gentle swift / alternatives to hollow holds / buckwheat-vanilla-breakfast-biscuits


I'm writing after a longer-than-expected winter break, and not gonna lie, my brain was basically applesauce until Wednesday. Over the holiday, I really shied away from anything complicated that felt too much like problem-solving, and I do feel rested. Couldn't resist some reading though:

Combine: Asynchronous Programming with Swift We use ReactiveSwift at work so the concepts aren’t new, and I’m sure I could have picked it all up from docs… but it was honestly relaxing to read this and get a gentle introduction to the new apis. Panic averted.

A couple of just nice techniques here by John Sundell for avoiding race conditions, implementing thread safety and caching wrapping NSCache: nothing complex, but the kind of patterns that I need to remind myself of every now and again, to not reinvent the wheel under pressure.

Circles within circles: custom types and extensions — Erica Sadun Erica Sadun is brilliant as always but add spirographs to the mix and I’m sold. (I’d love to implement this in SwiftUI.) 😻


One of my resolutions/goals/aspirations/whathaveyous for 2020 is to get a really strong core, mostly because I am over-competitive and my husband has a seemingly effortless hollow hold. It’s not effortless of course, he can do it because he practices in an annoyingly consistent way, whereas I give up after 15 seconds because “it hurts”. This is a good listicle of effective core moves that don’t make me want to die quite as much as hollow holds - this month, every time I do a weights workout, I’m picking 3 of these, and doing 3 sets of each.


Buckwheat-vanilla elephant biscuits

Original recipe: I Pasticci dello Ziopiero: Il Tuffo del Saraceno

Elephant shaped biscuits

We’ve been eating these for breakfast for years - they’re my dad’s favourite when he comes to stay. Dunking recommended. If you read Italian, the blog linked is a good source for recipes.

  • 190g flour (AP or cake, or spelt, or wholewheat pastry, or a mix)
  • 120g potato starch or rice flour, cornstarch in a pinch, something low gluten
  • 100g buckwheat flour
  • 140g light brown sugar
  • 130g butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • vanilla - seeds from 1 pod or 1tsp essence
  • a little milk (50g?) to make dough

for the glaze:

  • splash milk, pinch salt and an egg beaten together
  • demerara/turbinado sugar

cream butter & sugar. add in all other ingredients and enough milk to bring it all together. pat out into a flat disc, cover with clingfilm, chill for 1 hour. meanwhile heat oven to 200ºC. roll out, cut into shapes, brush with the glaze and sprinkle generously with demerara sugar. I roll them pretty thick so they take about 20-25 mins for a good, browned bake.

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