Over the weekend, watching the rain, sun, wind and clouds play hide and seek, my eyes came to rest on the top of a Mulberry Tree, moved on to spreading Loquat trees, squinted a bit at a Quince Tree and panned further along to an enormous Syringa. I realized the small fruits on these trees were ripening. Every time the sun came out the prolific bird life suddenly came out of cover and got busy catching insects, feeding on the fruits and enjoying the respite from the rain even more than I was.
And so my mind turned to something that we all think about, quite a lot, and if we only thought about it that would be fine but no, many over indulge. Food.
Recently I was thinking about how each profession has its own inhouse language which often bewilders and fascinates outsiders.
I enjoy cooking and baking but my pastry needs more practicing and probably knowledge. So I decided to do some research on simple easy to make puff/flaky pastry as previous attempts have always left me feeling inadequate.
I found a simple, quick and easy recipe to make puff pastry, so the website said. I read the recipe, I watched the youtube clip, twice. I had done my preparation the night before, frozen and grated the butter now gathered my ingredients and set to.
The Baker said use a wooden spoon and mix the frozen butter gently into the flour. There was a certain amount of resistance from the butter. So I thought a bit of firm womanhandling was called for. But the butter felt otherwise. Freeze my arse off all night then I must co-operate?
Eventually I managed to subdue it a bit, then the Baker said, now use your hands and gently bring the dough together until you have a clean bowl then you know you have done it right. Oh I had a clean bowl by the time I had brought that dough together. But it took some hard work and quite a lot of muscle which I don’t seem to have in the upper arms. I gave some thought to bringing it together with my feet and legs because that is where my muscles are seriously strong through my training. Cast aside the temptation as being inappropriate.
There was something about resting the dough in the fridge. The dough was fine I was the one who needed the rest – I was already cold from the weather.
After the dough and I had rested I removed it from the fridge and rolled, flattened it into the required shapes for the chicken filled pastries and half, marzipan and chocolate pastries.
The outcome? After they had been baked at a high temperature they were definitely edible as proved by their rapid disappearance. I personally feel I need a lot more practice to achieve my required standard of perfection.
Now tell me which of you, especially those in the demanding and often devastating world of the performing arts has never grappled with that emotion.