Food. For thought?
It is amazing how food has the ability to teleport the mind. It brings you back in time, so convincingly that revertigo takes place. It propels you into the future, leaving you to ponder. The taste of mum’s Malaysian chicken curry transcends space and time in my world. It made a regular appearance on the dinner table and I would dare to call it her signature dish. It wasn’t my favourite of the food rotation growing up and perhaps I was not the most appreciative of the complex flavours as a child, but till this day, when cooked right by dad under mum’s supervision “…it’s the best god damn chicken curry I have ever had in my life…” – the words of my brother in law R*. I too would have to agree.
* * *
It is a Saturday night and these days S* and I are in operation CFA mode. It is an exam that he has due in early June. This time, it is the third and final. Each year it feels as though I too am taking this crazy six hour exam. So being part of the cheer squad I’m required to keep him focused and rested. How he studies after 10+ hours of work still amazes me! Life is always hectic and recently a little more than usual.
People. The ultimate distraction. Thoughts, feelings, their actions. Their problems. The juicy stuff – It is certainly more interesting than studying. An avenue for a rendezvous with procrastination and a reassuring cushion for the times that we don’t perform as well as we would have liked. It is easy to lose focus on the task at hand without distance. So, to eliminate a few distractions, S* is banned from cooking till June and I spend time distracting myself with recipe testing to keep me from distracting him but at the same time concocting something delicious for both of us to look forward to. The simple things. Right?
* * *
I decide to bake a pie tonight and for some reason am channeling future me. Perhaps it has something to do with the wholesome image of home makers pulling delicious pies, baked goods and roasts out of the oven. I’m not too sure. I dislike stereotypes, whatever the case may be. Gen Y’s, bloggers, home makers, gender roles, elders, youngans, cultures – it matters not. I roll my eyes at the word “respect” because of it’s over use by those struggling to gain immediate power. Translation – I am … therefore, I have free rein to treat you however I please! I am sure you’ve heard it all before. A teacher tells a student “I am the teacher, you must respect me”. A manager tells a subordinate “I’m the manager!” A mother to her child “I am your mother…because I said so!” Well it’s simple. Respect all great and small.
Pie propelled into years from now, I couldn’t help but wonder…
Would I succumb to stereotypes and complain about how the world has changed? Would I ever utter the words of respect as a mother? Will I be in a relationship strapped in routine and loose the crazy? Would I keep backing myself to kick ass? Will I really have that amazing kitchen? What would my signature dish be?
Que Sera, Sera
So, Dear future me. Are you the wonderful role model you’ve hoped to be? I hope you haven’t become one of those people who hate the next generation and anything new with the world. Have you become the stubborn old person who refuses to learn anything new? I hope you haven’t been too consumed in your work to forget birthdays and anniversaries. I hope that you are around amazing and inspiring people and away from those who bog you down. If you’ve uttered the words “I’m your mother” in the context of so-you-should-respect-me, I will bake this apple pie, go back in time and slap you with a fish. Happiness. Settle not. Enjoy being wonder woman! From, present me.
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To my mum the perfectionist, quick-witted, strict with the best intentions and most incredible cook I know. Your dedication to our upbringing is inspirational. You were tough on us with the intentions of making us strong women and for that I thank you. Hope you have a Happy (Silly) Mothers Day!!
And it’s midnight. Just in time for a snack in S*’s study break. I hope this pie is good.
Sweet short crust pastry
- 2 1/4 cups plain flour
- 1/4 cups icing sugar
- 125 g unsalted butter
- 2 eggs
Making the Crust
- Add flour, sugar and softened butter in a food processor till it forms a crumbly texture
- Add eggs to the mixture till it forms a dough
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the texture is smooth
- refrigerate for 10-2o mins
- 6 apples
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1tbs lemon juice
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 nutmeg
- 1/4tsp salt
- 2tbs unsalted butter
- 1tbs cornstarch
Making the filling
- Peel and slice the apples into your desired shape or size and place them into a saucepan
- On low to medium heat, add all ingredients but cornstarch
- Keep the mixture on heat for around 20 minutes covered, stir occasionally.
- Juices will be released from the apples. When the apples are soft with a slight bite add cornstarch. This will thicken the liquid.
- Set aside to cool.
Making the Pie
- Roll out the dough and cover the pie dish. Cut off the edges and keep the excess dough
- I pre-baked my base. You don’t have to, but I wanted to make sure it was cooked. If you are pre baking, line the pastry before using beans, rice or weights on top. Place in the oven to cook for 10 mins. Then remove weights and bake for another 10-15 mins. I used rice.
- By now the filling would have cooled a little. Fill the crust with the apple filling.
- Use excess dough to form top of pie however you like!
- Bake at 180 degrees fan forced for 15-20 mins.
- Dust with icing sugar and serve.
Enjoy! Happy pie adventure.
What’s your food teleporter?
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