Tag Archives: porridge

Apple pie and the longest night

June 21st;  the winter solstice; the longest night of the year.

The sun will set tonight at 5.01pm and not rise again till 8.03 am. A long, dark night is ahead. Harsh winter days are ahead, too, but, after this solstice, this time of standing still, the days will lighten and lengthen and provide promises of the warmth to come.

I have been quiet; gathering in the sunshine (when it appears); thinking and reflecting; allocating my physical and mental resources, carefully and sparingly.  I have been reading your blogs, as and when possible, enjoying your stories, your creativity, your company. You filter through my screen, reach out with your words and images, and become the surround sound, the presence, of my silent space, until the phone rings, or the doorbell trills, and my real-time world reminds me where I am.

Where I am….in a kitchen, looking at dishes, waiting on the sunlit bench, to be sent to the dishwasher.

Dishes standing still, waiting to be washed.

Dishes standing still, waiting to be washed.

In a kitchen, looking at the dishes, but sensing the sweetly fragrant camellias, at my back, on the sunlit table.

Yet, I am not entirely present, in this kitchen, for at the edges of my mind, I am dwelling in the time of my elders, seated at small kitchen tables, near old coal ranges, delighting in warm winter puddings, or bowls of hot porridge. And I am chuckling that this little girl, my mother’s big sister,

Best Apple Pie Maker in New Zealand

Best Apple Pie Maker in New Zealand

grew up to be the winner of a National Apple Pie competition in New Zealand, in the 1950s.  ( Yes, cooking competitions existed before  Masterchef) Who would have guessed it?  She was a star in the making.

My aunt is NOT in this photo but these people are the placegetters in the 1959 Apple Pie Competition. ( The photo of my aunt with her prize-winning pie is lying somewhere deep, and presently undiscoverable, in family files, read junk piles! )

Best Apple Pies in New Zealand 1959Placegetters in apple pie baking contest, holding their winning pies. Negatives of the Evening Post newspaper. Ref: EP/1959/2616-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/30664376

Best Apple Pies in New Zealand 1959 Placegetters in apple pie baking contest, holding their winning pies. Negatives of the Evening Post newspaper. Ref: EP/1959/2616-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/30664376

The darkness is coming; the sun is edging westward in the sky. Is it time to stop the memory clock and make a pie, perhaps?

Winter Puddings for 1957 or 2014Maori Affairs Department. APPLE PIE - (Te Ao Hou - No. 18 May 1957). Ref: Mao18TeA. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/199657

Winter Puddings for 1957 or 2014 Maori Affairs Department. APPLE PIE – (Te Ao Hou – No. 18 May 1957). Ref: Mao18TeA. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/199657

Or should I light a candle, take up the aged photo albums, and dwell a little longer with the old ones?

The blessings of the Solstices, the still time, to you all.

© silkannthreades

 

Milk pudding; the mighty comfort food

Milk puddings. You either love them or hate them. My offspring hate them.Baked Rice Pudding

I LOVE them.  I love milk puddings for  themselves.  I love them for their association with grandparents and great aunts and happy memories of long gone kitchens, full of jellies and jams, bottled fruit, and pikelets, sponge cakes, roast dinners, cream, new peas, strawberries, boxes of apricots, flummeries, sponge kisses, sausages  homemade tomato sauce, porridge with cream on top and…….. milk puddings!

Tonight I made a baked rice milk pudding, or a baked rice custard, one of my favourite milk puddings.

Ingredients: I cup of cooked rice; 2 eggs; pinch of salt, 4 tablespoons of sugar; 2 cups of whole milk; a few drops of vanilla essence and some freshly grated nutmeg.

Method: Preheat the oven to 325F (not fanbake) or 140C ( fanbake). Grease a rectangular pie dish. Mine is 21cm by 15cm.   Place the cooked rice in the dish.  Lightly whisk the eggs with the salt and add the sugar and milk and whisk a little more till the ingredients are combined. Don’t over whisk. Add the essence and then pour the mixture over the rice. Grate a little nutmeg over the top of the ingredients.  Place the dish in a dish of water and bake in the oven until the custard is firm and set and golden.  Takes about 45 minutes to an hour in my oven. I like to eat my pudding with stewed fruit and cream.

Milk puddings are extremely good for older people so that means I can eat lots of them 🙂

© silkannthreades