This recipe courtesy of Paul Hollywood delivers them just as I remember them. Soft, pillowy and milkily sweet. I can almost hear Glenn and Lionel now …..
- 500g strong white flour
- 50g of caster sugar
- 40g unsalted butter softened
- 2 large free range eggs beaten
- 2 + 7g sachets of instant yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 150ml of lukewarm milk
- 140 ml of water
For the icing mix 200g sifted icing sugar with 5 tsp of water.
- Preheat the oven to 220 C.
- Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, holding back a quarter of the water.
- I do this in a food mixer but you can do it by hand. Add the extra water.
- Knead then on a surface for ten mins or for eight in a food mixer with the dough hook.
- Once the dough is smooth and elastic then put in a clean lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp tea towel or clingfilm and place somewhere warm for about an hour and/or doubled in size.
- Knock the dough down and then divide into 12. I measure the lot and then work out what each bun should weigh.
- I roll these into balls but you could shape into finger roll shapes-what ever suits you sir.Place a good 2cm apart on a lined or oiled baking tray. Cover with damp tea towel or oiled clingfilm and leave somewher warm to puff up.
- Bake for 10 mins until a middle brown colour and leave to cool on a wire rack.
- Mix the Icing ingredients vigorously together
in a bowl until it forms a thickish paste and dip the buns.Place back on the wire rack to set.
- Apply to face covered with stubble rash.
PIN IT FOR LATER!