I wish I could make pastry like my mum. Her pasty was renowned, so light but so crispy, full of bite but not stodgy, and different sorts for different thigs – I come pretty close to her shortcrust pastry, but nowhere near the sweet pastry she made for some flans (but not fruit pies!) I’ve told the story before about when she was very first married, and she and dad had a room in some grim od lady’s house. The woman had to walk through their accommodation to get to some other room of hers, so it must have been very trying for newly-weds. The best descriptions I’ve read of the sort of room they may have had are in Agatha Christie novels. ‘s
However, I’m straying away from pastry. When they were first married, mum made dad an apple pie. When they ate it after their main meal, it was apparent that the pastry was not very good. I guess mum hadn’t made it before and was following a recipe, maybe Mrs Beeton. She obviously had never learned from her own mum, but that’s probably a story for another time. Dad must have made some comment about the pie – not to be hurtful, but his family, though ordinary, were very “foodie”, and if something, e.g. the pastry wasn’t very good he probably mentioned it! Cross, and probably upset, mum went out with her friend Daphne. Dad, no doubt, was upset in turn that his comments had seemed unkind.
Mum returned home, no doubt having talked it over with Daphne, and realised he didn’t mean to criticise. When she got back, he had made an apple pie, which looked golden and beautiful, and on the top, written in pastry, were the words “I love you Monica”! So I have a lot to live up to because, Mum became, as I mentioned, renowned as a pastry cook – as well as pretty much anything else! I made a pie for Christmas Day, and to be fair, it was ok. The pastry was crisp and crumbly, not soggy and quite tasty. However… it was not as good as Mum’s! It was nice to think about her yesterday, and remember all the beautiful and delcious things she cooked, particular her pastry, and to think of dad and the apple pie he made for her!