Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Thoughts ... and Apple Tart 'Maman Blanc'

Where is my supper, mummy?

I was browsing through a couple of Lithuanian magazines that mum brought with her (for me) when she was visiting, one interesting quote caught my eye. The protagonist of the article was saying how important her children are to her and how much she tried to protect them from pain during the divorce. When times got really difficult she went to see a psychologist. She expressed her desire to help her children and he said, "Have a look at the instructions on the plane during the emergency landing - put on your oxygen mask first before helping your child". Genius! I just thought this was such a brilliant comparison. I see it like this. Before trying to help or guide your child you need to be in a fit state to do so. This doesn't just have to be applied in extreme situations like divorce. It could be used in everyday life. In the whole core notion of upbringing. I think that, unconsciously, that is what all parents are trying to do anyway. Trying to be the best at everything. Trying to improve themselves. Trying to set examples. You cannot teach another person something that you know nothing about.

Very simple comparison (nothing too deep) - cooking. As a child I always relied on my mum's cooking. She is an outstanding cook. As got got older, I developed fond memories of our meal times. I always knew and know now that mum can prepare something out of nothing. My childhood experiences shaped  a belief that mum is a person who will always feed you (forget feminism, sexism or anything like that here ... it's all about precious childhood memories).

In pre-baby days I was not the greatest cook. I always used to leave it to either My Hubby or Mr Chef at whatever restaurant we were eating out. Once Little Miss S was born, I had to become the one that my daughter could rely upon for feeding. I was frightened. I wanted to do everything just right. More so, I wanted to be perfect at cooking just like my mum. I cook everything from scratch so it has been a bit of a learning curve, but I think I did fine (minus a few burnt carrots at the beginning).

Over a year on and I developed a huge passion for cooking (sometimes I still have to pinch this really me?). And it's not just cooking for Little Miss S. It's cooking for everyone. Oh, and baking! Baking, in my eyes, was reserved for perfect 'grown-up' women with immaculate houses who had everything under perfect control (country cottage, Aga and Cath Kidston apron basically). My baking, in pre-baby days, was done by a good friends called Waitrose and Patisserie Valerie. Not anymore.

Here is one I made earlier. My mum phoned and said that she has this amazing recipe for super delicious tart and that I should try it. My mum is my greatest adviser on food. She has impeccable taste in food and yet she has been same size Tiny all her life. So she must be making all the right choices!

I absolutely love tarte tatin, but Apple tart 'Maman Blan' (Raymond Blanc) is a new competitor. It's like a skinnier and more elegant version of tarte tatin. It literary melts in your mouth. Oh, and it is actually very easy to prepare even though you cannot cheat and have to make your own pastry (my 'old self' would have given up by now).

You will find the full recipe here. I used Braeburn apples and didn't use calvados as Little Miss S also tried this it (and loved it!).

tarte tatin

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