Due to the somewhat extraordinary weather we’ve been having on the West Coast this week, I remained stranded in Oban for slightly longer than planned. The buses and trains weren’t running, and it was simply rather unpleasant outside. No traffic was up for moving anywhere. So I was stuck, albeit temporarily.
After some minor harrumphing and other generally unhappy noises, I resigned myself to getting on with it. For an extra couple of days I stayed cooped up at home, extremely glad that at least we had power, unlike many other households in Argyll.
So after all that, I decided to get productive. What do you do when you find yourself with a bit of unexpected free time? Well here’s just a few of my suggestions.
When you’re stuck at home and you’re feeling unproductive, baking is a great thing to do, as it makes you feel like you’ve achieved something, as well as making your tummy and all the tummies around you very happy.
Making brownies in particular is a good plan, as they don’t require a lot of ingredients – most of which you’ll usually have in the house – and they taste delicious.
- 400g dark chocolate
- 325g stork butter
- 6 whole eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 300g caster sugar
- 50g cocoa powder
- 80g plain flour
- Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C. Butter and line a baking tin (I used my mum’s lasagne dish) with baking parchment.
- Gently melt chocolate and stork butter in a bowl over hot water in a pan on the cooker.
- Whisk 6 whole eggs, 2 yolks and caster sugar together.
- Pour the melted chocolate and butter mix into the eggs.
- Sieve cocoa powder with plain flour into a bowl, then whisk together until evenly mixed.
- Pour the mix into the prepared tin and bake for 20 minutes until slightly risen at the edges. Allow to cool completely in the tin.
- Cut into slices and eat.
Learn a skill
I got a cross stitch kit in my stocking this year, so this extra time let me try out cross stitching for the first time. It’s not as difficult as I’d imagined it would be, and once I’d got the hang of it, I had some fun making up patterns of my own.
eBay it and Etsy it
Whether buying or selling, these two sites are perfect to browse when you want to shop or sell but you’re stuck inside.
I’m a big ebayer, whether I’m selling old clothes or buying myself something, but I’ve only recently discovered Etsy.
Etsy is the crafters eBay, as you can only sell vintage or hand-made items on here. I’ve set up my site, and I’m using it as a good opportunity to sell off my remaining S&J Xmas Sale pieces – click here for a peep or a purchase.
Ellis Cameron, Young in Argyll correspondent
The photographs accompanying this article are by Ellis Cameron