There are things which as parents you secretly dread, but you know your child will say or do at some point. Swearing or saying "I hate you" were the two at the top of my list. Now if like me, you are a self taught parent, and have at least three child psychology and behaviour management books, you would know the best reaction is to acknowledge their feelings, teach them how to best express it, stick to your guns and not take it personally. Easier said than done.
I will very conveniently skip the swearing in public incident and admit that he has hated me many times over the short 6 years of his life but this weekend he came out with,"You are making my life horrible!" And all I could do was burst into laughter. Of course later I went in with the whole routine as outlined above and by the end of this episode we were both laughing our heads off. Now I always expected it to be something about not buying him his favourite toy - another Star Wars character replica or whatever merchandise they come out with. But no, it was because I wouldn't let him eat a clementine before lunch.
It was all to do with setting boundaries around no snacks before lunch, but perhaps subconciously it was the fear of being short on clementines for this wonderful recipe I stumbled upon in the Guardian.
Clementine Syrup cake
It's cold out there. The start of winter in a coastal city of Karachi was heralded by two things for me. One was the street vendors who used to do rounds in the cold with their carts and a distinct bell - which could easily be confused for Santa's sleigh. Each cart had a coal or wood fire with sand which was used to roast unshelled peanuts and almonds. Just going out of your front door to buy things from a cart filled with various nuts and dried fruits, whilst standing next to a warm fire was quite an experience. Later we used to sit around watching TV, wrapped up in our shwals and duvets whilst shelling peanuts, eating dry fruit mixes and sipping tea or Ovaltine. The taste of warm freshly toasted peanuts, fresh out of the shell was really something else.
The second was the orange jewels like clementines. The street vendors would sell them in dozens and each one of them was carefully checked by my mum to make sure they were not rotten. Then there was that ritual of dipping them in salt if the fruit was too sour and eating no less than 3 at a time.
This cake is supposed to knock your socks off as per the recipe in the Guardian and it does exactly just that. You might worry pouring 120ml of syrup wondering where on earth will it go but it's well worth it. The cake is really moist, fragrant, not too almondy and with a touch of tanginess that comes from the lemon and the freshness that comes from the use of zest.
I just don't know how something so simple can taste so very exquisite. Maybe it is the nostalgia that I associated with this recipe but surely I can not take all the credit away from Yotam and the success of his book Jerusalem.
The picture is perhaps the worst example of white balance and exposure. I am refreshing my theoretical knowledge of white balance, aperture, exposure, ISO, shutter speed and RAW to hopefully do justice to a recipe like this.