Baking pie

Statutory warning: the phrase ‘easy as pie’ is a fallacy. Bakers know this. Amateurs like me find out the hard way. In fact, I personally maintain that baking pie is harder than other bakes. It was certainly more labour intensive. First, there is the dough to be kneaded and refrigerated, and later rolled out into a pie baking dish. My dough was resistant, the result of having used too much butter. The apples I bought were more inclined to lean on the sour side, but the store had only one sort of apple. So, I followed the You tube recipe faithfully and chopped my apples into smaller pieces, added a few spoons of water and many spoons of sugar, and boiled it all together. The boiled apples were poured over the dough that had done time in the fridge, and baked for nearly an hour. I can now recommend apple pie on behalf of the amateur bakers’ syndicate. It makes a good accompaniment to vanilla ice cream. Solo also works fine with a hot cup of tea. Don’t worry about the calories. After all, Christmas is around the corner and we could do worse than two helpings of apple pie.

Bake your own bread

I think the closer we get to the Christmas months of November and December, the more inspired we are to bake. I am learning to bake my own bread. It’s messy, time consuming and attention seeking. Attention seeking because it has to be timed precisely. The bread in the oven reminds me of an influencer shouting, look at me, look at me! But having said all that, baking your own bread is a healthy alternative to white bread. I added generous scoops of linseed, and sunflower seeds. Linseed is reported to be rich in plant-based Omega-3, and therefore rich in fibre and protein, in addition to its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. All that from a single ingredient? Highly recommendable.

As for Sunflower seeds, they are rich in vitamins and minerals, and promise to be good for women’s health. Maida-atta was replaced by rye flour, and baking powder by yeast. Rye flour is rich in vitamins and minerals as well, and iron and magnesium, promoting energy levels. I added four spoons of Olive Oil and a little more than 300 dl of cold water. The rye is easy to stir as the ingredients blend easily with the flour, and form a nice consistency. Leave it alone for a half hour so it can rise.

I know we are so used to our Maida-atta that rye bread may take some convincing. But it is a healthy alternative. Not fully gluten free, so exercise caution there.  Homemade bread is best eaten when it is freshly baked, but we all knew that. It is the reason why there is a lock on the box of fresh bread being carried down by the labourer to the Jadial bakery in the afternoon. Here’s to all things baked and beautiful.

Bake up a PM?

Yes, this has been over discussed - Britain’s game of musical chairs in 2022 as far as its Prime Ministers are concerned. Interesting that there have only been three female Prime Ministers in the UK, with a considerable gap after the iron lady, Mrs T.That was an aside. Normally, we don’t even entertain such lofty questions as to who is going to be the next Prime Minister of the UK. That is almost akin to pondering about space travel. But the excitement aroused in India over Mr Sunak’s appointmentis likea flashback of Kenya’s joy over the Obama presidency. It has brought the UK that much closer to India by default. Never mind that both Sunak’s grandfathers were born in Punjab province when it was British India and they migrated to East Africa, which was then under British colonisation, and then they migrated again from East Africa to the UK in the 60s. I find it mindboggling to try and do the maths of Sunak family history beginning in pre-partition Pakistan, moving to colonised East Africa, and on to British Britain. How does that give India the right to lay claim to RS? And why is Pakistan not trying to insist that the Sunaks originated from Pakistani soil?

Can one conclude that someday, there just might be the possibility of a Naga politician being appointed PM of India? Without going into the intricacies of ancestry and migration histories and the unpredictability of karma. Stranger things have been known to happen.