I’ve led a life of a gypsy for a large part of my years. Together with my family, our wanderlust took us from Cairo to Bali, from Colombo to Kuwait from Houston to Zanzibar. These kilometers were covered before I even turned eleven. Just as I began unpacking my Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl books and found the perfect place for my posters, it was time to cram them into the aluminum and wooden chests again, which we had especially made for our travels.
I never grew up aggrieved about the situation though. On the contrary, it was the most normal thing for us. The people we circulated with were, just like us, never based anywhere long enough to actually call that place home. The friendships I made were mostly short lived but intensive and happy. My friends and I seemed to cherish the company for we knew it would not last too long. Then as the goodbyes were said and tears rolled down cheeks, promises to keep in touch were made, between the half packed boxes and bubble wrapped paintings, which seemed to symbolize our lives.
I still have a collection of yearbooks from several different schools and in each one, friends have written messages of well wishes, love, and being missed. Sometimes I do go upstairs and pull open the one or the other box that contain these books and giggle at the messages scrawled in the handwriting of 9-12 year olds. Hearts and stars adorn the pages reinstating what we felt at that time.
We knew keeping in touch would not be easy, but deep within each of us there was a yearning of belonging even if that notion meant belonging in each others memories. Postcards, letters and phone calls kept us busy and occasionally we would meet for reunions as we crossed continents on our way to our next destination. Inevitably however, over the years I lost touch with a few of these friends and I often wonder whatever became of them. Some I would love to meet and catch up again and some … well they are best left in the box up in the attic. With the rest I have managed to still keep in touch albeit not in regular intervals but every so often we will get together on Skype or on the phone and chat picking up from where we left.
I’ll be turning 40 next June – a daunting thought because I swear I have not aged beyond 18 - and my thoughts have been turning towards the people I have met in my life, those that have made an impact on it, be it good or not so good and friendships made or lost. I’d love to have them all seated around a big table, chatter and laughter resonating throughout the room as we play catch up. I’d love to have all of these people, who have touched my life, in one room and be able to sit back and think to myself “For this I would not have changed a thing!”
Although I would probably cook up the biggest feast, we’d start with dessert first to make the moment sweet. Like this delightful crostata, the main ingredients of which were provided by … friends. The luscious apples, rosy red and aromatically sweet, were picked and packed by my girlfriend M, while the blackberries, juicy and ripe, were foraged by Soeren’s girlfriend, C., and the honey, that coats and roasts the apples, came from our friend T. who’s hobby is apiculture. I simply put all these gifts together giving it my twist of spiced cardamom and vanilla and present it in a divine crostata sprinkled with a delicious brown butter streusel topping.
Mouthwatering to the very last crumb. While making the crostata I was thinking of how incredibly spirited that special ingredient of friendship is. I admit I sometimes am not the very best in keeping in touch and there are many who excel at this than I do, but many of my friends know that I carry their friendship in my hearts. Small gestures go a long way with me and in return I concoct sweet tokens of appreciation.
The making of the corstata was a delicious joint effort, taking all the cherished ingredients from friends and putting them in one place. The flakey shortcrust pastry was a buttery and crumbly, the perfect basis for the honey-kissed apples, tenderly roasted to allow their sublime flavor to unfold, speckled with vanilla and spiced with cardamom all the flavor nuances came together in perfect harmony. The highlight however is the streusel topping, the brown butter aromas add a brilliant note to the the entire crostata.
I hope you enjoy this crostata, created from one friend to another ;o)
Last week we revealed the venue for Plate to Page UK. A simply stunning seventeenth century Manor House in the lush landscape of Somerset. Since then we’ve been busy behind the scenes plotting and planning and I just wanted to give my readers a heads up: keep an eye on us on Twitter, Facebook or subscribe to the From Plate to Page website because soon we’ll be opening registrations to From Plate to Page Somerset and you do not want to miss this!
You might like these sweet ideas from WFLH:
|Sticky Toffee Apple Cake||Cinnamon Kissed Apple Goji Berry Strudel||Morello Cherry Chocolate and Cognac Teacakes|
All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2011 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First