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Environmental Leadership and "Squashed Fly" Biscuits

a thoughtfulrecipes.blog story

By Caroline JanePublished 2 months ago 3 min read

I offer neither pay, nor quarters, nor provisions; I offer hunger, thirst, forced marches, battles and death.

Extract Wikiquote. From G.M. Treelyan, Garibaldi's Defense of the Roman Republic (1907-1911)

I grant you, it's not your average start to a recipe blog, but my head this past week or so has been consumed by leadership. Specifically environmental leadership. Perhaps it is because I collaborated with writers who wrote a story on Vocal called The Scorn of Mother Nature. Maybe it is because I attended a local Eco-Poetry workshop and wrote a poem for their Ted Hughes' Iron Man collection. Perhaps it is because I return to work after a week off tomorrow, and my consciousness is already weaving the threads of how I will move my shop forward this coming financial year.

Likely, it is all of these things.

Right now, I am sitting at my kitchen table typing my thoughts while the biscuits I have just made are baking in the oven. The room is full of a warm, lightly sweet, buttery aroma, which completely belies their colloquial school name, "squashed fly biscuits." I am laughing as I type this because, as with most things out of the mouths of babes, the currants do look like a filling of squashed flies. I think they are more enduring because of this name. It makes them fun. Which is absurd really because, as I read their history on thebiscuitbaron.co.uk I learn that they were invented by Jonathan Dodgson Carr of the once Great British Bermondsey Biscuit Company, Peek Freens, to honour the unification of Italy, a feat hugely enabled by the man who gave us the quote I opened with, Giuseppe Garibaldi. Now, that doesn't sound anywhere near as fun as the schoolyard name. However, I did laugh at the title of The Biscuit Baron article, The History of the Garibaldi: No One's Favourite Biscuit. Looking at the infamous quote above from Garibaldi, I think he would have approved of their title. Thinking about it, he would probably have approved of the "squashed fly" association, too.

Our times are so different these days from when Garibaldi rallied a nation to unify. We are quite rightly consciously focused on the rights of every life on our planet. We can no longer drag people into battles and expect them to incur poverty and hardship. I wonder, would any goal justify that means?

Saving the planet from ourselves- would that?

All I know is I have some lovely biscuits currently cooling on my kitchen island to the side of me. I have a poem that makes me cry when I read it (added below), and I have a large cup of tea in my favourite yellow sunshine mug waiting to be savoured with a golden, crunchy, buttery, fruit-laden biscuit that is apparently nobody's favourite.


The Recipe:

Heat oven to 180/350

Put all of this into a small mixer and pulse to breadcrumbs:

2 cups plain/all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/3 cup of caster sugar

3/4 cup unsalted butter cubed.

Then add enough milk into the opening in the mixer, a little at a time, until it binds together.

Place onto a floured surface and roll into a rectangle that is around 4mm thick. (No need to chill the pastry).

Cover one half of the rolled pastry completely with currants, and fold the other half on top, and roll out again into a big rectangle.

Use a pastry brush to paint an egg, and milk wash over the top lightly.

Sprinkle with a little sugar.

Trim to neaten using a pizza cutter and then slice into equal fingers.

Put on a lined baking tray and bake for 20 mins. Checking and turning if needed.

They should be a golden brown colour when they emerge.

Leave to cool and savour every bite because they are a light, buttery joy regardless of what people say.


CJ xx

P.S. - That poem...


About the Creator

Caroline Jane

Warm-blooded vertebrate, domesticated with a preference for the wild. Howls at the moon and forages on the dark side of it. Laughs like a hyena. Fuelled by good times and fairy dust. Writes obsessively with no holes barred.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (11)

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran2 months ago

    Ngl, those biscuits don't look good to me. With that being said, I would devour it! I don't like raisins or cranberries on their own but bake them in a biscuit and I'll gobble them down no matter how unappealing they look, lol!

  • Babs Iverson2 months ago

    Loved it!!! Cheers!!! ♥️♥️💕

  • Hannah Moore2 months ago

    That poem SHOULD make you cry. On a more trivial note - I YEARN for gluten free garibaldis. I might try this, see if it works. Also figgy biscuits.

  • Shirley Belk2 months ago

    I love your food for thought...those two topics melded beautifully!

  • Donna Fox (HKB)2 months ago

    This was great Caroline, it brought a smile to my face as I read it. I love your sense of humour!!

  • Scott Christenson2 months ago

    Did i hear “squashes flys”? https://vocal.media/humor/if-this-is-the-future-of-food

  • JBaz2 months ago

    I’m trying to stay away, Christmas treats still linger on me. Then you send this delicious recipe knowing I am going to make it. Because I love cooking

  • Heather Hubler2 months ago

    Those look so tasty and I laughed at the name for them as well!! I loved this bit of buttery goodness paired with the background on the name. And I agree, I've been thinking on the state of the things more since we did that collab. Doesn't seem farfetched that MN would want to just start fresh with what we've done. Love these pieces from you!

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    Beautifully written. I saw the pic of the biscuits and yummed (is that a word?) Then I read the name and eww-lol'd (how about that word?) The poem, I've previously read, is also beautiful and poignant.

  • Another great and entertaining recipe story

  • ROCK 2 months ago

    Not sure if I am commenting under squashed fly biscuits but I intend to be. I learn a whole lot from you; you are not only clever but truly inspiring. As for our eco- traumas, it's better to know there are people who have similar thoughts and fears.

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