Having given up the ghost one evening this week, my poor phone sat on my dressing table as I vaguely suggested that I'd take it to the Apple store. My initial nonchalance quickly dispersed as I went to set my alarm... on my iPhone. Cue a 5.45am wake up call by my lovely and very gracious flatmate who was heading out for her café shift.
Despite my early start, I realised with a cloud of utter panic that my carefully laid plans to meet my friend to catch a train together relied on WhatsApp. Several desperate Facebook messages later, a plan B was in place.
Bag packed to go, I go to check the weather... on my phone. Oh right. No bother - it doesn't look like rain. Cue an absolute soaking en route to the tube. I arrive at my tube station to a foray of announcements about emergency works and, the absolute worst, rail replacement bus services. This line is closed - how have I missed this? Shoot, because my daily TFL updates are going to an inbox I can't access.
It's fine, I say to myself, totally fine. I'll just check the best way to get to Kings Cross without this line. *Reaches for iPhone, nearly cries.*
I could go on, but it's boring for you and embarrassing for me, so I'll save everyone the discomfort. 24 hours of smartphone-sobriety was undoubtedly stressful, but also really illuminating. How is it that I, a professional 23 year old woman, can't cope without the little computer I carry around in my pocket? Have I lost the ability to think through problems by myself?
Perhaps the answer to this question is, well, yes. It's a scary thought, by it's certainly made me take stock of my relationship with my phone, and the technology that surrounds me more broadly. There are so many surveys and reports revealing that we spend too much time on our phones, but it was my own digital detox (if you will) that's brought this home to me.
We're so busy checking in on everyone's lives, and it's easy to forget to step back, take stock and unwind without a screen beneath our noses. I made these honey and rose friands to calm myself during the phone crisis. I'm not necessarily suggesting you do the same, but I do think you should make them, and not just because they're delicious. Make them because you'll feel calm, and the people you care about will love you. And, you know, they might make a pretty Instagram picture.
125g ground almonds
5 egg whites
1/2 tsp baking powder
125g icing sugar
2 tbsp. honey
100g icing sugar
1 tsp rose water
Preheat your oven to 160C, and melt the butter. Using a pastry brush, use a little of the butter to grease your friend moulds. Set the remaining butter aside.
Measure the egg whites into a large bowl, and whisk a little until frothy but not yet in soft peaks. Add the ground almonds, flour, baking powder, icing sugar and honey, and fold to combine. Add the melted butter, beat, then leave to rest for 30 minutes.
Once rested, measure into your buttered moulds. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until pale but cooked and springy to the touch. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
For the glaze, combine the icing sugar and rose water and, if needed, add an additional teaspoon or two of water to loosen. Drizzle over the cooled friands, and decorate with dried rose petals.