My pantry

Friending, Unfriending and Biscuits with Friends

June 23, 2013

Spiced Sultana Porridge CookiesI made two new friends recently. People that I think are really cool.

They’re funny, and smart, and they have similar values to me. All the qualities I look for in a friend.

We don’t actually know each other, not really, but when I saw the little friend request icon on the left hand corner of my page I felt like the first girl picked for the basketball team. I felt a little bit popular.

Conversely, when someone unfriends me, it can be quite deflating, and leave me wondering what I did wrong.

I’ve been unfriended a few times. I rub people the wrong way sometimes, you know, being big mouth and all.

The friends figure rises and falls, and it’s often hard to pinpoint who’s disappeared from your scope. The one time someone I actually cared about unfriended me, I thought it was a pretty loud way to make her statement. We had had an altercation, and now she didn’t want social contact with me anymore.

She didn’t care how witty or quippy I may be.

I was dumped.

Recently, someone in my outer circle said a couple of things, a couple of times, that really got under my skin and in anger I clicked the unfriend button hovering beside her name.

I thought we’d disappear from each others news feeds and that would be it… except she called me on it. She had no idea that I’d been offended so imagined I’d had accidental ham fingers or some such.

I explained the situation, and her feelings were hurt, and I felt terrible. I hate upsetting people.

Did I overreact? Maybe, but at the time I felt justified. I had been hurt by careless words.

Then I realised how incredibly highschool this whole Facebook ‘like’ process is.

spiced Sultanas cookies and cookie monster

There was a time where I collected FB friends like bottle tops. The more the better. I didn’t care how random, how obscure, how remote the connection, I wanted to be connected. I became a voyeur of the highest order and I spent (SPEND) hours peeping in the windows of people’s lives. Not people I actually wish to talk to.

God, no.

Just watch.

From afar.

Not their real lives either, of course, just the representations of themselves. Their branding. Their shopfronts.You can sell yourself and your life however you want. We’ve all become spectacular at one liners.

Well…… not all.

I heard someone say recently that unfriending was akin to cyber bullying, but it made me think how sad it was that we see Facebook as our be all and end all to connection.

I started to think that if I didn’t want to actually speak to someone, like EVER, than perhaps collecting them as a specimen was a strange, time wasting, pastime. I could spend the five minutes wasted trawling their history by talking to someone I do wish to connect with. Someone who gives something back. Someone who fills my energy pots instead of sucks them.

I had a mega friend cull in the wake of this. I ditched over 100 people from my friend list. Some of whom, whenever they popped into my feed, annoyed me anyway.

In truth, I could probably cull 100 more.

People I met once on a night out. People from school that I wasn’t even friends with at the time, and still now we have no common interests. A friend of a friend that one time I nearly… get the picture.

I am addicted and appalled by Facebook in equal measures, and I feel like a disloyal lover even saying it, but perhaps now we use the term FRIEND so loosely that we forgotten the true value of a good one?

I took a batch of biscuits to the park today to catch up with someone I don’t see enough. As our kids played happily in the sun, laughing and getting dirty with each other, we talked about our lives. We discussed the truths of our lives, and not just skimmed the window dressing of our shopfronts.
That connection filled my proverbial cup, and I thought once more about friendship, and where we place our precious energy.

Call your friends. If you don’t wish to commit to a chat because talking with kids around is a freakin’ nightmare, text them. Tell them what they mean to you and help fill their energetic cup, because life empties our cups over and over and it can be hard to stay half full, instead of half empty.

spiced sultana cookiesThese biscuits have been doing the rounds of my test kitchen lately. I’ve tried different flours, no butter, Rice Bran Oil, more sugar, less sugar.

This is it. This is the perfect combo. Not too sweet, yet delicious and still in the good for you spectrum.

Spiced Sultana Cookies

Yield : about 24 good sized biscuits

What you will need :

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup puffed brown rice
  • 1 cup sultanas
  •  ½ cup chopped dates
  • 1¼ cup self raising flour
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice syrup or honey
  • 2 small eggs, lightly beaten
  • 130 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon raw sugar (for sprinkling)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (for sprinkling)

What you need to do :

Preheat oven to 180C

Chuck all your dry ingredients, except the teaspoon of raw sugar and cinnamon, into a bowl and stir to combine.

Make a well in the middle and add wet ingredients and mix well.

Spoon tablespoon fulls onto baking paper on a tray. Press gently with a fork so they don’t look like rock cakes.

Combine your teaspoon of sugar and cinnamon, and lightly sprinkle each cookie with a little of the mix.

Bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly golden. Cool and nibble with friends.

kiki eating cookieskiki eating cookies

Are you addicted to Facebook? Or biscuits, for that matter?

If you like what you’re reading why not like my Facebook page now (yes, I get the irony) or subscribe via email, to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.

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  • Reply ksbeth June 23, 2013 at 8:16 am

    This rings so true and something about it brought me to tears. I think that we occasionally get lost in the sea of ‘friends’, and your post is a good reminder to pull back and think about our definitions of friends and their place in our lives. Great post )

  • Reply Declutterbug June 23, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Mrs H when I have friends who post facebook things I don’t want to see, I tend to take the chicken’s way out and drop them to acquaintance. Then I don’t see their stuff, they don’t get an inkling of the new arrangement and everything is shiny and happy. The more random connections do get unfriended though.

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys June 23, 2013 at 9:04 am

      That’s much more humane. I’ll take a leaf from your book in future!!

      Sent from my iPhone

      On 23/06/2013, at 8:25 AM, Keeping Up With The Holsbys

  • Reply tric June 23, 2013 at 9:44 am

    I have never got the whole face book “friends” thing so thankfully that is a complication in life I can avoid. I have 24 on my blog facebook page and maybe less on my actual page! It would appear however that all relationships even facebook ones can get complicated.

  • Reply mairzy June 23, 2013 at 11:11 am

    I’ve actually been very selective about my FB “friends” and don’t just add any random schmoe. I tend to add only people I actually have a connection with in real life. The majority of these are via a hobby of mine, and we are all in each other’s faces, both in FB and IRL, because of it.

    I’ve been spending less and less time on FB lately, though, because I’m being stalked on there. Well, it’s not exactly stalking, but it’s an acquaintance who clearly wants to be closer to me than I wish to be with her. My online status is not visible and I’m not available for chat . However, we have a lot of friends in common, and (it feels like) she just sits there and as soon as she sees I’ve “liked” or commented on a mutual acquaintance’s status/photo/link/whatever, she messages me. I presume she wants me to chat with her. I just ignore it, and have been ignoring it, thinking she would just stop, but she hasn’t: just continues to send messages, sometimes one after the other in the hope that I will respond, I guess.

    Anyway, this is a rather longwinded way of saying that I’ve been reflecting lately that FB gives people the opportunity to behave in ways they wouldn’t dream of IRL. My acquaintance, for example, wouldn’t be able to just follow me around talking at me. Other people post horribly racist or sexist stuff that they couldn’t express IRL without causing a major uproar.

    And I can’t say that I’ve missed FB that much following my self-imposed exile this week. It can be so tiresome, sometimes.

  • Reply empressnasigoreng June 23, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    There are some people in my friend list I only keep so I can be appalled by them! Have unfriended a couple for things like racist comments about refugees and judgey comments about the way I raise my children. Both of these were mere acquaintances in real life so no big deal. If it was an actual friend I cared about hurting, I would probably just hide them rather than do the big dramatic ‘unfriend’ (which I agree is very high school – a bit like saying ‘you’re dropped’ to the boy you are ‘going round with’!

  • Reply Leanne Winter June 23, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Love your work, Mrs H. I have to admit I dragged myself into the whole facebook thing only recently when I started blogging – well, it’s not possible to really have an online presence without it, right? I’m trying to keep my ‘friends’ on my personal profile as actual people I know and like otherwise I can see how it could get out-of-control. I agree it’s a lot like highschool and I can only imagine what a beast FB is if you are actually in high school and I thank god it was not around way back in the dark ages when I was a school kid.

  • Reply lillytootin June 23, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    I have just discoverd the ‘Hide form news feed’ button. Has made a world of difference for my FBing life. I also have an annual culling. I have become merciless. If they serve me no purpose or no real connection…they are gone. No 2 ways about it. I have expereinced the post cull guilts..but I get over it. I try to keep my ‘Friend’ list as list of my actual friends. Tho…truth be told… I have kept a couple cos I know they would notice straight away and be hurt ( which weirds me out a bit. Clearly a one sided connection). Ahhh the trials of FB.

  • Reply Joyce June 23, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    I’m not addicted to biscuits, but I think I could get addicted to those biscuits.

    I am also addicted to and appalled by Facebook. Since finding WordPress, I’m on FB less frequently. I’d rather have an outlet for creativity, and a window into the creativity of others, than a forum for quips, memes, and political gobbledygook. I also think FB should be used for positive things, and more and more often I see petty fights unfolding there.

  • Reply monk-monk June 24, 2013 at 12:52 am

    Facebook is the bane of my existence. How many friends from there do I talk to regularly? 1. How many do I talk to occasionally? 4 (not including a few family members and my husband). Then there are a few that I haven’t actually met in real life (we actually converse online a lot), but it makes it a mere handful. Now that FB has privacy lockdowns I HAVE to friend someone to peep…I used to just be able to troll through and find enough people from elementary school/summer camp/the grocery store to get my gossip fix. But it has caused more issues than I care to think about…including my stupid defriending of my sister and all that drama that comes with a sibling conflict…

  • Reply Roar Sweetly June 24, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    I don’t get facebook. Nothing about it appeals to me. I don’t have a facebook account and probably never will. Keepin’ it real peoples.

  • Reply 3 treats from Danielle from Keeping Up With the Holsbys | the illiterate infant June 29, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    […] at keepingupwiththeholsbys. When she’s not entertaining me with her clever perspectives on un-friending etiquette or surviving toddlers she’s writing honestly about domestic violence or the importance of […]

  • Reply Michele McDonald June 8, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    Hi Mrs H,

    Just made these biscuits – wow!! Even my husband likes them ….. he is only a fan of Tim-Tams, so this is high praise!

    thank you


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